Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Title: Eragon
Author: Christopher Paolini
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Published: August 26, 2003
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Source: Bought - Easons

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.

I loved Eragon, yet hated it at the same time. It was so incredibly unique, and chalk-full of detail, it was hard not to like it. But maybe it was a little too detailed. I know it's usually the more detailed the better, but with this book, it was the first time I felt overwhelmed with detail. Just keep reading an you're see what I mean.

It's pretty obvious that this book, or series rather, is based on the concept of dragons, and dragon-riders. For the most part, anyway. It's set in the fictional world of Alagaƫsia (or country, I'm not exactly sure!) where to be a dragon-rider, or even to lay eyes on a dragon, was rare, due to the fact that most were wiped out during the Dragon war. Our protagonist, Eragon stumbles upon a blue dragon egg in 'The Spine', aka this great big forest behind their village, and soon enough, he becomes a dragon rider.

First of all, I just have to reiterate that I loved this story. The whole dragon rider concept was so fascinating, especially the way the author, Christopher Paolini portrayed it. It was made unique, lifted above all other dragon-based fantasies that I've read, not just because the plot was interesting, but because Paolini's writing was just brilliant! I mean, this fictional world, AlagaĆ«sia, is supposed to resemble ours between the 9th and 14th centuries, but  Paolini had no problem providing readers with information needed to create the world in our heads, not just his. There were parts that I thought came off a bit silly and unnecessary, but I still enjoyed the writing.

The problem with many fantasy books out there today, is the desperate lack of detail. In those cases, we have to try extra hard to bring the descriptions to life, but strangely, I felt like this book had a bit too much detail. It was fine when the details painted a better picture of the dragons and landscapes and stuff, but when you're given the world's history in pages upon pages, you kinda zone out. There were times when I forgot certain little details which turned out to be important later on in the book, and I would have go back and look for them. For example, when Eragon and Brom were travelling, and the names of the little Towns they passed through actually proved significant later on. It just made reading the book more tedious and it took so long to finish as a result.

So yeah, while I loved the fact that 'Eragon' had a lot of detail, it was also the worst aspect. I really liked the characterisation, especially Eragon and Sapphira, and the world building was amazing, but I guess too much of a good thing isn't so good after all.

Have you ever read Eragon, or seen the movie? What did you think about it?
Thanks for reading guys!

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