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Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia (The Inheritance Cycle) Hardcover – November 3, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–9—Designed in the style of such books as Ernest Drake's Dragonology (Candlewick, 2003), this large, colorful, well-illustrated volume has many foldouts and removable pieces. It is an attractive browsing item, although it may not hold up well in long-term circulation. The cover, which looks as if it were bound in the scaly blue skin of Eragon's dragon, Saphira, adds a slightly creepy touch. The drawings, while not spectacular, are nicely done and appealing. The Guide's contents, presented as if written by Eragon, introduce readers to the peoples and creatures of the realm—elves, humans, Urgals, Dwarves, and Dragons—along with quick overviews of the series' history and culture. While not necessary for fiction collections, the book will be popular wherever the "Inheritance" series (Knopf) is in demand.—Walter Minkel, Austin Public Library, TX
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From Booklist

Paolini’s humongously successful Inheritance Cycle gets a visual counterpart in this splendidly illustrated guide for the newly minted Dragon Rider (that’s you). The journey begins and ends with sealed letters from Eragon Shadeslayer himself. Crammed with detailed maps, insightful bestiaries, time lines, and legends, this might be problematic for some libraries who won't want to circulate an edition with delicate mini books and physical samples featured on nearly every spread. These textural asides include soft Feldunost fur, scratchy dragon wing, elven fabric, glittery star-sapphire dust, and a genuinely surprising gift at the book’s end. Obviously nonessential but nevertheless grandly conceived. Grades 4-8. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1120L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Inheritance Cycle
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375858237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375858239
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 1 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My immediate reaction to Christopher Paolini's newest book: Is this a blue edition of "Dragonology"?

No, apparently it's "Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia," a rather bare-bones encyclopedia of the history, peoples, creatures and assorted trivia of Christopher Paolini's imaginary world. The text doesn't tell the readers much that the books haven't also told them, but it's a prettily arranged book with some extremely impressive pictures and intriguing clarifications of known facts (like what the heck a shrrg is).

It opens with a little envelope with a letter from Paolini's protagonist, promising to show readers more about Alagaesia. After a brief welcome page, Paolini explores the various aspects of his imaginary world, each with their own little section: Alagaesia's maps and cities, geographical features (the Forest of Stone), plants (the Fricai Andiat mushrooms), animals (the dragonesque fanghur), the dragons and the Dragon-riders, the city of Tronjheim and the forest of Ellesmera, and so on and so forth.

It also studies the various bipedal races of Alagaesia, and (of course) the Elves are vastly overrepresented -- humans and Urgals each get one page, while the Elves get four and the Dwarves get two. Paolini also informs readers about their weapons, their homes, their language (complete with a very short fold-out "Dwarvish/Elvish for Beginners"), their clothes, and unique qualities like Isidar Mithrim (I still don't understand why it was so high up).

If you've read the books of the "Inheritance" series, then you probably will know about 95% of the information contained in "Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia.
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First off i want to say i LOVE the Inheritance cycle so far. Great books, well written, and well thought out. Now the review of this book.

I was really disappointed with this book. I thought it would clear up some things and maybe give me some incite into the next book.

I'm not normally a negative person but this was a real letdown.

The information:
Even someone who has read the books just once will know everything in this book. Personally i think this book damaged my opinion of Paolini being a detailed and in-depth writer.

The art:
To me it seemed fairly obvious that several of the contributing artists either had not read the books at all or they just totally ignored all of Paolini's descriptions. One of the artists must have been a mega fantasy/World of Warcraft artist because he gave all this art spikes jutting out at every angle. In the end most of his art ended up looking more like i sticker bush than what it was intended to be.

The Cheesiness:
Really? A patch of Feldonost fur(a little piece of some fuzzy fur you can feel)? Also right under the fur it goes on to say that the Feldonost grow wool which is totally different from fuzzy fur. Their depiction of a gedwey ignasia is a hand print with a perfect oval, silver sticker in the middle. They also put in a little dragon wing to feel(glitter glued to paper). This is not only cheesy but wrong because dragon wing is described as suede leather in the books not sandpaper. Last but not least is Glader's heart of hearts(a small plastic jewl in the back of the book).

If you've read the books you wont learn anything. Unless you are reading the books to your 4 year old kids and need a visual aid this book isn't worth it.
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I just got this and absolutely love it. I can't believe it was done for this price. The cover is truely a work of art and I am going to buy another one for a gift. I didn't get it to glean information as I can use the internet for that after reading the books. Looking through this book is certainly a temptation for those who have not read the books as I already had someone look at mine and borrow my copy of Eragon. The pictures are beautiful and lots of clever and well done little booklets and secrets inside. I am impressed. I suppose if you buy it to learn something that is not in the books, perhaps you might be disappointed, but that wasn't my purpose. I love the beauty of this story and this book illustrates that very well. It is displayed on my sofa table with a blue dragon statue - looks great!

I also liked the way it was done as if Eragon himself was sharing the information with us. Great idea.
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My son absolutely loved this book. he is so obessed with Christopher Paolini and he loved reading the first book and now he is reading the whole box set to catch up on all his books. He loved that it had so much information and that it was so informative. He loved that it had little things to read and do in the book.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first saw a copy of Christopher Paolini's Eragon's Guide To Alagaesia, published by Random House Canada, I have to admit to being of two minds. My first, albeit selfish reaction was, damn this is going to cut into sales of the book, What Will Happen In Eragon IV, I had been commissioned to write by Ulysses Press last year. However, as a fan of the series I was also interested in seeing how the various artists involved would bring Paolini's world to life visually. I've not seen the video game, but having found the movie adaptation of the first book in the series, Eragon, to be disappointing not only as a retelling but visually as well - heck they couldn't even recreate some of the beings accurately in spite of Paolini giving very accurate descriptions - I hoped for something a little better in this attempt.
Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia
I don't know how much say Paolini had in the decision making process as to the art used or the artists employed for the book, for the usual practice in book publishing is the author has little or no say in things like what a book's cover will look like or the design of the book. However in the case of Eragon's Guide To Alagaesia there would have had to be some co-ordination between the artists and the author as the art and text have been very carefully integrated. Still, Paolini could have come up with the text independently, and the artists and designers worked to create the illustrations and lay out of the book based on what he had written without consulting him. Therefore, much like the movie, there's a good chance he didn't have much say in the matter, meaning there was the possibility this could have been equally disappointing.
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