Thursday, 30 August 2012

Book Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Title: Eragon
Author: Christopher Paolini
Series: Inheritance Cycle, #1
Genre: YA high fantasy
Published: 26 August 2003
When young 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 adopted 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 inescapable destiny, magical forces, and powerful people. With only an ancient sword and the instruction of an old, mysterious, hermit storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a Emperor whose evil and power knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands...
I was a bit hesitant to start reading Eragon. I had seen the film six years before and I thought it was terrible, and, unfortunately, I have the awful habit of pre-judging books when watching the film previously.

The story goes as follows. Eragon is a 15-year-old farmboy who lives in Carvahall. While hunting in the Spine, a mountain range on the western coast of AlagaĆ«sia that no one dared approach, a mysterious sapphire-blue-coloured gem appears in a flash. Eragon hopes to be able to sell it, but a few days later, the gem shatters and a baby dragon comes out of it. He and Carvahall’s storyteller, Brom, set out in a journey hoping to find the Varden, a resistance group that fights against the tyranny of Galbatorix. The story is very good, but I think the ending happened far too late in the story and the pace in it became too fast.

This novel caught me like few others have done. It is a fairly light read, thought it is considerably long. The narration is pretty good and it is quite interesting to know what AlagaĆ«sia looks like, since Paolini gives pretty detailed descriptions of it. Most characters and places’ names are good, though there were some that sounded a bit badly, e.g., Galbatorix. There were also some names that I deemed unpronounceable, like the Dwarven king’s name: Hrothgar.

There is good character development throughout the book. Eragon starts out as a humble farmer who only ever wants to feed his family properly. By the end of the book, he has changed a whole lot. By then, he wants to become a fully fledged Dragon Rider to kick Galbatorix out of the throne and ensure his family’s safety forever.

Brom is really moody at times and gets angry really easily, but as his relationship with Eragon progresses, he becomes more and more a father to him.

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