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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon is a fantasy book written by Christopher Paolini while still in his teens. It is a NY Times bestseller and has been made into a movie.

Eragon is a young teen-ager who finds what he thinks is a smooth stone in the Spine while hunting for food. The stone turns out to be a dragon egg.

With the help of storyteller, Brom, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, embark on an adventure to kill those that have killed his uncle. In this adventure, Eragon finds that he more than the humble farmboy that he has always been.

Their adventures lead them across and out of Algaesia, the dominant kingdom which is led by the evil king, Galbatorix. He encounters large, battle-hungry Urgals, dwarves and a very powerful and equally evil Shade named Durza. His adventures culminate in a fierce battle to save the Varden from the Shade and the Urgals.

While it is a great achievement for a teen-ager to write a novel and have it sell so well and make a movie, Eragon is a predictable but pleasant read. Chapters are short and the action is furious. The entire book, less the prologue, is written from Eragon's point of view. Many of the themes the author employs are typical fantasy themes. The poor farmboy cum hero (i.e. the Chosen One), the epic journey across the lands, magical helpers, a wise old guide and an epic battle to end the book. This is not a criticism but a categorization as this is a young adult fantasy. For the adults who love to read young adult fantasy, Eragon is a must-read. It is solid, if predictable.

4 comments:

Katie said...

I'll have to read it. I've heard lots of talk that this was just all the best fantasy smashed into one book by a kid.... but worth reading all the same. It sounds like he did a pretty good job of it and gosh knows I sure can't turn out a novel and I'm 23! :)

Grasshopper said...

Exactly. It depends on how you approach the book. If you want intricate, thought-provoking fantasy, go somewhere else. I was interested in reading it because a kid wrote it and to see what youth fantasy is like (besides Harry Potter of course ;-) ).

Ron Simpson said...

I enjoyed the book. I guess I went into it not expecting anything, so I had not preconceptions. I hear a lot of poeple talk down about the book and author, saying he stole all the plot elements. But there are only so many plot elements in the world. All books are rehashes of the same old stuff, just told in different ways with different characters, so that argument holds no water with me. The second books is an improvement on writing style, but the first is ok. I wish I could get a bookbook written and published.

Grasshopper said...

Again....exactly!

He may have obviously rehashed other plots, but as he gets older and more experienced, he'll do better at filling in the tapestry.

I've just started the second book.