Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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EragonTitle: Eragon

Author: Christopher Paolini
Series: Inheritance Cycle #1
Published: June 2002
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

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 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.

 

My feelings about this book can be summed up in one sound: “Ehhhh.”

I started this book really wanting to like it, and I was definitely really absorbed for the first 150 pages or so. But the more I read, the more I had this feeling like I’d read this book before.

Eragon read like Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars fan fiction. I mean, even the names are similar to Lord of the Rings. Eragon, Aragorn. Instead of Arwen, Eragon’s love interest is Arya…who is not-so-coincidentally an elf.

The only thing missing was an elderly wizard to guide the main character. Oh, wait…that was in there, too.

As far as Star Wars parallels, we had teenage orphan Eragon living with his uncle on a farm. When his uncle is killed by agents of the Empire, Eragon goes off with an elderly man from the nearby village to complete his training in the ways of the Force. Oh wait, which story was I reading again?

I’m all for drawing inspiration from other great stories, but this was practically straight-up plagiarism in my book.

The only unique part was the relationship between Saphira and Eragon, and I didn’t really think that was developed well. I really disliked Saphira’s character — she was incredibly arrogant and all-knowing for a dragon that was so young. The whole concept of dragons having ancient wisdom from birth just didn’t really appeal to me.

Not only that, it wasn’t even written that well. Once I was about 1/3 of the way through the book, I found myself getting bored. Then I got confused because plot lines that seemed to take AGES to develop were suddenly over without feeling like things got resolved.

I know a lot of people have really liked this book, but I just didn’t love it. I’d give Eragon 2.5 stars at best, and I’m pretty unlikely to read the rest of the Inheritance Cycle series.

2 star review

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One thought on “Eragon by Christopher Paolini

  1. smburch@umich.edu

    I think you should give the other books a try, this is literally one of my favorite books ever. But I never read lord of rings so I couldn’t compare it to that.

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