Tuesday, September 1, 2009

[Book Review] Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon
Christopher Paolini
ISBN: 978-0-440-24073-0
Price: $9.99
730 pages
Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Review Date: Sep. 1, 2009


With so much buzz surrounding this new and young author, Christopher Paolini, and his Inheritance books, I was curious as to how good this teenager could write. Having read a few books on the fantasy genre, I somehow already had an idea that I’m in for an adventure. What type of adventure? I know not – yet.

Eragon is a story about a young boy named Eragon, who lives on the outskirts of Carvahall and hunts in the Spine, a “range of untamed mountains that extended up and down the land of Alagaesia” where “strange tales and men often came from those mountains, usually boding ill.” It is believed that Eragon is the only one who has gone in and out of the Spine unharmed and lived.

It is during one of his hunting trips when he comes upon a blue stone which he tried to sell to traders for money so he could buy meat for his family: Uncle Garrow and cousin Roran, whom he live with. But no one would buy the stone after learning he found it in the Spine and so he kept the stone in his bedroom. Unbeknownst to him, this smooth, blue stone will drastically change his life.

In the middle of the night, a few hours after hearing the story of the legendary Dragon Riders, a squeak came out of the blue stone that woke Eragon. It was rocking so violently that it cracked and out came a dragon. So it wasn’t a blue stone after all but a dragon egg. How to take care of dragons, Eragon had no idea but his old friend, Brom does so to find out more about dragons, he goes to Carvahall and visits with Brom and comes home to his dragon and names her Saphira.

The tragedy of Garrow’s death by the powerful hands of two strangers instigates the changes and threats to Eragon’s life as he pursues the Ra’zac – non-human creatures “who are stronger than any man and can jump incredible heights, but they cannot use magic” – to avenge his uncle’s death. With the guidance, training and wisdom of Brom, Eragon learned how to defend himself with Zar’roc, a sword from a fallen Rider, with fists and with magic.

From Carvahall to Gil’ead through the Hadarac Desert to the Beor Mountains, dragon, rider and Brom travelled together, their journey filled with peril, grief, discovery, survival, faith and courage. Will Eragon prove himself worthy enough to be a Dragon Rider?

Paolini’s fast-paced narrative and vivid descriptions made Eragon an exciting, enjoyable read filled with interesting characters and imagination.