(I read this book as part of the Pay it Sideways Challenge. Join in anytime, we’d love to have you!)
Eragon has spent his first 15 years in the village of Carvahall, farming with Garrow, the man who raised him when his mother vanished, and hunting in the Spine, a mysterious and dangerous mountain range. It is while in the Spine that Eragon discovers a large blue stone. He brings it home, hoping to sell it for meat, but before he can do so the stone hatches. And inside is a dragon — the first dragon to be seen outside the tight control of the evil King Galbatorix.
The wheels of fate have started to turn, and there’s no going back. Garrow is murdered, and Eragon, his dragon Saphira, and a storyteller named Brom—who knows more about the dragons than he should—embark on an adventure that will alter the course of history.
A strong beginning
I first read Eragon in 2002, right after its publication. I’d just gotten into the fantasy genre, and thought Paolini’s book would be a great addition to my reading list. I read it, and Eldest (the second in the series), but then just kind of gave up. The story was good, but it wasn’t great. It didn’t hold my attention the way I hoped it would.
I’ve been meaning to give the series another try, and the Pay it Sideways Challenge was a good excuse.
My thoughts about this book the second time around mirror my thoughts on it the first time: it’s good, but it’s not great. Now that I’ve got some more years and experience under my belt, though, I can appreciate Eragon for what it is: a first in a series written by a 15 year-old.
The story itself—boy goes on adventures, companions join him, new enemies, a love interest—is nothing new. The writing itself is relatively plain.
It’s the world building that really saves this novel, and causes it to excel. Paolini has built an incredibly complex world, complete with political intrigue, multiple races with different languages and cultures, and a fine plot that I can see is about to get thicker.
I gave away my copy of Eldest some time back, but I’ll definitely be borrowing a copy soon.
About the recommender
Alternate Readality is a blog I started following as a result of the Top 10 Tuesday meme (beginning to notice a pattern in the blogs I follow?). The resident blogger, Jenny, is a big fan of Young Adult literature, but I also like reading about her obsession with television shows and soccer.
She’s doing a books-for-adults-only thing in February, and I’m interested to see what she’s reading. Paolini’s series is one of her favorites though, and I can’t blame her for it. Check out her review of Eragon here.
I love a blogger who can make me smile, and Alternate Readality definitely makes that happen. Swing by sometime when you get a chance!