It has been several weeks now since I finished reading Eragon, but sadly it has taken me this long to sit down and compose a post about it.
I must confess that I found Eragon a little hard-going at first and was somewhat frustrated by what I conceived to be a rather simplistic and naive style of narration. It wasn’t until I idly found myself googling Eragon’s author, Christopher Paolini, that I came to understand that he was just a teenager when Eragon was published. With this in mind, I felt a my feelings soften towards the book’s narration.
As it is, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Eragon and found its plot very engaging. You can’t help but root for Eragon and Saphira – their story is the age-old one of good striving against seemingly unconquerable evil. I must confess I find it hard to analyse and critique Eragon as I have with other books, it is well plotted, but aside from this its narration, characterisation and structure are extremely straightforward. Although, I am loath to level any criticism at a young writer’s triumph, I do find Eragon’s unsophisticated style a little unsatisfying.
It might be that my years poring over old books and deciphering carefully crafted description make me an unfit reader for Eragon’s simplicity and ‘to-the-point’ voice, but I do believe that Eragon is ideally positioned to ensnare a new generation of young readers to the genius of fantasy novels. And, as such, I think Eragon wholly worthy of the praise and acclaim it has garnered.
As for the story of Eragon and his journey towards finding out who he always was and who he will eventually become, I look forward to reading it and remain hopeful that as Eragon matures so will his storyteller’s writing. As for the events transpiring on the page, I have my theories and hopes – as do all readers when commencing a story that spans so many pages – I won’t voice them here, but will bide my time until I have finished Paolini’s cycle of books and see if they live up to my hopes and expectations.
I will continue my reading of The Inheritance Cycle, but before I commence reading Eldest (the second book in Paolini’s series) I intend to diverge and, instead, will be reading the second in Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels, The Silkworm.
4 responses to “An age-old story…reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini.”
I’m so glad you mentioned that your feelings softened. Nothing enraged me more than seeing other reviews of this on Goodreads that were vitriolic and attacking Paolini for his writing. I wish I had half the talent he did at 17 when he wrote this! I think he does progress as a writer by the end of the fourth book, but I hope he writes a new one soon and that he’s spent time honing has craft because he definitely has an interesting voice.
Hi Geoff, thanks for commenting! Like the other readers you mention I was getting frustrated before I found out his age, but you can’t compare the writing of a 17 year old to that of someone like Tolkien or George R. R. Martin – I also really do think that Paolini’s style would make fantasy much more accessible to a younger readership – which can only ever be a good thing! 🙂
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