David Eddings, 77, who wrote more than two dozen novels, has died.

The Spokane, Wash., native died Tuesday of natural causes at his Carson City, Nev., home, his family announced.

Mr. Eddings' novels included the multivolume Belgariad and Malloreon series. Many were written with his wife, Leigh, who died in 2007. His last book was The Younger Gods published in 2006.

In 1973, he published High Hunt, a non-fantasy story that explored themes of manhood and coming of age for four men on a hunting trip shortly after the Vietnam War.

Several years later, he read J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and decided fantasy-writing was his calling.

- AP