I remember trying to read this shortly after it hit the shelves. I also remember hating it, and putting it down unfinished. My fiance loves the series which, along with her choice in men, confirms her questionable taste. Having excellent taste myself I flatly refused to ever pick this book up again.
So here I am forcing myself read not just Eragon, but the entire Inheritance Cycle. Joy. You can stop pouting now baby! That said while I love my fiance dearly I did not love this book. Or even like it.
The story itself is a generic Tolkien fantasy with elves, dwarves, orcs, and Nazgul. They aren’t called orcs or Nazgul, but that’s exactly what they are. By itself this wouldn’t be terrible. I mean you could argue Robert Jordan did the same thing in his Wheel of Time series with the trollocs, and myrddaal. And the WoT is my all time favorite fantasy series.
Along the same lines it was a travel log kind of adventure. Have to get from point A to point B. Now B to C. Now if we can only get to point D.. Again by itself not a terrible thing, but the general fantasy tropes are just so numerous in this book.
Then there is the flawless, beautiful elf maiden that he sees in his dreams, and having never met falls in love with immediately. Worse still you just know she will fall in love with him as well. This is despite the fact that we are led to believe she is older than any mortal man alive today, and he is a 16 year old boy. Because what grown woman wouldn’t fall romantically in love with child?
Also there is a talking cat. Why do authors love to do the talking cats? I was okay with him being able to kinda sorta communicate with animals. I’m all for that kind of druid/ranger magic, but of all the animals to talk back it had to be the cat?
Okay so that last one was personal. I hate cats. I know that makes me a bad person, but I do.
What isn’t personal was my disappointment at the lack of subtlety in this story. I knew each, and every twist in this story damn near the moment the characters/developments were introduced. No spoilers, but the thing with Brom was so obvious I did realize it was supposed to be a surprise until the mystery was revealed. It literally upset me that Eragon was himself surprised. I mean damn dude.
And you know the writing expression show don’t tell? Good for you because Christopher Paolini surely doesn’t. I never felt like I was getting to experience anything. Not the places Eragon went to, or the fights/battles etc. It was more like one very detailed summary.
I will say that he did a decent job with both the dragon, and magic in this book. The dragon, Saphira, was interesting, and intelligent. I would love to see the story from her POV. I’m not a huge fan of the true names have power system, but he does a decent job of it. Besides, Rothfuss uses it, and he is a Master of the craft.
Overall I was mostly bored as I read. I couldn’t get interested in the story or characters. It felt generic.
Now I know Paolini was 15 when he wrote this book, and I am told the series gets better as it goes on. I hope so because I’m committed to reading the series in its entirety. The things we do for love!