Rating: 4 stars
Reread with my IRL friend!
Oh man, this was such a nostalgia trip! I first read this book in the 6th grade, and proceeded to read a book in this series every year following, except for 8th grade where I read both Brisingr and Inheritance. I had memorized where in the book my favorite parts were so I could flip to them. I slept with a copy on my bed next to me. To say that I loved this series is putting it mildly hah
I think the thing that enamored me most wasn’t the world or the plot or the characters, which are all admittedly juvenile and cliche, but rather the simple fact that Paolini himself wrote it when he was just a teenager. As someone who wanted to write and didn’t think she had the skills or the ability to craft a romping fantasy, that really inspired me. Besides the simple pleasure of a wish-fulfillment dragon fantasy, this book gave me that at least.
I also find it interesting that my love of this world didn’t diminish because of this reread, though perhaps the rest of the series is still up in the air on that (I remember not liking the last book but solely for the most petty reasons hah). I say this because my other series obsession of that era in my life was Percy Jackson, and for the most part, my enthusiasm decreased significantly about that series when I reread it as an adult. (Don’t hate me on this, okay hah) Perhaps it’s just because PJ is middle grade and Inheritance is young adult? 🤷♀️ Either way, I found my boredom and annoyance slightly outweighing my nostalgic enjoyment with Percy Jackson, and that didn’t really happen with this. (Strangely, it with the same friend that I reread both 🤔)
Now, about the book itself 👀👀👀
It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: This is just Star Wars merged with Lord of the Rings. You’ve got the farm kid who discovers a great destiny, meets up with the local old kook and goes on an adventure, gets a special sword, etc. There’s a girl in a mysterious message, who is from the resistance, fighting against the evil empire ruled by a man with the same kind of powers as the hero. A strange new friend who might have a secret agenda. There’s also a lot of spoilery stuff that are also basically exactly the same as Star Wars, but I’ll leave those for the books to reveal.
And then there’s the dwarves (spelled the way Tolkien did, which is actually a typo; it’s supposed to be dwarfs) and elves and essentially orcs, as well as the very obvious inclusion of dragons. Though Paolini’s dragons are slightly different, more aligned with an Eastern dragon than a Western one, in mannerism and behavior, which was a nice touch. The magic system in this is probably the coolest part, but it isn’t expanded on as much in this book, so I’ll just leave it at that. It was interesting, and even reading it again 9 years later, I was intrigued.
The characters are pretty okay. Eragon is a lovable idiot who’s a supreme Gary Stu, but I can’t help but enjoy reading about him. Angsty Murtagh is a legend, and Arya just straight up not reciprocating Eragon’s insta-love is realistic and honestly unique for this kind of story. Saphira is okay, but my opinion of her overall might have been influenced by the audiobook reader who decided, for some reason, to give her and all other magical creatures an absolutely abhorrent Muppety Yoda impression voice and I hated it. So I kind of tried to ignore her whenever she spoke 😂 The real hidden gem though was Angela, who I didn’t care for when I first read the series but loved this time around. She’s a riot! And just such a big mood.
Basically, it all boils down to this: I like Eragon, and I’m gonna continue liking it, thank you very much.
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