Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Date: 2011 (2002)
Started: 24th April 2016
Completed: 30th April 2016
Summary: One boy. One dragon. A world of adventure.
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 realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
Eragon is the first book in The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. It was originally self-published in 2002 by Paolini’s parents but it has been reprinted and republished many times since then by major publishing houses. The other books in the series are Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance.
In 2006 a film adaptation of Eragon was released but it didn’t do well at the Box Office. I remember going to see it with my granddad and cousin when I was 12 and I really enjoyed it. You can buy the film for about £2 from Amazon and for some reason I find that really amusing. I wanted to read the book straight after I’d watched the film but I didn’t even purchase the books until 2011. I didn’t read this book until earlier this year, 5 years after buying the book and 10 years after watching the film.
I genuinely enjoyed this book. I was wary at first due to its size and subject as long fantasy novels can bore me (this mostly applies to any book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series) but once I actually started to read it I found myself drawn into the story and the world that Paolini creates.
I loved the world that Eragon is set in. I love the settings, the different types of people like Elves and Dragon Riders, I love the mythology he created, and I love the different customs that Eragon discovers on his journey. World building is one aspect of high fantasy novels that I adore and the level of detail that writers go into always fascinates me and I really appreciate their skill. I also really enjoyed the plot of this novel, which is tied to the universe that Paolini has set it in. It’s full of magic and dragons but it’s also about a journey. There’s lots of action along the way as Eragon and Brom are attacked by many different people and creatures so it never becomes boring or slow. However, I loved the journey aspect to this novel because it shows off the different towns and landscapes that make up the world that Eragon lives in.
I loved the characters in this book. Eragon is a great main character, young and bitter but willing to learn. He strives to be the best that he can be but he’s selfish and stubborn. Overall, he seems to be a well-balanced character. I loved the supporting characters too, especially Brom because he annoys Eragon so much with his cryptic ways. I really enjoyed reading about Eragon’s relationship with Brom because Brom becomes a teacher and a mentor to Eragon but he doesn’t become a father figure. Eragon already had a father figure at the beginning of the novel and I was glad that Brom didn’t replace Garrow. The villain’s of the story were also very interesting because they’re not human and therefore easily defeated. A Shade named Durza takes on the role of the major villain in this novel, despite the fact that he’s not the villain of the overall series, and Eragon’s encounters with him showcase the growth in Eragon’s character as he learns more about himself and about being a Dragon Rider. Lastly, Eragon’s dragon is amazing. I love dragons so much and Saphira is a wonderful character. You even get to hear her voice through her link with Eragon.
This novel was a tad on the long side for me. I did enjoy it a lot and it didn’t take me too long to read but at times the description because laborious and I just found it a little bit too long. However, most of the novel is very interesting and it is full of action, as I stated earlier, so I wouldn’t let the length put you off.
One criticism of Eragon that I’ve seen a lot of is its similarities to other fantasy novels. However, there’s so many other fantasy novels out there with dragons or Elves or whatever and I don’t think it’s fair to single Eragon out as the one that’s copying the rest. Fantasy novels have certain tropes, just like any other genre, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing when a book indulges in those common and recognisable tropes.
Overall, Eragon is an amazing novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I couldn’t wait to start reading the next book in the cycle Eldest.
I’d definitely recommend it because I enjoyed it so much. It’s a great book for teenagers, young adults, and even adults and this book is not aimed at a specific gender.