I remember the time when I had first stumbled upon Eragon in my town’s bookstore. My eyes were immediately enticed by its sapphire blue jacket and intricate illustrations. Rich and shiny with a majestic dragon on its cover, Eragon tempted me to buy it even before I had read the book blurb. As soon as, I had finished reading the book synopsis, I knew I had to buy it. I had felt a vibe of High Epic Fantasy, Magical Creatures, Mystical Places and a promise of a Great Adventure emanating from the book. For an intense lover of High Epic Fantasy like me, Eragon presented just the perfect picture and as I had excitedly begun to read the book, most expectations of mine were met pleasantly.
Title: Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle- Book 1)
Author: Christopher Paolini
Publisher: Knopf Books
Publishing Date: April 2005
Genres: High Epic Fantasy, Young Adult
From Goodreads: One boy. One dragon. A world of adventure.When Eragon finds a 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 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 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.
I found Eragon enjoyable and fun to read. The plot is interesting and very suitable for young adult readers. I relished the entry of each character, as each one of them is well developed and fleshed out masterfully. The emotions and relationships of the characters are portrayed beautifully. The friendship, love, and care that Saphira and Eragon share is heart-warming. So is the tutor-student-friend relation that Eragon and Brom share. I liked the character of Murtagh- friendly yet mysterious. And of the antagonists- I found the Ra’zac quite scary, scarier than Durza! The story is adventurous with lots of action which I was expecting of a Dragon tale. The setting of Eragon-The Kingdom of Alagaësia is exactly what I was hoping for- mystical and magical with an ancient feel of the environs. Adding to the delight of the reader is the exceptional writing style of Christopher Paolini, who even at the age of 15 knew how to compose a well written High Epic Fantasy story.
I have come across several book reviews of Eragon, which complain that the setting, the plot, and the characters of Eragon lack originality and lend a ‘Déjà vu’ feel to the story, as they are in some ways similar to the ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series. Well, I don’t hold such belief! I believe the plot of Eragon is very original with unique characters. Don’t we all meet people in our everyday life who share similar hobbies, interests and behavioral traits? Just like that, if the characters of Eragon share certain qualities with some hero or heroine of some other book that does not make the characters- ‘read before, heard before or seen before’! The same goes for the setting. The setting of Eragon has elves and dwarves and dragon riders- components that novels of this particular genre have in common and that’s why the genre is called High Epic Fantasy, isn’t it?
One can say Christopher Paolini was inspired by the works of Tolkien and other Fantasy authors, but I definitely don’t see any similarities between the story lines of LOTR and Eragon. For writing the Epic LOTR novels, even J.R.R. Tolkien took inspiration from several old texts, manuscripts, and literary works of great authors. The only flaw that I could spot in the story is the lack of any big twists and turns. There are twists and turns in the plot, but, I can’t say I found any twist that made me say with ravenous delight- ‘Didn’t see that coming’!
I think Eragon is a book that will leave readers with a happy aftertaste. It is a rapturous read of an alternate universe, which all fantasy lovers would like to be a part of. I would recommend Eragon to any Fantasy lover because you will always cherish it as an endearing journey of a young rider and his lovely dragon across the land of Alagaësia. The days I spent reading Eragon were well spent, as I was able to travel eons and visit a magical land with characters I so came to love and participate in their adventurous journey.
♥♥♥♥— Rating: 4/5