Re – reading Eldest – Christopher Paolini

Every bookshop has its copies of ‘Inheritance’ by Christopher Paolini, prominently displayed in its window displays ever since it was released a few weeks back. It is still too expensive to buy, so I decided to pass the time by re-reading my copy of Eldest and reacquainting myself with the characters of the story.  The first I heard about the book was when I saw the movie Eragon on Star movies and really liked the fantasy of it. I have never really read Eragon, though I have watched the movie 2-3 times more.

I recently finished reading Dance With Dragons (have poured out all I felt for that book on the blog in an earlier post) and did not really want to spend good money on another Dragon fantasy just because it was being so systematically thrust into my face every way I turned. I had pretty much forgotten about the characters in the story by now and it was with some trepidation that I started to read it again.

For those who have not yet come across this franchise, it is the story of a simple farm boy Eragon, who becomes extraordinary when a dragon egg hatches for him and he becomes a dragon rider. Dragon riders have been wiped out by the cruel king, Galbatorix, who was a rider himself and now rules the land. Eragon’s dragon is named Saphira and is a beautiful blue in color.

Apart from Eragon, the other main characters in the series are

Roran- Eragon’s cousin. He is thrust into a battle for survival not only for himself but also for the villagers whenn the soldiers of the empire come looking for Eragon’s relatives in the hopes of getting information about him.

Arya – An aloof elf, who nonetheless captivates Eragon’s heart with not very proising consequences.

Orik – The dwarf who accompanies Eragon to the Elven kingdom and becomes his friend. I liked him because he immediately reminds me of the dwarf in the Lord of the Rings.

Nasuada – The queen of the varden. She is extremely young and yet a very shrewd leader.

Glaedr – The golden dragon. He is just so majestic that he becomes a main character without really trying.

Oromis – Eragon’s teacher in the elven kingdom.

One thing I noticed about the book is how the author tries to explain Eragon’s dilemma’s when going into battle. The book seems to have shades of the Baghvad Gita in it with Oromis explaining the neccesity of war to a confused Eragon. There is almost a touch of philosophy interspersed in between the narrative and only enhances the storytelling.

As it turned out, I finished it in one night. It is simply written, with clear character differentiation and engrossing narrative. Maybe at times too simple. The book had a short introduction that told us about the previous happenings in Eragon’s life thus making it easier for anyone reading this book for the first time. I liked this book but I am not sure that I feel any especial urgency to read the next parts. Yet, this book has good, clean, fantasy fiction that can easily be read by all age groups. The author hasn’t gone out of his way to try and make too complicated a storyline; as some are wont to do just for the heck of it.

All in all I will wait for a few months when the price of the book falls down slightly before I go buying it.

P.S. After having read the Lord of the Rings, it seems to me that every fantasy novel seems to draw very clear inspiration from it.


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