I can't remember when I started reading his books, but I do know a copy belonged to my sister. It was a book from the Elenium trilogy, featuring the Pandion knight Sparhawk. I've since grown tired of the humour and other gimmicks that were his stock-in-trade for who knows how long. But when I first read it, I was hooked. I remember reading a brick-thick book from the Tamuli trilogy cover to cover in less than two hours. At work.
Sparhawk the knight may be the Queen's Champion, but we can, in some way, identify with him. He hates (some of) his bosses. His servant gives him lip. He has money issues. He's got wife issues, too. All in language we can understand.
Looking back now, I wonder if my new-found interest in books began with Eddings. I seem to be more into the shelves now, and not just plain browsing. And not just because of the new job.