Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon

WOOHOO, this is the last book to complete my Winter Wonderland Bingo!!! It only took like, what, a little over a year and a half? 😅 I had a hard time finding a “book with elves” to read, but Eragon is the perfect choice. Eragon is a wonderful high fantasy adventure full of dragons, heroes, monsters, and magic. It’s set up with a cliffhanger and has lots of foreshadowing throughout the book that never leads to anything conclusive, which is unforgivable, but DRAGONS! 🐲 HEROES! MONSTERS! MAGIC!

Title: Eragon
Author: Christopher Paolini
Series: The Inheritance Cycle #1
Publication Date: August 26, 2003
Category: (Young Adult) Fantasy / Adventure

Introduction

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Discussion

The first time I read Eragon was when I bought it for a friend’s birthday present. (I was poor/stingy enough to read all of the books I buy for my friends before I gave it to them, haha.) I don’t remember if I continued reading the series (I have a feeling that I did, because I get a dreadful feeling in my stomach every time I think about what’s to come), but I remember liking this book for the four key factors I mentioned above: dragons, heroes, monsters, and magic.

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have a relationship that only a dragon and his or her dragonrider have. Dragons in Paolini’s world, judging by Saphira’s personality (which could be totally off the mark here), seem to be intelligent beings that can be swayed by beast-like tendencies, and are as multi-dimensional as humans are. Eragon himself faces many difficulties in this first book, and grows both physically, emotionally, and magically while he overcomes the many hurdles set in front of him. He’s a hero amongst heroes, and is quite stereotypically the character that Eragon is centered around.

In this book, Eragon’s adventures are very goal-oriented. He is guided by good ol’ Brom, who teaches him the ways of the dragonrider world, and they move forward with a drive that I seldom see in stories like this. That’s why, surprisingly, the one concern I have about this book is the plot and the future directions the series will take. Eragon goes to get his fortune read, and Paolini outlines quite specifically (in the vaguest way possible) what will happen to Eragon in the future. And A LOT will happen to Eragon in the future! This first book is already packed full of foreshadowing of friends/enemies and important events, and what do you mean there’s a gazillion other things that will happen before Eragon’s adventure ends??! I’m just hoping that this doesn’t turn out to be another book that I can’t finish because the plot becomes too convoluted

Conclusion

So far so good – Eragon has captured my attention, although I know that it probably won’t last because I can tell that Paolini is still unsure of what direction he wants to take, which doesn’t bode well at all. But I’ve got to enjoy this moment!

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8 thoughts on “Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

  1. !!!!!!!!!! I read these for the first time a while back… they made me sad in the end, though. Hopefully you enjoy them a bit more… I found them relentlessly devoid of humor, and what’s the point of an imaginary world where nothing happy ever seems to happen!??! But seeing as they are widely acclaimed, I’m apparently alone in my opinions haha

      • Yes, I like a little happy times to balance out the angst in my books. They were definitely well-crafted stories, but just not enough happy endings to go around for my taste. I’ll look forward to seeing how you enjoy them!!
        PS I often get books through Paperback Swap, where you mail the book to the person who requests it free of charge, which gives you a credit you can use to request a book from someone else to mail to you free of charge. Point is, someone actually posted one of these books (I can’t remember which one… Brisingr??) – I was expecting some well-worn paperback, but no, they mailed a beautiful hardcover with the jacket – cost them like $8 – I couldn’t get over haha. (After I read it, I sold it on eBay for $10. Does this make me a terrible person??)

        • OMG, I can’t even imagine this series in paperback because it just feels so… wrong. Haha, that doesn’t make you a terrible person – it’s the cycle of books, in which you sell a book to get a new book, right? 😛

  2. I liked this first book, too, partly because the author was so young and the book had a sweet naivety about it. But Paolini’s writing became stuffy after a time – using gigantic words when a smaller one would have been better. Including massively long sections (like the one on drwarf politics in -I think – the third book) that waylaid the plot development for more than 100 pages. Then writting a nice essay to disgruntled readers saying why he wanted to include this long scene, rather than finishing the trilogy in three books, as originally promised.

    I guess I’m just trying to say that I felt the ball was dropped. Personally, I think Paolini jas a lot of promise once he develops a sense of planning.

    • Agreed with your description of a sweet-and-naive book! But oh man, I’m having such a hard time finishing the second book right now. It just feels like Paolini hasn’t really planned out everything out thoroughly… 😦 I still want to finish the trilogy though, just to see how he ends it. Very good chance that I’ll skim through those massively long sections though, haha.

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