If you want an escape from your maths homework, read Eragon by Christopher Paolini. By merely opening the book you’ve begun a journey into the depths of fantasy and adventure! As the first in The Inheritance Cycle series, and a door-stopper in itself, this books provides hours of magical enticement for your enjoyment. Sound interesting? Well let me tell you a little bit more….
The book begins with an unsavoury encounter between an evil sorcerer, or Shade, and three elves. The Shade murders two of the elves, leaving one female elf, Arya, to be captured. Before he gets to her however, she uses her magic to transport a blue stone she was guarding to a mountain range far away from her attacker. As you can see, within the prologue alone, there is already a cocktail of violence, magic and mystery to dig into.
Our main character is fifteen-year-old Eragon, who lives in a small village with some of his family. When hunting one day in a nearby mountain range called the Spine, a blue stone appears in front of him out of thin air. He pockets the blue stone, and takes it home. After a few months, however, the stone hatches a dragon and it becomes apparent that it was never a stone, but an egg. Eragon calls the dragon Saphira and raises her in secret. However, eventually two of King Galbatorix’s servants come to Eragon’s village in search of the dragon egg. The pair manage to escape and hide in the mountains, but the village is burnt to the ground and Eragon’s family are killed. With nothing left to stay for, Eragon and Saphira go after the servants to seek vengeance. They are joined by an old storyteller called Brom, who gives Eragon a sword named Zar’roc, and aids the boy and the dragon.
We soon discover that Eragon is a Dragon Rider, and the only Dragon Rider in the Kingdom other than King Galbatorix! Paolini explains that King Galbatorix had all the others killed one hundred years ago, making Eragon’s new found destiny a dangerous one. Despite this, Brom teaches Eragon the ways of the Riders, as well as combat training, magic, and the ancient language, to prepare him. All this is only the beginning of their journey; the three meet a large number of interesting people, including the elf from the Prologue, on their travels to strange new places, and accomplish a great deal.
Eragon is, by all means, a fantastical quest with something for every genre lover! Whether it’s straight up adventure you’re looking for, or a little bit of romance, this book has it waiting for you. All you need to do is pick it up and open the pages! And, once you’re finished with the book, there’s a film adaption, made in 2006, you can watch to see all the magic come to life!