Review: Eragon – Christopher Paolini

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1)
(The Inheritance Cycle #1)
Christopher Paolini

My rating:

4 star

Goodreads summary:

One boy . . .
One dragon . . .
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

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Let me first admit that I haven’t read a lot of fantasy before this book. I’ve read a little, but I’m anything but knowledgeable on the subject. But let me just say that I really enjoyed reading this book. I found the story to be very captivating as well as the world in which is took place. The world was complete with new creatures, languages and rules. Perhaps these creatures might not all have been the most original of fantasy creatures (dragons, dwarves) but there were some cool species as well (Ra’zac, Kull). There was definitely magic in this book but I loved the way in which the limitations were there throughout the story.

There was a good mix of action, world building, history and personal growth going on throughout this book. A lot of the time even more than one of these was going on at a time. This made it for some interesting reading all the way through this lengthy book. I know that there are plenty of readers out there who think differently about this. But to me the story didn’t move too slowly at all. It didn’t move super quick either but for me it didn’t have to.  

I really enjoyed Eragon as a character, he definitely wasn’t perfect, he made mistakes. He was definitely a sensitive enough boy as well as eager to learn more about this world he lives in. Saphira was a very interesting character as well. I love the gusto she has. The only thing I like a little less is how Saphira and Eragon communicate. Their “talks” feel incredibly formal and most of the time their dialogue is foreshadowing some event or another. Another thing I really like is how characters never completely give up all their secrets at once. Characters like Brom are not just spewing all that they know right away which keeps the story strong.

Eldest, the next book in the series, is definitely on my to read list after reading Eragon. I’m curious to find out what’ll happen next in Alaegësia.

Before I completely close of this blogpost I’d like to touch on some things that I’ve seen strewn around in other reviews of this book. A lot of people are saying that Eragon is a huge rip-off of Lord of the rings. I admit that I haven’t read the books yet but I have seen the films. I can see that there are some parallels between those books and this book. The thing is, isn’t there usually a bad guy who needs to be defeated in a lot of stories? And doesn’t someone eventually have to rise up to fight this person with all of the power?This isn’t the only book to use dwarves and elves besides Lord of The Rings. Admittedly this might not make this story the most original of stories ever to be written. But to me it definitely held its own, there were enough differences to make this book a separate entity instead of a rip-off.

Lastly, a lot of people are harping on about how Paolini was only 17 or something when he wrote this book. And it supposedly really shows in the writing. To me this was not apparent at all. And I can only be jealous at Paolini for writing this story at that age and getting it published. Yes it was first published by his parents’ publishing house, but later it was also published by another company so that means that it’s not just his parents doing him a favor.

8 thoughts on “Review: Eragon – Christopher Paolini

  1. This is a terrible book. But I understand your opinion of it. I found it cool too until I’d read other fantasy books.

    • You’re definitely not the first person to say this, and it might be completely true that in retrospect (and after reading more fantasy books) that I will like this one a lot less. But in my current position of oblivion towards most things fantasy, I think this was enjoyable. Perhaps it’s only good as a sort of step up into other fantasy books?

      What are some of your favourite fantasy books today?

      • Sorry for the late reply! I like realistic and gritty sort of fantasy more – George RR Martin and Joe Abercrombie come to mind. Though I’ve loved Tolkien and Rowling too. And Narnia as a kid.
        Inheritance is another cliched Tolkien rip-off telling the story of a farm boy doing wonders and managing miracles like defeating the ‘Darl Lord’ on his own, more or less.

        • I really do like George RR martin as well, for me it’s just completely different to this series. I do have to say that I am not liking the second book as much as the first. So far the pacing feels a bit off…

          • The biggest fault in Inheritance is it is far too cliched. Almost everything in it has been done a thousand times before.

  2. Pingback: Review: Eldest- Christopher Paolini | Rantings, ravings and ramblings

  3. Pingback: 2013 in books | Rantings, ravings and ramblings

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