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I love this book. It's a beautifully written start to what was intended to be a fantasy trilogy (which soon turned into a four-book series.)Unlike what some of the more negative critics have said about it, I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable novel, not overly-clichéd, and accessible to those who don't usually read high fantasy (that's the stuff with the oldy-timey elves and swords.)
The characters are well-written and clearly very well understood by the author, Christopher Paolini, who came up with this fantasy world while wandering around the lonely valley where he lives in the USA. These characters are more than just characters to Paolini - they're friends.
The eponymous Eragon is as relatable as any other fantasy hero - maybe even more so, and though his story arc travels the well-trodden path of misplaced orphan living with aunt and uncle finds something is special about himself, it never feels hackneyed or seen-it-all.
The descriptions of the dragon, Saphira, ensure the correct amount of magic for one of fantasy's most beloved of creatures. She is also the other side of Eragon's soul - and he the other side of hers; this works really well, and brings a fresh depth to the plot.
Even though written for young adults, this also works well for adults. Available in a number of covers, my favourite is still the old blue copy with an illustration of Saphira which has graced my shelves for many years - covers are available which will suit a range of age groups, including adults who don't like to be seen reading 'kid's books.'
Another quick point - if you have a teenage boy who will not read this may be perfect to entice him to do so, obviously, it's also appropriate for girls.
Eragon is the story of a young farm boy, called Eragon, who lives a simple life with his uncle and cousin. His mother brought him there and left him soon after his birth, and he has no idea who is father is. His life changes completely when out hunting in the mountains, he comes across a large blue stone. Thinking it to be a precious gem of some sort, he brings it home, but this is far more than just a gem: it is in fact a dragon egg. When it hatches, Eragon forms an instant bond with the creature, but faces a dilemma. For dragons are almost extinct in Alagaesia; the only one left belongs to King Galbatorix, the mad ruler who slaughtered all the dragons and their riders so that he could remain supreme. Desperate to keep his dragon, which he calls Saphira, a secret, Eragon tries to surreptitiously seek advice from the local story-teller, Brom. However, Eragon doesn't quite realise how much danger he is in. Galbatorix is aware the egg has gone missing somewhere near Eragon's village, and sends two creatures called Ra'Zac to investigate. They kill Eragon's uncle, and grief-stricken, Eragon swears to gain revenge.
He and Saphira set out on this mission, with Brom to aid them, but a botched attempt focuses Eragon on how inexperienced he is. As an untrained Dragon Rider, he is in great danger from Galbatorix, and so he decides to travel to the Varden in the south, the resistance movement against Galbatorix, and the group who had guarded Saphira's egg for many years before losing possession of it. But the way is not easy, and Eragon will need help. This comes in the form of the private and elusive Murtagh, who rescues Eragon from an encounter with the Ra'Zac, and the elf, Arya, a Varden member who they rescue from Galbatorix's forces. Having taken on the mantle of Dragon Rider, and sworn himself against Galbatorix, the journey to the Varden will be only the beginning of Eragon's adventures.
I know this book has received a lot of criticism for its similarity to Lord of the Rings. True, it contains elves, dwarves, orc-like creatures called Urgals, and the Ra'Zac are very similar to Nazguls. But I would say the first two are standard fantasy tropes, and the overall differences between the plots and characters make it different enough that I don't think the story is simply a rip-off of its more famous predecessor. The plot itself is not concluded in this book, but leaves many cliffhangers to be continued in the three sequels. However, I don't tend to object to this in fantasy novels, as they tend to require a lot of space to develop.
There is enough action to make this a gripping read, but the pace isn't too fast; there's also room for character development, and world-building. The world of Alagaesia is made real by its detailed history and geography, and the cast of many minor characters. I tend to like having a lot of minor characters in novels, as it help make the world they inhabit seem more real; we don't just get the main characters in isolation. Eragon himself is a bit two-dimensional as a character, but I love the spiky Arya, and I especially love Murtagh. It's clear that he is a much tormented young man, morally ambiguous, and with some dark secrets in his past, which makes him one of the most interesting characters. Angela the healer is one of the minor characters, and I find her particularly annoying; she pops up, gives Eragon useless advice and then vanishes again. I think her strange actions are supposed to make her seem mysterious, but they just irritate me.
A common complaint about Christopher Paolini is the quality of the writing, and I admit, it is a bit clunky in places. However, he was fifteen when he wrote this, so I think we can give him a break! What the book lacks in style, it makes up for with a gripping storyline, and a very cleverly imagined world. I snapped up the sequels as soon as they were published!
The blurb of this book reads 'One dragon, one boy, A world of adventure'. And a world of adventure this book certainly is! For those considering reading this exciting novel, don't worry this review contains no spoilers! As is probably fairly obvious, this book fits firmly into the genre of 'fantasy'. Indeed, it is full of fantastical creatures and to a certain extent humans. As is possibly less obvious, this is not necessarily a childrens book. True, it is aimed at teens, but any adult can enjoy it without feeling guilty; the complexity of the storyline and the characterization of Eragon and co. mean you are perfectly justified in reading this on the train or bus without feeling judged!
So who is Eragon? Eragon is a farmboy in a villiage, part of an empire run by a tyrannical king. He finds a mysterious stone in forbidden mountains whilst out hunting. This stone turns out to be a dragon egg, and very soon Eragon is pulled into a world of political games and intrigue he barely knew existed. He finds he is not quite who he thought he was. Meanwhile, the other occupants of his village suffer consequences of his actions....
The first in an enthralling series, Christopher Paolini creates a complex world where the politics of varying races (dwarves, elves, men) all grind against eachother, and Eragon has to fight not to become a pawn of any one race, retaining his independence whilst trying not to isolate any side, slowly developing into the leader he must become.
This is a book everyone who considers themselves a fantasy fan should read. The summer holidays are coming up, and this is the perfect juicy novel to slip in your in-flight bag to while away the hours to a sunny destination. The downside is that your significant other may become irritated in your need to pick this up every time you have a few spare minutes. ( I speak from experience!)
As soon as I picked up this book for the first time and read the first few pages I cursed to myself, knowing full well that I was going to have my nose stuck into it so much that I was not going to have time for any other things that needed to be done. And I was not wrong.
Christopher Paolini seems just to touch pen to paper and a magnificent world stretches out before you. Not a single page disappointed me and I finished it quicker than any other book I've ever read (and I've read a LOT of books). As soon as you open the pages you are whisked off into a world filled with evil kings and vicious Urgals, beautiful elves and short, stout dwarves (not to mention the dragons!).
The story follows a lowly farm boy on the brink of manhood as he finds a strange stone in the mystical, mountain range by his hometown of Carvahal. Little did he know that the stone was actually a dragon's egg, and he was about to embark upon one of the most fantastic adventures ever to be put on paper. Before he knows what is happening he is hunting two of the most dangerous creatures known to man, while the King wants his head on a platter and he is being chased across the land of Alagaesia to join the rebels in their war with the Empire.
Eragon is the first book in a series that has just been concluded. The series is called 'The Inheritance Cycle' and the books go: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance.
I've owned this book now for over seven years, and throughout that time I must have read the book a good ten or eleven times... I just cannot get enough of it! If you have not or do not want to read this book then there must be something wrong because it has absolutely everything that anyone could ever want in a story.
To those who have read Eragon, expertly written by Christopher Paolini, it certainly is a book that takes a while to forget about. I found after reading it I'd imagine the next phase in the story, think about the characters, laugh at funny incidences from the book (earning rather worried looks from the people around me), and generally walk around with half my mind wandering over this very well written fantasy.
Although some people run a mile at the word 'fantasy' when looking for a book to read, Eragon counted as a gentle introduction to this wide and varied genre for me. I found it has a nice amount of fantasy detail at the start to keep me interested, but not enough to overwhelm me. Later in the book, upon discovering a new love for fantasy, the book provides you with more detail of the different varieties of human like beings, dragons, and magic.
The word 'adventure' doesn't quite sum up the epic story told in this book. From heroic, heart quickening battle scenes (which had me looking for more books with battle scenes) to teenage follies and romance, Eragon quite simply has it all.
Your love for the characters grows over the novel, developing further with the use of the mind to mind contact Eragon and Saphira have, which to me made the book first person enough to make it more personal, but with a third person structure, unbiased nature and versatility which a true first person novel lacks.
There is only one drawback from this book. You will simply end up sleep deprived, having stayed up all night for 'just one more chapter', and very hungry, having missed meals because something as silly as nutrition couldn't possibly interrupt the clever story line, heart racing battles, and amusing teenage craziness.
Eragon is the tale of a young boy who becomes the latest in a long line of dragon riders. He is the only free dragon rider in the kingdom and it is his destiny to otherthrow the evil king Galbatorix. Eragon is a wonderful novel full of memorable charecters and a beautiflly crafted world every time you reach the end of one novel you want to immediatly pick up the next one and read that as well. The story itself is fantastic and draws you in so that you never want to stop. The novel is suitable for all ages and is by far one of the best fantasy series to come around for a long time. The book did well enough that both a game and film were made based on it. The series only gets better and better with each one surpassing the last you will always remember this series.
This fantasy book by Christopher Paolini is sure to be a hit among kids that love to get lost in magical worlds.
The story is about a young man named Eragon finds a mysterious stone in the forests where he has grown up. to his surprise the Stone turns out to be a Dragon egg, you follow the story of this young man and his dragons struggle to fight an oppressive empire that is determined to capture and control the them and the entire land
i really enjoyed this book as it is so well written and it is more than easy to get lost in this imaginary world. with some really loveable characters it is sure to be a hit with the kids. Another this to note. you may have seen the film made a few years back. do not let that change your judgement of this story as it was an appalling depiction of the story and did no justice to it wat so ever.
If you know anyone who likes lord of the rings and harry potter and other fantasy books then this is a definite present for them. Christopher Paolini is an Author to look out for in the future.
I had never heard of this book until it was given to me as a present. It was bought for me because of my love of dragons and from the moment I started reading, I found it to be a real page-turner. Eragon is the first of three books in the series that are currently out - I'm eagerly waiting for the fourth to be published.
The story follows 15-year-old Eragon, who by accident discovers a dragon egg that hatches for him. Eragon forges a bond with Saphira - the blue dragon he helped to hatch - and with the help of an old friend, Brom, the pair goes on a quest to become Dragon and Rider to help in the fight against the evil King Galbatorix who is causing havoc across the land.
Along the way, he meets all kinds of creatures, from elves and Shades to Ra'zac and Dwarves. Of course not everyone he meets is friendly. Every character is described with precise detail, allowing you to create your own image in your head.
The plot is excellently thought out and the descriptions transport you to Carvahill and the Spine where the book takes place. Paolini really thought about the whole Eragon experience in my view, as there's a map of the mythical world, and a glossary at the back to help you pronounce unusual names.
I found myself being incredibly anti-social when reading this book as I became lost in the story and its settings. The book goes from being fast paced, to more sedate and it sweeps you along with it. I became attached to the characters and began to feel as if I knew Eragon and Saphira and cared what happened to them.
Although this book is labelled a "children's story", I found it to be quite advanced and being in my early 20's when I received it, I still thoroughly enjoyed. But like the Harry Potter series, I feel this is a novel that would span the generations for enjoyment, although it might be scary for the under 12s and too complex for them to understand. This would make a good companion for a holiday, as it is a substantial book, with fairly small print, so will last you a good week or so.
You do need an imagination to read this book and if you don't like fantasy, then don't even bother picking it up. However, for anyone who enjoys magic, mystic and adventure, I would recommend it 100%. If you're expecting something along the lines of Harry Potter, you won't get it. This is a different portrayal of magic.
I couldn't wait to get the second book to continue the story.
I have to say, please, please, please read the book before watching the movie, as I'm for me, the film did not do the book justice. Far too much of the story was left out and key characters ignored.
Review also on dooyoo under the same user name
When I finished reading Harry Potter I was so determined to find a book that was as magical, as I was left wanting more after Harry Potter. After a long search on Amazon i decided to give Eragon by Christopher Paolini ago. It is the first book of a Trilogy and in my opinion is the best of the three books.
This book is about a farm boy, Eragon, who when out hunting one day comes across a blue stone which he takes home and tries to trade for food for his family. With no success he hides the stone but it then hatches. A baby dragon is inside. The dragon is called Saphira.
News of the stone has got out and evil beings come looking for Eragon and his stone. When they don't find him they burn down his farm house killing his uncle On his way out of town, the old story teller, Brom, joins up with Eragon telling him he knows of Saphira and all about the legendary Dragon Riders. Brom goes with Eragon on his journey to save dragon eggs and to get his revenge, and helps to train Eragon in battle on the journey. Eragon is able to learn magic and about the other races. He finds himself coming to the rescue of an elven maiden, named Arya
Eragon and Saphira form a unique bond that is shared mentally, spiritually and sometimes physically. He and Saphira can "talk" though it is basically reading each other's thoughts.
This book is aimed at young readers, but I feel this book would suit a variety of readers as I feel it has a little style of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings in it. It is magical but there is more battle in Eragon than in Harry Potter. Over all I thought this was a good read although some of the words were hard and that is coming from a 24 year old, so I am not sure how young readers would get on with this book.
There are two follow up books Eldest and Brisingr.
The fantasy genre is one that is in all too much danger of becoming tired and worn out. There are few truly superb writers out there, and fewer still original story lines. The strength of Eragon is that it takes a number of common fantasy elements and manages to wind them together into something greater than the sum of its parts.
Eragon, an orphaned farmboy raised by his uncle, stumbles across a strange gemstone when hunting in the forest. To his surprise it hatches into a dragon whom he names Saphira, and Eragon must take upon himself the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders, a now extinct group of men and elves who policed the continent of Alagaesia with the aid of their companion dragons. Alagaesia is ruled by the ancient but powerful King Galbatorix, a fallen Rider responsible for their downfall, and Eragon must flee capture by the Empire with the help of Brom, a mysterious story-teller who knows more than he is letting on; Murtagh, a young man who has escaped from the influence of the king and who has a dark secret; and the elusive Varden, a range of freedom fighters sworn to overthrow the corrupt and evil king. Can Eragon save Alagaesia and become a true Rider, answerable only to justice, or will he become merely a pawn in a worldwide power struggle?
When I said that Paolini took elements from a number of different fantasy tropes, you can see what I mean. You find the Lord of the Rings in the use of dwarves, elves and Urgals (monsters that take the place of Orcs). Dragons are frequently used in the fantasy genre, both evil and benign. Magic, sword fights and battles all have their place. And, of course, the idea of the come-from-nothing young hero, chosen by destiny to represent the Light in its struggle against the Dark is so common as to be a cliche. Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, Rand al'Thor from The Wheel Of Time, even Frodo from Lord of the Rings are all examples of the bucolic, naive young boy touched by destiny.
However, Paolini takes these conventions and works with them to create something refreshing and original. The idea of a group dedicated to preservation of justice and harmony is again common (Jedi, Aes Sedai etc.), but the dragon rider concept is new and original. Paolini creates a wonderful and epic history for the land of Alagaesia, which allows us - and Eragon - to understand just what it is that Eragon must become. The concept of magic is given a useful twist. It is no longer some Deus Ex Machina; an unlimited force outside the laws of metaphysics. Magic comes from within: one's own strength. It takes the same amount of physical energy to use magic to perform a deed as it would doing it physically, and if a deed is beyond your capabilities, the magic will drain you and leave you dead. By limiting it this way, Eragon cannot resolve everything with a wave of a magic wand.
The characters, if slightly cliched, are well drawn and interesting. They learn and grow throughout, and the chemistry between Eragon and Saphira is wonderful. Galbatorix remains a faceless terror; we never see him, but his agents and his name are lurking around every corner, a constant threat to the harmony of the world.
Eragon has to learn that not everything can be solved with battles and strength alone: he lives in an incredibly political world and has to learn how to deal with scheming and plotting. The Varden are a wonderful example of this. They are united through a desire to fight the empire, but as with any group of this nature, opinions on how to do this are divided, and there are power struggles and jockeying for positions within the ranks, with many hoping to use Eragon towards their own ends.
The book becomes something of a metaphor about the will to power and where it will lead us. Galbatorix came to rule through bloodshed and must use bloodshed to maintain his rule; he makes alliances with his enemies and is willing to sacrifice his subjects for his own needs. One does not need to expand too much to see links between this world and ours! There is discussion about how the Emperor is rotten, but the Empire itself is sound - one cannot simply form a Coalition, march in, overthrow it all and expect everything to work out. The Varden are weakened by internal struggles, and alliances between the Varden, the dwarves and the elves are sketchy at best. Eragon has to learn to become an iron fist inside a velvet glove. He has the power, but must learn to wield it - next-to-unlimited physical prowess in the form of Saphira cannot win every battle.
The language of the text is rich in description, fast paced and easy to read. Paolini was a teenager when he started writing this, but it is difficult to tell: he shows a maturity beyond his years. Whilst sometimes his imagery can be a little stilted, his psychological understanding of his characters is excellent. There is plenty of action, but I found the most enjoyable parts of the book to be descriptions of the politico-historical background. He creates a varied, three dimensional world of magic, power and intrigue, and weaves together many strands with great skill.
Eragon is first in the Inheritance Cycle. The second and third books, Eldest and Brisingr, have been released, and we are currently awaiting the release of the fourth and concluding book. Paolini has achieved a wonderful result, all the more incredible coming from one so young, and anyone who is a fan of fantasy should give these books a go. Overall, I would say about 89%.
This book, started by the author when he was just fifteen, has recieved excellent reviews everywhere and even had a film made. The story and plot are fantastic and good description is used throughout the book. Yet, I never got hooked onto it. It was just so long winded and nothing happened at all for ages. Sometimes, there'd be a whole page just describing one thing, I felt like saying "okay, i've got the picture, can you please do something interesting now!"
That put aside, it did pick up towards the end and like I said, the actual storyline is superb. I guess this book is just not the one for me, as I prefer an action packed book with something happening all the time. The film reflected the book well but wasn't so long and boring.
Needless to say, I did not go on to buy the rest of the books.
My Experience: Took me 4 times to actually read the book til the end.
Eragon is the first book in what was originally the Inheritance Trilogy, written by Christopher Paolini. Having now written the third book, Paolini has realised that his saga needs a further book, and thus it will now become a quadrilogy.
In terms of describing the saga, and its setting, it is set in a fantasy world not dissimilar to that of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, an old world where magic and elves and dwarves and other monsters and creatures feature heavily, with importance given to destiny and lore. The tale starts off rather innocently with farmboy Eragon, as he stumbles across a strange, purple stone.
This is the beginning of the adventure for the young Eragon, as the stone turns out to be a dragon egg. When it hatches, Eragon becomes the latest Dragon Rider, a legendary title, and one that could decide the fate of others as well as himself. As Eragon struggles to adjust to his new life, and to his new links with a dragon, he finds a mentor, loses a loved one, and must grow up extremely quickly as he soon finds that he could be the key to the fate not just of people, but of the whole of the land of Alagaesia.
Paolini was in his teens when he started this, but it reads with maturity. The tale is as appealing as Tolkien's epic saga in many ways, with characters and events far enough removed for it to stand in its own right as a powerful and effective opening to a group of books, no matter how many there end up being. The author's characterisation is effective, and you not only get a true feel for everyone he mentions, but you also associate with Eragon as a person. Paolini captures his youth and innocence and doesn't let these fade away despite the growing up that Eragon has to do.
The other characters are equally powerful in their construction, and the writing is relatively easy to read. There is quite a bit of description at times, as Paolini attempts to explain to us his wonderfully created world, and there are certain parts of this that become essential as the various plotlines converge towards the end. I recommend giving this one a go, and even if you find it slow going at the start, it is worth sticking with it, as it is a fantastic tale that manages to include a lot of the appeal that Tolkien had, but ensures its own identity at the same time.
Eragon is currently available for around the £7 mark as a new book. I have seen it in a couple of second hand bookshops for considerably less, and it is well worth seeing if you can get the second book in the series (Eldest) and/or the third (Brisingr). I am halfway through Brisingr at the moment, and am thoroughly enjoying it. A recommended series of books, with a very powerful start in 'Eragon'.
This book is a prime example of how a new author should start their career. It is impressive in many ways, the fact that Paolini was only 15 when he wrote this makes it more so. In fact if an older author used the same idea it probably wouldn't be nearly as good.
As plots go it's fairly standard for the genre, young main character starts off fairly ordinary, something happens, main character goes on a quest, big battle at the end.
However this simplistic and rather boring description doesn't tell you about the amazing detail that makes the book so good. Paolini fills this book with extra details which add to the story in subtle ways that make the script as a whole seem far more real than it would without them.
Unlike a lot of books in this genre, this one appeals to all ages, I have a cousin that read it when she was she was 9 and an uncle that is in his mid 40's and they both loved it.
One of the best parts of this book is Paolinis view on magic, the way it is based on a language of its own is a great idea (I'm not sure if its his idea or not).
One very minor thing that makes the book a bit annoying is that it leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions. This could be intentional but it leaves a lot to cram in to the later books in the series. Even after reading the third one there is still a lot of big questions to answer.
I was bought the book set of both Eragon and Eldest one christmas due to my love of dragons and fantasy stories. And this one definately did not disappoint.
Eragon has grown up with his uncle and aunt as one of their own, he knows little about his mother and nothing at all about his father. As a 15 year old boy he is on the edge of manhood, trained to hunt in the surrounding areas for food. He finds a blue stone, which turns out to be an egg out of which a dragon hatches, and chooses him to be its "Rider". Thats where Eragons adventure begins.
He is thrown into a world of elves, dwarves, sorcery and magic. Along the way he makes friends, enemies, falls in love and suffers much grief.
An amazing book, that had me gripped from the start. If you liked Lord of the rings then this is the book for you. The descriptions within weave a clear picture, wich can be both beautiful and unnerving.
As soon as I had finished Erragon I had to pick up the next book in the series.
Christopher Paolini started the inheritance cycle of books with Eragon a few years ago. They are a series of books about Dragon Riders, and a young farm boy named Eragon, who discovers a dragon egg in the wilderness.
Once Eragons's egg has hatched, a sparkling blue dragon named Saphira is hatched. Eragon must grow Saphira in secret from his uncle and cousin, whom he lives with, for fear they will discover her. But when his uncle is killed, Eragon runs away from the village he is in with mysterious story teller Brom. And later on, he will join the Varden, who are rebels, in the fight against an evil king named Galbatorix.
Eragon is a book that is for anyone of any age, but generally for men, it is not really a female book. The inheritance cycle is much like Lord Of The Rings, and in some cases is even symbolic of it, along with Star Wars, which its plot line also seems to be symbolic of. The plotline is very intuitive, and is unpredictable, you never really know what is going to happen in an inheritance book. They keep the user glued to the pages of the book, and are hugely popular.
Paolini writes his novels very well, the plot is impossible to guess at within Eragon, and the whole novel is very well written. It was an instant classic for me when I first picked up, as I have heard it was for many other people. It really does impress and I would certainly recommend buying this book, and the other three of the cycle, they will keep you addicted to the very end.
When Eragon finds a polished 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. 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?