Eragon Cover Finished Eragon by Christopher Paolini tonight.

Before I get to the book itself I want to mention something that I found a little sad. Paolini wrote this book when he was a teenager. And as it turns out, his parents owned a small press (Paolini International, LLC), and it was them who first published the book. Chris then spent some time bopping around the US, promoting, and selling, the book. It was only after it became obvious that people wanted to read it that Knopf Books acquired it and published/promoted it.

Why is this sad? Not for Paolini, to be sure. For him it was a dream come true. But I can’t help but wonder how many other fun and enjoyable books never see the light of print because, though good, the books are ordinary.

Because Eragon is ordinary. Ordinary fantasy that is. Its a book about magicians and dragons and elves. About the young farmboy who becomes a hero. Eragon is thick with fantasy cliches. But y’know what? Who cares? As someone recently said to me, cliches become cliches because people enjoy them. Or something…I’m paraphrasing. But my point is, books that follow this formula became common because people enjoyed reading (and buying!) them. But now, publishers won’t touch them because they’re ordinary…

Anyway, Eragon is the name of the hero, and as mentioned, he starts off as an unassuming lad. Until he manages to befriend a dragon, that is. But the evil king wants to control all dragons, so Eragon and Saphira (that’s the dragon’s name) have to keep a low profile. And then of course there’s a quest, and much hardship, and there’s a mysterious old storyteller that befriends Eragon and teaches him to fight and to use magic.

If it sounds dull so far, then pass it by. Because the truth is, you’ll figure out a lot of what is going to happen well before it happens. But Paolini has a nice grasp of the language, and as familiar as the story is… well, was that piece of double-fudge layer cake you had last night any less yummy than the piece you had last week, or the piece you had last year? Of course not. Eragon is pleasing to the literary palette even if it isn’t terribly original.

One last note. It’s sold as a Young Adult novel, but I’m not sure why. There’s plenty of killing and drama here. Maybe its YA because there’s no sex, but from what I understand a lot of YA stuff now has plenty of sex! Whatever the reason, don’t let the YA tag stop you from reading it. Its a fine, if familiar, tale.

3 thoughts on “Eragon

  1. I have no words to express my love for this adventure. I won’t beliitle it by calling it simply a book to read, but would the rather say it is but an adventure to experience. I am not a reader, I loss interest very quickly. Because my 9 year old grandson is dyslexia as am I, I decided to read these book to him. I wanted to show him that it is possible to read and enjoy it despit how hard it is to learn. What ended up happening after the first five chapters was I couldn’t wait any longer to continue at the hour a night telling of this adventure to him. I continued to read it after he fell asleep and honestly got only 5 hours sleep before I picked it up again the next morning. I read it to the last page in 2 days. I was greatful that I had already bought the next book Eldest as I tore into that one right away and continued to read night and day for a week. I am 43 years old and I am telling all my friends how important it is that they too take the time to enjoy this adventure. My only sorrow is that I have to wait for the last book and have no idea when it will come out or what it will be called. Please, Christopher Paolini I need to, I must continue this adventure sooner then later. For now I have started the book from the beginning again.

  2. My name is gary benjamin and i loved this’s so exitin a a very fun read.Like the others i too cannot wait for the book to come that is why i got the video game.

  3. well i dont think that eragon or eldrst is Ordinary and i dont think the last book will and for his age that gd he will get better at writing books as anyone els could maybe even better i mean im writing a book right now that called the tiger king but this book anit like lion king it fanitcay it 1 of the best books that have ever been writin so i dont care what other people saw we all have are own thing that floats are boats

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