I’ve finished re-reading Eragon and Eldest in my preparation for the release of Brisingr. I am going to post my thoughts on Eragon and Eldest, and then hopefully, I will post some thoughts when I am done reading Brisingr. The following thoughts contain mild spoilers, but mostly just generalizations of the books.
Let me start by saying that I like these books. I do. And now you’re all thinking that by beginning my thoughts in this manner, that there must be some “but” coming. Like “I really like these books … but … ” and that’s not really the case. These books are enjoyable to read, and I find that I do get sucked into the story, wanting to know what’s going to happen with the characters.
It’s just that I find Paolini’s writing to be … well, a little immature. He’s got a vivid imagination, that’s for sure. And he’s obviously drawing his knowledge from his idol (J.R.R. Tolkien). I know that I shouldn’t compare Paolini’s Inheritance Series to Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings series, but I can’t help myself. They have so many elements in common, that I find myself saying “that’s the same thing that happened in LOTR.”
Besides the obvious similarities, like having dwarves and elves and other mystical creatures, the 2 series have many of the same themes. Man (who is mortal, though lives an extended life) falling in love with an immortal Elven princess? Check. Elves hiding in their lands, preparing to launch one last stand after being defeated years ago? Check. Strange names that are impossible to pronounce? Check. (I mean, Galbatorix? How do you say that exactly?) The existence of the one true language? Check. You get my point … lots of similarities. Paolini’s writings don’t feel as mature to me as Tolkien’s, though they revolve around the same themes (loyalty to one’s family, love for others, a sense of justice and rightness, etc).
One thing that does impress me is Paolini’s use of other languages. I didn't spend much time reading through the language guide so I don't know if Paolini made up the languages and their accompanying rules, or if he followed established rules (from other fantasy novels) and made some modifications to fit his own books. Either way, it’s impressive. Even though I have no idea what any of the words mean … and I get annoyed having to flip back and forth between the index with the language translation and the storyline. Still … I’m pretty sure that if I tried to make up a language, I would fail dismally.
So there you go – that’s my take on the books. I like them and I am looking forward to reading Brisingr. They do capture my attention and make me want to keep reading so I can find out what happens. Will Eragon and Roran rescue Katrina? Will Galbatorix be overthrown? Will Arya finally fall in love with Eragon? Or will Eragon get over her and find someone else to love (Nasuada?) Most of all, what happens that necessitated Paolini’s announcement that there will be 4 books in the series, instead of the planned 3? Is there really so much stuff that's it's impossible to wrap it up in Brisingr? I guess I’ll find out when I get my copy (sometime next week, I hope).
And please make a comment in the post below for a book idea for October ... I've got one idea, so if no one suggests anything, I guess we're going with that.