When 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 family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old story-teller 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 saw the movie first, and I loved it very much. I don’t remember well, but I think I first saw it in a cinema with my father. And it was awesome: I loved the world, the story, the spectacle, and the dragons. Later I heard it’s based on a book. In this case, I usually don’t read the book. I always fear that I’m not going to love the book as much as I loved the movie made from it. Actually it’s funny, because most of the time it’s quite the opposite. In my experience, 90% of the books are much better than the movies made from them. And it was not different in the case of Eragon either.
The long and short of it, I postponed the reading of the book for a very long time. But one day there wasn’t a single book that I could read. And suddenly, I saw Eragon, and I thought, ‘why not?’ So I started to read it and I just read and read and read. And now I know: what the film-makers made of this book was outrage. Actually, it wasn’t so bad if you ignore the book, but I’m really glad the rest of the series was not screened.
The Story (Spoiler Degrees: 1)
So, you may have figured it out from the prologue already, I liked the book very much. BUT… Yeah, there’s always a ‘but’, and it is the resemblance to The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I mean they’re REALLY similar to each other. Some things absolutely drove me crazy.
The world of Alagaësia in Eragon is not exactly the same as Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, but no doubt something like that. Dragons, elves, dwarfs, urgals (they are almost the same as orcs)… These similarities repeatedly put me off enjoying the book. (Of course, Paolini was inspired – among others – by Tolkien, so maybe that’s the reason for it.) Furthermore, there are many similarities in the two novels’ antagonists as well, Galbatorix and Sauron.
The story isn’t original. There’re a lot of books about a poor (peasant) boy who changes his fate and saves the world. Still, the story is engaging. I can’t tell exactly why, all I know is that I was completely captivated by the story and I could hardly put it down. The plot was exciting and interesting, although there were small ups and downs of the story. What I didn’t like was that the author actually spoiled the fun. Practically, you already know the end of the whole series in this volume. Besides, there are a lot of hints for the following books. So I think there won’t be many surprises in the rest of the series, at best the course of events could be a matter of curiosity.
Despite the fact that I couldn’t help thinking constantly about The Lord of the Rings, I liked Eragon; still I have a bitter taste in my mouth.
Characters (Spoiler Degrees: 5)
First of all I have to mention I love the relationship between Eragon and Saphira, and of course their conversations. It is really good to see that nice and strong bond between them, particularly the development of it. Saphira is my favorite character in the book. I like her very much, and that’s why I would really love to have a dragon. For my birthday, please. It’s okay if it’ll get here only for Christmas. I won’t be angry, I promise.
But Eragon is far from me. I don’t know why, but it’s hard to really like him. He just does what he wants, ignoring the consequences. I don’t like this kind of behavior. And he’s too young in this volume yet, but I hope he will grow up to his task.
My other favorite character is Solembum. (It’s a pity that he wasn’t in the movie. But I’m not surprised about it, actually, as many great things were omitted.) I like him. He’s clever, leery, proud, humorous… So, I hope he will have a large role in the next books.
I like Brom, too. He’s a very interesting character, full of secrets. I feel sorry for him because of his life and fate. I want to know more about him, about his personality, about everything. He was not just a mentor of Eragon, but he was like a father to him. It’s really sad that we lost him.
Murtagh has an interesting personality. He has a dark past. But is it really a mystery who he is? Because if it is, then not for me. It’s strange that I like him and hate him at the same time. I want to trust him, but for some reason I can’t.
Angela is a real witch. I don’t think I have to mention more about her. 🙂 She’s very mysterious, eccentric and weird. I’m curious about her life too. It may be very special.
What is really amazing about this book is that it was written by a teenage boy. I mean his inexperience is perceptible, but the book is good despite this. The characters, the scenes, and the dialogues are well-written. I’m satisfied with everything (with the exception of the few things I’ve already mentioned above).
OMG! I liked the first cover with the full figural variant, but the second one, with only the head of the dragon on it, is awesome. I know it hasn’t got a lot of changes, but I prefer this one. And it’s on my shelf.