Jonathan's Reviews > Eragon

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
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Dec 07, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-challenge, fantasy, re-read, favourites
Recommended for: fantasy fans who are more on the young side
Read from December 03 to 07, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 4

There are a lot of novels out there that are closely inspired by The Lord of the Rings and similar fantasy icons. Some so closely that certain people name them as rip offs.

Eragon is one of those novels that has been called a knock off of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. However I make a distinction. To me this novel is merely inspired by those tales. There is no direct copying at mind but a mere translation of similar themes and archetypes commonly found in fantasy nowadays.

That doesn't excuse the at times poor writing of the novel but I tend to overlook such things when the story stands out for me. Because despite all the similarities to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings Eragon is a different story and an enjoyable one at that.

Forget the film. That was a terrible production lacking in any proper links to the novel. This novel is a story to enjoy. And in my view the series actually becomes clearly better as the adolescent Paolini develops writing maturity.

Added after re-read:

You know as I reread this again what struck me was that there were several plot holes, a reasonable amount of deus ex machina elements and a few minor grammatical elements. And yes the story when reading it does sound a lot like Lord of the Rings. However it's not as poorly written as people have stated and even if the first is a knockoff the rest become more individual stories. Not to put too fine an edge on it but most fantasy written now is a 'rip-off' of the Lord of the Rings (which was in itself a 'rip-off' of Norse mythology). And if this is a 'rip-off' its still great storytelling and better than some other fantasy I've read. Plus the writer, youthful as he was, appeals to me because unlike some he is not pretentious and arrogant with his writing. Perhaps Eragon is not for everyone but the least people can do is to try it before judging.
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Reading Progress

12/05/2011 page 245
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Good review. A lot of the time reviews tend to be one sided (probably for good reason but who am I to judge?) but it's very refreshing to see someone who can actually find some good in what everybody sees as bad like the novel's familiar themes and it's similarities to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.


Jonathan Well I will admit it's not excellently written, but I don't dismiss it for that. A lot of what I write too is my personal opinion and I should specify that I don't believe any intentional copying has occurred but rather more accidental?

I admit I also enjoyed Terry Brooks' first Shannara novel when I read it as 12 year old after devouring The Lord of the Rings and liked it. I won't ever state that they are as good novels as those books but for entertainment's sake? Well worth it when I read it for sure and a book I have re-read for fun. They may have taken the heart of Lord of the Rings and spun it in their own way but it was still entertaining ways.

I would say a lot of the reviews tend to be one sided frustration at the acclaim/fans/money this series has gained. To be fair most of the 'acclaim' has been on the negative critical side. I think a lot of critics tend to emphasise the quality side rather than accepting the fact that if they looked at a book like this as entertainment it's quite good still. Of course a lot of plot threads are thrown up in the series that are never fully resolved hence showing that Christopher Paolini is not a great writer like some others, but he does write a fun novel.

My overall verdict is that it was a fun series overall. I liked the last two books the best. I thought the author developed a bit as a writer and added more to his characters to make me care which some authors like David Eddings fail to get me to do. As far as the Star Wars/Lord of the Rings relationships go, well they are two favourite stories of my childhood so mixing them into one in a book was a mix I liked in a way...although there were no lightsabers so I was disappointed at that.


message 3: by Luke (new)

Luke Steimle you smack


Jonathan Luke wrote: "you smack"

Okay...whatever that's supposed to mean???!!!???


Jonathan the review man wrote: "What's happening to this site?!"

What's not happening to the site?


Jonathan the review man wrote: "Haha, so true. I am sort of enjoying the civil disobedience though."

You're not meant to enjoy that stuff - it probably goes against Goodreads policy!


She who must not be named THANK YOU! It's so annoying how everyone else is so quick to judge and deem it crap without keeping an open mnd.


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