Eragon (Inheritance #1)Hot
From the Hardcover edition.
Author Biography: Christopher Paolini’s abiding love of fantasy and science fiction inspired him to begin writing his debut novel, Eragon, when he graduated from high school at fifteen. Now nineteen, he lives with his family in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he is at work on Eldest, the next volume in the Inheritance trilogy.
Paolini has done an excellent job of fleshing out an entire world, including back history and well-described characters that you might only meet once. That, to me, is one thing that sets a good epic apart from weak look-alikes. Even if a character is just around for a few pages, it pays to flesh them out. The story will be better because of it and the reader will become that much more enmeshed in it.
The story starts, as many fantastic tales do, with an unlikely hero finding himself suddenly thrust into a dangerous new situation. Eragon finds a curious stone that ultimately turns him onto the path of a Dragon Rider. This puts him at odds with many different political (and apolitical) factions in his world, including King Galbatorix. When the Razac, ethereal henchmen reminiscent of Tolkeins Ring Wraiths, kill Eragons uncle, he sets out on a path of revenge.
He finds friendship and comfort with his dragon, Saphira, an old storyteller named Brom (with many secrets to tell and hide), and an unlikely ally in Murtagh, a fellow fighter. A likely love interest, Arya, is also dreamed of, found, and saved by Eragon, though he soon finds her perhaps more than he had even dreamed of. I expect to see some interesting revelations about Murtagh in the coming books.
The epic battle scenes will definitely remind readers of Tolkein and the relationship between Eragon and Saphira will call up memories of Anne McCaffreys Pern novels. However, it doesnt borrow too heavily or too often.
I highly recommend this novel to serious fantasy readers of any ilk. It isnt for the casual, wishy-washy fantasy reader who only reads a fantasy when they cant find anything else to read or for people who stopped with Cinderella. This is an epic tale and you have to be ready to get sucked in for the long haul. I, for one, am anticipating the next book in the series: Eldest.
Bottom line: this first book was written by a very young author who was obviously deeply inspired by other works of the genre. But Paolini's version is meant for a young adult audience and shouldn't be compared to full epic masterpieces. Eragon is epic fantasy for a smaller appetite.
I'm a little conflicted as to how I should rate or review this one. It's been on my to-read list since it came out and I heard the inspiring tale of the 16-year-old writing prodigy who conceived of it. The fact is, considering the age of the author at the time, the work is quite impressive. The medieval fantasy element is mid-range, well formed and mapped out. And the tone of it feels wedged somewhere right between Middle Grande and Young Adult. Plenty of action, adventure, war-time and fantasy violence--but nothing particularly graphic. There's plenty of self-exploration and coming-of-age introspection to be had as well--making it a potentially valuable piece for young males, especially.
On the flip side, the story doesn't feel particularly original. Elves, Dwarves, sorcerers/magicians, orc-like creatures, telepathic dragons and true-name magic all echo many long-existing high fantasy concepts. And if I hadn't known the age of the author, I'm afraid this reader would be more tempted to find the pacing dragging in places, and the emotional depth a bit lacking. The dialogue also comes off cheesy at times--particularly in action sequences.
Overall, worth a read. And certainly deserving of its popularity in the YA community. I do wonder, though, how this might have been written if the author had honed his craft for another decade or so. The curiosity is enough to make me think I ought to check out his later works.
The story is nothing special and i'm sure many others novels like this will have similar plots of revolting against the dictatorship and how a young boy is the man behind this. But none the less this is a fantastic book. The characters are complex and you can never seem to have a certain opinion. Eragon, will make you feel he is brave and worthy, but other times will be naive and rash. Brom, will one moment be this kind, wise old man and the next, a devious and tricky man who betrays people. There is Murtagh, who appears stubborn and uncaring, but has fantastic bravery and fighting skills and is a worthy ally to have despite being the son of the man who betrayed the dragon riders.
The whole world of Alagaësia is so very vividly described and everything is portrayed so well you clearly imagine the whole book inside your head. The world also seems so real and is a joy to read.
Overall, this is a fantastic book and i'm will certainly devour the second book in the Inheritance Cycle.
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
Point A. Eragon comes across the egg while hunting, a plot factor that reflects a lot of fantasy: living a normal life until you come across something abnormal. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I would rather have the story begin with Eragon being familiar with dragons, and maybe even opening the novel with Eragon already training Saphira.
Point B. Eragon is too trusting. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Eragon seems very accepting of Murtagh and Arya. The latter is not an issue, but *spoiler* Murtagh turns out to be a traitor. Eragon has entered the world of dragons and Riders, he should watch out more.
I am also aware of the heavy similarities between 'Eragon' and the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. I'm not a big fan of either of those, but after reading through the similarities, and reading of how the author is the son of parents that made their own publishing firm, I think Paolini was very conscious of his choices, and should've taken the time to tweak them, and make them less noticeable, if they were to remain in the story at all.
dude. it is obvious that Paolini has copied some bits from LOTR and Star Wars, but why should Paolini be singled out when u ur self said that Lucas and Tolkein had taken some stuff from other stories. It is not plagiarism because had ideas of his own. I mean come on HE CREATED HIS OWN LANGUAGE. SEVERAL TIMES. How would I know.... well my dad is a paralegal so I know this stuff.
Second what do u mean he had Plain Old Poor Writing. He had a huge range of vocabulary. Corpulent. lets see means Fat, stout or portly. so when he says "the skin around his face was dry and corpulent", he means his face was dry and fat. Another example: Prophecies means the foretelling or prediction of what is to come. so when he says "prophecies of revenge...rolled from his tongue", he means that the shade is predicting the future and the future in his case means revenge or death. etc etc.
So don't criticize this book if u do not have solid evidence that this is wrong. Look up the words before u make fun of it and also try and fit the meaning of the word to what it means in the sentence. There is an excellent website for this. Its called Dictionary.com. Use it!
After reading Eragon, I looked at what some of the other reviewers
thought of the book. Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon a great deal
of one-star reviews. After further investigation, I discovered that the
primary reason for these low ratings was that Paolini had "stolen" a
lot of his ideas. Now, I am not claiming that this is untrue - you
would have to be blind not to see the striking similarities between
Paolini's Eragon and other science fiction/fantasy powerhouses like
Tolkien's LOTR & Lucas' Star Wars. However - despite certain
uncanny parallels between the stories and/or characters, I thoroughly
enjoyed Eragon. I am a fan of both LOTR & Star Wars and I found
Eragon an enchanting story. If we as readers, did not read anything
that borrowed from a former writing we would soon run out of reading
material. In fact, you can find countless parallel's between
Shakespeare & Star Wars. I mean, honestly - how many YA
vampire/werewolf stories are there now that twilight was such a
success? They are popping out of the woodwork. When a series is
successful, there will be more like it. I think that Paolini's work on
Eragon was wonderful - I was instantly attached to Eragon and I loved
his bond with his dragon, Saphira. She was undoubtedly my favorite part
of the book. I think it is unfair to dismiss this book because it
harbors some similarities to Tolkien's work - Eragon can easily stand
on its own. It is an epic story and a total page turner. I look forward
to reading the rest of the trilogy.
Fell in love with the whole trilogy this one being my favorite of them all. I love Eragon's character and his relationship with Sappira. The whole story line is great with all the adventures and epic fights that go on as Eragon travels the path of his destiny.