Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy-until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save-or destroy-the Empire.
A part of the 50 Reader Store Essentials list.
In the first volume in Paolini's planned Inheritance trilogy, 15-year-old Eragon discovers an odd blue gemstone while exploring an infamous stretch of forest. It is a dragon egg, fated to hatch in his care. Eragon quickly develops a psychic connection with the female dragon that emerges, whom he names Saphira ("His emotions were completely open to her mind, and she understood him better than anyone else"). Eragon narrowly escapes doom with Saphira's help, but the uncle who raised him is killed, setting up a robust revenge/adventure tale. The scope quickly expands: Eragon turns out to be the first of a new generation of Riders, a lodge of legendary dragon-riding warriors killed by the evil King Galbatorix. As a result, he becomes the focal point in a war between Galbatorix's forces and the resistance efforts of the Varden. Paolini, who was 15 years old himself when he began this book, takes the near-archetypes of fantasy fiction and makes them fresh and enjoyable, chiefly through a crisp narrative and a likable hero. He carries a substantial Tolkien influence-fanciful spellings of geographical names, the use of landscape as character, as well as the scale and structure of the story itself. But his use of language dispenses with the floral, pastoral touch in favor of more direct prose. The likeness does not end there: the volume opens with a detailed map of Paolini's world, and ends with a glossary and pronunciation guide for his invented language. An auspicious beginning to both career and series. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-6 of the 6 most recent reviews
1 . Loved it!
Posted April 14, 2011 by Fatkat , EdmontonI could not put this book down! Saw the movie - terrible. The book really delves into and develops the relationship between Eragon and Saphira (dragon) in a way that is impossible to demonstrate in a movie. The book is way better and is really quite humorous at times.
2 . Fun
Posted July 28, 2010 by The Reading Nurse , Pleasanton, CAI enjoyed reading this book.
3 . the best
Posted December 30, 2009 by Garrett , Cathedral CityChristopher Paolini is the best author ever!! He is the new, better, and improved Tolkin.
Posted December 19, 2006 by Michael Tam , Sydney, AustraliaA reasonably good yarn though somewhat childish in its style. This admittedly does work earlier in the story with the young Eragon though seems immature towards the end of the book.
Rather Tolkien-esque with themes from the Riftwar Saga by Raymond E Feist.
5 . Eragon
Posted November 27, 2006 by dmnelson77 , PittsburghI purchased Eragon and Eldest so that I could read them before seeing the Eragon Movie and was impressed both with the story and the writing. A very entertaining and enjoyable read. Looking forward to the third installment in the series.
6 . Eragon
Posted November 01, 2006 by Sandsid , BreaI just finished reading the sixth book of the Harry Potter series, and I was itching for more. So I was out browsing the stores to find something...
I couldn't have found a better book! Now I can't wait for the third book to come out!
Knopf Books for Young Readers
April 25, 2005
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Excerpt from Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Shade of Fear
Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world. A tall Shade lifted his head and sniffed the air. He looked human except for his crimson hair and maroon eyes.
He blinked in surprise. The message had been correct; they were here. Or was it a trap He weighed the odds, then said icily, "Spread out; hide behind trees and bushes. Stop whoever is coming ... or die."
Around him shuffled twelve Urgals with short swords and round iron shields painted with black symbols. They resembled men with bowed legs and thick, brutish arms made for crushing. A pair of twisted horns grew above their small ears. The monsters hurried into the brush, grunting as they hid. Soon the rustling quieted and the forest was silent again.
The Shade peered around a thick tree and looked up the trail. It was too dark for any human to see, but for him the faint moonlight was like sunshine streaming between the trees; every detail was clear and sharp to his searching gaze. He remained unnaturally quiet, a long pale sword in his hand. A wire-thin scratch curved down the blade. The weapon was thin enough to slip between a pair of ribs, yet stout enough to hack through the hardest armor.
The Urgals could not see as well as the Shade; they groped like blind beggars, fumbling with their weapons. An owl screeched, cutting through the silence. No one relaxed until the bird flew past. Then the monsters shivered in the cold night; one snapped a twig with his heavy boot. The Shade hissed in anger, and the Urgals shrank back, motionless. He suppressed his distaste - they smelled like fetid meat-and turned away. They were tools, nothing more.
The Shade forced back his impatience as the minutes became hours. The scent must have wafted far ahead of its owners. He did not let the Urgals get up or warm themselves. He denied himself those luxuries, too, and stayed behind the tree, watching the trail. Another gust of wind rushed through the forest. The smell was stronger this time. Excited, he lifted a thin lip in a snarl.
"Get ready," he whispered, his whole body vibrating. The tip of his sword moved in small circles. It had taken many plots and much pain to bring himself to this moment. It would not do to lose control now.
Eyes brightened under the Urgals' thick brows, and they gripped their weapons tighter. Ahead of them, the Shade heard a clink as something hard struck a loose stone. Faint smudges emerged from the darkness and came down the trail.
Three white horses with riders cantered toward the ambush, their heads held high and proud, their coats rippling in the moonlight like liquid silver.
On the first horse was an elf with pointed ears and elegantly slanted eyebrows. His build was slim but strong, like a rapier. A powerful bow was slung on his back. A sword pressed against his side opposite a quiver of arrows fletched with swan feathers.
The last rider had the same fair face and angled features as the other. He carried a long spear in his right hand and a white dagger at his belt. A helm of extraordinary craftsmanship, wrought with amber and gold, rested on his head.