Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

When I was in Mexico, I read Eragon by Christopher Paolini. My husband had told me about how much he enjoyed these books when he was home on break from college several years ago, and since the last book recently came out, he wanted to have a go at them again. I picked up the first one and slugged through it. I usually devour these kinds of stories, but this one just didn't enchant me. It seemed slow and predictable: Incompetent hero with incredible potential is protected by awesome sidekick (dragon) and follows his destiny back and forth across an interesting landscape first searching for revenge and then realizing that he's already caught up in something bigger than he knows... what is it? read the second book and you'll find out. I know that many people rave about this series (and my husband enjoys it so much that I got him the last book for his birthday) but really, it just wasn't inventive and purposeful enough for me to pursue it past the first book.

However, one thing I did really enjoy was the treatment of magic and the thought-communication between dragon and rider. It's always fun to see a clever author take a look a genre with new vision. For another visionary, check out Rachel Neumeier's The Floating Islands. I read this a while ago, but still think about the magic in her story--flying and tasting magic as spices (so cool!). If you love dragon stories, check out Paolini's series, but if you just love fantasy and magic, find The Floating Islands or Diana Wynn Jones's The Chronicles of Chrestomanci --which probably has the distinction of being the six books I've read the fastest (approximately a day each). Also take a look at The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley or for more recent novels, check out The Farwalker's Quest and The Timekeeper's Moon by Joni Sensel. Incidentally, Joni Sensel published the third book to the Farwalker trilogy at the end of last year, The Skeleton's Knife....which will be appearing shortly in another review. Unfortunately, I wasn't as crazy about it as the first two, but it's still worth a read.

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