Thank gawd it's over.Now, I don't regret reading this... but I could've spent my time enjoying better literature, that's for sure. So this is straight YA fantasy, even if it's not marketed as such. Sad thing is, I would've enjoyed this series so much at 12-14 years old. Much older now, I can still like The Belgariad as a light story: tired, drunk, it's still readable (so add a half-star, if it's a main concern for you). As a LoTR clone, it does an OK job, being easy to read (look at all the 'Tom Swifties' though), easy to understand, easy to follow. But... YAWN! So much bickering and snarky comebacks, you'd think the whole thing is a teenage TV show. Oh wait, it this, somewhat. At the end, it's so nice and sweet that you really cannot hate it. Like your slightly racist and sexist grandfather who lived through a different Zeitgeist, Eddings will still warm your heart. But you'll wish for some female characters who are more than passive aggressive bitchy control freaks. The end.