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Monday, December 7, 2009

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Publisher: Knopf Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy
Length: Full (544 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 5 Suns
Review by: Cholla

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 realizes 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. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

It all started with a beautiful stone. A stone that, as in all good fantasy novels, isn’t quite what it seems. While waiting for a trader to come to town so that Eragon could sell it and buy food, the stone hatches into Saphira, a beautiful blue dragon. Discovering that he is the last of the Dragon Riders, Eragon is forced to flee his home and strike out on the adventure of his young lifetime.

Having been thrust from his small-town home and out into the wider world around him, Eragon is like a country bumpkin visiting the big city. With the aid of his world-travelling friend and wizard, Brom, and the ever intelligent dragon, Saphira, Eragon and his companions are in a race against time. Despite being only fifteen at the outset of the story, Eragon is not afraid to do what needs to be done. Having worked hard all his life, he is the first to step up and do his part. He has the makings of a very fine young man and a true hero as he grows older and more experienced.

Saphira, the only known dragon, choose him to be her rider from inside the confines of her egg. She waited many years for him to find her. More than anything, she is his guiding force and conscience throughout. Saphira acts almost as a big sister to Eragon, gently prodding him to stay on the right track, to remain, steadfast, and to have a little fun. In addition, she can keep him in line with a look, help him channel his magic, and crack wise on the most serious of subjects, given the opportunity. She is the perfect complement to such an inexperienced young adventurer.

From the very first words of Eragon you will be swept away into the author’s world. You’ll meet dragons, elves, dwarves, and so many other creatures you never even dreamed of. You will also never know that the author was a mere fifteen years old when he began the adventure. Between the amazing world building, the flowing prose, and the dry wit, you will be hooked from the first page. So, come on over, step into the world of Alagaesia and let the magic flow.

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