20-something student and avid reader, reading and reviewing anything and everything under the sun (although YA definitely dominates)
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini
Release Date: 1st February 2002
Publisher: Random House
Summary from Goodreads:
"One boy . . .
One dragon . . .
A world of adventure.
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 nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller 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."
At first, this book bothered me. In fact, thinking back on it, this book still bothers me a bit. I may have loved the plot and the characters, but there were some things that hindered my reading experience.
Firstly, the writing style. It's a given that what with this being a children's book, that the writing style is going to be simplistic. And at the beginning, this was very, very obvious. I wasn't sure I'd be able to read 450 pages of short paragraphs consisting of He did this. Then he did that. Someone says somthing. Then they did something else. That's what it felt like, and it was painful. Luckily, as the story progressed and the plot became more detailed, that seemed to stop, or become less noticeable.
Secondly, I had issues with the relationship between Eragon and Seraphina. It felt like instalove. I know that there is supposed to be an amazing bond between a Rider and his dragon, what with the dragon waiting for the right person to turn up before they even hatch, but I just didn't buy it. Maybe it's because I'm still not sure over what time period the events in this book took place (was it a year or so?), so I didn't feel that there was any natural progression there. Either way, their bond annoyed me at times.
Pushing those aside, I did enjoy the plot and the characters. Although it became abundantly clear that this novel was almost entirely a set up for the rest of the series, I still enjoyed the storyline. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but I think once Brom and Eragon teamed up, thats when the plot became interesting. We learnt about the history of the Dragon Riders, we follow Eragon as he learns how to master his powers, and, interestingly, we're told the basis of the entire series storyline through a fortune teller.
And lets not forget about the characters. Eragon at times was a bit painful, but overall I thought he was a strong protagonist. I adored Brom, even if I hated how he mysterious he was sometimes. Loved Murtagh, he's pretty cool, and I didn't see the twist involving his character coming. Any other characters who I'm sure will be prominent in the following novels appeared too late for me to form any concrete opinion about them, aside from just liking or disliking them in general. Already I like Arya, just because Eragon does, and for the same reasons I don't like the Twins. I'm interested to hear more from them as the series progresses.
Overall, whilst this was mostly filled with backstory and setup for the rest of the series, I really enjoyed it, and I'll definitely be checking out the sequel.