I'm a sucker for dragons, I have to admit. The very idea of them is irresistible to me, so my opinion should have been partial towards this book by default.
My main problem with this book is that it's almost exactly like the Lord of the Rings. And some of the names feel like a reversal of other name with slightly different vowels.
Ra'zac and Za'roc
also where is it written that fantasy novels must contain names with apostrophes in them?
Eragon, that sounds like... I don't know .. Aragorn?
and la dee dah whaddaya know he has a magic sword too..
SO boy finds a dragon egg, becomes a dragon rider. But shhh, it's a secret! Dagon riders are illegal unless they serve the evil king of the empire, (no idea why he isn't just called the emperor), Galbatorix.
The empire learns of his existence and retaliates by burning down his home, killing his uncle/stepfather in the process.
So far so good except for the fact that Eragon's narrative switches from farm boy in alternate world of fantastical creatures to regular fifteen year old. Sometimes his speech isn't as old-timey as it should be.
Eragon decides to journey on to avenge his uncle with his dragon and the town's old storyteller, Brom, who seems to know more that he's letting on.
A whole lot of absolutely nothing happens for a good 200 pages. It's a total snooze fest.. Eragon's narrative is 70 percent descriptions of scenery in a blasphemous attempt to be more TOLKIEN. which would be fine had he actually pulled it off but he didn't. I would read entire passages of this stuff without even knowing that my brain had automatically tuned it out, only to wake up when he starts getting back to the actual plot.
At some point during the journey Eragon is presented with the first opportunity to establish himself as a worthy protagonist. He is asked to solve a problem; Brom and Eragon discover that the ra'azak may have a way of traveling quickly using winged horses (no lie) and thus they have no way of outrunning them or at least catching up to them.
And instead of bedazzling us with the main character's mad problem solving skills, Christopher Paolini has him take a walk and (literally) stumble upon the solution. That was when I decided I wasn't going to read the following books in this series. If the hero is just going to be given the easy way out every time, I've got better things to do with my time.
Now if you ask me, this whole mess could have been avoided if Eragon had just gotten on his dragon and flown around looking for the Ra'azak but instead he and Brom use horses while there's a perfectly fine dragon accompanying them; flying uselessly over their heads.
There is no shame in being "affected" by another writer's work, especially a work as powerful and influential as the lord of the rings; once every maybe 100 years an author like Tolkein or JK Rowling will come along and write something so spectacularly original and all consuming that several tens of generations of authors will be influenced by it and strife to measure up to its glory.
However, it's an entirely different matter to copy another book almost exactly with different names. When you do that you force readers to make the comparison between you and R R Tolkein.. Do you really want to be compared to him? He is the supreme master of high fantasy. Any answer to the previous question that's not a clear and resounding NO is wrong
I'd have to say that after a year of this on the bookshelves at school I finally grabbed it. I had absolutely no clue what to expect. Only that is was in a fantasy world where poor families eat chicken and spend money on treats.
Having no idea what to expect I was already hooked, but with every new revelation, kidnapping, sword fight, I felt myself drift back to a galaxy far far away raging a war for a ring.
This review is going to be long, but if you persevere, I promise to be fair and honest in presenting my opinion.
To begin, I am an exceedingly critical reader with an eye for inconsistencies, both in grammar/punctuation and plot elements. I admit I have a hard time seeing merely the potential for entertainment of any book, and thus I can recognize that some readers enjoy Eragon despite the many flaws I found within its pages.
My first big problem (and I know a lot of people have already hit on this point and that a lot of fans have tried to refute it) is the obvious replication of aspects prominent in other famous works that runs rampant in Paolinis first novel. Im going to quote the review done by Kirkus Reviews of Eragon, because I think it effectively exemplifies the point Im trying to make. Kirkus refers to the reliable motifs of elegant immortal elves, mining dwarfs, a wise elderly man, and a hero of mysterious birth. No one can argue that these are original themes (hence reliable motifs), but its true that Paolini is not the only one to utilize these stereotypes. However, when used together in one work, it begins to suggest a severe lack of originality.
A multitude of people are raring to say Paolini copied from Tolkein, but not many are willing to take the time to provide the proof. Everyone knows about Tolkeins elves and dwarves and the wise wizard, but there are some very specific similarities in names between Eragon and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy that are too numerous to disregard as coincidence -- Tolkeins Imladris became Imiladris, his Valinor became Vanilor, his Isengard and Evenstar became Isenstar, and words such as Mithrim, Melian, and Turin were directly duplicated. In addition, the plot, though well-disguised by Tolkein- and Anne McCaffrey-esque settings, is practically a point-by-point imitation of George Lucas Star Wars. I wont begin on that, but if youd like to read a good article detailing the evidence of this, follow this link: http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/wordpress/?p=30.
On the other end of the spectrum, a multitude of people are eager to argue that Tolkeins and Lucas works werent completely original either, or that its alright to take other storytellers ideas as long as you are willing to tell the world that you did. Neither of these arguments is solid. As for the first, if you truly believe Tolkein and Lucas borrowed from others works (indeed, Lucas cites The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell as his inspiration for Star Wars, although this book, as quoted from its very own back cover, combines the spiritual and psychological insights of modern psychoanalysis with the archetypes of world mythology, and is clearly not a fantasy novel from which someone could steal a plot or characters), that still does not justify Paolinis doing the same; it does not make it right for him to take advantage of what they, or the predecessors from whom it is contended they stole, created. If in trying to defend Paolinis work you assert that his inspirations are in the wrong for being unoriginal, you are simultaneously placing Paolini in the wrong as well. As for the second argument, being willing to credit others for ideas he pocketed does not give him the right to utilize those ideas. If he went through every page of Eragon and specifically cited what he took, from whence he took it, and from whom he took it, he still would not have the right to utilize those things in his own novel. Without the original authors permission, doling out acknowledgments and making citations is useless; using another persons ideas without their consent, even in the absence of a profit earned, is, as the law says it, plagiarism.
The next major issue I had with Eragon was plain old poor writing. Again, I am an exceedingly critical reader (such is my profession), so errors will stand out to me more so than to a typical person reading for enjoyment. Nonetheless (and I will be using brief passages from the first chapters of Eragon as references here), words used incorrectly, such as precipitous in the phrase precipitous ravine, corpulent in the sentence the skin around his face was dry and corpulent, and prophecies in the sentence prophecies of revenge&rolled from his tongue; redundancies such as gauged its weight speculatively, a cloud of misfortune and bad luck, persistent vigilance, and a wisp of smoke&carrying a burnt smell; and contradictions such as shrank back, motionless, moonlight cast him in shadow, and a new familiarity, all cause me to believe that this book was, in terms of quality not popularity, premature on the market. Also, the impossibilities of a fifteen-year-old learning to read in a week, of someone determining another persons identity by having heard the persons fathers voice twenty-three years previously, and of a port city having a stone wall one hundred feet high and forty feet thick, make it very difficult for me to take this book seriously.
All in all, I give Paolini credit for writing something of this magnitude, but if youre anything like me in terms of what you look for in a literary work, Id pass this one up.
A farm boy, who seemingly has NO talent, is -just admit it- plain stupid, is chosen to save the world. Now, I good go on about this, but I think it's pretty clear if you go to this site: http://anti-shurtugal.com
There are so many inconsistencies, and the characters are so forced and fake. They are subjugated to the authors will, acting out of character, appearing idealistic, or stereotypic.
Anyone who has ever read this book knows that this is an exact copy of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Like so: Eragon (Luke) the farmboy discovers a dragon egg(droid) while Eragon/Luke is away from the farm. The Empire(didn't even need to substitute!) attacks and destory it. Eragon/Luke meets Brom/Obi-wan and tries to avenge his uncle. Brom/Obi-Wan dies. Luke meets Murtagh/Hans, gets caught, rescues Arya/Leila and joins the Varden/Rebels.
Exactly the same, except here Brom/Obi-Wan dies before meeting Murtagh/Hans. The telepathic dragons and riders comes from Anne McCaffrey's the Dragonriders of Pern, and Each and every single one of the names are from Lord of the Rings. Sure he was 19 and graduated from high school at 15. But his parents owned a publishing company, and the book conviniently forgot to mention he was homeschooled.
This book reads like the Flintstones meets the jetsons. Sure the main idea was awesome, but it was taken from other people. If you thought you liked this book, watch A New Hope, read Return of the King, and Dragonflight, you'll see what I mean. Also, the author seems to think it makes to book better to add in cliched archaics here and there.
It is not a great book, but if you wanted to see how the Jedis would fair as Dragonriders with sword instead of lightsabres, then this book is a must read.
OKAY, HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS BOOK EVER GET PUBLISHED. I THINK RANDOM HOUSE IS SLIPPING IN ITS FIND TO GET QUALITY LITERATURE OUT ON THE SHELVES. BECAUSE THIS BOOK FALLS SHORT OF THE MARK - BY A LONG SHOT. SURE THE KID IS ONLY 19 YEARS OLD. SURE THAT'S AMZING FOR SOMEONE SO YOUNG. SO WHAT? I AM SORRY I WASTED $30 FOR THIS STINKING NOVEL. IT READS LIKE A BAD BALDUR'S GATE WALKTHROUGH AND IS A CARBON COPY OF EVERY MAJOR FANTASY NOVEL EVER PRINTED. DOES THE KID HAVE AN ORIGINAL IDEA? NOT ONLY ARE THE DESCRIPTIVE PASSAGES OVERLY LONG - BUT WAY TOO MANY CLICHES.