Eragon - by Christopher Paolini

"well written, descriptive, enthralling, and entertaining"

Christopher Paolini's book Eragon begins the Inheritance Cycle, as Paolini terms it. This books is a slightly amateurish but compelling and original work of fantasy. Eragon, a poor farm boy, finds what he believes to be a blue stone while hunting. The stone, actually a dragon's egg, produces Saphira, a dragon he hides from his family. Two men who arrive in the village to search for the egg tear down Eragon's house and mortally wound his uncle Garrow. Eragon pursues them after Garrow's death, aided by Saphir and Brom, the village storyteller.  Brom tells Eragon that the strangers are known as the Ra'zac, and are, in fact, inhuman. The rest of the book details Eragon's adventures as he travels with Saphira, an intelligent creature, and learns from Brom to use magic.

Paolini adds interesting ideas to fantasy writing, such as the notion that energy used for magic must be derived from the user. The well used plot device of a poor farm boy rising against an evil king takes an interesting course in Eragon. Paolini's characters are complex, multifaceted people and don't always follow a predictable role. Brom, Eragon's mentor, loses to Eragon in a sparring match relatively early in the book. From that point on, Brom only improves on Eragon slightly, mentally and physically, but is a constant companion and father-figure. Eragon also befriends a boy, Murtagh, who is an interesting character who helps Eragon and is merciless to his enemies. He is exactly as skilled as Eragon at sparring and prefers to keep his past a secret.

Paolini's figurative language painted a vivid picture in my mind. He writes in the style of many noted fantasy authors, such as J.R.R.Tolkien. A great deal of the Ancient Language, which controls magic and is spoken by the elves, is reminiscent of the language of Tolkien's elves.

Eragon is a very compelling read. Occasionally, there was a section that seemed like a segment of a children's book rather than teen or young adult fiction but, overall, Eragon is well written, descriptive, enthralling, and entertaining. I recommend this book for any lover of fantasy.

    - Graham P.

"one of the most brilliantly crafted fantasy novels I've seen in a long time"

Eragon, the first book of the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, is by far one of the most brilliantly crafted fantasy novels I’ve seen in a long time. This adventure seems to have a lot of influence from J.R.R. Tolkien because like Tolkien, Paolini spent the time and energy to not only create an exciting adventure but also a land full of creatures, each with their own languages and customs. The theme of this novel is rebellion, rebellion from a tyrannical king who, through betrayal of his friends, gathers unimaginable strength.

The story begins with a poor farmer's boy who is about to release his arrow while hunting in the forest when, BOOM a bright blue stone slams into the ground and scares away his kill. Dismayed by the loss of his kill Eragon takes the stone into town to sell. Unsuccessful in his attempts, he takes it back to his cabin and lets it sit there until…it hatches into a dragon. Eragon realizes he can talk to this dragon with his mind, and eventually learns that he and the dragon are part of an age-old order of heroes known as Riders.  With the help of Brom, a village storyteller, Eragon learns the ways of a rider so he can fulfill his destiny. Eragon faces many challenges that include fighting a war that has gone on for hundreds of years, rescuing an elf, fighting the most powerful magician in the land, and the hardest thing of all - learning to read.

Christopher Paolini’s attention to detail is one of the main reasons that I love this book so much. The book's setting is greatly influenced by the monstrous mountains and valleys of Montana where Paolini grew up. Paolini also does in incredible job of creating his own languages for the elves, Urgals, Dwarfs and other creatures. The way adds detail into the story is incredible. When Eragon gets his first sword, Paolini uses a whole paragraph to describe it in detail. The only author that I believe does a better job is Tolkien and that’s not by much. Oh, I forgot to mention that Paolini started Eragon when he was 15 years old, and he’s only 19 now.

If you want a book that will keep your wandering attention glued to its pages, then this is it. I give the book a five out of five due mostly to attention to detail and to several plot twists that keep you wanting more. So I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a good book and likes dragons.

    - Patrick J.

"for any kids who just like a good medieval type adventure"

Over all I found Christopher Paolini’s Eragon to be quite an entertaining book. It's a fairly easy read, but it still packs enough action to keep your heart pounding. It takes just a little bit for the story to get moving. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop.

Over all I found Christopher Paolini’s Eragon to be quite an entertaining book. It's a fairly easy read, but it still packs enough action to keep your heart pounding. It takes just a little bit for the story to get moving. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop.

The story was pretty much your typical fantasy, dragons, bows and arrows, swords, and castles type of book. The boy grows up to save the world and all along the way he is running, getting captured, and narrowly escaping - kind of a cross between J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and J.R. Tolkein’s trilogy. There is a whole magic side to the book that actually was very creative and an impressive point of view on how it would work. Eragon, the main character, also did not know his real parents and was raised by his uncle. This is sounding very familiar after just reading Harry Potter. Also there are the elves and dwarves in this book that help the human and aid him all along the way on his adventure. Paolini creates a good story with his beautiful imagination - a little bit predictable but even then, there was just enough suspense to keep the reader going. The story was good enough that when I finished I quickly got online to find out when the next book of this trilogy (Eldest) was set to be released.

I would recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it, but I think it would be most enjoyable for boys in middle school who are into fantasy. If they have read Harry Potter and were fascinated with the magic and fighting aspect of it, then this book is definitely for them and also for any kids who just like a good medieval type adventure. The book does not contain any inappropriate material. I really liked this book and I would strongly advise anyone debating on reading it to do so.

    - Matthew B.