Eragon, by Christopher Paolini


Christopher Paolini

New York: Laurel-Leaf, 2007, c2003

754 p., pbk, $9.99

ISBN: 978-0-440-24073-0

When Eragon discovers the mysterious blue stone in the mountains, the teenager has no idea how it will change his life.  But when the stone hatches to reveal a dragon, Eragon is pushed from his simple farm life into a world of magic, adventure, and danger.  Book One of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Trilogy introduces readers to Algaesia, a magical world populated with fascinating characters and creatures, and ruled by an evil king who reigns with violence and terror.  Only fifteen when he began Eragon, the author demonstrates surprising skill and maturity.  The plot borrows heavily from the heroic fantasy tradition, but Paolini’s fluid narrative is brought to life by dynamic characters and imaginative settings.  Paolini deftly unfolds Algaesia’s history, using it to add depth to the plot and to create a background for the novel’s thrilling action.  Much of the 754 pages are taken up by descriptions of the land through which Eragon travels.  While this attention to detail will appeal to readers who enjoy having the story fleshed out, it may be tiresome for those more focused on plot movement.  Names and phrases from an imagined language add richness to the novel.  The print is clear and large enough to allow for comfortable reading.  Despite the book’s length the paperback is manageable.  Eragon will appeal to all fantasy readers.  However, frightening themes and violent action scenes may make Eragon inappropriate for younger readers.

 Recommended. 4P. 4Q.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nicole Hayward on February 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I was interested in reading this book, but then I watched the movie and was turned off. Have you seen it? If so, how does it compare to the book?

  2. Posted by holliselizabethanne on February 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Its funny you should mention the movie ….
    When I first hear about Eragon (the book) it interested me. But then when the movie came out a few years ago, it became a running joke between my younger brother and I. We’re both fans of fantasy, but neither of us thought the movie looked very good (especially because John Malkovich, our most loathed actor, was in it). We avoided the movie like the plague. Because of the bad rap the movie received, I never actually read the book. I finally decided to give it a try this winter. As you can tell from my review, I really enjoyed it! I look forward to reading the sequels. From what I’ve read online, fans of the book were unanimously horrified by how awful the movie adaptation was. Some random comments I came across:
    “There are so many rich characters and locations, and none of them were really done justice. It seems like they dumbed it down way…”
    “Too many unnecessary deviations from original story. The acting was well unconvincing and boring”
    “After reading two chapters of the book I decided it might be interesting to see the movie, I rented it and started watching. After 15 minutes of the movie I couldn’t stand it any more, I had to turn it off an whip out the book again. Just from what I saw I can safely say the movie mutilates all of the good parts of the book, and completely removes all the GREAT parts of it. The characters aren’t done justice, and there is too much emphasis on the unimportant parts of the story like the beginning sequence with the shade.”
    So…..although I haven’t actually seen the movie (and it sounds like I’m lucky in that respect!), I would highly recommend giving the book a try. From what I understand, there’s really no comparison between them. 🙂

  3. Posted by frostedlibrarian on March 21, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I did watch the movie (after reading the book) with my b/f of the time and we treated it like a stupid comedy (no seriously my Mom came down and asked if we were watching some bad 80s comedy cuz we were laughing so hard). Made the movie GREAT. But as compared to the book, awful can’t quite describe the movie. Kinda sad, really.

  4. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb

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