Eragon is a YA epic fantasy novel featuring a boy and his dragon. It’s a familiar story, so no major new ground is broken here. Eragon as a character is not overly compelling. He’s a bit whiny at times, and things come a bit too easy for him, and some of his fighting skills are more advanced than they should be given his age of fifteen. Where I thought the novel was strong was in the world-building. There was a fairly complex and well-developed governmental structure, whose power comes from the emperor who is also a powerful wizard. There was also a strong mythos with the dragon riders of old, who along with their dragons possess great power. They had all been wiped out, that is until Eragon’s discovery of the dragon egg and the hatching of Saphira.
Under the mentorship of an old dragon rider, Eragon goes on the customary journey that is almost a requirement in epic fiction, trying to escape from the clutches of the empire while simultaneously trying to hunt down agents of the Empire who are simultaneously trying to hunt him down, setting up a game of cat and mouse. Being a dragon rider he now finds himself in the middle of a struggle between the Empire and a rival faction of humans, elves, and dwarves. This all sets up for a major battle at the end of the novel.
The story was written at a good pace. There was both action and intrigue. There were certain things I didn’t like about this novel, but on balance, the good outweighed the bad, and I will continue to read more in this series.