Book Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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Published: 2002

Before I start digesting the book, I just want to bring to attention that Christopher Paolini graduated from high school when he was 15 years old, he started a book tour for Eragon when he was 17 and by the time he was 19 he was a New York Time’s bestselling author and by 2011 he was named the youngest author of a bestselling book series by the Guinness Book of World Records. I mean he’s a busy guy. And a genius.

I was a little skeptical when I first started reading the book, knowing that the author was just so young when he wrote the book. But I was really blown away. It’s a well written book, with a moving plot and relatable characters. My sort of recipe for a wonderful read.

The plot in particular was well spaced out, not rushed like some books neither was it excruciatingly slow. It’s true it took me a little while to get into, about 75 pages. That it why it took me so long to read. Once I got hooked I read about 150 pages a day, and finished it in no time. I thought the pace of the novel was absolutely perfect. It had moments of lots of action, but then followed by slower bits so you were able to follow everything very well.

There was a nice array of characters as well, and I particularly liked how the dragon was female while the main hero was a guy. I find that many books can fall into women stereotype roles, like two lovers with the manly man and the feeble young beautiful girl. Here, the most powerful creature is female, Saphira. There is also, what I take will be, the love match for Eragon, Arya the elf, who is a princess but it very well trained in battle and is savvy in magic maybe more than Eragon. Of course there is also Angela, the fortune teller that has quite mysterious abilities and plays a significant role in the book.

I found Eragon really likeable. He’s very reasonable, but still has faults and makes mistakes like you would expect a teenage boy to make. He has moments of weakness along with moments of glory. For example, he makes a poor decision to reveal himself and Saphira to the Urgals in the chapter names “A Costly Mistake” along with his magical abilities that he didn’t know he had, giving away information to the enemy. He’s not perfect and he’s got a lot to learn yet to become a powerful and responsible Rider.

The book also had some good quotes as well. For example, early on in the novel when Brom, Saphira and Eragon witness the massacre of Yazuac, Brom has a wonderful build-up paragraph and a new tone is set in the novel:

“Those who love the pain and suffering of others. They wear many faces and go by many disguises, but there is only one name for them: evil.” (131)

Sadly, I have been put off watching the film as I have heard it was not done as well as it could have been. Maybe I will watch it now that I have read the book since I am waiting until April to read the second book.

Verdict: A great science fiction, young adult, fantasy book for people of all ages! Paolini does a fabulous job of bringing this world to life, and the likeable characters are exciting to follow.

Have you watched the movie or read the series?

Teaser Tuesday: Feb 9

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

After recently reading a classic (The Picture of Dorian Gray) and a drama (The Husband’s Secret) I have decided to really switch it up this time, so I dove right into Eragon. I haven’t read this series when I was younger, but I do remember it being a big deal in the past, with a movie made of it and all (apparently the movie was not so great and quite disappointing so I may not watch it). Anyway I am only a few chapters in but so far I am enjoying it. Here is the teaser for this one!

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“Eragon found the stone both beautiful and frightening. Where did it come from? Does it have a purpose? Then a more disturbing thought came to him: Was it sent here by accident, or am I meant to have it?” (8)

Wednesday Wondering: Reading Challenge

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First off, Happy New Years to all my fellow bookworms! I have been absent for a couple weeks now, with the exception of the one book review posted by my significant other, and I do apologize for that but I was on holiday in other countries so it was challenging to get wifi for more than 10 minutes at a time to actually write something proper. But hey, New Year, New Me right!?

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My winter vacation skiing!

For this Wednesday wondering I would like to discuss Reading Challenges. There are probably hundreds of book challenges out there, from banned books, to non-fiction, to a set amount per year, etc. I have always been hesitant to join them mostly because I was worried that it would hamper my love of reading, and turn it into homework rather than enjoyment. I also find that some that have really high volume of books to read in a short amount of time sometimes force me to choose shorter books in an attempt to keep up. As you might have noticed from my past book reviews, most of my books are within a 300-600 page range makes challenges with huge number of books even more daunting. I don’t want to be choosing books based on how many pages they have and turn down better, fatter ones. I don’t like to discriminate based on size (tehehe).

No book discrimination here.

No book discrimination here.

But I have been unacceptably absent and my books read have declined to a slow trickle which in my eyes in not acceptable. I have decided to create my own personal challenge instead of joining an existing one. Below are the criteria I have decided to focus on.

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The books that I have chosen are as follows:

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I am really excited to bite into this challenge. I never really thought I would ever do a challenge but this year I have decided to try something new.

How do you feel about challenges? Are you frequently an active participant?