Sunday, August 1, 2010
Eragon- Christopher Paolini
Once upon a time in the land of Alagaesia, there were the dragon riders. They united the elves humans and dwarves and protected these races from the Urgals and any other problems which came along. They were as powerful as kings and were the strongest warriors out there.
But then came Galbatorix. He was a Rider, but his dragon died as he fought some Urgals. He begged the other Riders for another one, but they refused. Demented and enraged, Galbatorix and his partner Morzan killed another Rider, stole his dragon, and fled. They hid for some time, before they emerged again. But now, they were more powerful than any Rider. They fought and killed them all, throwing the world into chaos. The elves and dwarves retreat into hiding. Galbatorix established himself as the king of Alagaesia.
Roughly a hundred years after this, a farm boy, Eragon, discovers a blue stone while hunting in the forest. This turns out to be a dragon egg, which hatches for him. He realizes this makes him one of the Riders of legend. He also realizes that he is now in great danger, if Galbatorix and his minions discover him. But despite his efforts, they do discover him. The Raz'ac, Galbatorix's Rider-hunters, kill his uncle and destroy his home. He sets out after them to avenge his uncle and is accompanied by the village storyteller, Brom, who offers his knowledge and experience to him. They travel across Alegaesia in their search for the Ra'zac. But even if Eragon finds and kills the Ra'zac, he knows he has only one option left- to fight against and try to bring down Galbatorix.
I have to say, Eragon and the whole Inheritance series in general is truly fantastic. Paolini had started Ergon when he was in high school, and it shows in his language. Not very sophisticated and very simple terms and expressions. But where he lacks in language, he makes up in his storyline.
First of all, the world he has created is comparable to Tolkien's Middle Earth in terms of detail. He has created a unique history for it. It provides a perfect setting for the story he is trying to tell. The different races have their own characteristics.
Second, all the characters are developed quite nicely. You can get a feel for most of them. You can relate to them and understand them.
Third, the story is constructed in such a way that you can never guess what will happen next. Because of this, any suspense is held up until Paolini decides to break it. He has total control over his readers.
Possibly the only flaw I find with the book is the pace. It picks up and then slows down at random and quite suddenly. The beginning and parts of the middle are quite slow, while the rest are extremely fast. There is no moderate speed. But that doesn't really matter if you're enthralled in the story.
So, if you haven't read Eragon yet, you should. If you've finished Eragon, read the other two books- Eldest and Brisingr. If you've read those two too, wait till the final book releases.