Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

June 3, 2009

RIP David Eddings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Sam @ 2:32 pm

Eddings-bashing might be fashionable – hell, I did it myself just recently – but he was a very good, very successful fantasy writer. His work may have been formulaic (though he did ring the changes on his tropes), but there’s a reason that a lot of it is a cliche. It’s because he made those ideas so popular, and without him Robert Jordan – to name only one – wouldn’t have had anything to subvert or comment on. He used to say he never read in the field, because it would ruin what he was working on himself, but the field damn well read him.

And furthermore, his work is always intensely readable. He wasn’t a great stylist, or even a particularly “good” writer, but his sense of character and pacing is good and his worlds are boldly sketched. And in particular – which I think is part of the secret of his success – he’s very, very good at writing fantasies of political agency and fantasies of home & family.

Edit: I’ve been reminded that I forgot Leigh, his wife and co-author. She contributed just as much to all of the books as he did, and it was a Good Day for fantasy when her name started appearing on the covers too. She died two years ago, sadly.

1 Comment »

  1. And furthermore, his work is always intensely readable.

    This. Even on my hundredth reading, even after years and years have passed and my taste in literature has changed, I still find myself picking up his books and going through them cover to cover – and sometimes going through an entire series end to end – in a sitting, then wondering why the sun is coming up. There aren’t many authors who can engage me like that.

    Comment by Kevin — June 3, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

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