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  1. #16
    I gotta say, I rarely thought of Star Wars while I was reading the first book. I guess the power of the dragons would be like the force? Rescuing a captive girl, again, that is a pretty typical storyline. Maybe somebody should try to do lotr in a sci-fi environment; give em some blasters and light sabers and let em go wild. Might be a big seller.

    So I did enjoy reading the first book. Didn't read the second as the story got off course from traditional fantasy, and I enjoy traditional fantasy. Roran fighting off the Ra'zac? Kinda detracts from Eragon's accomplishments...

    Its amazing how popular it was to start, and that came largely from the book tours the family did when they first released the book. They personally scheduled library and school readings for a grass roots movement; incredible. The people spoke and eventually he got picked up by a big publisher. I don't think his parents had been successful publishing before that.

  2. #17
    It doesn't matter which way you paint it Eragon and Eldest is poorly and over written and un original.

  3. #18
    Yea alright, I'm not going to argue too much. But it was fun watching the kid come into his own (both of the kids really), and also, there was an old feeling of morality that is underappreciated and not seen too much of now a days. What can I say, I was bored and I liked it.

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthorn View Post
    Take the synopsis of Star wars and replace certain words with Dragons and you've got The inheritance cycle. Also many of the names are names from LOTR, which have had a letter taken away or moved around.

    The Author Christopher Paolini, is 23 year old kid who first published it when he was 16 on his mother and fathers Publishing press. He thinks he's good as tolkien and every plot hole and question on his contridictions he answers read book 3.

    They're not very good books and only liked by those who are not well read in fantasy and cant see its blantent copying of other ideas.

    And like i said the synopsis is undistinguisable from Star Wars if you take out the word Dragon.

    The Main character is a mary sue who has every thing handed to him on a plate and they all think he is awesome. there is some dues ex macxhina. And a King who rules an empire.
    Haha, I laughed so hard at this post. So true!

    Quote Originally Posted by Soul View Post
    So the kids got a mentor? Yea, what a terrible start to a fantasy novel. Eragon is like Aragorn? Its also one letter from dragon, d to e, the first dragon rider. Lets cut the kid some slack.
    Paolini switches the D in dragon to E, and calls his superhero Eragon, and he figures it's very clever of him. Seriously, why didn't he pick Cragon?

    Let me tell you something: I'm turning sixteen in four days, and I can say for a fact that what I write is not nearly as derivative as his -- and this is not meant to be arrogant or anything, I just look at my work and his work and make my decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthorn View Post
    It doesn't matter which way you paint it Eragon and Eldest is poorly and over written and un original.
    Amen.

  5. #20
    Okay I think we're being a bit unfair here.

    Does Eragon's plot follow that of Starwars fairly closely? Certainly it does. Are the "standard issue" fantasy races all present and correct? Oh yeah. Has Paolini done anything particularly interesting or new with them? Not really, [though for shere refinement of stereotypical dwarf environments I'll give him the mountain stronghold at the end of Eragon. I have rarely seen a fortress so tricked out.] Is Eragon a standard chosen one with a mark on his body denoting him as such, as legions of heroes have been before him? Yep. [In fact, I believe Eragon's mark is on his palm, and is sometimes described in terms similar to Belgarion's marking in the Belgariad / Malloreon. Copying much?] And yet many stories use similar plot structures. Perhaps it is fair to rag on Paolini a little for the shere extent to which we think his story's derivative, [and I do think there's a difference between "done before" and "derivative", I just think the definition is different for each of us and believe some people are too quick to call foul.] But what it really comes down to is that a lot of us just plain don't think this well-worn story is given a good showing in the Inheritance novels. It's not that its unoriginal, -- it's that its just plain not good.

    I am among this group. I would be fine with a traditional fantasy tale, -- I love them, in fact. But the characters and plot just don't hold up in these novels so far as I'm concerned. I've seen a lot worse than Eragon: the characters weren't that deep, but a couple of them had potential. [I'm thinking particularly here of Eragon's mentor's destiny to fail at every task in his life but one.] The dragon was basically cool, and there were some fun adventure sections. I actually enjoyed the book the first time through, but I was relying on Paolini to up his game a level or two in Eldest and he just doesn't. Eldest is so bad I swear it makes the first book worse retroactively, [mostly by making clear that many of the flaws in Eragon were not first novel blues, but honest-to-evilness writing defects only waiting to spring into full and awful flower.] The coming of age plot descends into trite absurdity and is boring. [Eragon shaves himself. Yay for Eragon.] A quite indefensible bit of plotting has a major character disappear from the scene in chapter one only to return as a villain in the final pages, with no point-of-view time with him to go through the process and trauma of his fall. The failed romance sequences read like they were ghost-written by George Lucas on a bad day and range from physically painful to impossible to read. The pace is glacial in the extreme, and Eragon spends the majority of the novel in a boring place learning boring things. Someone mentioned Rorin's, [Eragon's non-superpowered cousin], plot-thread being what drove them away from Eldest, and I find this perplexing, as his sections are the only thing that stopped me from flinging the book. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying they're good -- they're just a lot lot lot less bad.

    I know this post is long already, but I'd like to take a moment to explore a couple particular things about Eldest: By no means did I study fan response to the book on-line, but I did come across one or two negative comments on a specific subject. "Well, yes", you say, "because the book is rubbish". Actually no that wasn't what people were getting upset about. Okay, so for any who don't know there's this character in Inheritance whose an elf woman. And Eragon has fallen in love with this elf woman like the good little chosen one that he is. And, in a stroke of realism unusual in Inheritance, the hundred-year-old, sober-with-experience elf maid isn't interested. Quite uninterested, in fact. And this seems to upset some fans. It's as though they expect this poor character to go all googly-eyed and start confessing her love whenever Eragon walks into a room. I find this expectation, -- a sort of reliance on predetermined plotlines, -- disturbing. I'm really starting to understand why Diana Wynne Jones wrote The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. It's as though some readers are beginning to take certain overused character types and plot elements as signifiers leading directly to the signifieds represented by specific conclusions or outcomes. Hmm, we could diverge into the semiotics of popular fantasy at this juncture, but this probably isn't the place.

    Note that Eldest does not as closely mirror The Empire Strikes Back as Eragon does A New Hope, and this is seriously to its detriment. Yes Eragon goes to learn from an old master as does Luke, but Eragon's training lasts a whooooole lot longer and this loses the book a lot of narrative momentum. Where Empire is punchy, fast-moving, and rough on its heroes, Eldest is slow as they come, renders both heroes and villains, [dear god, the cardboard mockeries used for villains!], shallower than previously as opposed to deeper, and throws virtually no curveballs of any kind at all in its 700 pages.

    So basically I don't think going after Paolini because we think him cliche is fair, or at least not by itself. Go after him because you think the material isn't good, and perhaps incorporate how totally derivative you find his work into that critique. But cliches by themselves do not a bad book make, and I think we should focus on them less when critiquing this series. Is Paolini's reliance on previous plots, and his obvious freeze-up when forced to plot without a guideline, a problem? Most definitely, but the problems go deeper, I think.

    Also, however bad we think the books are, he has finished them and got them published. He is a writer under twenty-five, he has written a series of books, they are coherent, they are on store shelves and a lot of people love them very much. I personally find that more than a little amazing, and I think that anyone else who has had a go at writing an extended piece will too.
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    Last edited by mjolnir; April 29th, 2011 at 02:21 AM.

  6. #21
    But i bet you 5 pounds that by the end The elf woman will realise she loved the Author insert character Eragon by the end.

    And i hated the dues ex machina part in book 2. With the naked dancing elves.
    I just found that in every twist and turn the author contradicted himself


    Also, however bad we think the books are, he has finished them and got them published. He is a writer under twenty-five, he has written a series of books, they are coherent, they are on store shelves and a lot of people love them very much. I personally find that more than a little amazing, and I think that anyone else who has had a go at writing an extended piece will too.

    I would too. IF he'd went to a proper publisher instead of his parents

  7. #22
    I would too. IF he'd went to a proper publisher instead of his parents
    I was under the impression that his book was rejected by many publishers, and then his parents bailed him out with their company when he couldn't hack it on his own? Of course, I may be wrong.

    I have never read the books, I looked at them, I realized what they were, and put them down. I did see the movie though, which in turn made me even happier I avoided the books.

    As for Christopher Paolini... Personally, I think his legs should be tied to a horse and dragged across the streets while people pelt him with his own horrid books. That would make me feel like justice has been served.
    Last edited by MadPiper; July 7th, 2008 at 09:29 PM.

  8. #23
    All the talk about how impressive simply getting published at 17 is -- I still think that can be negated by dreary writing and such lack of creativity. As Anthorn says, when it comes down to it Inheritance is poorly written and unoriginal.

    I also think Chris -- I'm starting to wonder if Paolini deserves being referred to by his last name, seeing as, now that I've read 1200 pages of Christopher/Eragon's character, he is very familiar to me -- deliberately stretched out his narrative so it's extra long and epic. He's not the only author who thinks length equals intelligence. Some of the most elegant, brainy stories -- The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate comes to mind -- are 10,000 words long.

    Mjolnir, there's a difference between traditional novels and thoroughly stolen, cliche-infested drivel.

  9. #24
    Too many thoughts!!!! Mara-Marie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadPiper View Post
    I was under the impression that his book was rejected by many publishers, and then his parents bailed him out with their company when he couldn't hack it on his own? Of course, I may be wrong.

    I have never read the books, I looked at them, I realized what they were, and put them down. I did see the movie though, which in turn made me even happier I avoided the books.

    As for Christopher Paolini... Personally, I think his legs should be tied to a horse and dragged across the streets while people pelt him with his own horrid books. That would make me like justice has been served.
    Okay First of all if you haven't read the book then you really have no place trashing the book or the writer. And anyone who watches movies based on books know's that they are rarely even recognisable as the same story line so you can't judge the book by the movie. I think that Christopher Paolini has made a decent first story and especially for being as young as he was when he made it. Yes it may be a bit of a repeat and same old same old but what isn't anymore. As was said everything new is comprised of parts of something old. Yes he was blunt about it but he's new. Give him some credit for trying to make something that he has a passion for. And because he did get so famous (no matter what the method) the younger generations below us will most likely read the Inheritance cycle before they read LOTR and others and therefore those will be repeats to them in the future. And if you really want to get picky about copying originals then you should go back and read the posts in this thread. Same complaints over and over in new word formations. We are all guilty of repeating and he got famous for it which is more than most of us can say. I enjoyed Eragon and Eldest and am looking forward to the next books. I may be the only one here who will say that but obviously I'm not the only person out there anticipating the release. They are decently written books, no not nearly the best but definatly not the worst, and I want to see what he can come up with as he ages and does get more experience.
    Last edited by Mara-Marie; July 6th, 2008 at 08:46 PM.

  10. #25
    The Writer of Fantasy Fred Gallney's Avatar
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    Okay First of all if you haven't read the book then you really have no place trashing the book or the writer. And anyone who watches movies based on books know's that they are rarely even recognisable as the same story line so you can't judge the book by the movie. I think that Christopher Paolini has made a decent first story and especially for being as young as he was when he made it. Yes it may be a bit of a repeat and same old same old but what isn't anymore. As was said everything new is comprised of parts of something old. Yes he was blunt about it but he's new. Give him some credit for trying to make something that he has a passion for. And because he did get so famous (no matter what the method) the younger generations below us will most likely read the Inheritance cycle before they read LOTR and others and therefore those will be repeats to them in the future. And if you really want to get picky about copying originals then you should go back and read the posts in this thread. Same complaints over and over in new word formations. We are all guilty of repeating and he got famous for it which is more than most of us can say. I enjoyed Eragon and Eldest and am looking forward to the next books. I may be the only one here who will say that but obviously I'm not the only person out there anticipating the release. They are decently written books, no not nearly the best but definatly not the worst, and I want to see what he can come up with as he ages and does get more experience.
    The point is, as was stated many times throughout this thread, Paolini grabbed nearly the entire plot line of Star Wars, and tweaked it here and there to try and make something original. He also took the names, and map of Lord of the Rings, and gave them little geographical makeovers, and name reformations, to try and win originality there.

    Also, Paolini is trying to make up for his repetive plot nature by introducing a whole new evil guy in Book III - woooooooo - does anybody actually care since there were no hints in Book I or II - I think not.

    There are many, many greater books than inheritance that are published and rejected, but whatever their class, they do not do nearly as well as Inheritance has. Which is sad in my opinion, because I consider Inheritance to be fantasy trash, not worthy of all the attention it has received. if Paolini had submitted Eragon to a proper publisher when he was around 30, his book would have been rejected, and the publishers would be gasping for breath, with sides burning from laughter after finishing Eragon. Then, they would leave work early and have a mmerry party to end their great day of reading a humorous but entirely trashy piece of work, which is none other than Eragon. Still, in that case, Paolini should still feel proud that his work brought so much laughter to the publishers.

  11. #26
    Anthorn Wrote:
    But i bet you 5 pounds that by the end The elf woman will realise she loved the Author insert character Eragon by the end.

    I grant you that this is entirely possible, and would finish off any shadow of originality the subplot had. Actually, the outcome you suggest, while depressing, might almost be kinder to those reading the series: Eldest's thwarted love scenes are truly criminally bad, some of the most ear-bleeding matter I've ever read in my life. I actually think that Paolini's going for a romance between Eragon and a different character, [watch me call his plot twists before they happen, ... again], but it's water under the bridge to all of us who don't care any more / never did. Be interesting from the perspective of studying the series, though, and yes I think it is worthy of examination in that regard simply because it's so popular. You don't get Eragon's sales numbers by accident; -- there's something in here that speaks very loudly to an awful lot of people.

    Anthorn Wrote:
    And i hated the dues ex machina part in book 2. With the naked dancing elves. I just found that in every twist and turn the author contradicted himself

    Oh ... oh ... I'd blocked that part out completely. Wow that was stupid. Those people who contend that Eragon is a Gary Stu who gets everything handed to him on a silver platter can base most of their argument off of this scene alone: He's humbled by the elves in sword-play, trains for half the blasted book, and is then handed the superhuman strength and grace of an elf for the price of nothing more than a night of dancing and song. So so very stupid.

    Mad Piper Wrote:
    I was under the impression that his book was rejected by many publishers, and then his parents bailed him out with their company when he couldn't hack it on his own? Of course, I may be wrong.

    I have never read the books, I looked at them, I realized what they were, and put them down. I did see the movie though, which in turn made me even happier I avoided the books.

    Time to be slightly fair again I'm afraid. Paolini may have tried and failed to sell the book before his parents printed it -- I've no idea. However, they did print it, and as I understand it a very popular author's attention was drawn to it through his kid. He recommended it to his publisher. Still getting a fast track I know, but the professional publisher did take it on. And this ain't some small house either: this is Alfred K Knopf. I don't like the idea of vanity publishing so I still consider the whole parents publish book first thing to be a bit like cheatting, but we must consider that it did make its way to a major house. And then, more important still, the public spoke: The two books have passed the million copies printed mark a while back I believe. Brisingr is currently number 16 in book sales on amazon.com. Not teen books, folks, not preorder books, not books with weird names. All. Books. As I said above, a lot of people like these books. We can criticize them all we want, [which is good cuz I fully intend to continue to do so], but I think we have to be careful. Dismissing them completely, and saying that they are objectively trash of the worst most derivative kind starts sounding a little like, say, Harald Bloom's argument that the 13.5 million people who read Harry Potter are and shall remain objectively wrong in what they choose to read because he, Harald Bloom, doesn't like Harry Potter. And I never, ever, want to sound like that.

    Imo they're still rubbish, though.
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    Last edited by mjolnir; April 29th, 2011 at 02:21 AM.

  12. #27
    Im sorry to point it out again. THE FIRST publisher he went to were his parents who then published it.

  13. #28
    Wait, it just dawned on me. Isn't this series meant to be for kids?

    If so, I think some of our arguments are nullified.

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthorn View Post
    His parents jobs were publishers before hand, which is why he was actually published.
    And look, it made them lots of money, as well as a very happy and successful son. That's not so bad now, is it? The only losers are the discerning readers who read the stuff, but the books do have plenty of fans.

  15. #30
    Count me as a loser. Despite my disdain, I will probably finish the reading. The writing is at times wretched, but it's light and easy and fairly exciting -- a good alternative to the other stuff.

    And I am confident that Paolini has matured enough to improve his plot and his prose, to a degree.

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