by Christopher Paolini
So I apparently forgot to take a picture of this book before sending it back to the library. Sorry about that. But you know what it looks like: thick, blue, with a dragon on the front?
Somehow, these books have been published for about ten years now, and I’m just now getting around to reading them. I’m not sure why. Because of their popularity, I was skeptical of them, but I am about 2/3 through the second book (Eldest) and so far, so good.
Eragon manages to be a plot-setting book while still telling a story. The first book in a “epic” series can often degrade into mere background and character introduction, but Paolini manages to accomplish that while still allowing a story to move along. He has created a world that is consistent and characters who are relateable. As another bonus, he did not end the book on a cliffhanger. While there were plenty of open-ended story-lines to follow for the rest of the series, the author did a nice job wrapping up the loose ends for that particular book, which I like. Overall, I felt that the book was very well-paced.
For me, the main drawback was a personal whim–I get so aggravated with books that involve multiple fictional languages, meaning that I constantly have to flip to the glossary at the back of the book. I understand the dramatic reality it (sort of) portrays (a la Tolkien), but to me, it’s just a distraction. Every time there is an tense meeting between multiple races, the flow of the conversation is lost by the fact that two or three languages are being spoken. Paolini doesn’t do it too much, which is almost more annoying… just the first sentence of everyone’s paragraph is in their native language, then they apparently either revert back to the common language, or Paolini decides to translate the rest for us, I’m not sure which. Either way, it irritates me.
Still, an overall very enjoyable read, and I am definitely finishing out the series. 4/5.