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Eragon / Eldest

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erik
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My wife used to work in a bookstore and brought this one home because a lot of people were raving about it. So we both read it and loved it. To make it even more impressive the kid was 15 when he wrote and he was home-schooled his whole life. His parents published it and edited it. Its a real American success story. The 2nd one, Eldest is good as well.

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I read the first one and it isn't bad, although the theme of the book is left somewhat up in the air. The main character seems largely undecided thus far.

It starts out a bit slow, but it picks up quickly as the author gets into the flow of the story.

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My best friend likes them both. ( Speaking of him, DragonMaci should be posting his first post on this site in this very thread soonish, so greet him please.)

I started book one, but it did not seem all that interesting. Maybe if I had read abit more it would have become more interesting ,but I had too much on my plate at the time so I had to return it too my friend.

It just doesnt seem to have much of a theme...this bothers me. Please inform me if i am way off with this.

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Yes you are getting it wrong. There is quite the theme to Eragon and no I don't like Eldest since I haven't read it yet. Although to be honest, I may be a bit biast since as my name impies I love dragons a lot.

Disclaimer: Yes I know dragons do not exist and are simply imaginary, though they still intrest me.

Ok, fair enough then. But what is this theme and is it one I would find interesting/credible?

By the way, have you started Fountainhead yet, i want that back eventually...

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Hello, I was wondering if this was a dead thread.

As to the theme of the books, its a trilogy I believe. There are many. The main underlying theme is a rebellion against an insane and tyranical ruler. One that has used magic and his dragon to hold absolute power for a long time. He has also been able to artificially extend his life so the rebels can't just wait for to die. Another theme is a coming of age one. Eragon is a teenager learning how to become a man. There is a love interest, large scale battles, etc.

I don't want to go into too much detail so as to not post spoilers, so this is all I'll say.

:D

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Hello, I was wondering if this was a dead thread.

As to the theme of the books, its a trilogy I believe. There are many. The main underlying theme is a rebellion against an insane and tyranical ruler. One that has used magic and his dragon to hold absolute power for a long time. He has also been able to artificially extend his life so the rebels can't just wait for to die. Another theme is a coming of age one. Eragon is a teenager learning how to become a man. There is a love interest, large scale battles, etc.

I don't want to go into too much detail so as to not post spoilers, so this is all I'll say.

:D

Ah yes, of course. I should have guessed part of the theme might be the rebellion bit. See how long it has been since I read it last?

Ok then, it does seem it might have somewhat of an interesting theme. It makes me think I should give it a fair trail at least.

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Yes you are getting it wrong. There is quite the theme to Eragon and no I don't like Eldest since I haven't read it yet. Although to be honest, I may be a bit biast since as my name impies I love dragons a lot.

Disclaimer: Yes I know dragons do not exist and are simply imaginary, though they still intrest me.

I have read both at this point, and I quite enjoyed them, although I agree with the general comments that the story lacks a theme thus far.

DragonMaci: you are conflating the theme with the plot. The Inheritance Trilogy has a terrific plot, the main element of which is, yes, this ongoing rebellion against a tyrant. The theme of a book, however, is it's underlying ideological principle. Although the books kind of poke at some ideology (good vs. evil, tyrrany vs. freedom, reason vs. faith . . . there's a long bit about that in the 2nd one) they draw no conclusions, nor do they illustrate the results of any conclusions. There is no sense that ideology determines the course of any of the characters' actions. In fact, I challenge you to point to anything that the main character actually believes.

This makes sense, however, because the main character is a young man who is still figuring out what he believes. He has some habitual beliefs, but he hasn't organized them yet into any kind of structure.

However, if the third book isn't disappointing, I think we will see the conclusions he finally ends up making, and then the theme will become clear. That's often the problem with fantasy books (and some science fiction): they are written to be a saga spanning many books, instead of a single plot and theme being handled in one book. I personally plan on trying not to write series novels, myself. I prefer books to be self-contained. I think Terry Pratchett is one of the best fantasy authors that does this: his books all take place in the same fantasy "world", however you can read any one of them completely alone and have a complete novel on your hands.

P.S. Physical dragons don't exist, but as a symbol of power, greed, ancient wisdom, grace, and top-predator-ness, they do exist. I like them as well.

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I have read both at this point, and I quite enjoyed them, although I agree with the general comments that the story lacks a theme thus far.

P.S. Physical dragons don't exist, but as a symbol of power, greed, ancient wisdom, grace, and top-predator-ness, they do exist. I like them as well.

: Shh...dont run his fun, he thinks dragons are real. Maybe he will figure out they do not actually exist one day. ;)

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I may have missed it but I didn't see any mention of Eragon or Eldest the sequel that just came out. Anyone else read them here? What did you think if so?

My wife picked Eragon up, based upon this positive article in Newsweek . She was a bit disappointed, candidly. It wasn't that she actively disliked it, its just that it didn't seem like anything she hadn't read fifty times before. And based upon that article she was expecting something more original. I'll probably get around to reading it, but based upon what she said its hardly going to go to the top of my fiction reading list, since our tastes that way are usually similar.

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You know that is my only complaint, if you can call it one. I can easily see where he gets his inspiration from. The second one branches out a bit more. He did write the 1st one when he was 15.

Are you sure it was 15? DraconMaci looked into the author awhile back and I am pretty sure he said he was 17 when it was published, he might have started writing it at 15 though.

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Are you sure it was 15? DraconMaci looked into the author awhile back and I am pretty sure he said he was 17 when it was published, he might have started writing it at 15 though.

It looks like he was 15 when he started it, per this link.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9368467/

Paolini was homeschooled in Montana for most of his life by his parents, although he earned his diploma at age 15 from a correspondence high school. His parents thought he was too young to start college, and so he took up a hobby — writing “Eragon,” the story of a boy and a dragon.

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  • 1 month later...

My only complaint about Eragon (other than one's that JMegansnow pointed out) is that...

*SPOILER* well, sort of

Towards the end of the book, Eragon seems to be taking on Altruistic goals. He begins to feel that he has to fight and save the people as his "Duty." Not because of any specific value assigned to it. That worries me a bit. The rest is very good.

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well, to be fair, I started reading Eragon with an open mind thinking - 'hey a 15 year old has written it. Be patient'.

But I couldn't. I'm not a kid and may be the style of writing is too young for me. It might work well for an 11 year though. I felt there was nothing new to offer which the fantasy genre hasn't exploited yet.

And yet, I do enjoy the Harry Potter series. :thumbsup:

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  • 3 months later...

Well, now that I've finished Eldest, I can, sort of, see where he's going with this. It's funny. You can CLEARLY see the difference in maturity of his writing between the two books. While, yes, I can see much of the different inspirations for his writings, I think that if these are his first books, then he, as a writer, can only get better. College, I'm sure, will do wonders for him and his writing.

**SECOND SPOILER ALERT**

It does some interesting posing of idiologies. The elves, who follow reason and believe in no god, live an almost Utopian life, whereas the humans and Dwarves, whose lives are saturated with faith and Gods, seem to struggle to barely get by. I'm not sure that he meant it that way, but definitely an interesting statement.

Edited by Styles2112
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Yes. I guiltily read these books because I enjoy the writing and the languages, etc. However, I too noticed him taking on some most certainly altruistic goals. He never did anything for himself, but to save society, etc.

Towards the end of the book, Eragon seems to be taking on Altruistic goals
Excellent observation.

It does some interesting posing of idiologies. The elves, who follow reason and believe in no god, live an almost Utopian life, whereas the humans and Dwarves, whose lives are saturated with faith and Gods, seem to struggle to barely get by. I'm not sure that he meant it that way, but definitely an interesting statement.

I actually started reading Eldest again yesterday and I did happen to notice that. The scene with Arya talking about the Quan clan. She refutes their belief in muttering to the air, and I immediately loved her. Somehow I missed it last time. Though, I will admit that ever since becoming an objectivist I read books in a different style.

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I actually started reading Eldest again yesterday and I did happen to notice that. The scene with Arya talking about the Quan clan. She refutes their belief in muttering to the air, and I immediately loved her. Somehow I missed it last time. Though, I will admit that ever since becoming an objectivist I read books in a different style.

When you get further towards the end, even more insight is laid out.

I wonder if he'll (Eragon) "get it" in the third book.

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  • 2 years later...

Talk about reviving a slumbering topic.

Anyway,

Howdy All,

I started listening to Eragon as an unabridged audio book tonight at work. In fact I am listening to it as I type this post.

It’s a pretty good yarn; so far I am enjoying it. I was shocked to learn that the author was a 15 year old, home schooled, D&D gamer. Damn I wish my writing ability was that developed when I was 15. If it was, I sure as hell would not be driving my 1993 Nissan Sentra; instead I would be driving a 1968 VW Karmann Ghia cabriolet, red of course.

After scanning the previous post a few things popped into my head. I tried to glean what I could without ruining the story for myself, so if my responses are not directed at specific posts or have actually been mentioned I apologize.

Somewhere up the list someone commented that his writing can only improve. I agree completely. If he keeps up his trade, I think we see in Mr. Paolini a budding author that may someday rival Stephen King in popularity.

Up the thread someone mentioned that his writing will improve if he goes to college. I suspect Paolini is an autodidact, and the last thing he needs is a writing professor that has never written a best seller or had a novel made into a major movie before he could legally buy a handgun. I would suggest that instead of college he needs a shit hot financial advisor.

In my quick glance over the previous posts in this topic one thing struck me. Am I the only one that sees the influence of George Lucas’ “Star Wars”? If not that then maybe he was influenced by Kirosawa’s “Hidden Fortress”. Of course maybe he just read a lot of Joseph Campbell’s work. At any rate Eragon really reminds me of Luke Skywalker, although that could just be a lack of objectivity on my part.

Furthermore those that compare him to Tolkien, really annoy me. Tolkien didn’t just create an elaborate setting deep with history. He did that and created the languages of that setting carrying the history of his world back to its creation. If you want to compare Paolini to someone; I think Lloyd Alexander or David Eddings would be more appropriate.

I am really digging this story and will be moving my weekly pilgrimage to the library up a day to Sunday so I may get the next book in print or audio form.

Rob

Edited by pvtmorriscsa
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  • 7 months later...

I have read the first two books and I enjoyed them. Everyone on this thread has seemed to already cover everything I have to say. I have started the third book, however, I have not had the time to finish it. Reading assignments for school, work, and more interesting books have come up. One thing that I did notice in the third book, near the beginning was a very interesting scene on moral judgment (it seemed to fit with the Objectivist method of judging a person). I'll quote the two paragraphs. I don't think this will reveal the plot or ruin any surprise for you, but just in case I'll put up a *SPOILERS* warning.

*SPOILERS*

Abandoning for the moment the question of punishment, Eragon considered what he knew about Sloan: the butcher's overriding love for [his daughter] - obsessive, selfish, and generally unhealthy as it was, although it had once been something wholesome - his hate and fear of the Spine, which were the offspring of his grief for his late wife, Ismira, who had fallen to her death among those cloud-rending peaks; his estrangement from the remaining branches of his family; his pride of his work; the stories Eragon had heard about Sloan's childhood; and Eragon's knowledge of what it was like to live in Carvahall.

Eragon took that collection of scattered, fragmented insights and turned them over in his mind, pondering their significance. Like the pieces of a puzzle, he tried to fit them together. He rarely succeeded, but he persisted, and gradually he traced a myriad of connections between the events and emotions of Sloan's life, and thereby he wove a tangled web, the patterns of which represented who Sloan was. Throwing the last line of his web, Eragon felt as if he finally comprehended the reasons for Sloan's behavior. Because of that, he empathized with Sloan.

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  • 2 months later...

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