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Is it necessary/recommended to read The Belgeriad before reading The Mallorean? I have The M. set, but the description refers to events from Belgariad and I'm wary that I won't have the background to properly enjoy the second set. What do you guys think?
if you can get the Belgariad I would read it first, it really sets up the Mallorean both the characters as well as the driving plot points (which would be a spoiler so I will not say what that is).
I would definately agree with Mike. If you read them reversed a large part of the storyline of Belgariad is spoiled. Also you will be much more at a loss for the logic and reasoning for the relationships between some of the main characters.