Thursday, 5 July 2012

Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Author: Christopher Paolini. Website, Twitter
Published: 6 January 2005 (Corgi)
Pages: 528
Buy: Amazon, Waterstone's, Book Depository

Source: Bought (with Waterstone's gift card)

Plot Summary: (from Goodreads)
When Eragon finds a polished 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 soon 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.

My Review:
This is the first book in The Inheritence Cycle series, and I bought this with a gift card in the post-Christmas sales. It just so happened to be about a month after the latest book in this series had been released, so there were displays everywhere and I'd heard a lot about it. I'd been wanting to read more fantasy so it seemed like a good place to start.

I honestly can't understand how this book has gotten so much hype. From a couple of pages in the book started to drag, mainly due to the writing. It felt like it needed editing; a lot. Every other word, to me, felt like the author had used a thesaurus. (You know that episode in Friends where Joey uses a thesaurus on every word in his letter to the adoption agency? That's what Eragon felt like.) Not only that, but there was a horrible amount of unnecessary adverbs, adjectives and dialogue tags. The whole thing felt clunky. As soon as you have problems with the writing it takes you right out of the story, and unfortuately that's what it did for me.

I found it very difficult to get interested in the plot. I thought it showed potential at first, when Eragon learns he can communicate telepathically with his dragon. But the problem was that he could communicate with her that way from the very start. There was absolutely no development in that relationship, and after Eragon set off on his journey, his dragon felt very much like a plot device used to show what's happening miles ahead of his as the dragon flies above.

I soon lost interest on why he was on this journey and what exactly the point was. I didn't feel any sense of danger so I didn't care what happened to the characters. So much of it was just one long conversation between two of the characters which got boring pretty fast. Every chapter seemed to start with Eragon waking up. I had to skim read the last 150 pages because I'd stopped caring about anything and wanted to get to the end.

I could go on, but I think I've said all there is to say about this book. I didn't like it. There are plenty of 5 star reviews on Goodreads if you want to find some positive comments, but there's nothing good I got from it. I won't be bothering with the next book in the series.

Rating: 1*
What to read next: Eldest by Christopher Paolini, book 2 in The Inheritence Cycle series.
Books like this: Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, The Fire Within by Chris d'Lacey


  1. I have only ever heard good things about this book!
    This is the 1st negative review but I think i'll have to check out this book anyway :D

    1. I'd heard a lot of good things as well before I read it - I was really surprised I ended up not liking it! Don't let my review put you off if it sounds like your kind of thing :D there's a lot of positive reviews out there and it has a pretty big fanbase. I hope you enjoy it :)

  2. As far as I remember, the book only became well-known because somebody famous read it and started praising it. I've heard some good things about it, but an ex-girlfriend of mine had the same experience as you, only she didn't finish it, and my dad didn't care for it either. I was thinking about trying it, but I've been reluctant.

  3. I absolutely hated this book too. It's an awful mish-mash of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. And urgals, wtf?! That's the worst name for orcs (which is basically what they are) ever, it sounds like the noise a baby would make. It also rips off the Nazgul from LotR and as for Paolini's 'language'... Tolkien was a professor of linguistics, so his languages have structure and etymology and feel real; Paolini's sounds like he's just writing down random letters and punctuation and calling it a language. Which was probably what he was doing to be honest.


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