Althalus is probably the best thief in the world. He has quite the reputation...but also the skills to back that up. So when his luck goes sour, he wonders if something is wrong. Then he meets Ghend, a seedy-looking character who wants to hire Althalus for a job. He wants Althalus to steal a book from the House at the Edge of the World.
Althalus wonders at Ghend's sanity, but when Ghend offers to pay him the Book's weight in gold, he decides he can't pass it up. He spends a few weeks traveling to the House, but once he gets there...nothing will ever be the same.
Althalus gets trapped in the House with a cat he names Emerald who can talk. He spends the next couple centuries learning how to use the Book to make things happen--all in preparation to save the world. First though, he must venture out of the House to find the people he needs. Those people all have tasks that need to be done as well, if they're to succeed.
It's pretty hard to sum up a 800-page book in a short blurb. This doesn't even scratch the surface of what happens in this book. Eddings was a masterful storyteller, and I already miss his great wit and story-telling. This is one of his few fantasy books that is told all in one book--the rest take several. He himself admitted it helped not making his characters travel by foot or horse most of the time. If you're looking for a great fantasy story, pick this book up. And, while it isn't teen, it's appropriate for them too--no swearing, nudity, or other things people find so objectionable.