Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini

If J. R. R. Tolkien had been an agnostic, this is what LOTR might have looked like! Christopher Paolini began his Inheritance Trilogy at the age of 15 (!) and, while he has selectively incorporated elements from many traditions, his narrative stand on its own, and is, in its own way, spellbinding. Eragon is the first volume, and tells a picaresque story of a young farm boy who finds a dragon's egg in the Spine--a haunted wilderness--and is chosen by the dragon within to be her Rider, resurrecting the nearly-forgotten order of Riders to oppose the evil King, Galbatorix. The second installment, Eldest, continues the saga and reveals who Eragon really is, as well as the secret of who is his elder brother. The third and final volume is yet to be written. However, Paolini continually surprises the reader, and creates a believable and enchanting world that has coherence and sustainability that is far above similar efforts by Anne McCaffrey and others. Eragon is appearing in cinematic form December 15, 2006, which should generate renewed interest in these books.

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