I'm trying to find a fantasy novel I read about the life of a wizard. He started out as a normal person, but became a servant of a god (I think the god treated him as a friend and student). He played a kind of puppet master role in the history of the world he lived in, which he affected over a long timespan (thousands of years?). There were other wizards who were also servants of this god, and I seem to remember that one of them was or became a rival or the bad guy, potentially serving another god in the process.

I think the book was published in the 90's, but I'm not certain of it. I also think there were other books in the series after it, or that this book was a prequel of some kind.

marked as duplicate by Rand al'Thor Dec 7 at 12:58

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  • Does this count as a duplicate? It's from the same series but this is about the prequel and not the main series, it seems like they're fairly different and could be considered separate series – J Lewis Dec 7 at 13:09
up vote 11 down vote accepted

This sounds like it could be Belgarath the Sorcerer by David and Leigh Eddings, prequel book to the Belgariad and Mallorean series.

When the world was young and Gods still walked among their mortal children, a headstrong orphan boy set out to explore the world. Thus began the extraordinary adventures that would mold that youthful vagabond into a man, and the man into the finely honed instrument of Prophecy known to all the world as Belgarath the Sorcerer.

Then came the dark day when the Dark God Torak split the world asunder, and the God Aldur and his disciples began their monumental labor to set Destiny aright. Foremost among their number was Belgarath. His ceaseless devotion was foredoomed to cost him that which he held most dear--even as his loyal service would extend through echoing centuries of loss, of struggle, and of ultimate triumph.

All of the facts fit from Belgarath's lifetime of several thousand years to him and others being servants of the god Aldur, to his brother Zedar betraying Aldur and stealing the orb for Torak.

The Wikipedia entry notes that it is indeed written as an autobiography:

The book opens shortly after the end of The Malloreon with Belgarion, with help from Durnik, 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 was my initial thought too – Alith Dec 7 at 11:27
  • Will do, although it's got to wait a few minutes before I can. Was this something you already knew? I didn't have any luck searching for it – J Lewis Dec 7 at 11:31
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    I just recently grabbed the Pawn of Prophecy audiobook, first book of the Belgariad. As one critic put it, Eddings basically write one great story in his career, but he's made a living of continuing and rewriting it since, and he's good at it. – FuzzyBoots Dec 7 at 11:32
  • The books were childhood favorites of mine. – FuzzyBoots Dec 7 at 11:32
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    @RobertF: It's all pretty strictly formula, but it's very well-executed formula (which was the point of it, as I recall, Eddings leaving a writing seminar about cliches and deciding he was going to write a walking cliche and make it good), and I think it does hold up. I have mixed opinions, incidentally, on the audiobook I got of it. The somewhat caricaturish accents on the various nationalities make the parallels to our own culture more stark, and Belgarath is basically Sean Connery. – FuzzyBoots Dec 7 at 16:13

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