Eragon has been one book that had been in my to be read pile for a while because I was curious as to how it would turn out and how it would be different to any other fantasy novel. Upon reading various reviews on this novel, I have found that many people have stated it has similarities to J R R Tolkein's Lord of the Rings series, some people even going as far as to say that it's a complete rip off of the infamous series. I, however, have had the pleasure of reading this book without reading Lord of the Rings first to judge, so I have a non-biassed view of this novel.
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 realises 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. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands...
After reading "The Knife of Never Letting Go" with its awful (for a reason) writing, it was such a relief to finally be reading some decent fiction. It was extremely descriptive and I found myself imagining, even in the poorest of environments, the most wildly vivid places that were depicted in this story. This didn't, however, go so over board that it took anything away from the storyline whatsoever, in fact it was the descriptions of the tiniest of things that probably made the most difference. I felt truly and wonderfully engulfed in the land of Alagaesia and the many cities and towns that lay in it.
Although not the best set of characters I have ever read about, I found them to be entirely believable. They didn't get on like a happy family all the time - there was uneasiness, arguments, love, hate and admiration to name but a few and when you spend a long period of time with certain people you don't always get along and I found that Paolini hit this on the head. What I found most wonderful was the relationship between Eragon and his dragon, whom he could speak to via thoughts, it was great how they blossomed together, they learnt from one another, took advise, trusted and most of all loved each other as the book went on. It was a bond that grew stronger throughout the course of the book and this was brilliantly portrayed as the dragon cared for Eragon as much as he would for her.
On the other hand, it seemed that although Eragon was supposed to be the 'mighty dragon rider' (albeit a new one), he always seemed to predictably get himself into trouble that he wouldn't be able to get himself out of. He was always the one being saved instead of being the rescuer, even when he did save somebody he was in the process of being saved himself. Sometimes I found him to be a bit of a dependant character as well as he was often wondering what to do without somebody to teach him or tell him what to do. Nevertheless, he did grow as a character and quickly learned from his mistakes but I just hope that he learns slightly better in the next book.
I found this novel to be amazingly action packed. Something new was happening everywhere he went and when something seemed to be getting a little on the boring side, something would happen to turn that right around and create the action and the suspense needed to carry on the book. I was hardly ever bored whilst reading this book and found myself not wanting to put this book down because of the fact that it was so filled with adventure and thrills.
I did find the ending to be a little bit weak, I found myself drifting in and out of thoughts whilst reading it instead of being totally focused. It was just not very easy to imagine what was happening as everything was happening so fast and although I knew the basis of what was happening I didn't know exactly what the characters were doing themselves in the whole situation, (I'm trying to get across my point alongside not giving any spoilers which is proving to be rather difficult). I got it after a few tries of reading it but it isn't great if I'm having to do that in the first place.
Eragon was fast paced, action packed - brilliant. I never had the chance to read this when I was younger, and now that I'm older I'm glad I've gotten around to it. It doesn't matter what age you are with this book, whoever reads it should thoroughly enjoy it.