David & Leigh Eddings, The Redemption of Althalus (Del Rey, 2001).
In short, don’t bother. I finally put the book down about a third of the way through. I found it on a list of fantasy must-reads. Well it sure doesn’t make mine.
It’s not that it is written for a young adult audience, it’s just that’s all it was written for. There are so many excellent examples of young adult fiction that is artfully written with engaging and deep stories that engage young and old alike: J. K. Rowling, Tolkien, Ursula LeGuin, Patricia McKillip, to name a few. Redemption has flat characters (don’t let the intriguing introduction fool you), puerile dialogue, and juvenile, stereotyped relationships. There was really nothing there for anyone over 15.
I was looking forward to the book, too. The only other Eddings books I’ve read were the Belgariad series some 20 years ago, which I loved at the time. Maybe if I read them again now I’d feel the same way. Who knows.