Fantasy novelist David Eddings, best known for the Belgariad and Malloreon series, passed away Tuesday at the age of 77.
Acclaimed fantasy writer David Eddings died in Carson City, Nevada on Tuesday, according to his brother. The author received acclaim and enjoyed immense popularity for his prolific work in the fantasy genre, in which he produced large multi-part series of novels like The Belgariad and The Malloreon, which followed the struggles of an orphaned boy who gets caught up in a prophecy that involves no less than the fate of the world.
Eddings, who co-authored many of his books with his wife Leigh, drew from fantasy mainstays like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps unlike Tolkien, however, Eddings was never high-minded about his own work, according to colleagues.
“His huge worldwide success and fame did not change Dave at all,” said Jane Johnson of HarperCollins. “He was unfailingly self-effacing on the subject of his success, once saying: ‘I’m never going to be in danger of getting a Nobel Prize for literature, I’m a storyteller, not a prophet. I’m just interested in a good story’.”
Indeed, Eddings may have perceived of his work as a stepping stone for readers to more weighty fare. “I am here to teach a generation or two how to read,” he said in 1997. “After they’ve finished with me and I don’t challenge them any more, they can move on to somebody important like Homer or Milton.”
The readership Eddings leaves behind surely won’t be following his advice. They’ll stick with him for years to come.