Christopher Paolini has already achieved a lot for one of his age. The young prodigy, who started his fictional journey at the age of 15 already has three bestselling novels in his kitty and is all set for further glory. Born on 17th November 1983, Paolini has spent most of his life in Pa...
Christopher Paolini has already achieved a lot for one of his age. The young prodigy, who started his fictional journey at the age of 15 already has three bestselling novels in his kitty and is all set for further glory. Born on 17th November 1983, Paolini has spent most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana with his parents and younger sister, Angela. The picturesque view of the Paradise Valley is said to have been the source of inspiration for Alagaesia, the fictitious world created by him.
Though homeschooled, Paolini took a liking towards writing at a very tender age. He wrote short stories, poems and was a vociferous reader. It was his love for the magic of stories that sowed the seed of a novel on the same theme. Thus originated Eragon(at the age of fifteen), and the rest is history!
Paolini’s body of work is fantasy, and his only works so far have pertained to an ongoing series known as the Inheritance Cycle. All his books namely Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr are based on a world inhabited by races of Men, Elves, Dwarves and especially Dragons. The Dragons and Dragon riders are the most celebrated authorities in the novel. There is an evil despot, a champion of justice and the other associates. The entire setup is quite similar to the Lord of the Rings. The author draws a lot of inspiration from the works of J.R.R Tolkien, E.R. Eddison, Bruce Coville, David Eddings, Garth Nix and Frank Herbert. The ancient language of Alagaesia, used by him throughout the series, is based almost entirely on Old Norse.
Eragon, the debut novel of Paolini was received well by the public and the book featured on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 121 weeks. Though drawing a fair deal of criticism for having stark similarities to the Lord of the Rings, Paolini was hailed as a young prodigy and a master at his art. Eldest received mixed reviews from the critics, some dubbing it clichéd and mediocre while others praising the writing style and emotional depth. Nonetheless, the public response was highly encouraging. Brisingr was seen as a reflection of Paolini’s growing maturity as an Author and an attempt to add diversity to his characters. The novel received an overwhelming response from the readers recording an all time record sales for any Random House Children Division book.
Paolini has really come of age as a writer in a genre dominated by graybeards. Agreed, Paolini’s works look like a rip off from the Lord of the Rings (and Dragonriders of Pern series), and the ideas are not all original, but still the treatment of the subject is refreshing. He writes like a man gripped by his own tale and some of his innovations are purely ingenious. Talking about the loopholes, the writing style is a little off the mark and stereotypical at times. Paolini is not known for building up any suspenseful situations and the storyline is pretty straightforward (akin a Video game). Again, what’s missing is any sort of humor or comical relief to make the experience thoroughly enjoyable (like David Eddings). Coming back to the highlights, the bond between Saphira and Eragon has been depicted beautifully, and so has Eragon’s scuffle with destiny. The plot is extremely simple and your loyalties are set firmly in place right from the beginning. The battles are vividly described and the imagery used by Paolini is exceptional.
All said and done, Paolini is one of the most loved Fantasy Authors of the modern era without doubt. Can’t wait for the finale of the Inheritance Cycle!