Fantasy icon David Eddings, known and beloved by millions of readers for his Belgariad and Mallorean series, has passed away at the age of 77. Eddings’ classic works have influenced thousands of writers — including the one penning this blog. Eddings, like many others, was inspired by the success of The Lord of the Rings. But his own stories were original and transcendent — leaving a lasting mark and legacy. He is also one of the few responsible for popularizing contemporary fantasy — writing stories outside of the Middle English favored by Tolkien.
Born in 1931, Eddings was known for sticking to the old ways of producing manuscripts and continued to use a type-writer even for his most recent works. Most of his stories were also crafted with the help of his wife — Leigh Eddings. Working for many years as a grocery store manager, he finally managed to publish High Hunt and Pawn of Prophecy in the mid-80s. Pawn of Prophecy was met with stunning success and spawned nine follow-on stories. Eddings’ other work includes The Elenium andTamuli trilogies as well as The Dreamers series.
Eddings was always most pleased when his writing was picked up by first-time readers stating in an interview to Reed Magazine that once they were no longer challenged by his books they were free to then move onto “somebody important like Homer or Milton.”
For my part, I remember fondly the day I, just barely a teen, discovered Eddings sitting on the shelves of a local mom and pop bookstore. The many warm summer afternoons spent exploring his rich and fantastic worlds were all worth far more than the $3.99 I paid for his books. I was one of those who went on to Milton and Homer. But I never forgot Eddings who helped to instill such a love for great stories.
Farewell Mr. Eddings, you will be sorely, sorely missed.