In the Belgariad, Eddings’ system of magic was a kind of profoundly American entrepreneurial system, dependent entirely upon the an individual’s strength of will. Education had a certain impact, but largely what mattered was the individual’s ability to impose their own desires on the shape of the world. Magic in the Elenium, by contrast requires that a person not only have a great deal of education, but also that they humble themselves before a power greater than themselves, that they ask permission to borrow some of that power for themselves. I think this is tied to the greater political complexity of the world Eddings has created. In the Belgariad, the political system was a simple, two-sided affair of might against might, good against evil. Even political power in that world was a matter of leaders on one side or the other exercising their will. In the world of the Elenium, political and religious power is contingent on deals and maneuvers and compromises. It makes sense that the other major system of power in the world would function in a similar way. Beyond that, it may be a sign of a maturing author.
The plot continues apace, with monsters and knights in armour (including some jousts!), and in the end, the queen imprisoned in the crystal throne is restored to her full health an beauty by the Bhelliom, only to trap our heroic knight into marriage. Our heroes must now move into enemy territory and destroy the evil god of the enemy race.
Next is the final book in the Elenium series, The Sapphire Rose, by David Eddings.