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Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) Paperback – April 26, 2005
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This one has been on my shelf for a long time. I tried to read it when I first picked it up, but it was back before I was really into fantasy–there’s a reason it took me so long to... Read morePublished 1 day ago by ILayReading
Love the trio, although it feels life a few story lines were left hanging.Published 4 days ago by Mary P. Ferguson
Great fantasy novel for teens and young adults! I'm still impressed by the fact that Paolini was a teen himself when he wrote it. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jessica Crabtree
One of my favorite books since I was little. Out of all the books in the series, Eragon takes the cakePublished 24 days ago by Chasen Hiatt
Second time reading it, this time with my kids. They loved it.Published 1 month ago by Michael J Denny