|Publisher||Del Rey Books|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Pages||736 pp (paperback)|
|Followed by||Polgara the Sorceress|
Set in the same universe as the Eddings' The Belgariad and The Malloreon, it is effectively one big flashback (or a prequel) to the other series, although the framework story is set after the events of The Malloreon.
The book opens shortly after the end of The Malloreon with Belgarion pestering Belgarath to write an autobiographical account of the events prior to The Belgariad. The core of the book is in the form of Belgarath's memoirs starting with his becoming an outcast from his village and becoming first disciple of the god Aldur and ending with the birth of Belgarion—a span of about seven thousand years.
Belgarath the Sorcerer creates inconsistencies with the rest of the books in the series rather than just fill in all the gaps. Although Belgarath explains that the historical texts used previously had inaccuracies, the real inconsistencies are to do with things that contemporary characters who lived through those times had said but have changed in Belgarath the Sorcerer. Here is a list of inconsistencies:
- According to Belgarath the Sorcerer, the name of the Rivan prince who survived the assassination of the royal family was "Geran", whereas in Castle of Wizardry, Polgara says that the name was "Gared". It should be noted that in Polgara the Sorceress, there is an entire section named after Geran, so it would appear that "Gared" has been, perhaps unintentionally, retconned to "Geran".
- In Magician's Gambit, the Voice of Prophecy tells Garion that he has never spoken to Belgarath directly, whereas Belgarath the Sorcerer records many conversations between Belgarath and the voice.
- In Pawn of Prophecy, Belgarath is rather surprised at the use of the term "Grandfather" by Garion, yet in Belgarath he is used to the term by all of his descendants and acknowledged them all as his grandsons. It is, however, possible that he was surprised that Garion came to the same conclusion, and although Belgarath says he has never thought about it that way before, he may still be reffering to his relationship with Garion, as opposed to his ancestors.
- In Seeress of Kell, Belgarath and Polgara mention how during the battle of Vo Mimbre the enemy had used illusion in their tactics, and Belgarath recalls trying to keep their side in control, yet this does not actually happen in Belgarath the Sorcerer.
It should be noted, however, that the original series (The Belgariad and The Malloreon) are technically considered to be stories told, whereas "Belgarath the Sorcerer" is the truth as he remembers it, and both are therefore to be considered potentially flawed.
Another huge inconsistency:
Belgarath the Sorceror also mentions that ordinary priests don't have power in the West -- only disciples do. (Beldin's commentary to Belgarath: "Did you know that an ordinary priest is powerless once he gets past the boundaries of his own country? ... An ordinary Grolim .. has some ability to do the kinds of things we do. Once they leave the region occupied by the worshipers of their own God, though, that ability goes out the window. A disciple, on the other hand, carries it with him wherever he goes.") This would make Grolim sorcery inexplicable in Cherek, Tolnedra, Sendaria, Arendia, Nyissa unless there are Torak worshipers in the West. And true Torak worship would involve human sacrifice.
** moving comments to talk.
Due to different publishing standards, in many countries the large book was split into multiple volumes,
- Belgarath the Magician
- Time of Misery
- Bride of the Silver Wolf
- Magician's Daughter
- Bloodline of the Throne
- Years of Blackness
- Years of Hope