Hey, friends! I hope you have been having a great week! I have spent it enrolling and applying for loans so I can start grad school in August—which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. In my down time, I just recently finished re-reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini. This is another of those novels I read in high school, but when I finally resolved to read the rest of the series, I could not fully remember what had transpired in the first novel. So, obviously, I had to reread it. I knew I had enjoyed it though, so, I did not mind taking the time to experience it anew. I was not disappointed. Let’s take a look.
Author: Christopher Paolini
Release Date: April 26, 2005
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 528 pages
Status: Inheritance Cycle Trilogy (1/3?)
Sum It Up (from Amazon)
Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.
Let’s Review, Shall We?
The description is brief, but do not let that deter you! It is such a good read. As I reread this novel, I was surprised out how much there was to the story—and how much I had forgotten. So, I am really glad I got to reread it in the first place, or I would have been completely lost. Eragon is an insightful novel written in a type of fantasy world that I enjoy best, and often write about—the world of Elves, monsters, and dragons. (Let’s be clear. Not Santa’s elves, but the legit Elves—such that you might find in Middle Earth.)
Now, this novel is the introduction of Eragon, a boy of meager means, to one of the last dragons in existence, Saphira. From within her egg, Saphira chooses Eragon to be her rider, and they are instantly bonded. However, this leads to turmoil in Eragon’s family and life as he is suddenly one of the most wanted men in his entire land. Why? Dragon riders are incredibly powerful, and both the corrupt king, a murderous and potentially insane dragon rider, and the force that opposes him wants Eragon and Saphira on their side. They must choose quickly, for turning down one side or both could spell certain disaster for the pair. On their adventures, they are aided by Brom, an old storyteller, hiding his own tragic past which gives him reason to aid the young dragon rider.
Let me say that I really liked Brom. His character is wise and skilled, shrouded in mystery. This character was one that left me wanting more information. I listened when he spoke, and he is a pivotal character in Eragon’s life.
Head’s up. There are some tear-jerking scenes that I had successfully blocked from my memory until the reread. Upon returning to those pages, the floodgates of emotions were opened once again. All that time I buried the sad parts of the story were for naught. Alas. Sigh. But, the events were essential or the growth and development of the character.
Paolini is a talented writer, and he weaves intricate stories that are easy to follow but with enough emotion to hook the reader and keep them in the story. Even though the novel was written in his teenage years, it is skilled—and one should not deny him that. With the fantasy genre it is important to build upon Tolkien’s foundation and fuse the world with one of our own as writers. In doing so, we keep fresh, original stories in a world that many fantasy enthusiasts cherish. I believe that Paolini did well in creating his own culture and world within the realms of fantasy.
However, I was not entirely gripped by the novel about half of the time. For me, it was not particularly a page turner, and that can likely just be chalked up either to the mood I was in at the time or just regular, personal preference. That being said, I did enjoy this novel, and I am looking forward to the adventures to come. The next novel, Eldest, is sitting on my bookshelf waiting its turn as we speak. Stay tuned!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
- Jgrosstrout gave an objective review on her website. It is definitely worth reading and disputes some of the negative perspectives of the novel.
- WrensReads provided an amusing response to the distaste of the novel and an unique overview of the book. Well worth the read if you are on the fence!