Reading just the first book in a trilogy (or in this case, a tetralogy) is just taunting. I mean, each of the books are usually semi-contained so you do get a climactic moment and some resolution, but the questions that are set out in the first 100 pages are left WIDE OPEN. All this to say that despite the age of the protagonist and the overall feel of the novel, I will probably come back and finish off the last four at some point. Now, on to the novel itself.
I can’t say that it was drastically different than many other fantasy novels. It had that same farm boy who doesn’t know his true past is plucked out of obscurity and destined for bigger things style exemplified by The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson). It also has the competing factions all trying to gain control of the new power character.
What was different, and I certainly enjoyed, was the setup of the cycle’s antagonist, Galbatorix, who controls (prior to Saphira) the only living dragon, as well as two of the remaining three dragon eggs. I’m interested to see how this battle ensues as the power shifts, as well as what happens with the other two dragon eggs. The other thing I enjoyed was the idea that spells could be cast that required more than the person who cast them could give. Other novels have utilized the idea of magic using life energy, but this was the first where someone could cast one that would cost his/her own life without being able to stop it. It introduced these limitations post-spellcast as opposed to pre-spellcast, and also without the caster knowing whether or not it would kill them beforehand. It’s just an interesting plot device that I haven’t seen utilized.
Finally, Paolini wrote and published this first book when was 18. He’s 30 years old and has already had numerous bestsellers, and is the Guinness World Record holder as youngest author of a bestselling book series. When I was 18 I was publishing bad poetry on Geocities. Ridiculous.
Book 21 of 189