Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini


Author: Christopher Paolini

Publication Date: April 2005

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Adventure



When young 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 adopted family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of inescapable destiny, magical forces, and powerful people. With only an ancient sword and the instruction of an old,mysterious, hermit storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a Emperor whose evil and power knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands….

My Thoughts: Eragon really is a fantasy story of epic proportions. It packs all the classic stuff, Elves, Dragons, Dwarves, Magic, Battles, and more! I think if you are into the fantasy world at all that this is a book you should read.

Christopher Paolini really has a way with words. He just seems to have this knack for picking the most perfect one! I can't even really describe it, his writing just seems to flow so perfectly, seamlessly, magically. His words weave together and pull you deep into the story. He creates these perfect settings, wonderfully descriptive, you feel your imagination is in awe with them. There is a lot of traveling in this book, and the scenery and is constantly changing, usually dramatically. Paolini pulls it off with ease. We go through small towns, forests, grand deserts, mountainous ranges, Dwarven halls, and more. And with each new location your mind is reeling with the beauty it's described in. Even in the darker places of travel, you are still appreciating the surroundings. At least I was. My favorite by far was the home of the Dwarves! It usually goes without saying that Dwarves create immensely beautiful dwellings with their incredible craftsmanship. Paolini painted such a beautiful place in my mind.  I could picture myself roaming this incredibly large, startlingly beautiful, awe inspiring underground city. I had the most fun reading the chapters that took place there.

Eragon lived with his Uncle Garrow, and his cousin Roran. He knows nothing of his parentage or heritage. He's been raised by his uncle, his mother's brother, since he was just a newborn. They live on  a humble farm just outside the nearest town. Eragon is skilled in hunting, and the job tends to fall on him. On one of his hunting trips he happened upon a round, blue, smooth stone. Thinking he might be able to sell it and make money for his family, or trade it for food, he pockets it and takes it to the market.  However getting rid of it doesn't come as easily as he expected. So he bring it home only to have it hatch into a dragon!

Long ago, there used to be a whole clan of Dragon Riders. But now there is only one, and he's the king. He was part of the old clan but he decided he wanted to rule, so he ousted the others and became the one and only. Dragons were thought to no longer exist, but now Eragon has one of his own, and is bonded with her. He has to try to keep her a secret from the Empire, along with everyone else. Who could he trust with such a large secret, that is continuously getting larger. Unfortunately, his secret doesn't remain so forever. Eragon spends a lot of his time fleeing capture from the Empire. Discovering his new abilities and continually growing strong along the way, and also discovering a few allies of his own. The Empire has grouped up with an evil band of creatures in an attempt to dominate even more lands, and to capture Eragon and his dragon. He finds himself facing powers beyond his imagination. With very few allies, and places to hide, how will he fare?

I really enjoyed the Eragon's character. He is very strong, determined, loyal, and not afraid to show his true feelings. He faces his obstacles with fierce bravery, and the will to survive. I had to remind myself how young he is often, and be even more marveled at his abilities and maturity. I also love  his dragon Saphira! She is incredibly wise, protective, and just as fiercely determined as Eragon. I can't wait to read more about their adventures together! Paolini has created a wonderful fantasy world that I love to get lost in. I'm so glad I have all four books so I don't have to wait to move on!

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