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Eragon (Inheritance) Hardcover – June 25, 2003
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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
While exploring the forest, 15-year-old Eragon discovers an odd blue gemstone—a dragon egg, fated to hatch in his care. According to PW, "The author takes the near-archetypes of fantasy fiction and makes them fresh and enjoyable, chiefly through a crisp narrative and a likable hero." Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Though they've been out for quite awhile now, I have to be honest and say I bought them years ago, and only got them off the shelf a few months ago. Having been grown up as an avid fan of Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and the usual fantasy fare, I was pretty excited to re-enter that universe.
These have been reviewed ad infinitum; so I think I can really only add to the discussion my own experience with the four book as a 47-year-old reader. I was a bit concerned that they might be written a bit too much for kids, as I'd heard they were. But, I have to say, I was definitely misinformed. These are as applicable to adults as the Harry Potter or Hunger Games books or any other well-written fantasy tales that were initially marketed to the teen reader market, but obviously found runaway success with readers from all age brackets.
In short, each of the four books was a very fun read, and I would absolutely recommend the series to anyone with an interest in the fantasy genre.
There is a review on here stating that the book is only decent for a 17 year old to have written but not an adult, and that is nonsense. You would not know it was written by a 17 year old unless you were told and it is criticized unfairly because of his age. He does not "borrow" fantasy elements from more widely known authors any more than those widely known authors borrowed from ancient fairy tails. Tolkien and Le Guinn were not any more creative, many fantasy elements in their stories go back to before their stories as well. But this author is judged much more harshly and unjustly because he is young by people who are unable to form their own opinions and blindly judge the worth of a book by its acclaim. And the fact that this book is not a cult classic such as Tolkein's should not affect its merit.
It is a very good book and is only insulted by those jealous of the young author's success.
This story centers around Eragon, a 15-year-old boy, and as the cover suggests, a blue dragon. Since this is the first book in what is now a four-volume cycle, there was a lot of time in training where both Eragon and the reader learn about how to use magic, the history of the Riders (humans and elves who form a bond with dragons), and the background on the two warring factions.
I think "Eragon" is a good young adult read free of bad language and sexual scenes. It is a story where a young man must face the harsh realities of evil, take a stand, and serve the common good even at the risk of death.