Thursday, February 02, 2006

Eragon – Christopher Paolini

course: fiction
specialization: fantasy novel
i finally figured out how to read a fantasy novel: very slowly. with all those weird and hard to pronounce names, words, phrases and incantations, there’s just no way for a reader to rush from one chapter to the next. fantasy books are to be read in a manner similar to engaging in extensive foreplay: there should be a long, deliberate but joyous buildup.

with regards to the book at hand, eragon is part one of the inheritance trilogy. eragon refers to the story’s main character, an ordinary farm boy living in a world where dragons and their owners – the riders – are a dying breed. due to unforeseen circumstances like the death of his uncle, eragon was forced into early manhood.

the story declares that a dragon’s egg will only hatch in the presence of its predestined owner or rider. eragon realized, with the help of the local village storyteller, that he was meant to be a rider as proven by the incident of the dragon’s egg hatching in his presence. that, in a nutshell, is how the story begins.

as in most (if not all) fantasy novels, importance is given to the power of words. the thinking is: once you know the true name of a person or thing, then you have the capability of exerting power over that person or thing.

this can also be applied in real life. for once we are able to clearly express in words what ails us, chances are we are in the process of solving them. like that g.i. joe comics/cartoons adage: “knowing is half the battle”.

i bet you’d be surprised if i tell you that this international bestseller was written by a teenager! christopher paolini is in his early twenties now but he was only 15 when he wrote the novel. should we be surprised of this rare feat or should we see it as proof of a kid’s wonderful imagination? either way, this promises to be a fascinating series. i will follow this through its conclusion.

rating: 3 of 5 stars * * *
a smashing debut for a young writer.

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