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Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini is an American author, best known for writing the Inheritance Cycle, including the books Eragon (self published in 2002, published by Knopf in 2003), Eldest (published 2005), Brisingr (2008) and Inheritance (November 11 2011). 

When Eragon finds a polished 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 …

Eragon’s plot is standard fantasy affair: the young protagonist discovers his world is not what he thinks it is. The discovery of a dragon egg sets off a chain of events – causing Eragon to flee his village. To survive, he has to to take refuge with the Varden, those who oppose the oppressive reign of King Galbatorix, a Dragon Rider who betrayed his own and killed all the remaining dragons before taking over Alagaësia. 

The relationship between Eragon and his dragon Saphira is powerful, and although I found both characters annoying at times, I think this was because their relationship is so realistic. They both make mistakes, and learn together to use their powers and negotiate the treacherous new political ground they have gained as the only dragon and Rider outside the influence of Galbatorix

I think Christopher Paolini’s first book is cliched and uses all the usual themes in fantasy, but this book lays the foundation for an epic fantasy series that is now a world phenomenon. 

About the book:

  • Pub. Date:  01 January 2004
  • Publisher: Doubleday Children’s Books 
  • Format: Hardback, 532 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9780385607889 ISBN 10: 0385607881
  • Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository
  • My review of Eldest (#2 in the Inheritance Cycle)
  • My review of Brisingr (#3 in the Inheritance Cycle)
  • My review of Inheritance (#4 in the Inheritance Cycle)

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