Select one of the keywords
Eragon: Collector's Edition    by Christopher Paolini order for
by Christopher Paolini
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2013 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

When young farmer hunter Eragon (who, of course, grew up innocent of his heritage and destiny) finds a flawless, polished blue stone, he's at first unaware that it's a dragon's egg. It was in the charge of an Elven lady, who sent it towards safety, just before she was captured by a Shade.

There's an irascible old wizard, Brom, masquerading as the village storyteller, and an evil, all-powerful Emperor - once a Dragonrider, who long since turned to this world's Dark Side. Naturally, he's after the egg, and also anxious to suborn the one who can get it to hatch. There are increasing incursions by brutish (orc-like) Urgals, and a Rebel alliance fighting the Emperor, including humans, dwarves, elves, and perhaps a traitor or two.

The dragon egg chooses Eragon as its Rider, hatches, and they communicate telepathically. After Ra'zac (cowled dark riders) destroy Eragon's uncle's farm, he travels with Brom and his dragon Saphira in search of vengeance. Along the way, Brom trains him gradually in swordplay and in magic (are you surprised that he displays a talent for both?) and Saphira teaches him to be her Rider.

All in all, it's a bit like Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings, with shadings of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. But that's ok, as the author builds his own world and story out of these familiar elements. I especially like the nagging, caring relationship that develops between boy and dragon, and I appreciate the young hero's values, and his concern about killing even the bad guys.

As the trio travel together, Eragon dreams of an Elven lady in need of rescue. He gains a prickly friend in Murtagh, who has a few secrets of his own. And eventually, in a race against time to save the lady, he reaches a marvellous rebel city-mountain, where he must carefully navigate tangled politics of man, dwarf and elf, while also dealing with the malevolence of the Twins.

There's an exciting battle in a crescendo of a conclusion. What next? We wonder along with Eragon who his father might be. Could it possibly be the evil Emperor? It will be great fun to find out.

Note: This special 10th Anniversary edition has a blue faux leather cover, 6 pieces of exclusive artwork and a new essay from the author about how art has inspired his work.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews