(Cover picture courtesy of My Opera.)
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 witner. 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? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
If you’ve been tuned into the blogosphere these past few years, there is a very good chance you’ve heard of Eragon, the debut novel of Christopher Paolini. It was written when he was fifteen and the maturity level of the novel reflects that, but it is still a worthwhile read.
Eragon follows the typical fantasy plot: a young farm boy discovers he has magical powers or is otherwise gifted and is whisked away by a mentor-figure who teaches him how to control his powers while they travel. They are usually travelling toward the rebel stronghold because the king is out to get them. On the way, they have many adventures and meet a variety of strange (usually magical) creatures/beings.
Christopher Paolini sometimes gets bogged down in his descriptions—he uses the word ‘eloquent’ very often—but long descriptions are what you expect in high fantasy. His plot and characters may be cliché, but there is one thing that is excellent: his world-building. He explains magic very well and places reasonable limitations on its use. Dragons are also explained well and have very distinct, almost cat-like, personalities. If I had to pick one reason to read Eragon, it would be because of Eragon’s dragon, Saphira.
I give this book 2.5/5 stars.