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Eragon (Inheritance) Hardcover – June 25, 2003
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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
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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. During the travel we are introduced to the lore of the dragon, the situation of Alagaesia, magic and more characters. In the travel, Eragon's power grows with the help of Brom. And eventually, he is plunged into the Alagaesia's world of politic which might be more dangerous than a hundred of Kull. And the story goes on.
In conclusion, the elements of the story has been used by many other author. But the story itself is oldt in a new way which make it original, well, somewhat. Hopefully the second book will be better than the first one. And hopefully Paolini will be able to create his own world without too much influence from other author.