Monday, August 25, 2014

A Review of 'Eragon' by Christopher Paolini (Audio Book)

"One boy...

One dragon...

A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter.  But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power.  With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?  The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands."

I have read this book once before when I was younger.  So since I had a lot of time over the summer to work and listen to audio books, I was excited to find this and take a listen.  I thought it would be good to read again because I remember really liking this book when I was younger.

This time while I was hearing the story, I realized how engrossing this story is.  I remember I was watering part of my area and my boss came up behind me and tried to talk to me, but I couldn't hear him.  Any other time I've been listening to an audio book, I've been able to emerge into the real world at a moment's notice, but this time I needed a little more prodding.  It was nice to return to this feeling.  I love books that allow me to disappear, even for a short while.

Returning to true fantasy literature has been refreshing.  As I've grown up, I've gotten more and more into realistic fiction-- no dragons, no magic, and these stories often involve depression, discussions of suicide, teen pregnancy, among other difficult events one may experience in their lifetime.  'Eragon' definitely has its share of hardships, but the funny thing about fantasy literature is that it allows you to feel removed from the story due to the fantastic events that happen while also feeling strangely connected.  I'm sure many of us know what it's like to lose someone we love.  Some people may have experienced a mysterious connection with someone even if they haven't known each other very long.  It's just like when Eragon loses Garrow or when Roran leaves to become an apprentice or when he first speaks to Sapphira.

The one thing that ground my nerves as I listened to this book was the amount of detail that was included.  I love knowing everything I can about a good story, but I think I've found my limit.  Eragon would make a decision and Brom would say no and explain why Eragon's idea was a bad one with a list of ten very detailed reasons.  It was too much.  I didn't feel like I was trusted as a reader to fill in some of the blanks.  It wasn't just when Eragon was trying to make decisions, it was all the time.  I didn't like that some of the wonder was taken out of the story purely because of over-explaining.

If you're looking for an engrossing book and potentially something from your childhood (if you're in your twenties like I am, at least), 'Eragon' is the book for you!  I'll read or listen to 'Eldest' and 'Brisingr' in the future.

I give 'Eragon':
Thanks for Reading!


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