I’m sure lots of you know how addicted I am to books with complex story lines and highly developed characterisation. The two most obvious I’ve been ‘hooked’ by have been the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy (and the associated supplementary texts), and of course The Harry Potter series.
Well for the past few nights I’ve been absorbed by the first two offerings of yet another ‘cycle’, that of a ‘Dragon Rider’ called Eragon and his Dragon called Saphira. The author is Christopher Paolini who began writing the series when he was fifteen or so. Currently he is 24 years old and is hard at work completing his series. The third book is due for release in September 2008, and the final book sometime later (the date as yet unspecified).
The first of the series was released as as film, to mixed reviews but I can’t say I’m surprised. Whilst the books *are* well developed and readable, they are so clearly derivative (even, oddly enough, of Star Wars!!) that for people like myself who are enchanted repeatedly by the other major book series the plotlines could well be rejected in whatever format they’re presented.
However, and it’s a big ‘however’, the books *are* well written, well presented and readable. Ok the plots are familiar on many, many levels, but there are few books that aren’t! Much as I love the Harry Potter series, echoes of other well trodden paths can be found along its pages if one examines it carefully and echoes sound from many disparate areas, including both Machiavelli’s ‘Prince’ *and* notably Jill Murphy’s ‘Worst Witch’ series!!
As far as this ‘book cycle’ is concerned I would say that fundamentally, they are what they set out to be… a good read… and in the end surely that’s all that matters. If you want a well thought out exciting fantasy adventure series that isn’t as heavy as Lord of the Rings, nor yet as ‘lightweight’ as Harry Potter, then I’d recommend Inheritance and it’s first two books Eragon’ and ‘Eldest’ as being worth a browse!