This is the middle book in the series, and David Eddings took the opportunity to enhance the world a little more, and flesh out the prophecy.
Garion and the party are making their way from Nyissa to the Vale and Belgaraths master required it. So the party are being chased by Brill (someone really needs to deal with that one soon). To avoid the chase, they go through the haunted land of Maragor. This is haunted as the Tolnedrans eradicated the Marags from the face of the world. The god Marag stays there and wails in sorrow for his fallen people. The party is put to sleep, but Garion is still aware. He has a nice chat with his mind and eventually accepts his calling.
They reach the Vale where Garion practices with his power. He ends up sinking himself in the ground. The party meet the others in the Vale, including Beldin, an ugly dwarf hunchback, who throw insults with Polgara.
They then move off to Ulgoland, where they pick up the zealot Relg, who can walk through solid rock. His addition causes a little friction with the party and Garion is left to handle him. Ce'Nedra is left in Ulgoland and Hettar is sent to warn the others, as his habit of killing Murgos will be a problem in Cthol Murgos.
The party travel hard and enter the temple to confront Ctuchik, and to get the orb back. This they manage to do, and along the way the encounter Taiba, a Marag. She was a slave that managed to escape the slave pens.
This was a fairly important book in the series. This is mainly due to fleshing out the characters and prophecy a lot, as well as detailing Garions acceptance of his power. It was also the first time we got the point of view chapters of Ce'Nedra. This indicates that she is a very special character and will be on a equal standing to Garion.
The place where Garion raises a baby horse from death was demonstrating the power that is within Garion. The relationship between Garion and Ce'Nedra is growing is still amusing to read.
Yes, some parts of the book were a little dark. The Ghosts in Maragor, the Temple in Cthol Murgos and they general off handed way the party murder a lot of Murgos.
All in all a good read and a solid 4/5 for me.
The Belgariad Series
Here are links to my reviews of the rest of the series