Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini
When Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
I know, I know. According to some people, this is a rip off of everything under the sun and there are some obvious, blaring similarities, but I don't care. There are a lot of stories that take their inspiration from other series and authors. This was your typical farm boy is swept off by magic to save the world trope but I didn't think it was as poorly written as some of the other similar books I have read that follow this same storyline.
The dialogue could have used some work and there needed to be less "these women can't do anything" and more "man this woman can kick ass so maybe I should follow her lead". I think there were some clear 15 year old male fantasies in this (especially Arya in general). The fight scenes were gratuitous and didn't really serve the plot. They were meant to spotlight Eragon, obviously, but they didn't seem as though they could actually happen in real life.
I didn't mind Eragon and his story. I thought since the whole book was basically a travelogue that his time training wasn't too badly done or too long. I thought he progressed at a pace that made sense for what he was doing in comparison to how far he had progressed. I think that Eragon needs more character development, as does Saphira but overall I was pleased with the relationship they had. It was the best of friends and I liked some of the banter and learning between them. But I did find some of their conversations to be more like info-dumps than actually serving a purpose.
Murtagh was infinitely more interesting and complex than Eragon. I feel like I would have rather the story been about him, but the bits with him included were enough to keep me satisfied.
Overall: 3.5/5 stars. I think half the problem is that this is a debut novel by a young author who didn't have the chance to grow and flesh out everything before publishing.