Review by Louella Moreland
From the gorgeous dragon depicted on
the front cover to the detailed pronunciation key and language
dictionaries at the end, this first novel by Paolini is certainly
impressive. After the cliffhanger ending worthy of Tolkien's "Two
Towers," readers will eagerly await the second novel of the trilogy.
One of the biggest surprises is that the author is only 19. He
started writing "Eragon" when he finished high school at age 15.
The novel delivers all the components a
reader expects in a good fantasy. Eragon, a young man of
undetermined parentage (at least on the paternal side), is raised by
a loving, if poor, family to whom he is quite loyal. While hunting
much-needed food in a forbidden area of the mountains, he sees a
large stone hurtle through the air and drop onto the forest floor.
Suspecting magic is involved with the appearance of this beautiful
sapphire-colored object, he determines to sell it and buy food for
That becomes easier decided than
accomplished. After returning home, the mysterious "stone" hatches
into a dragon, strangers arrive at his remote village hunting the
stone, his uncle is murdered, and Eragon is forced into a life he
Determined to avenge the death of his
uncle, he takes to the road with his young dragon, Saphira, and the
village storyteller, Brom. During their travels, Eragon learns,
under Brom's tutelage, to become a true Dragon Rider. He becomes
skilled in the use of the sword; he learns how to use his magical
powers and care for his beloved dragon. He begins to understand how
evil forces corrupted King Galbatroix, turning him from a respected
Dragon Rider into a figure feared throughout the empire.
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The reader is introduced to other major
and minor characters along the path: Murtagh, son of a much-hated
Dragon Rider; Arya, an elf; Durza, a Shade; Angela, an herbalist
witch; and a smattering of dwarfs, wizards and evil Urgal armies.
Is some of this sounding a little
familiar? Yes, readers of fantasy will recognize Tolkien, Terry
Brooks, Anne McCaffery and others of the genre. They are all here in
some form or other. By the end of "Eragon," though, we forgive
Paolini for borrowing from these great fantasy writers. Combining
all the ingredients of a flavor we have come to love, he weaves this
tale into a new recipe we wish to taste again.
After finishing the book in a couple of
days, I must admit that I am eagerly awaiting the second book of
Eragon's adventures and destiny. However, with a first installment
of 509 pages, will the second be over 800 pages? Oh, goodness, now
would that remind us of....
To read "Eragon"
and other books like it, visit us at the Lincoln Public Library, 725
Pekin St. Ask us to help you find similar stories.
[Louella Moreland, youth services librarian,
Public Library District]