Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Eragon

Book: Eragon (Christopher Paolini)
Series or Stand-Alone: Series, Book #1, Inheritance
Preview on Google Books
Eragon, a young farm boy, finds a marvelous blue stone in a mystical mountain place. Before he can trade it for food to get his family through the hard winter, it hatches a beautiful sapphire-blue dragon, a race thought to be extinct. Eragon bonds with the dragon, and when his family is killed by the marauding Ra'zac, he discovers that he is the last of the Dragon Riders, fated to play a decisive part in the coming war between the human but hidden Varden, dwarves, elves, the diabolical Shades and their neanderthal Urgalls, all pitted against and allied with each other and the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon and his dragon Saphira set out to find their role, growing in magic power and understanding of the complex political situation as they endure perilous travels and sudden battles, dire wounds, capture and escape.

After reading Eragon, I looked at what some of the other reviewers thought of the book. Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon a great deal of one-star reviews. After further investigation, I discovered that the primary reason for these low ratings was that Paolini had "stolen" a lot of his ideas. Now, I am not claiming that this is untrue - you would have to be blind not to see the striking similarities between Paolini's Eragon and other science fiction/fantasy powerhouses like Tolkien's LOTR & Lucas' Star Wars. However - despite certain uncanny parallels between the stories and/or characters, I thoroughly enjoyed Eragon. I am a fan of both LOTR & Star Wars and I found Eragon an enchanting story. If we as readers, did not read anything that borrowed from a former writing we would soon run out of reading material. In fact, you can find countless parallel's between Shakespeare & Star Wars. I mean, honestly - how many YA vampire/werewolf stories are there now that twilight was such a success? They are popping out of the woodwork. When a series is successful, there will be more like it. I think that Paolini's work on Eragon was wonderful - I was instantly attached to Eragon and I loved his bond with his dragon, Saphira. She was undoubtedly my favorite part of the book. I think it is unfair to dismiss this book because it harbors some similarities to Tolkien's work - Eragon can easily stand on its own. It is an epic story and a total page turner. I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

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