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Eragon (Inheritance) Hardcover – June 25, 2003

3,739 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Inheritance cycle Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Here's a great big fantasy that you can pull over your head like a comfy old sweater and disappear into for a whole weekend. Christopher Paolini began Eragon when he was just 15, and the book shows the influence of Tolkien, of course, but also Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffrey, and perhaps even Wagner in its traditional quest structure and the generally agreed-upon nature of dwarves, elves, dragons, and heroic warfare with magic swords.

Eragon, a young farm boy, finds a marvelous blue stone in a mystical mountain place. Before he can trade it for food to get his family through the hard winter, it hatches a beautiful sapphire-blue dragon, a race thought to be extinct. Eragon bonds with the dragon, and when his family is killed by the marauding Ra'zac, he discovers that he is the last of the Dragon Riders, fated to play a decisive part in the coming war between the human but hidden Varden, dwarves, elves, the diabolical Shades and their neanderthal Urgalls, all pitted against and allied with each other and the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon and his dragon Saphira set out to find their role, growing in magic power and understanding of the complex political situation as they endure perilous travels and sudden battles, dire wounds, capture and escape.

In spite of the engrossing action, this is not a book for the casual fantasy reader. There are 65 names of people, horses, and dragons to be remembered and lots of pseudo-Celtic places, magic words, and phrases in the Ancient Language as well as the speech of the dwarfs and the Urgalls. But the maps and glossaries help, and by the end, readers will be utterly dedicated and eager for the next book, Eldest. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly

In wunderkind (he's 18) Christopher Paolini's impressive epic fantasy, eragon, the titular hero (who's 15) and Saphira, the dragon he's raised from a baby, set out to avenge the murder of Eragon's uncle and soon find themselves pursued by the fanatical king Galbatroix. The fantasy bildungsroman has the brave youngster learning about exile, magic, love and his own destiny, and Paolini promises his saga will continue in two more volumes of the planned Inheritance series.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Inheritance (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (June 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375826688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375826689
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,739 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Christopher Paolini was born on November 17, 1983 in Southern California. He has lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana with his parents and younger sister, Angela. As a child, he often wrote short stories and poems, made frequent trips to the library, and read widely. The idea of Eragon began as the daydreams of a teen. Christopher's love for the magic of stories led him to craft a novel that he would enjoy reading. The project began as a hobby, a personal challenge; he never intended it to be published. All the characters in Eragon are from Christopher's imagination except Angela the herbalist, who is loosely based on his sister. Christopher was fifteen when he wrote the first draft of Eragon. He took a second year to revise the book and then gave it to his parents to read. The family decided to self-publish the book and spent a third year preparing the manuscript for publication: copyediting, proofreading, designing a cover, typesetting the manuscript, and creating marketing materials. During this time Christopher drew the map for Eragon, as well as the dragon eye for the book cover (that now appears inside the Knopf hardcover edition). The manuscript was sent to press and the first books arrived in November 2001. The Paolini family spent the next year promoting the book at libraries, bookstores, and schools in 2002 and early 2003. In summer 2002, author Carl Hiaasen, whose stepson read a copy of the self-published book while on vacation in Montana, brought Eragon to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, which is part of Random House. Knopf published Eragon in August 2003. Eldest, which continues the adventures of Eragon and the dragon Saphira was published in August 2005, and in December 2006, Fox 2000 released their movie adaptation of Eragon in theaters around the world.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#50 in Books > Teens
#50 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By P Gaenir on September 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I admit it, I bought the book for the art and color. I know, this is akin to buying alcohol for the bottle. I was bored, it was large, it was pretty, and I like Dragons and McCaffrey's work.

I didn't know a teenager wrote it until I saw the reviews here. Yes, the author is clearly influenced by many great fantasy authors. OK, he is not yet in the halls of the most unique novelists (at a mere age 18). So? A bazillion fantasy books out there are 'more of the same'. He has some fairly unique perspectives and facets here and there, even though he accepts many of the most popular 'standards' of certain aspects of fantasy.

I see all this bashing the book because it fails to separate itself from every known 'given' in the fantasy genre. That's like dissing a movie because lots of movies are about murder and intrigue with guns, car crashes, beautiful women and ugly bad guys. An art form is either entertaining, or it is not. It may be innovative, or less so than usual, it may have some very unique pieces and others that are almost 'tradition' instead.

But the enjoyment of the process through it is what matters. Personally, I really enjoyed the book.

It's not uncommon for young artists (of book or song or vision) to be more 'influenced' by those artists they like the best, than more experienced artists tend to be. For a first book this author writes a lovely and entertaining story, writes well (and long). I think his future is very bright, assuming the young man can survive the nasty effects of popularity hitting at that age and on his first book... pretty much a killshot for most personalities.

I loathe trilogies, since I don't like being kept hanging for 1-3 years, but the book is good anyway. The book kept me seriously interested for most of a weekend, and looking forward to its sequel. I loaned it to a friend, and I recommend it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Toeante on November 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Well, its not exactly new. The elements in the book has been used by many other author as well. Forest dwelling Elves, Tunnel dweller Dwarf, Human (hey, thats us), dragon, Urgal (or orcs in LOTR, Gnome in Terry Brook, orcs in Forgoten Realm and many other) and etc etc. Theres the magic sword, magic word, magical creature, magical being and etc. Old stuff I guess. But then again, even Elves and Dwarf came from some western folklore so they are not completely original from certain author are they? And yes, Eragon does wield a magical sword, but so does Drizzt Do'urden, Arilyn Moonblade. Sword of Shanara and Sword of Leah are both magical as well. The only difference is that Eragon's sword happens to be...a bloodthirsty sword, unlike certain noble sword that can only be wield by certain king (cough*Anduril*cough).

So...yes, the story element in Eragon is not completely new. I mean if you ever read Sword of Shanara (Terry Brook's first book), the plot really resemble Lord of the Ring. But nobody complain about that now do they? I mean, come on, what fantasy story is "brand new" except when they are talking about space ship and alien invasion.

The story of Eragon is easy to follow. Granted, the plot is somewhat old-fashioned, but its told in a new way. The story starts with how the egg came to be in Eragon's possesion. Eragon, unlike other fantasy characters, is a mere farmboy of no noble standing. He just happen to find the egg (of the dragon) when he is hunting. The egg hatches and a bond is formed between them. Then come the servants of the Empire who hunt the egg and kill Eragon's uncle. Eragon then pursued them for revenge with the help of his dragon and the enigmatic Brom the story teller.
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1,946 of 2,546 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What you almost always hear first about this book is "wow, it was written by a 17-yr-old". And the author is fully deserving of the respect and admiration he gets--it is indeed an impressive book for a 17-year-old to have written. What he probably should not have gotten was a publishing contract, since while it is impressive for a 17-yr-old, it is less than impressive for a published work of fiction.
If an adult had written and published this, I would have been disgusted (as I was with the Sword of Shannara) with the clear calculation that had gone into the work: "ok, I'll take a lot of Tolkien, a lot of McCaffery, a good amount of Leguin, some Dragonlance, some Star Wars, etc. It will be a can't miss book." Since it's the product not of an adult but of a teenager, it comes across much more positively--as a work of fiction by someone who has read lots and absorbed lots of fantasy and simply didn't have the experience (or the good editor) to take out all of his favorite parts of other works. How can I dislike or be too critical of someone who so obviously loved some of my own favorite authors, loved them so much that they simply took over his book through I'm guessing no fault of his own.
And that in a nutshell is the problem with Eragon. The story is cliched, formulaic and barely passable as are the characters and the language is simply what you would expect from a somewhat precocious teen fan of adult fantasy. If you have any experience in the field of fantasy at all, reading Eragon will feel like a visit to Las Vegas (though not so tacky)--sure you can see New York and Paris and Italy, but they are mere shadows of the real thing. So McCaffery's telepathic link between dragon and rider is here, but not the powerful emotionality of her (especially earlier) works.
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