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Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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I love fantasy. My love to it is so simple and vast that I find it hard to express. My interest towards fairies, magic, trolls, dragons, heroes, giants, elves, great cities on decline, evil rulers to be overthrown, incredible doings goes way back. While I know that I am not the expert of this literature genre, one can hardly say I don’t know anything about it.

Eragon, a book the first manuscript of which was written by Christopher Paolini at the age of fifteen, is an amazing story. It’s the tale of a boy whose destiny seems to spell out that he is to do great things, but in the beginning he’s a mere farm boy. Eragon, whose name is also the title of the book, finds a stone, which is of course not a stone. He goes on an adventure with the town’s storyteller, who is of course not a storyteller, learning of the history of the land he lives in and things he never thought to be real or possible. His adventure goes on to the rebels in his land, and ends off at a note of hope and anticipation for more.

You might see from the tone of my summary, Paolini uses quite a few clichés in his writing. This is one of the reasons his first book didn’t receive much attention at first. These clichés, though, may also be called archetypes, making them “legal” tricks for an author. While I admit that this is incredibly noticeable in the books so far present in the Inheritance Cycle (the books making up Eragon’s story), the genre of fantasy has a set of archetypes which are most commonly used by authors. You will find in many fantasy books the main hero (usually a male-this must be reviewed), the wise man who is the hero’s teacher, the beautiful woman-warrior, the weapon of great power, the long journey, the search for something, the epic battle, the usurpation of the hated ruler. This can even be seen in the story of King Arthur! I urge you forgive Paolini- I believe that it could not be helped.

On the other hand, this story really is a very interesting one. This tale has many turns and we see the development of the characters. Paolini’s descriptions of action and setting capture your attention; he gently brings you from reality into his invented world- Alagaesia. Like a fish on a hook, you struggle to stop reading, but you cannot. Paolini’s imagination is an incredible thing- using old languages and those which exist today, he created a new one to use in his tale. He created most of the names of places and even some for people, drew maps, wrote the history- it took Paolini a month of preparation before he could start writing Eragon.

Reading Eragon, it’s clear that the author has put much thought into his work. Other people might have said that the plot didn’t make sense to them, the book not fluent and changes happening too suddenly. I want to answer, aren’t humans like that? If we write a story of a human being, why not write it just like we make decisions? I, simply as a reader, had no problems keeping up with the plot and it seems to me well paced, if indeed sometimes a little fast. If I were to ever meet Paolini, I would ask him to write more descriptions of the characters- I am afraid that’s one of the things that he seems to lack in Eragon.

I am very sorry to be telling you of a book which wasn’t written recently- Eragon was first released in 2003. If you read this book and like it, though, there is one positive point to this- Paolini has already written books numbers two and three, titled Eldest and Brisingr, with a fourth book to finish the Inheritance Cycle off still being written. If I manage to get anyone interested in this book, I want to say that you won’t be disappointed- in the actual story, at least.



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This article has 5 comments. Post your own!

Donosuke said...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 2:07 am:
OMG Amazing, the movie as only decent but i own signed versions of all the books........I loved them i read them all at least twice a year
 
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Cassie said...
Apr. 21, 2010 at 9:42 am:
This review was awesome. It explains the book very well without any spoilers, and it really keeps the reader interested. I love this book and I can relate to your love of fantasy; I have the same feeling about it.
 
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Pillow said...
Feb. 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm:
I'm very fond of the book and The movie is absolutely hurrendous if you think of it as based off the book but amazing by itself.
 
SilverSnowflakes replied...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm :
agreed! I'm an Eragon (Brisingr) fan and I love the movie, which I saw before I read the book. Just pretend the movie is a completely different story.
 
Pillow replied...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm :
I have to pretend it is different or I would be driven out of my skull. There are so many differences I could scream but then again there are some parts that are right on the nose.
 
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