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Eragon Book Cover

A novel by Christopher Paolini and the first installment in the Inheritance Cycle.

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A Matching Game of Fantasy Stories, Names, and Places.

  • Apr 24, 2007
Rating:
+3
ERAGON is set in the fictional world of Algaesia. It is the first part of a trilogy that examines the rise of a new dragonrider named Eragon. Eragon is a farm boy who lives with his uncle, Garrow, and older cousin, Roran, out in the country outside of the rural village of Carvahall near a treacherous mountain pass known as The Spine. Eragon's mother gave Eragon to Garrow to raise shortly after he was born and then left. Eragon never met either of his parents. Near the beginning of the story, Eragon is hunting wild game in The Spine when he discovers a large, oval sapphire stone. Eragon believes that the stone might be valuable and brings it back with him. He attempts to sell it in town but no one will purchase it after learning it was discovered in The Spine because the Spine is a wicked place full of magic. Eventually, the stone hatches and Eragon discovers that the stone was a dragon egg. Speaking with a local storyteller known as Brom, Eragon names the dragon Saphira. The seasons change and Eragon keeps Saphira hidden, afraid to tell Garrow or Roran about his discovery and his growing mental connection to the dragon. Roran leaves the farm to establish himself so that he can marry the woman he loves, Katrina. Not long after Roran leaves, rumors reach Carvahall of troop movements and strange creatures, the Ra'zac, seeking the stone Eragon discovered months before. Eragon races back to the farm, but is carried away by Saphira. Eragon later discovers the body of Garrow and the farm house destroyed. Knowing that he is a wanted man by the Empire, Eragon decides that he will seek out the Ra'zac, kill them, and set forth to join the freedom fighters called the Varden. As he seeks to leave the village is stopped and then joined by Brom. Brom isn't exactly the simple storyteller that he appears to be. During their journey, Brom begins instructing Eragon in the ways of armed combat and magic and reveals to Eragon that he is a new Dragon Rider, chosen by Saphira herself. Their journey takes them from one end of Algaesia to the other and Eragon finds himself involved in a grand adventure and struggle that is beyond even his imagination.

ERAGON has become a bestseller and has been hailed by some as a new classic of fantasy. I first became acquainted with the book through working with middle school students and decided to finally read the book after having seen the film adaptation in December 2006.

As many others have pointed out, ERAGON is highly derivative of many other works, from Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS to George Lucas' original STAR WARS to stories of Ursula le Guin. I knew about this before I began reading the book, but I tried not to let that knowledge how I felt about the overall story.

Despite the derivative nature of the novel, I enjoyed ERAGON. The book is around 500 pages in length, but I read the story in just a few days. I became so enraptured with the action of the story that I found it difficult to put the book down. Christopher Paolini was a teenager when he began writing the book (as discussed in the acknowledgements) and I think that overall he succeeded at writing an exciting piece of fantasy. Besides being derivative, the story has some other minor flaws, such as a lack of characterization and at times instead of reading like a work of fantasy the story seems to read more like a screenplay. Personally, these things didn't bother me all that much and neither did the derivative nature of the story. Storytellers, authors, and filmmakers have been ripping of each other since the second campfire after the first story was told.

ERAGON is full of elements, devices, and structure taken from a wide variety of sources. I can understand why that might be a problem with some people, but for me it wasn't much of an issue. It seems to me that the author tried to tie together various elements from a wide variety of literature and stories that he enjoyed and unite them in a world where they would co-exist together. That does make the story unimaginative at times, but it still makes for a decent yarn nevertheless. Besides, ERAGON is at its core a hero quest and the elements of that type of story are ancient (read THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES).

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More Eragon (book) reviews
review by . December 12, 2010
   If someone had assembled a checklist of every fantasty cliche ever used in any work of fantasy ever written by anyone anywhere, it would've turned into this book.      1. Elves are noble, wonderful, beautiful and wise. CHECK!      2. Dwarves are hardworking, strong, loyal and wise. CHECK!      3. Dragons are magical, powerful, impressive and wise. CHECK!      4. Evil is evil for its own sake and can …
review by . June 03, 2010
A great read!
First off my emotional reaction to this book was that it encaptured me to want to keep reading more. I felt for the characters and even cried when Brom passed away. The way he was preserved in time was almost beautiful if only humans in real life could do the same. I recommend this reading to any age because it seriously gets ones mind off their own issues and envelopes you into another world within your mind as your reading it. The setting is such a beautiful time and place and if you read the …
review by . August 27, 2009
Christopher Paolini is a well known writer.  Amazingly enough he was able to get a book published at a very young age.  Nineteen.  Of course, his parents owned a publishing house and that had something to do with it.  On the other hand, Paolini met success when Knopf picked up his book and published it instead.  Before long, Eragon became a runaway success.  It got some kids hooked on to reading and I can't disagree with that.  Although much of Eragon is... well... …
review by . July 27, 2010
Rewrites the fantasy genre
This book is truly an epic. I cringe when I hear people say epic now, because almost 100% of the time they make it totally out of context. But in all honesty, no other word can describe this. It's the classic 'Teenager becomes a hero' book, with more "smart" reasoning. When reading this, your emotions follow the readers emotions. You feel sad when he feels sad, excited when he is, happy and relived whenever he feels relived, and angry when he feels so. The author really mastered …
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
A interesting story but poor writing
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
this young author is so talented, he paints a beautiful world in your mind that can only be comapired to middle earth
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Great fantasy tale of dragons and magic. Simple and quick, this story was a great dessert read (as opposed to a deep, meaningful read which i consider a meal.) Who cares if it is just like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and another couple stories. We are all inspired by something.
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2010
very interesting story.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Good book with dragons and magic. Some of the characters though were cookie cutter meaning they were the sterotypical ones.
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2010
I truly enjoyed this book. Inspired me in so many ways. Just wish his writing could've stayed up to par.
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Wiki

Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Paolini began writing the book at the age of fifteen. After writing the first draft for a year, he spent a second year rewriting it and fleshing out the story and characters. Paolini's parents saw the final manuscript and decided to self-publish Eragon. Paolini spent a year traveling around the United States promoting the novel. By chance, the book was discovered by Carl Hiaasen, who got it re-published by Alfred A. Knopf. The re-published version was released on August 26, 2003.

The book tells the story of a young farm boy named Eragon, who finds a mysterious stone in the mountains. A dragon named Saphira hatches from the stone, which was really an egg. When the evil King Galbatorix finds out about Eragon and his dragon, he sends his servants after them in an effort to capture them. Eragon and Saphira are forced to flee from their hometown, and decide to search for the Varden, a group of rebels who want to see the downfall of Galbatorix.

Critiques of Eragon often pointed out the similarities between Eragon and other works such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Reviews also called the book a notable achievement for such a young author as Paolini. Eragon was the third-best-selling children's hardback book of 2003, and the second-best-selling paperback of 2005. It placed on the New York Times Best Seller list for 121 weeks. Eragon was adapted into a feature film of the same name that was ...

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Details

Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Knopf

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