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Book Review

Book Cover

The Inheritance Cycle (Hardback)


Author: Christopher Paolini
RRP: £40.00, US $67.45
ISBN: 978 0 385 61619 5
Available 09 October 2008

When Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it is a lucky discovery, but when the stone becomes 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, can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders...?

The Inheritance Cycle is a series of books set in a mythical world of dragons and demons written by Christopher Paolini.

By far and away my biggest criticism of The Inheritance Cycle is that its main inspiration is the original Star Wars trilogy as well as large chunks of Tolkien's work. In fact there are so many plot points taken from the Star Wars movies that I am extremely surprised that Lucas's lawyers haven't been on the phone to Paolini.

Eragon, starts off with our young hero Eragon, a young farm boy whose mother left him with his uncle when he was very small (like Luke Skywalker). He discovers an egg, (which will go a long way in his quest to bring balance to his world) which has been sent to him by a woman (Arya) who is being chased by the villain of the piece (a lot like Princess Leia sending R2D2 with those battle plans inside him). Brom discovers Eragon and mentors him like Obi-Wan did with Luke Skywalker. Eragon's uncle is killed when the Vader like Durza sends his army (like the stormtroopers) to Eragon's homeworld to find the dragon. Eragon insists on rescuing Arya from Durza's prison - like Luke rescuing Leia from the Death Star. Brom, like Obi-Wan can perform magic which he tries to teach Eragon. Brom sacrifices himself, like Obi-Wan, so that Eragon can become the young hero. Durza answers to the King, like Vader answers to the Emperor. And the Vaden are just like the rebels.

Eldest centres around the journey to the realm of the Elves, who life in forest Du Weldenvarden, in order to further Eragon's training as a Dragon Rider. Du Weldenvarden is not unlike the forest moon of Endor which is populated by Ewoks. Eragon and Saphira get stuck into training - like Luke learning to use the Force.

Brisingr opens with Eragon, Saphira, and Roran travelling to Helgrind. There they rescue Roran's betrothed, Katrina, who was being held prisoner. Hmm, like the start of Return of the Jedi where Luke rescues Leia from Jabba's Palace. Something about Brom and Eragon's relationship is revealed that's not unlike a similar plot twist in the Star Wars universe.

While Eragon is a fairly engaging novel, the following too books seem a little long and dull. There certainly wasn't enough here to hold my interest fully.

Still, if you you're a fan of Tolkien's work and Star Wars then there's probably room in your collection for this.


Darren Rea

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