May your swords stay sharp!

(Some slight spoilers for Eragon below.)

I’ve been reading Eragon, finally, and while I like it okay, I was saying to Mike last night (or was it this morning?) that it’s never going to be a book I own. “We do own it,” he said. “That’s our copy.” “No, I mean, it’s not going to be a book that’s mine, that I love so much that it’s hard for me to believe that I have to share it with other people. Like The Lord of the Rings or The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.” We talked a little more about our feelings about favorite books, which confirmed my hunch that he liked Eragon more than I do.

As I said, I like it okay, but it does seem to be falling victim to some cliches, like the older-white haired man who is helping Eragon. His name’s Brom, but I call him Obi-Wan, because I am sure he’s going to die before the end of this book. Additionally, Eragon doesn’t know who his father is, and Mike says we don’t find out in this book, but my money is on the evil king being his father. Yes, it’s kind of like Star Wars set in Alagaesia. With dragons. We even had a scene where Eragon returned only to find his uncle’s farm had been attacked. And, yes, his uncle died. I didn’t read any whining about power converters, but maybe that’s still to come.

On a slightly more serious note, parts of the book have ventured dangerously close to the idiot plot, where if everyone just had the correct information, things would work themselves out, but everyone refuses to talk. Obi-Wan keeps refusing to tell Eragon things, which means that Eragon (like a normal teenager) stumbles into trouble because of the lack of information. I keep saying things like, “Just tell him, you idiot!” Yes, that’s right, I’m talking to the book. Eragon has been guilty of this, too, not telling his uncle or Obi-Wan about the dragon Saphira until it’s much too late. In some cases, it seems realistic and true to the characters, but in some cases, it’s just frustrating to read.

Of course, I’m just barely halfway through, so perhaps some of that will get itself sorted out. And I don’t mean to sound so negative – it’s just that I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I’m finding it a bit of a disappointment, which is sad. Mike read it right when it came out, and I kept meaning to read it but never got around to it, and then I signed up to lead a discussion for the sequel next month, so I figured I’d better get cracking. It’s definitely engrossing, and it has a bit of a Lord of the Rings feel, so if you like that kind of fantasy story (or dragons), I’d recommend at least the first one (but the second got very bad reviews, so I’m not sure about recommending it or not. I’ll let you know when I get to that one. And I’ll let you know how some of my predictions have panned out).

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