At its essence, Eragon is a coming of age story, as are most books that could fall into the young adult category. The plot centres around Eragon, a farm boy with a seemingly mundane future ahead of him – that is, until he discovers a stone which eventually turns out to be a dragon egg. The discovery and subsequent hatching of this egg sets in motion a chain of events that sees Eragon travel far and wide across the fictional world of Alagaesia, battling evil forces as he goes and discovering new powers within himself as he does so.For the most part, the book is well paced, although at times it drag on a little bit. I particularly found the constant traveling between the towns a little bit tiresome, mostly because it was alot of the same thing happening at these times – lots of talking, honing of sword fighting skills, and a smatteting of fighting the bad guys. Despite this, I flew through the book alot quicker than I had initially intended to, this was mostly due to the easy read writing style of the author. Whilst the writing itself was not perfect, I anticipate that the writing will improve as I move through the series, which will be interesting in itself – watching the writer develop over a few books, and seeing him hone his craft.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read and it has whet my appetite for the books – I particularly enjoyed the novel’s climax. Whilst there are certainly many aspects of the book that could have comparisons drawn with some truly great works of fantasy – namely the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, there’s enough in this book to differentiate from the others and make it a reasonably original and enjoyable read. Indeed there are some rather scathing review of Paolini’s work on GOodreads, in which readers have essentially called Eragon plagiarised, however, I would challenged those people to point out one work of fiction from the last decade or so, that isn’t influenced by the work of another author. In any case, I feel Eragon is a good starting point for young readers who enjoy fantasy fiction, but are perhaps to read Tolkien’s work and I honestly didn’t sit there whilst reading it, trying to make a connection between every event in this book, with events that occur in Tolkien’s work.