Synopsis for Eragon: [from bn.com]
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....
Review for Eragon:
Since the book is a combination of book one and two of the Inheritance Cycle, I decided to do the reviews after I finished each book rather than waiting until I finished the entire thing so I would have the events fresh in my mind as I wrote each review. And yes I have seen the movie Eragon, and since this is a review for the book I'm going to try to limit my comparisons between the movie and book.
First off I have to say WOW! The magical world of Alagaesia and all of its inhabitants is simply amazing. I thought Christopher Paolini did a superb job in detailing his characters and their surroundings. After Eragon, a young farm boy, finds a mysterious blue stone in the Spine near his home, his destiny begins as a Dragon Rider. After a dragon hatches out of the blue stone Eragon's world turns upside down.
The king of the Empire, Galbatorix, is the one of the last Riders left and he has the remaining two dragon eggs in all of Alagaesia. He will do anything to get his hands on Eragon and his new dragon Saphira. Two of his minions known as the Ra'zac, are in Eragon's hometown and after they discover Eragon they lash out and kill his uncle and destroy the farm he has always known as home. With the loss of his uncle, Eragon becomes enraged and vows his revenge on the Ra'zac. He sets out after them along with the town storyteller, Brom, who turns out to be more wrapped up in Eragon's fate then he lets on.
Their long and perilous journey is a dangerous one as they travel leagues to different cities trying to find the Ra'zac. Along the way Brom slowly and reluctantly relinquishes details of his past and his true involvement with Eragon's life. He teaches Eragon the ancient language of the Elves and how to use the language to produce magic. He also spars with him every night in hopes of developing Eragon's combat skills.
As the team confronts the Ra'zac Brom is fatally wounded and a new character is introduced, Murtagh. Brom's death is a devastating blow to both Eragon and Saphira and they must continue on their journey after the Ra'zac escape. Their new destination is to rescue the elf, Arya, that was in charge of Saphira while she was still in the egg. This new journey is much more difficult for Eragon and Saphira without Brom and it's more physically exhausting as they race to find the Varden after finding Arya. The Varden is a group of rebels that have fought against Galbatorix since the last of the Dragon Riders were wiped out.
To make matters worse Arya has been poisoned by a Shade; a vicious and evil creature that uses nothing but the darkest magic. Durza is a formidable enemy indeed. His poison is slowly killing Arya. Eragon, Murtagh, and Saphira must find the Varden before she dies and before they are found by the army of Urgals that are on their trail. Will they make it in time? And what will happen if Eragon does reach the Varden? Can he fulfill his destiny without Brom's guidance?
I have to say if I never saw the movie I would never have heard of Christopher or his books. I did like the movie, even though it pales in comparison to this book. There is so much the movie left out! And I did feel that the characters were portrayed very differently, which I must admit is very understandable. I suppose I'm very lenient when it comes to movies that are based from books. I know there's no possible way to fit everything in a movie and the book is usually always better. There are a lot of characters that I would like to discuss but I think I'll save it for the review on Eldest. I don't want to spoil the entire story of the first book for anyone that hasn't read it yet. That way if anyone joins me for Part II of this review I won't feel like I'm spoiling anything for anyone.
One thing I did love about this edition is that it included a map of Alagaesia and a pronunication guide. I'm not sure if these were in the original books but I know I had them both bookmarked and looked at them frequently. It was nice to see a spread of the land as I followed Eragon on his travels. And I wasn't confused when he used the ancient language because most of it was translated in the back as well. Definitely a nice touch (=
If you haven't read Eragon I suggest you do, whether you've seen the movie or not. Forget the movie in fact. Even though I liked it, I hardly thought about it as I got lost in Alagaesia with Eragon and Saphira. Stay tuned for Part II when I'll be reviewing Eldest.