Books, Reading, Review
Comments 13

Book Review – ‘Eragon’

Eragon_novelTitle: Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1)
Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Children’s Fiction
Rating: ★★★★

As mentioned in this “Teaser Tuesday” post, all the way back in 2009 I purchased the first three books in the ‘Inheritance Cycle’ by Christopher Paolini. About two years ago I purchased the final book in the series and it’s been sitting in my to be read pile ever since then, perpetually at the bottom as I read everything on top of it, always with the intention that I would eventually dig the rest of the series out of the box in the garage. This finally happened two weeks ago (after some prompting from a fellow blogger) and after six years I began reading the series, starting with Eragon. My initial thoughts of the series, based purely on this first installment, are along the lines of, ‘oh my gosh, I can’t wait to read more’.

At it’s essence, Eragon is a coming of age story, as are most books that could fall into the ‘young adult’ category. The plot centres around Eragon, a farm boy with a seemingly mundane future ahead of him – that is, until he discovers a stone which eventually turns out to be a dragon egg. The discovery and subsequent hatching of this egg sets in motion a chain of events that sees Eragon travel far and wide across the fictional world of Alagaesia, battling evil forces as he goes and discovering new powers within himself as he does so.

For the most part the book is well paced, although at times it did drag on a little bit. I particularly found the constant travelling between towns a little bit tiresome, mostly because it was a lot of the same thing happening at these times – lots of talking, honing of sword fighting skills, and a smattering of fighting the bad guys. Despite this, I flew through the book a lot quicker than I had initially intended to, this was mostly due to the easy to read writing style of the author. While the writing itself was not perfect (although, is there such a thing?), I anticipate that the writing will improve as I move through the series, which will be interesting in itself – watching the writer develop over a few books, and seeing him hone his craft.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and it has whet my appetite for the next three books – I particularly enjoyed the novel’s climax. While there certainly many aspects of the book (and I suppose the books that follow) that could have comparisons drawn with some truly great works of fantasy – namely the work of JRR Tolkien, there’s enough in this book to differentiate from the others and make it a reasonably original and enjoyable read. Indeed there are some rather scathing reviews of Paolini’s work on Goodreads, in which readers have essentially called Eragon plagiarised, however I would challenge those people to point out one work of fiction from the last decade or so, that isn’t influenced by the work of another author. In any case, I feel Eragon is a good starting point for young readers who enjoy fantasy fiction, but are perhaps too young to read Tolkien’s work and I honestly didn’t sit there while reading it, trying to make a connection between every event in this book, with events that occur in Tolkien’s work.

WHO YOU’LL LOVE – I didn’t particularly like the character of Eragon that much – he really did behave like a petulant child at times, and it irked me to no end. My favourite character was probably Murtagh – he’s a bit sassy and has that whole mysterious past/is he good or is he bad thing happening. I’m really looking forward to reading more of him and hopefully seeing his character develop.
WHO SHOULD READ IT – obviously it’s written for a much younger target market, but I’m nearly 30 (gah!) and I really enjoyed it. I think if you enjoy Tolkien and Rowling, you’d probably like this too.
FAVOURITE QUOTE – “Eragon returned to his chair, holding the book gently. It’s amazing that a man who is dead can talk to people through these pages. As long as this book survives, his ideas live.

Advertisements

13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Teaser Tuesday – Eragon | bitsnbooks

  2. Pingback: Book Review – ‘Brisingr’ |

  3. Pingback: Book Review – ‘Eldest’ | bitsnbooks

    • Thanks! I started reading ‘Brisingr’ a couple of days ago. I’m about 50 pages in and enjoying so far. I can’t wait to read the last one and see how it all ends!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m reading the second book in the series, ‘Eldest’, right now. It’s even better than ‘Eragon’ – better writing, faster paced, and Eragon is much better as a character.

      Like

  4. brettmichaelorr says

    AH! I should have come and read this review earlier! (I am the ‘fellow blogger’, after all! 😀 )

    I’m so glad that you actually enjoyed the book, and as a personal crusader for the series, I’m glad that you were able to approach the novel on its own merits, and not be swayed by the scathing reviews on Goodreads.

    Certainly Eragon is the weakest book in the series, but I have a special relationship with the series, and absolutely loved the world that Paolini built. Moving forward into the next books (particularly Brisingr) he expands upon the other races and their histories in a way that even his contemporaries or the epic writers of the past never managed to do.

    Thanks for posting your review, I’ll be watching very closely to see how you like the rest of the series! ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

    • I liked Brisingr very much. And I enjoyed the series for the most part, overlooking some so-so writing in places and the occasional over-long scene (like the traveling Heather mentioned). So, did you like the ending? I was just telling Heather I never finished Inheritance. I got about halfway through and then stopped. Not really from boredom, more just exhaustion. Thoughts? Should I go back and finish it?

      Like

      • brettmichaelorr says

        I’ll be honest – Inheritance is not an amazing novel. It has flaws, many flaws. Unfortunately, the climax of four entire novels can’t always please everyone, and even though, when you read some of the ‘big’ moments, you’ll probably want to toss the book away and snort loudly, push on and give the book a chance.

        I know it was supposed to be a trilogy, and everyone was expecting Brisingr to end things, but of course it didn’t. The fourth book is there to wrap up plot-threads (except for the plot-threads it ignores).

        As for the ending – well, it was heavily foreshadowed by Paolini. It’s the ending that ‘fits’, even though it might not be the ending the community ‘wanted’. How else was the man supposed to wrap up four massive novels, and make everyone happy?

        As you can tell, I still have mixed feelings about it. Please, please read Inheritance – it *is* a good book, and if you invested this much time in the world, you owe it to yourself to finish reading the series. Then you can form your own opinion of the Final Battle and the Ending, and see how you feel.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, you make me want to pull Inheritance off my shelf and finish it. I read the whole series up to the last book, and then I got bogged down in its nearly 1,000 pages. But maybe it’s time to find out what the real ending is. If this is your first time sitting down with them, you may or may not know it was originally supposed to be a trilogy, and then Paolini put a note at the end of book 3 saying it wasn’t the end and another book was coming…and it didn’t come for 3 years. It’s better writing, but it’s quite long. Still, reading about Eragon makes me want to finish his story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No I didn’t know that! It’ll be interesting to get to the end of the third one then and think about whether another was needed.
      I’m almost halfway through ‘Eldest’ and the writing is so much better than in ‘Eragon’. I really am enjoying it much more. And it’s good that the narrative is moving around a bit and focusing on other characters – I think ‘Eragon’ got a bit bogged down at times with the narrative always following the same thread. It’s more interesting now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • As our fellow blogger mentions below, Brisingr is really good. I liked it a lot. It’s sounding like I just need to re-read the whole series and then finish Inheritance. 🙂 It’s been 7 years or more since I read the other books in the cycle.

        Like

Write Your Thoughts Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s