The Diamond Throne by David Eddings is the first of three in his Elenium series. Published in the 90s, I’ve read that this series has been heralded as a classic by many and was the author’s claim to fame. I was looking for my next political fantasy book/series when I stumbled upon this series in a couple of recommended lists online. After reading a couple of forum posts, I’ve decided to give it a try. In many ways, The Diamond Throne seemed like a good ol’ throwback classic in the fantasy genre and I was definitely okay with that given that it is the year 2017. In fact, I believe that’s what made the book so attractive to me in that it forced me to finish it within just a couple of days! Sometimes you don’t need the most convoluted of plots with a hundred different character POVs to make a good epic fantasy story.
The story itself is honestly nothing to write home about. However, it’s focused and very easy to follow along. You do have some political intrigue but definitely nothing overwhelming. If that’s ultimately what you’re looking for, then you might be disappointed. From what I’ve read online, you’re better served if you read the second series, The Tamuli, instead. But because it’s a continuation of this first series, I just couldn’t bring myself to jump ahead of the timeline right from the get-go and so here I am. What’s most interesting in The Diamond Throne are the characters that are introduced to us for the very first time along with the non-stop plot advancement from start to finish.
Sparhawk, Kalten, Sephrenia, Kurik and a bunch of others are constantly on the move. This makes the pacing face but at the same time still very easy to follow along. When I said this is a throwback to ol’ school fantasy, I mean it. You have your brash knight who charges into the action without any sound plan, a squire to help keep said knight in check, another knight who likes to crack the jokes, a magician/mage that is mysterious and well mannered, a thief and of course, scheming and conniving churchmen. Definitely a tried and true formula I’d say! The characters never stay in one place too long nor to the author spend too much time describing the scenery. He does just enough to paint a picture in your head and the rest is up to you.
The only thing I can think of that seems missing is any hint of romance. I’m not complaining since I could do without it but it seemed just a bit odd to me now that I think about it afterwards. All in all though, The Diamond Throne is a good start to what I think would be an excellent throwback fantasy story. I just wish for more time to read the series!