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Summary and book reviews of Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon

Inheritance, Book I

by Christopher Paolini

Eragon
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2003, 528 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2005, 500 pages

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Book Summary

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?

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. . . .

Prologue
Shade of Fear

Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world. A tall Shade lifted his head and sniffed the air. He looked human except for his crimson hair and maroon eyes.

He blinked in surprise. The message had been correct; they were here. Or was it a trap? He weighed the odds, then said icily, "Spread out; hide behind trees and bushes. Stop whoever is coming . . . or die."

Around him shuffled twelve Urgals with short swords and round iron shields painted with black symbols. They resembled men with bowed legs and thick, brutish arms made for crushing. A pair of twisted horns grew above their small ears. The monsters hurried into the brush, grunting as they hid. Soon the rustling quieted and the forest was silent again.

The Shade peered around a thick tree and looked up the trail. It was too dark for any human to see, but for him the faint moonlight was like sunshine streaming between the trees; every detail was clear and sharp to ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
About This Guide

Introducing Fantasy
Fantasy is a form of literature that presents psychological realities in an imaginative or fantastical way. Using myth and folklore as a background, modern writers of fantasy set their stories in an imagined world or in a real-life setting where magical events take place.


Pre-reading Activity
Ask the group to discuss folk tales and myths they remember hearing or reading in the past. Who were the characters who fought for good, and who were the evil characters? Ask them to describe to each other scenes they remember from those stories. How was magic used? What emotions did the stories evoke? What do they remember about dragons in those early tales? Make a list of character traits exhibited by ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Midwest Book Review

Eragon by science fiction and fantasy enthusiast Christopher Paolini is a vigorously written high fantasy epic of Eragon, a young man armed with a mythic red sword, accompanied by a beautiful dragon companion named Saphira, and the recipient of Brom's old storyteller wisdom. Eragon is highly recommended for dedicated fantasy enthusiasts.

Kirkus Reviews

This solid, sweeping epic fantasy crosses vast geography as it follows 15-year-old Eragon from anonymous farm boy to sword-wielding icon ....A slight tone of arrogance running through the narrative voice will hardly bother readers busily enjoying the reliable motifs of elegant immortal elves, mining dwarves, a wise elderly man, and a hero of mysterious birth.

School Library Journal - Susan L. Rogers

Grade 5 Up--Eragon does not approach the depth, uniqueness, or mastery of J. R. R. Tolkien's works, and sometimes the magic solutions are just too convenient for getting out of difficult situations. However, the empathetic characters and interesting plot twists will appeal to the legions of readers who have been captivated by the Lord of the Rings trilogy and are looking for more books like it.

Publishers Weekly

[An] impressive epic fantasy. The fantasy bildungsroman* has the brave youngster learning about exile, magic, love and his own destiny, and Paolini promises his saga will continue in two more volumes of the planned Inheritance series.

Booklist - Sally Estes

Starred Review. Gr. 7-12. It's an impressive start to a writing career that's sure to flourish.

Author Blurb John Taliaferro, former Senior Editor of Newsweek
Paolini’s story unfolds like the tongue of a dragon. . . . remarkable novel. . . .This kid’s pen is as mighty as his sword. *Bildungsroman is a novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character, from the German word bildung (formation) and the French word for a novel, roman.

Reader Reviews

zero

awesome
No words can describe how awesome this book and the series is!

dragon ball z chaos28

Eragon
The books in this cycle are the best books I have ever read

john

amazing
This book is amazing. All who say otherwise are foolish.

me

Eragon Review
This is my favorite book of all time but I still don't understand why you compare it TO FREAKING LOTR....... seriously Eragon is much better/

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