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In the ruins of Rak Cthol, Garion and his companions have accomplished their goal. They have recovered the Orb of Aldur. But Belgararth the Sorcerer lies in a stupor, exhausted by his magical duel with Ctuthik and the mountains keep shakes from the earthquakes. They are deep in enemy territory and will have to use their wits to escape.

But can the young man handle the weight of leadership thrust upon him? Will his fledling sorecery powers be enough to see them safe through the lands of the Murgos? And what will happen when they make it back to the safety. What does it mean for their quest now that they have reclaimed the Orb of Aldur? Lots of good laughs. While the story moves along my playfull mind extends myself into the action. This helps me to achieve the emotional need I have found myself in. Thanks much for enriching my life. I would like to see movies made of this series.

I love this series and I am enjoying the reread very much. This is a true epic journey. With that said, I find this book a bit slower than the previous three. It is mostly a setting up of the Rivan King and his betrothed. The journey is put on hold as they come to claim the crown. After all is said and done, Belgarion, Belgarath and Silk steal away to begin another journey. After the trio leaves you follow them for a bit. Then you are back with the others as they begin to gather an army.

You follow Ce'Nedra as she gives her speeches and gathers her huge army for Belgarion. They are on one journey as the trio is on another. It is not full of mystery and adventure as much as the other three, but the story is well under way and you need to reach here to continue. Don't get me wrong, it is still an amazing story, just not as full on as the other three.

But hold on, the adventure continues. Oh kily, Mr. Week vs didn't stop writing. Impressively good story! The performance is incredible. I have a feeling I will be listening to this over and over again. Why do I keep coming back to the Belgariad? There are very few books in the genre where family is important, but this is one of them.

I'm beginning to wonder if the voice actor on this just wasn't given enough time with the scripts. Fiddle penyang. One of my favourites series from school days You know what you're going to get with this series Classic light vs dark, good vs evil plot, likable characters and a solid performance.. Eddings takes to to an other world full of caricatures that you can picture and go on an amazing journey with Just a pitty the Narrator uses silly voices and accents he growls a lot of the voices puts no emotion into them it's just dead pan reading it drones on and on they should use someone that can put emotion and feelings into the books as they were written you have French Spanish Cornwall and north of England accents some of the caricatures sound stupid the way he has there voices.

Honestly I don't understand why this man was allowed to continue to read these books. His narrative skills are abysmal and he should have been replaced after the first book!

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However you can get past that as Eddings has painted such a lush and powerful story, it is impossible not to become lost in it. Great book but none of the chapter line up!? Love the series, really enjoying it. I've loved these books since I was His voices in Harry Potter were believable. The ones in this series seem to wonder all over the place, including a very bad Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

I am quite honestly running out of praise for David Eddings and his masterful storytelling. Worth every second of your time! By: David Eddings. Narrated by: Cameron Beierle. Series: Belgariad , Book 4. Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins. People who bought this also bought Magician By: Raymond E.

Daughter of the Empire By: Raymond E. Prince of the Blood By: Raymond E. Before that, Garion had been a simple farm boy. Afterward, he discovered he's a sorcerer.

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Now, at last, the Orb has been regained and the quest nears its end. Of course, the questors must still escape from a crumbling enemy fortress, flee across a desert filled with Murgo soldiers, and avoid the Grolim Hierarchs seeking to destroy them with dark magic. After that, Garion feels assured his part will be finished. Fantasy fan?

Listen to more titles in the Belgariad series. P Books in Motion. What members say Average Customer Ratings Overall. Amazon Reviews. Sort by:. Most Helpful Most Recent. Relg cringed back from her. She stared at him in amazement, her hand still half extended. Her life had been spent almost entirely in darkness, and she had never learned to keep her emotions from showing on her face. Amazement gave way to humiliation, and her expression settled then into a kind of stiff, sullen pout as she turned quickly away from the man who had just so harshly rejected her.

The cloak slipped from her shoulders as she turned, and the few rags she had for clothing scarcely concealed her nakedness. Despite her tangled hair and the dirty smudges on her limbs, there was a lush, inviting ripeness about her. Relg stared at her and he began to tremble. Then he quickly turned, moved as far away from her as possible, and dropped to his knees, praying desperately and pressing his face against the rocky floor of the cave.

There are other reasons too, it appears. Silk laughed from the cave mouth. Taiba drew in a long, shuddering breath, and then she began to cry. Aunt Pol opened her arms and took the sobbing woman into them, comforting her even as she had comforted Garion so often when he was small. Garion sank wearily to the floor, resting his back against the rocky wall of the cave. Waves of exhaustion washed over him, and a great lassitude drained him of all consciously directed thought. Once again the Orb sang to him, but lulling now. Its curiosity about him apparently was satisfied, and its song seemed to be there only to maintain the contact between them.

Garion was too tired even to be curious about why the stone took such pleasure in his company. He looked puzzled, and reached out with one hand to touch his fingers to her tear-streaked face. The little boy smiled then. The little boy sighed, then came across the cave, sat down beside Garion, and nestled against him. Barak had gone a short distance back up the passageway they had followed; now he returned, his face grim.

The ritual formulas had not helped him, and his eyes were haunted. Relg shook his head. Then she turned her attention to the little boy. He returned her grave look with one just as serious, then reached out and touched the white lock at her brow with curious fingers. With a start of remembrance, Garion recalled how many times he had touched that lock with the selfsame gesture, and the memory of it raised a momentary irrational surge of jealousy, which he quickly suppressed. The little boy smiled with sudden delight.

Obediently he climbed into her lap, put one arm about her neck and kissed her. Then he nestled his face down against her, sighed and immediately fell asleep. She looked down at him with a strange expression on her face — a peculiar mixture of wonder and tenderness — and Garion fought down another wave of jealousy. If we can get enough of a headstart to put down a good false trail, we can send them all running off to the west toward the Tolnedran border, and we can move toward the Vale without needing to waste all that time dodging and hiding.

It was midafternoon when Relg returned. They rested in the cave through the remainder of the day, taking turns on watch at the narrow opening. The wasteland of black sand and wind-scoured rock lying out beyond the tumbled scree at the base of the pinnacle was alive with Murgo horsemen scurrying this way and that in a frenzied, disorganized search. The sun was just sinking into a bank of cloud on the western horizon, staining the sky fiery red, and the stiff wind brought a dusty chill with it as it seeped into the cave opening. How are we going to get through them?

Silk shrugged. Is it getting any darker? They waited. The evening sky began to turn purple, and the first stars came out, glittering cold and very far away. Torches began to appear among the searching Murgos. They led their horses quietly out of the cave and down across the scree to the sand. There they stopped for several moments while a group of Murgos carrying torches galloped by several hundred yards out.

They moved out at a walk, going slowly until Taiba became more sure of herself and Belgarath showed that he could stay in his saddle even though he could not yet communicate with anyone. Then they nudged their horses into a canter that covered a great deal of ground without exhausting the horses. As they crossed the first ridge, they rode directly into a large group of Murgos carrying torches. Put out those torches. How do you expect to see anything beyond ten feet with them flaring in your eyes?

There were other encounters during the long, cold, moonless night as they rode west. They were inescapable in view of the hordes of Murgos scouring the wasteland in search of them, but Silk handled each such meeting smoothly, and the night passed without significant incident. Toward morning the little man began artfully dropping various articles to mark their trail. As the first steel-gray light of dawn began to creep across the wintry sky, they took shelter among the boulders of one of the ridges that laced the floor of the wasteland.

Durnik, Barak and Mandorallen stretched the canvas of their tents tautly over a narrow ravine on the west side of the ridge and sprinkled sand on top of it to disguise their makeshift shelter. She nodded her agreement. They ate a cold breakfast of bread and cheese and began to settle in, hoping to sleep out the day so that they could ride on the next night. The little boy looked at nim, frowning slightly. Then he walked over and offered him the Orb. Silk carefully put his hands behind his back and shook his head. The little boy was curiously examining a small, very dry bush at the upper end of the ravine and gave no indication that he knew the smith was calling him.

Durnik shrugged. It will do for a name until we can find something more suitable, I suppose. Durnik smiled at him, bent over and held the mouth of the pouch open. The little boy delightedly deposited the Orb in the leather pouch. He pulled the drawstring tight and then tied the pouch to the bit of rope the boy wore as a belt. All safe and secure now. Errand examined the pouch carefully, tugging at it a few times as if to be sure it was tightly tied. Relg, however, had looked up sharply.

The troubled expression that had hovered on his face since he had rescued the trapped slave woman fell away to be replaced by that look of fanatic zeal that it had always worn before. Taiba turned on him, her eyes hardening. Taiba straightened, her face hardening even more, and she faced him defiantly. She laughed. All that bawling at your God about how vile you are.

I think you must bore this UL of yours tremendously sometimes, do you know that? People have been hitting me all my life. Go ahead, Relg. Sensing her advantage, Taiba put her hands to the throat of the rough gray dress Polgara had given her. She began unfastening the dress. Look then. But is the wickedness in my mind or yours? I can sink you in sin any time I want to.

All I have to do is this. How are you? Garion slept for most of the day, wrapped in his blankets and lying on the stony ground. When the chill and a particularly uncomfortable rock under his hip finally woke him, it was late afternoon. Silk sat guard near the mouth of the ravine, staring out at the black sand and the grayish salt flats, but the rest were all asleep. As he walked quietly down to where the little man sat, Garion noticed that Aunt Pol slept with Errand in her arms, and he pushed away a momentary surge of jealousy. Taiba murmured something as he passed, but a quick glance told him that she was not awake.

She was lying not far from Relg; in her sleep, her hand seemed to be reaching out toward the slumbering Ulgo. Durnik came out from under the canvas roof to join them, yawning and rubbing at his eyes. They were a couple of miles off to the south. We might have to make it a little more obvious for them. Garion felt a peculiar, oppressive sort of weight on the back of his neck. He glanced around uncomfortably. Then, with no warning, there was a sudden sharp stab that seemed to go straight into his mind.

He gasped and tensed his will, pushing the attack away. He turned and darted back in under the canvas with Silk and Durnik on his heels. She had risen to her feet and was standing with her arms protectively about Errand. They could attack again at any moment. You have the power. Use it.

The air about her seemed to shimmer, distorting like heat-waves on a summer afternoon. Garion could actually feel the barrier encircling her. She shook her head and pointed at her ear. She seemed to say something, but no sound penetrated the shimmering shield she had erected.

Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, Book 4), by David Eddings

Garion felt distinctly uncomfortable in the role Silk had thrust upon him. He knew that there had been no need for it, since they all knew where they were going and what they had to do. There was no time for leadership or even discussion when, shortly after midnight, they ran into a party of Murgos.

Barak and Mandorallen reacted with that instant violence of trained warriors, their swords whistling out of their sheaths to crunch with steely ringing sounds into the mail-skirted bodies of the startled Murgos. Even as Garion struggled to draw his own sword, he saw one of the black-robed intruders tumble limply out of his saddle, while another, howling with pain and surprise, toppled slowly backward, clutching at his chest. There was a confusion of shouts and shrill screams from terrified horses as the men fought in the darkness.

One frightened Murgo wheeled his mount to flee, but Garion, without even thinking, pulled his horse in front of him, sword raised to strike. Garion deftly parried another clumsy swing and whipped his blade again, slashing the Murgo across the face. This style baked the frightened Murgo, and his efforts became more desperate.

But each time he swung, Garion easily parried and instantly countered with those light, flicking slashes that inevitably drew blood. Garion felt a wild, surging exultation boiling in his veins as he fought, and there was a fiery taste in his mouth. The Murgo doubled over sharply, shuddered, then fell dead from his saddle. Barak, surveying the carnage, laughed, his sudden mirth startling in the darkness. He looked around eagerly for someone else to fight, but the Murgos were all dead. Maybe we should go look. Leadership was enough of a burden without these continuously comments from the weasel-faced little man to complicate things.

The Ulgo was still on his knees beside the body of the Murgo he had killed.

Castle of Wizardry (Book Four of the Belgariad)

Garion resisted an impulse to swear. As she stared at the kneeling Ulgo, a curious little smile flickered across her lips. Without warning, she reached her hand out toward him again. Taiba chuckled, a throaty, wicked little sound, and walked away, humming softly to herself. The sliver of moon stood high overhead in the chill sky, casting a pale light down on the black sands, and Garion looked about constantly as he rode, trying to pick out any possible dangers lurking ahead.

He glanced frequently at Aunt Pol, wishing that she were not so completely cut off from him, but she seemed to be totally absorbed in maintaining her shield of will. She rode with Errand pulled closely against her, and her eyes were distant, unfathomable. Garion looked hopefully at Belgarath, but the old man, though he looked up from his doze at times, seemed largely unaware of his surroundings.

Garion sighed, and his eyes resumed their nervous scrutiny of the trail ahead. They rode on through the tag-end of night in the biting chill with the faint moonlight about them and the stars glittering like points of ice in the sky above. Suddenly Garion heard a roaring in his mind — a sound that had a peculiar echo to it — and the shield of force surrounding Aunt Pol shimmered with an ugly orange glow. He jerked his will in sharply and gestured with a single word.

He had no idea what word he used, but it seemed to work. Like a horse blundering into a covey of feeding birds, his will scattered the concerted attack on Aunt Pol and Errand. There had been more than one mind involved in the attack — he sensed that — but it seemed to make no difference. He was growing stronger, there was no doubt about that. The ease with which he had dispersed the combined wills of that group of Grolims Aunt Pol had called the Hierarchs amazed him. Garion realized with a certain surprise that he was already stronger than men who had been practicing this art for centuries, and that he was only beginning to touch the edges of his talent.

The thought of what he might eventually be able to do was more than a little frightening. It did, however, make him feel somewhat more secure. He straightened in his saddle and rode a bit more confidently. The next attack came as the eastern horizon had begun to grow pale behind them. Aunt Pol, her horse, and the little boy all seemed to vanish as absolute blackness engulfed them. Garion struck back instantly and he added a contemptuous little twist to it — a stinging slap at the joined minds that had mounted the attack.

He felt a glow of self satisfaction at the surprise and pain in the minds as they flinched back from his quick counterblow. There was a glimpse — just a momentary one — of nine very old men in black robes seated around a table in a room somewhere. One of the walls of the room had a large crack in it, and part of the ceiling had collapsed as a result of the earthquake that had convulsed Rak Cthol. Eight of the evil old men looked surprised and frightened; the ninth one had fainted.

The darkness surrounding Aunt Pol disappeared. Silk looked at him, his eyes narrowed shrewdly. The broken wall of peaks that marked the western edge of the waste land was clearly visible as the light began to creep up the eastern sky. The smith squinted at the mountains ahead. Garion thought about that. Garion scratched at his cheek, noticing that his whiskers had begun to sprout again. When the sun comes up tomorrow morning, we can change our route. They sought out another ridge and another ravine, and once again concealed it with their tent canvas. Although he was tired, Garion was reluctant to lose himself in sleep.

Not only did the cares of leadership press heavily on him, but he also felt apprehensive about the possibility of an attack by the Hierarchs coming while he was asleep. As the others began to unroll their blankets, he walked about rather aimlessly, stopping to look at Aunt Pol, who sat with her back against a large rock, holding the sleeping Errand and looking as distant as the moon behind her shimmering shield.

Garion sighed and went on down to the mouth of the ravine where Durnik was attending to the horses. It had occurred to him that all their lives depended on the well-being of their mounts, and that gave him something else to worry about. Garion glanced at his arm and saw that his wrist stuck an inch or two out of his sleeve.

Castle of Wizardry (Belgariad, book 4) by David Eddings

Being able to do things the way you do? This can. Durnik looked out at the long shadows of the ridge stretching away from the newly risen sun. When I was about your age, I found out that I was much stronger than the other young men in our village — probably because I worked in the smithy.

One of them thought I was a coward because of that and he pushed me around for about six months until I finally lost my temper. Durnik nodded. We even got to be good friends again — after his bones all healed up and he got used to the missing teeth. Garion grinned at him, and Durnik smiled back a bit ruefully. Garion felt very close to this plain, solid man. Durnik was his oldest friend — somebody he could always count on. Durnik smiled again.

Suddenly the smile fell away from his face and he gasped. Then he fell writhing to the ground, clutching at his stomach. But Durnik could not answer. His face was ashen and contorted with agony as he twisted in the dirt. Garion felt a strange, alien pressure and he understood instantly. Thwarted in their attempts to kill Errand, the Hierarchs were directing their attacks at the others in the hope of forcing Aunt Pol to drop her shield.

A terrible rage boiled up in him. His blood seemed to burn, and a fierce cry came to his lips. He looked down at the shadow stretching out on the ground in front of him and obeyed the voice. Enclosed in his shadow, he touched the still-writhing Durnik once like a sniffing hound, picked up the direction of the concerted thought that had felled his friend, and then flashed through the air back over the miles of wasteland toward the wreckage of Rak Cthol. He had, it seemed, no weight, and there was an odd purplish cast to everything he saw.

He felt his immensity as he entered the room with the cracked wall where the nine black-robed old men sat, trying with the concerted power of their minds to kill Durnik. They flinched back from his sudden apparition, and he could feel the thought they were directing at Durnik through the stone on the table falter and begin to fall apart. He took a threatening step and saw them cringe away from him in the purple light that half clouded his vision.

Then one of the old men-very thin and with a long dirty beard and completely hairless scalp — seemed to recover from his momentary fright. Despite his dreadful anger, Garion did not want to kill any of them. It felt odd — almost tenuous, as if it had no substance behind it, and the roaring was hollow and puny-sounding. The bald old man sneered and waggled his beard insultingly. Garion ground his insubstantial teeth and drew himself in with dreadful concentration.

There was a flicker and then a sudden flash. The Hierarch jumped up and stumbled back with a hoarse exclamation, trying desperately to beat the flames out of his beard. The concerted thought of the Hierarchs shattered as the rest of them scrambled to their feet in terrified astonishment. Grimly, Garion gathered his swelling will and began to lay about him with his immensely long arms. He tumbled the Hierarchs across the rough stone floor and slammed them into walls. Squealing with fright, they scurried this way and that, trying to escape, but he methodically reached out and grasped them one by one to administer his chastisement.

With a peculiar kind of detachment, he even stuffed one of them headfirst into the crack in the wall, pushing quite firmly until only a pair of wriggling feet were sticking out. Then, when it was done, he turned back to the bald Hierarch, who had managed finally to beat the last of the fire out of his beard. Destroy it. Garion suddenly found that he could actually see into the interior of the still-flickering ruby on the table. He saw the minute stress lines within its crystalline structure, and then he understood. He turned his will on it and poured all his anger into it.

The stone blazed with light and began to pulsate as the force within it swelled. Then, with a sharp detonation, the stone exploded into fragments. That stone was irreplaceable. You will not pursue us, or try to injure any of us any more. Garion slowly opened his fingers very wide. I beg you! The Hierarch shrank back, his eyes filled with horror as he stared at the awful hand.

Quite suddenly he was standing at the mouth of the ravine staring down at his shadow slowly reforming on the ground before him. Garion turned quickly and ran back to his friend. Durnik looked around, his eyes frightened. Aunt Pol was looking directly at him as he approached her. Her eyes were penetrating.

The old man was sitting up. He looked weak and drawn, but his eyes were alert. The business with the hand was just a little overdone, though. The little boy had been looking curiously at Garion, his wide, blue eyes serious and slightly puzzled. They rode on across the barren black sands of the wasteland toward the mountains looming ahead. The quarter moon rose behind them, and its light was cold and white.

Near the edge of the wasteland there were a few scrubby thornbushes huddling low to the sand and silvered with frost. It was an hour or so before midnight when they finally reached rocky ground, and the hooves of their horses clattered sharply as they climbed up out of the sandy waste. When they topped the first ridge, they stopped to look back. The dark expanse of the wasteland behind them was dotted with the watch fires of the Murgos, and far back along their trail they saw moving torches. I made it pretty obvious. The mountains into which they rode were as arid and rocky as the ones lying to the north had been.

There were looming cliffs and patches of alkali on the ground and a bitingly cold wind that seemed to wail endlessly through the rocks and to tug at the coarse-woven Murgo robes that disguised them. They pushed on until they were well into the mountains; then, several hours before dawn, they stopped to rest and to wait for the sun to rise. When the first faint light appeared on the eastern horizon, Silk rode out and located a rocky gap passing to the northwest between two ocherous cliff faces.

As soon as he returned, they saddled their horses again and moved out at a trot. Silk grinned. The gap into which they rode appeared to be the bed of a stream that had dried up thousands of years before. The water had cut down through the rock, revealing layer upon layer of red, brown, and yellow stone lying in bands, one atop the other.

She was shivering and she had the cloak he had given her pulled tightly ahout her shoulders. The twisting streambed made a sharp bend to the right, and they rode into the light of the newly risen sun. Taiba gasped. Relg, who rode directly in front of them, was also shielding his eyes. He looked back over his shoulder at the Marag woman. He took one of the veils he usually bound across his eyes when they were in direct sunlight and handed it back to her.

Try to protect your eyes for the first few days. It was always dark down there.

She shrugged. It was the light we were afraid of. Light meant that the Murgos were coming with torches to take someone to the Temple to be sacrificed. The trail they followed turned again, and they rode out of the bright glare of sunlight. As he looked at her, the haunted expression crept back over his face. Since they had left Rak Cthol, Garion had covertly watched these two.

He knew that Relg, despite all his efforts, could not take his eyes off the Marag woman he had been forced to rescue from her living entombment in the caves. Although Relg still ranted about sin continually, his words no longer carried the weight of absolute conviction; indeed quite often, they seemed to be little more than a mechanical repetition of a set of formulas. For her part, Taiba was quite obviously puzzled. His constant scrutiny, however, spoke to her with a meaning altogether different from the words coming from his lips. His eyes told her one thing, but his mouth said something else.

She was baffled by him, not knowing whether to respond to his look or his words. I was alone after that. Being alone is the worst of it. I must have been almost a woman, though, because not long after that the Murgos gave me to a slave who had pleased them. There were a lot of slaves in the pens who did anything the Murgos wanted, and they were rewarded with extra food — or with women. I cried at first; but in time I learned to accept it. Some of the slaves tried it, but all you do is fall into unconsciousness, and then you start to breathe again. The slave they gave me to was stronger than I.

Relg started to answer, but her eyes, looking directly into his face, seemed to stop up his tongue. He faltered, unable to face that gaze. Abruptly he turned his mount and rode back toward the pack animals. Taiba pursed her lips into a sensual pout and looked back over her shoulder at the retreating zealot. I think I rather like it.

Will you excuse me? Garion thought about it as he rode on through the narrow, twisting canyon. He realized that there was a strength in Taiba that none of them had suspected, and he finally concluded that Relg was in for a very bad time. She looked slightly amused. Then why do you suppose the two of you go out of your way so much to aggravate each other? He had no answer for that, but the entire notion worried him. He rode along in silence beside Aunt Pol for a while, feeling melancholy. Finally he sighed. They rode hard for the next several days through a series of passes with the dry, bitter chill pressing at them like some great weight.

Silk rode back often to look for any signs of pursuit, but their ruse seemed to have fooled the Murgos. Finally, about noon on a cold, sunless day when the wind was kicking up dust clouds along the horizon, they reached the broad, arid valley through which the south caravan route wound. They took cover behind a low hill while Silk rode on ahead to take a quick look. For the next two days they rode steadily to the northwest. The terrain grew less rocky after they crossed into the land of the Thulls, and they saw the telltale dust clouds far behind them that spoke of mounted Murgo search parties.

It was late in the afternoon of a murky day when they finally reached the top of the eastern escarpment. Belgarath pursed his lips, squinting at the dust clouds on the southern horizon. Belgarath scratched sourly at his short white beard. It was late afternoon when they reached the shallow gully at the top of the steep notch leading down to the plain below.

Belgarath glanced once down the precipitous cut and shook his head. It was cold that night, and they kept their fire small and well sheltered. As the first light of dawn began to stain the cloudy sky to the east, they rose and prepared to descend the rocky cut toward the plain below. He turned and nudged one of the packs thoughtfully with his foot. Silk also looked a bit chagrined. He quickly spread out a blanket and began rummaging through the packs, his quick hands bringing out innumerable small, valuable items and piling them in a heap on the blanket.

Silk looked at the heap, mentally weighing it. Then he sighed with profound regret. The unburdened horses were able to move much more rapidly, and they all passed quite easily over spots Garion remembered painfully from the upward climb weeks before. By noon they were more than halfway down. Then Polgara stopped and raised her face. Far above them they heard a sharp clash of rock against rock, and then, after a moment, another. Get down as fast as you can. As they all began scrambling down over the steep rocks, Garion lagged farther and farther behind. Finally, as Durnik led the last packhorse over a jumble of broken stone and around a bend, Garion stopped entirely and stood listening.

He could hear the clatter and slide of hooves on the rocks below and, from above, the clash and bounce of a large stone tumbling over the ravine, coming closer and closer. Then there was a familiar surge and roaring sound. Carefully Garion began climbing back up the ravine, pausing often to listen. Another rock, somewhat larger than the first, came bounding and crashing down the narrow ravine, bouncing off the walls and leaping into the air each time it struck the rocky streambed.

About twenty yards above Belgarath, it struck solidly and spun into the air. The old man gestured irritably, grunting with the effort, and the rock sailed out in a long arc, clearing the walls of the ravine and falling out of sight. Garion quickly crossed the streambed and went down several yards more, staying close against the rocky wall and peering back to be sure he was concealed from his grandfather.

When the next rock came bouncing and clashing down toward them, Garion gathered his will. Belgarath watched the rock go whirling far out over the plain below, then he turned and looked sternly down the ravine. Somewhat sheepishly Garion went out into the center of the streambed and stood looking up at his grandfather.

He threw his will under the rock and hurled it out of the ravine. Belgarath looked up at the stone soaring over his head. Stop trying to show off. The old man grunted. I can manage mine, and you throw me off balance when you come blundering in like that. They moved on down together, taking turns on the rocks the Murgos were rolling down the ravine. Garion discovered that it grew easier each time he did it, but Belgarath was drenched with sweat by the time they neared the bottom. Garion considered trying once again to slip his grandfather a bit of assistance, but the old sorcerer glared at him so fiercely as he started to gather in his will that he quickly abandoned the idea.

She looked closely at Belgarath. Durnik was staring thoughtfully at the mouth of the ravine. Durnik, who had been gathering dry sticks and splintered bits of log, ran back to the mouth of the ravine, knelt and began striking sparks from his flint into the tinder he always carried. In a few moments he had a small fire going, the orange flames licking up around the weathered gray sticks.

Carefully he added larger pieces until his fire was a respectable blaze. Then he began piling thornbushes and brambles atop it, critically watching the direction of the smoke. The bushes hissed and smoldered fitfully at first, and a great cloud of smoke wafted this way and that for a moment, then began to pour steadily up the ravine. Durnik nodded with satisfaction. From far up the cut came shouts of alarm and a great deal of coughing and choking. They followed the face of the cliff for a mile or more until they found a spot where the rockfall did not extend so far out onto the plain.

An arrow shot off the top of that cliff will carry a long way. Is everybody ready? They led their horses down the short, steep slope of rock to the grassy plain below, mounted quickly and set off at a dead run. Garion, without thinking, slashed with his will at the tiny speck arching down toward them.