Eragon (Inheritance Cycle Series #1)

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle Series #1)

4.5 4395
by Christopher Paolini, Gerald Doyle
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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....

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Teen author Christopher Paolini breathes fire into the realm of fantasy -- whisking readers to a world of dragons, magic, and legends -- in his first impressive entry in the Inheritance trilogy. Following in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Goodkind, Paolini recounts the harrowing adventure of Eragon, a peasant boy who one day discovers a strange rock that happens to be a lost, coveted dragon's egg. Eragon finds himself raising the highly intelligent creature (which he names Saphira) and bonds with her both mentally and soulfully, but after a team of marauders sent by the land's conniving ruler destroys his family home and kills his uncle, the boy sets out to hone his skills as a Rider and claim his vengeance. Paolini pays meticulous attention to detail and to the characters' actions in the book, letting readers travel eagerly with the young hero along every step of his journey. Sure to sit memorably with lovers of the genre and worthy of every bit of praise it gets, Paolini's foray into fantasy writing will transfix and entertain. Shana Taylor
The New York Times
Eragon is filled with nightmare moments, dreams, visions. It never falters in its velocity. Its plot is episodic rather than climactic; it is clearly part of a larger work. The 500-plus pages race past. I found myself dreaming about it at night, and reaching for it as soon as I woke. Like countless other readers, I am waiting to see what happens next, with wonder, with admiration and with hope. As Eragon's dragon tells him, ''All will be well, little one.'' — Liz Rosenberg
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. Our hero is drawn into a complex, interwoven saga of a fantastic land with a cruel and ruthless king. Legacies etched in stars and dreams guide his steps in this enchanting adventure. Eragon is highly recommended for dedicated fantasy enthusiasts.
Publishers Weekly
In wunderkind (he's 18) Christopher Paolini's impressive epic fantasy, Eragon, the titular hero (who's 15) and Saphira, the dragon he's raised from a baby, set out to avenge the murder of Eragon's uncle and soon find themselves pursued by the fanatical king Galbatroix. 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.
May 20, 2002 issue
Children's Literature
I don't know what you were up to at age 15, but it is a good bet that you weren't penning 500-page fantasy novels. But that is the age that Christopher Paolini began writing the first volume in his fantasy series, the "Inheritance" trilogy. When young Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he doesn't realize that he has just taken the first step in becoming a Dragon Rider. After the egg hatches, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, begin an adventure that includes all the classic elements of myth-the death of a loved one; a harrowing journey; an elderly mentor; a seemingly indestructible enemy. Sprinkle in a little romance and you have the makings of a classic story. It is remarkable that young Paolini has been able to mold the pieces together in a mature and cohesive narrative. His eye and ear for detail, especially in describing the natural world, are topnotch. Paolini's world of Alagaesia is complex and beautiful, no doubt owing to Tolkien and a host of other fantasy authors that Paolini draws upon. Eragon and Saphira relate to one another not as master and pet, but as equals, with both human and dragon possessing strengths and weaknesses. The bottom line is that the "Inheritance" series has all the markings of a best selling juggernaut-a likeable hero, an entertaining storyline, and above all, a unique authorship legend that will captivate his audience. 2003 (orig. 2002), Knopf, Ages 12 to 16.
— Christopher Moning
KLIATT
Paolini takes a little Tolkien, a little McCaffrey, a coming-of-age quest, and combines them with some wicked good storytelling in this first book of his trilogy. Fifteen-year-old Eragon, a poor farmer's foster son, finds a gem-like blue stone that turns out to be a dragon egg. Instead of providing riches for his family, the egg's hatchling and her bond to Eragon give birth to a new generation of the legendary Dragon Riders, the noble magic-users who stood for good and justice throughout the land until betrayed and destroyed by one of their own, who has claimed ultimate power as the Empire's evil king. Eragon's simple life is destroyed as he must flee or be captured by the king's dark servants. He is accompanied on his journey by Brom, the town's old storyteller who is much more than he seems. Eragon, Brom, and the dragon Saphira travel throughout the vast land, seeking safety from the king's minions and answers about Eragon's future. On the journey, Eragon learns of love and loss, loyalty and treachery, while he explores his emerging powers. Ultimately Eragon finds himself caught in the middle of the brewing war between the king who seeks him and the Varden, the king's sworn enemies. Fantasy buffs will find themselves immersed in a world of magic and sword fighting among creatures of legend, eagerly awaiting Book Two. Paolini's Empire is well mapped for readers, and he includes a glossary of terms in the various languages his creatures speak. (Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1). KLIATT Codes: JS*; Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Random House, Knopf, 497p. illus.,
— Michele Winship
VOYA
A promising new author finds his literary legs in this engaging story about a man and his destiny. Focused on finding enough food to get through the colder months, Eragon almost passes up the mysterious blue stone, but he reasons that perhaps it might at least be worth something in trade. Slipping the stone into his pack, he has no idea that the iridescent blue object is actually a rare and coveted dragon egg. Eragon's adventures begin as the egg hatches, disclosing a brilliant blue dragon and revealing his fate as a Rider. It quickly becomes obvious that Eragon's life is not to remain exclusively his own, as many forces attempt to manipulate his power and influence. Forced to leave his home by the destruction of his house and the death of his uncle, Eragon travels at first for revenge, but his quest turns, leaving him looking for answers instead of blood. On his journey, Eragon is instructed in the harsh reality of violence, the subtleties of magic, the beauty of the written word, and perhaps true love. The book jacket reveals that the eighteen-year-old author pens this book as the first installment in the Inheritance Trilogy. Overwritten action sequences and occasionally forced dialogue do not detract too much from the interesting and entertaining tale. Now and then losing its direction and sometimes a bit immature in style, Paolini's debut novel will make readers long for the second volume in hopes of finding both Eragon and the writing a bit more polished. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Knopf, 407p,
— Heather Hepler
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Eragon, 15, is hunting for wild game when he witnesses a mysterious explosion. At the center of the blast radius he finds a polished blue stone marked with white veins. Brom, the village storyteller, has shown interest in it, so it is to him that Eragon turns when it starts squeaking, then wobbling, and then hatches into a majestic sapphire blue dragon. His decision to keep and raise Saphira starts him on an epic journey of Tolkienesque proportions that is only partially told in the 500 pages of this book. Eragon learns that the Empire's cruel and oppressive king will stop at nothing to get Eragon and Saphira to serve him. Training and traveling with Brom, the teen and dragon learn to work together in war and peace, using a combination of traditional fighting arts and magic. They encounter massive humanoid warriors with savage intentions and are befriended by Murtagh, a human warrior with mysterious ties to the Varden and the Empire. Eventually, they seek refuge with dwarves who harbor the Varden, who exist to free the Empire. 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.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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 on whose shoulders may rest the fate of Alagaësia. Dragon Riders have died out over the years, leaving the Empire under the iron fist of King Galbatorix; but hunting in the forest one day, Eragon finds a blue stone that soon hatches into his very own dragon. The next months find him learning magic, sword skills, and bits of his land's history. 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. Replete with histories, names, and languages, this high fantasy with visible Tolkien influence ends with Eragon's first battle and a tempting pointer towards the second installment, when Eragon will visit the unseen elven city and plunge headlong into his destiny. (map, pronunciation key, glossaries of three created languages) (Fantasy. YA)
From the Publisher
A #1 New York Times Bestseller

2004 Book Sense Book of the Year

A USA Today Bestseller

A #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

A Book Sense Bestseller

“Full praise to Eragon, and I want more! A winner . . . tip of the hat to young master Paolini.”—Anne McCaffrey, author of The Dragonriders of Pern series

“Christopher Paolini make[s] literary magic with his precocious debut.”—People

“An authentic work of great talent . . . I found myself dreaming about it at night, and reaching for it as soon as I woke.” ─Liz Rosenberg, The New York Times Book Review

“Unusual, powerful . . . fresh and fluid. An impressive start to a writing career that’s sure to flourish.” —Booklist, Starred

“An auspicious beginning to both career and series.”—Publishers Weekly

“Will appeal to legions of readers who have been captivated by the Lord of the Rings trilogy.”—School Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739374757
Publisher:
Findaway World Llc
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Series:
Inheritance Cycle Series, #1
Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 7.88(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

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 his searching gaze. He remained unnaturally quiet, a long pale sword in his hand. A wire-thin scratch curved down the blade. The weapon was thin enough to slip between a pair of ribs, yet stout enough to hack through the hardest armor.
The Urgals could not see as well as the Shade; they groped like blind beggars, fumbling with their weapons. An owl screeched, cutting through the silence. No one relaxed until the bird flew past. Then the monsters shivered in the cold night; one snapped a twig with his heavy boot. The Shade hissed in anger, and the Urgals shrank back, motionless. He suppressed his distaste—they smelled like fetid meat—and turned away. They were tools, nothing more.
The Shade forced back his impatience as the minutes became hours. The scent must have wafted far ahead of its owners. He did not let the Urgals get up or warm themselves. He denied himself those luxuries, too, and stayed behind the tree, watching the trail. Another gust of wind rushed through the forest. The smell was stronger this time. Excited, he lifted a thin lip in a snarl.
“Get ready,” he whispered, his whole body vibrating. The tip of his sword moved in small circles. It had taken many plots and much pain to bring himself to this moment. It would not do to lose control now.
Eyes brightened under the Urgals’ thick brows, and they gripped their weapons tighter. Ahead of them, the Shade heard a clink as something hard struck a loose stone. Faint smudges emerged from the darkness and came down the trail.
Three white horses with riders cantered toward the ambush, their heads held high and proud, their coats rippling in the moonlight like liquid silver.
On the first horse was an elf with pointed ears and elegantly slanted eyebrows. His build was slim but strong, like a rapier. A powerful bow was slung on his back. A sword pressed against his side opposite a quiver of arrows fletched with swan feathers.
The last rider had the same fair face and angled features as the other. He carried a long spear in his right hand and a white dagger at his belt. A helm of extraordinary craftsmanship, wrought with amber and gold, rested on his head.
Between these two rode a raven-haired elven lady, who surveyed her surroundings with poise. Framed by long black locks, her deep eyes shone with a driving force. Her clothes were unadorned, yet her beauty was undiminished. At her side was a sword, and on her back a long bow with a quiver. She carried in her lap a pouch that she frequently looked at, as if to reassure herself that it was still there.
One of the elves spoke quietly, but the Shade could not hear what was said. The lady answered with obvious authority, and her guards switched places. The one wearing the helm took the lead, shifting his spear to a readier grip. They passed the Shade’s hiding place and the first few Urgals without suspicion.
The Shade was already savoring his victory when the wind changed direction and swept toward the elves, heavy with the Urgals’ stench. The horses snorted with alarm and tossed their heads. The riders stiffened, eyes flashing from side to side, then wheeled their mounts around and galloped away.
The lady’s horse surged forward, leaving her guards far behind. Forsaking their hiding, the Urgals stood and released a stream of black arrows. The Shade jumped out from behind the tree, raised his right hand, and shouted, “Garjzla!”
A red bolt flashed from his palm toward the elven lady, illuminating the trees with a bloody light. It struck her steed, and the horse toppled with a high-pitched squeal, plowing into the ground chest-first. She leapt off the animal with inhuman speed, landed lightly, then glanced back for her guards.
The Urgals’ deadly arrows quickly brought down the two elves. They fell from the noble horses, blood pooling in the dirt. As the Urgals rushed to the slain elves, the Shade screamed, “After her! She is the one I want!” The monsters grunted and rushed down the trail.
A cry tore from the elf’s lips as she saw her dead companions. She took a step toward them, then cursed her enemies and bounded into the forest.
While the Urgals crashed through the trees, the Shade climbed a piece of granite that jutted above them. From his perch he could see all of the surrounding forest. He raised his hand and uttered, “Böetq istalri!” and a quarter-mile section of the forest exploded into flames. Grimly he burned one section after another until there was a ring of fire, a half-league across, around the ambush site. The flames looked like a molten crown resting on the forest. Satisfied, he watched the ring carefully, in case it should falter.
The band of fire thickened, contracting the area the Urgals had to search. Suddenly, the Shade heard shouts and a coarse scream. Through the trees he saw three of his charges fall in a pile, mortally wounded. He caught a glimpse of the elf running from the remaining Urgals.
She fled toward the craggy piece of granite at a tremendous speed. The Shade examined the ground twenty feet below, then jumped and landed nimbly in front of her. She skidded around and sped back to the trail. Black Urgal blood dripped from her sword, staining the pouch in her hand.
The horned monsters came out of the forest and hemmed her in, blocking the only escape routes. Her head whipped around as she tried to find a way out. Seeing none, she drew herself up with regal disdain. The Shade approached her with a raised hand, allowing himself to enjoy her helplessness.
“Get her.”
As the Urgals surged forward, the elf pulled open the pouch, reached into it, and then let it drop to the ground. In her hands was a large sapphire stone that reflected the angry light of the fires. She raised it over her head, lips forming frantic words. Desperate, the Shade barked, “Garjzla!”
A ball of red flame sprang from his hand and flew toward the elf, fast as an arrow. But he was too late. A flash of emerald light briefly illuminated the forest, and the stone vanished. Then the red fire smote her and she collapsed.
The Shade howled in rage and stalked forward, flinging his sword at a tree. It passed halfway through the trunk, where it stuck, quivering. He shot nine bolts of energy from his palm—which killed the Urgals instantly—then ripped his sword free and strode to the elf.
Prophecies of revenge, spoken in a wretched language only he knew, rolled from his tongue. He clenched his thin hands and glared at the sky. The cold stars stared back, unwinking, otherworldly watchers. Disgust curled his lip before he turned back to the unconscious elf.
Her beauty, which would have entranced any mortal man, held no charm for him. He confirmed that the stone was gone, then retrieved his horse from its hiding place among the trees. After tying the elf onto the saddle, he mounted the charger and made his way out of the woods.
He quenched the fires in his path but left the rest to burn.
Copyright© 2003 by Christopher Paolini

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Meet the Author

Christopher Paolini amante de la fantasía y de la ciencia ficción, comenzó a escribir Eragon cuando se graduó en el instituto a los 15 años. Ahora, con 19 años, vive con su familia en Paradise Valley, Montana (EE.UU) donde trabaja en Eldest, el segundo libro de la trilogía "El Legado".

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