Pawn of Prophecy is the first of a ten-volume epic fantasy first published in 1982. The set is broken into two five-volume groups The Belgariad and The Mallorean. It is high fantasy and quite literally designed around the concept of a Game of Destiny.
It does have many concepts of classic fantasy - a protagonist who does not know his destiny, swords, shapechangers, magic, gods, prophecy, and destiny. It does have multi-faceted characters as well like Kheldar who presents as a merchant but who is a spy, a prince, and a thief all wrapped into one.
Eddings paints a rich world with political intrigue, religion, and interaction between gods, humans, and magic. It lacks the language that Tolkien provides to his trilogy - no elvish or orcish - but in other aspects the world is perhaps even fuller.
Pawn of Prophecy is the coming of age story of Garion and introduces the full pantheon, including the evil antithesis Torak, and the varied "fellowship" that will carry through, with additions and subtractions, the next nine volumes in the battle between good (who sometimes have rifts to overcome) and evil.
David Eddings did have Tolkien in mind when he wrote the series; he was consciously trying to add elements to the classic epic fantasy of Tolkien. One sees this in the world of Aloria. One sees this in the story of Torak. And one sees it in the interplay of the characters and the religions.
This book has over 77,000 ratings on Goodreads with an average of 4.16. The other books of the series are also highly rated, all between 4.1 and 4.2. It is available on Biblio for as little as $3.94 including shipping.
Me as a critic (be careful! the harshness will be well concealed!)