Sunday, February 5, 2012

Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle is last

I know... it doesn't sound like I liked these books, but I did.  I love a good fantasy epic, especially with dragons, and this series has everything in spades.  We've got bad guys, magic, fighting, long journeys, elves, more bad guys,  and dwarves.  I haven't read any reviews on this book, and probably never will.  I suspect though, that there have been some harsh ones and some really judgmental ones.  I 'll tell you why, but first I want to share my history with this book. 
I first sighted it at the local library.  The lovely blue jacket with the dragon in front appealed to me very much.  So much that when I had finished this story (which I really enjoyed) I ordered my own copy (in hardcover!), and I kept an eye out for all the ones that came after (which I also bought in hardcover).  It has been a long wait, and there has been some frustration in there as well, but I 'll write about that later.

I will never give a bad opinion/review of a book.  That has to get out there first, and this is why.  I have read other reviews before that have hated books and were pretty brutal in their criticism, and underneath, in the comments I have read, some had said that they would not read this book after reading that review.   In my opinion, that is ignorant.  Why would I trust someone else's opinion on a book I have never read? Are they so exactly like me in every way, that they know what I wouldn't like to read?  That's just silly, and it's sad.  What if you missed something special?  Wouldn't that be a shame?  And last but not least, I know that a bad review would hurt the author, and it is not in my nature to hurt anyone for any reason.  After all, they have done something that I have never done... they wrote a book!  That in itself is an amazing achievement.    What is extra amazing about this book, is that Christopher Paolini wrote it in his teens.

Back to Eragon.  What you will notice about this book is that it has borrowed a lot from  great pieces of fantasy literature.  For the most part this book is what I would call 'flavored' with Tolkien.  I'm sure that there were other books as well, but it was the Lord of the Rings ones that inspired this first volume, the influence that stood out the most.  I have read a great deal of fantasy fiction (of which only my science fiction collection is larger) and I recognize pieces from them.  When I said this series has everything in spades, I meant it.  It seems that Paolini quite judiciously included everything he ever loved about every book he has ever read.   Another impressive thing about him.  He is well read for his age.

I liked the story, I want to know what happens next.  Over five hundred pages packed with adventure, and magic and characters that I care about.  The story was tight, and wrapped up in a very satisfying way.  A great beginning.

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