This article is going to seem severely off-topic from the rest of my content because it delves into the realm of fantasy where I usually cover more science fiction. There are some people who feel that the two genres cannot mix, some people swear by Sci-Fi and despise fantasy and others love fantasy and want nothing to do with Sci-Fi. Then there are people like me who love them both and like a parent with two children are simply unable to choose one that we love more. It is out of this love for my other child the fantasy genre that I want to briefly discuss the Inheritance series written by Christopher Paolini.
If you are not a fantasy novel reader then you might recognize these books because the first book was made into a move titled “Eragon“. About a young boy who finds himself thrust into the world of magic, war and love when he is chosen to become a Dragon Rider.
I recently finished reading the first two books in this series. The first titled Eragon and the second titled Eldest. Now I have read enough books that were eventually turned into movies to know that the movie will always disappoint. Normally I would not even flinch at the injustice that a movie does to a novel (read: the Harry Potter series) however, this was probably the worst movie adaptation I have ever seen.
The first novel in the series, Eragon, is almost 700 pages long. The movie version covers about the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages. The 600 pages in the middle are completely steamrolled out of the movie, unashamedly so. The relationship between the boy Eragon and some of the other characters is misrepresented and integral plot-lines are left out. So much of this book is butchered in the movie, that if/when they make a sequel they are probably going to have to separate even more from the novels in order to keep consistency in the story lines that are playing out in the film.
The second novel in the series Eldest, is another great book which expands on the world of Alagaesia that Paolini has created and is just as enveloping as the first novel.
If you don’t know, the first novel was written by Christopher Paolini when he was 15 or 16 years old. He continues to work on finishing what is now going to be a 4 book series. The next book due to be released in September of 2008.
I am not going to go into an in depth comparison of the two at the moment, to be honest I need to go see the movie one more time before I do that. In addition, I don’t want to spoil any parts of the book if you plan on reading it. So I will give you all one month to read the book and then if time permits I will do an in depth comparison of the books to the movie, hopefully by then some of you will have read the book and will be able to comment. I suppose for the moment I am just venting my frustration.
If you are a fantasy genre fan, I highly recommend the series if you have not already read it. If you are a Sci-Fi fan who is willing to try something new this might be a good place to start.
If you have seen the movie, for the love of God, don’t think you know anything about the book. You will find the novels supremely more enjoyable than the 2 hours perversion of this story that you might have seen in the theater.