Thursday, May 14, 2009

Eragon, The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini's "Eragon" is about a poor farm boy named Eragon who, while out hunting for game, has a dragon egg mysteriously and magically appear in front of him. Thinking it's a type of stone with possibly some value, he takes it home with him.

An orphan, Eragon lives with his uncle, Garrow, and cousin Roran. Roran eventually leaves to find work in order to provide for his future plans to marry the butcher's daughter,Katrina, leaving Garrow and Eragon to tend their little farm alone.

When Eragon's stone hatches into a dragon, he finds himself in a world of magic and that he has now become a member of the once legendary and annihilated dragon riders. That is when all heck breaks loose. The dragon riders had all been hunted down and destroyed by a former and powerful rider named, Galbatorix. After their fall he named himself king and supreme ruler of Alagaesia. Galbatorix sends his henchmen to capture Eragon and his dragon, Saphira. Garrow is murdered and Eragon has to flee Carvahall with Saphira to avoid capture. Soon Eragon and Saphira find themselves traveling all over Alagaesia dodging the empire while hunting the mysterious Ra'Zac, the murderers of his uncle Garrow.

Meanwhile, Roran returns home to find his home destroyed, his father murdered, and Carvahall under siege. He rallies the towns people to take up arms, dig in, and fight. Eventually, Katrina is kidnapped by the Ra'Zac and Roran and the people of Carvahall have to flee for their lives.

Eragon and Saphira hook up with an army of rebels and freedom fighters which is a mix of dwarfs and humans called the Varden. With the help of the Varden and his new found friends, Murtagh, and the elven princess, Arya, Eragon and Saphira defeat Galbatorix's army and Eragon slays the evil and powerful shade, Durza, Galbatorix's right hand man.

The adventure continues in "Eldest", the second book in the series. Eragon travels with Arya to the realm of the elves to learn the ways of the dragon riders. There he encounters many internal conflicts including the elves nonacceptance of him as a rider, his love for Arya which she does not accept or return, and the crippling pain of his wound which he received from his battle with Durza.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran is in a battle against the empire of his own. After fleeing Carvahall, he and Carvahall's survivors work their way south on a ship. They meet many obstacles while avoiding capture by the empire. Eventually Eragon and Roran reunite in another battle with the Varden against the armies of the empire. It's during this battle that Eragon and Saphira discover that another egg has hatched and a new rider has emerged. Only the new rider, a lost and thought dead friend of Eragon's, is under the control of Galbatorix. It is also during this battle, Eragon begins to learn the disturbing secrets of his family and their past.

The third book "Brisingr" reveals the secrets of Eragon's family. Also it reveals a secret of the dragons that may be the undoing of Galbatorix.

Does Roran rescue his love, Katrina, from the evil clutches of the Ra'Zac? Will Eragon ever win Arya's love? Brisingr brings more battles and conflicts as Eragon learns more and more about his family and their disturbing secrets. Meanwhile his cousin, Roran, takes the name "Stronghammer" and begins rising in the ranks of the Varden.

What does the name of the book "Brisingr" mean? Ah, you must read and find out. And the adventure does not end here. There is another book in the making.

For all of those who watched the movie, "Eragon", I agree. It was an excellent action/adventure fantasy movie. But the written story is much better in my opinion. The movie leaves out a lot of the story and actually takes on a plot of it's own. Don't get me wrong. I still sit down and watch "Eragon" time and again. But I recommend you read the series. You won't be disappointed.


Click her to Check out The Christopher Paolini shelf in Hughzebeez Books.

Check out Hughzebeez Books.

Other Book Reviews by Hughze:

Terry Brooks Landover Series.


Have a Great Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Montana Snipe Hunt

Another Fictional Yarn told by Hughze.


"The Montana snipe is a dangerous creature about the size of a house cat that hunts only at night. You never want to come in contact with one in the dark because they'll rip you to shreds. That's why you should always carry a flashlight at night when you're out walking around. The light paralyzes them so they can't react. That's when you grab 'em by the tail and throw 'em in a cloth bag." Warren Bates was barreling down a county road with his Ford Mustang in the middle of the night with his best friend Billy Sheetz in the passenger seat and the new kid in town, Ryan Hildarman, in the back seat. It was Friday night and he and Billy had spent the whole past week, during school, convincing Ryan that they were professionals at the art of 'snipe hunting', and had finally convinced him to join them in one of there weekend safaris into the wild rolling plains of eastern Montana to capture a vicious and deadly Montana snipe.

"If they're such a dangerous animal, why don't you just shoot 'em?" Ryan asked leaning between the front seats of the 'Stang so Warren and Billy could hear.

Both Warren and Billy cringed. "Ooo! You never want to shoot a snipe. That makes him real mad and he'll snap out of his paralysis and then he'll get away."

"Not before he takes a good look at who shot him," Warren added. "Then he'll hunt that person down until he finds his house. Then he'll wait 'til everyone goes to bed and rip 'em all apart while they're sleeping. Just out of revenge. Nope it's best just to put him in a bag and take him to the vet. He'll put him to sleep. "

"Besides. It's funner this way. You can turn on the dome light and we'll dump him out on the console here between me and Warren and we can pet him all the way back to town."

Ryan sat back in his seat still not sure about this hunt he had been seduced into attending. But Warren was the most popular guy in school. If he hadn't taken Ryan on this hunt, he'd be cruising town in his Mustang with half the cheer leading squad. Every girl in the whole high school wants to cruise town in Warren's 'Stang. Ryan was hoping this hunt would make him more popular than just being the 'new kid'.

"Here we are," Warren said as he slowed down and turned off into a pasture out in the middle of nowhere. "There's lots of snipes out here. It shouldn't take long to find one. You have your spot light Billy?"

"Right here. Where's your cigarette lighter?"

"Right there. Just put the lighter in the ash tray and plug your light in."

Billy rolled down his window and held the light out above the roof of the car and plugged it into the lighter socket. A bright beam flared out into the night air.

"Hey! Watch it Billy!" Warren said. "Keep it below the horizon. We don't need the law out here thinking we're poaching or rustling cattle. People can see that beam for miles."

"Well excuuuse me." Billy began slowly panning the beam back and forth over the country side some distance from the car.

"What are you doing?'' Ryan asked.

"Looking for snipes" Warren said as he navigated the car through the pasture. They were moving quite slow. "You see, when we find one with the spot light, Billy and I will hold the light on it while you jump out and put it in the bag."

"OK! I see. So you use the spot light to paralyze it, right?"

"Yup. Then you just grab it by the tail and...."

"Oh crap!" Billy said. He started fiddling with the plug in the lighter socket.

Ryan noticed the beam of the light kept blinking on and off. "What's Wrong?"

"I thought you fixed that thing," Warren scolded Billy. "That almost got us killed in the last hunt."

"I did fix it. It must be the lighter socket."

"It's not the lighter socket. This car is state of the art."

"It's a 'Stang. What do you expect." The beam suddenly quit blinking and came to life once more. "There! All I had to do is give it a twist and...."

"Hey! HEY!" Billy and Ryan both started at Warren's outburst.

"What?"

"There!" Warren had stopped the car. "Go back about twenty feet." Billy panned the light back. "There! Stop! Hold it right there on those clumps of grass.... See It?"

Ryan squinted. "I don't see anything."

"Behind the clumps. See it?"

"No."

"Billy! You see it?"

"Yeah! I see it. Second clump to the right. Straight on in the middle of the beam."

Ryan moved so he could get a better view. "I still can't see it."

"You will when you get out there. Just stay in the beam." Billy pointed. "You see them tall clumps of grass?"

"Yeah."

"He's behind those. Just don't shadow 'em and you'll be fine."

Ryan thought for a second. "OK. Let me out."

"Go out Warren's door. I have to hold the light."

Warren opened his door, got out, and pulled his seat forward so Ryan could get out. "You have the bag?"

"Right here." Ryan started to sneak around the back of the car but turned back, "Is the light going to keep working? What if it starts to quit again?"

"We'll have the head lights of the car on. If the light quits, just run until your in the beam of the headlights. And Ryan, if the light quits, don't hesitate, run for your life to get into the beam of the headlights. OK?"

Ryan stared at Warren with fear. "I don't know Warren. Maybe..."

"You'll be alright. Just grab it's tail and put it in the bag. Besides, come Monday, you'll have a snipe hunting tale to tell Elly and she'll be so impressed she'll want to go to the Homecoming dance with you. I guarantee it."

Ryan looked down at the bag. His hand was shaking. The night was cool but he felt hot from the fear that gripped his bones. But the thought of being a hero in the eyes of the girl of his dreams drove him onward. He crept around the car toward the grass illuminated by Billy's spot light.

The two friends tried to stifle their smirks and snickers as they watched Ryan slowly and carefully move closer and closer to the end of the beam where the legendary snipe ,paralyzed by the light, awaited capture. They waited until Ryan bent to look in the grass which supposedly concealed the fearsome creature and Billy pulled the plug on the spot light.

"AAAAHHHH! Run Ryan!" Warren yelled. "Get in the light. Hurry before it rips you to shreds!"

Billy was yelling too. "OH NO! I can't get the light back on! Get in the light! Quick! Get in the light!"

They carried on for some time but when Ryan didn't appear in the headlights of the Mustang, "Ryan....."?

"Turn the light on Billy... AAAHH!" Warren jumped when Ryan's hand slapped him on the shoulder and pushed him aside.

A pale and shocked Ryan crawled through the door into the back seat of the 'Stang.

"You OK Ryan?... It's just a joke," Billy said but Ryan didn't seem to notice. "Ryan?..." Warren climbed back into the car and stared at Ryan. "Let's just head back to town Warren. Maybe he'll come out of it."

Warren turned the car around and drove toward the road and then stopped again when Ryan started laughing hysterically in the back seat. "You OK Ryan?"

"I got him."

"Huh?" both Billy and Warren stared at the half insane Ryan.

Ryan reached up and turned the dome light on. He grinned from ear to ear and his eyes as big as saucers. "I got him. I saw his tail sticking up out of the grass and I grabbed it just before the light went out. I could feel him start squirming so I quick, like stuffed him in the bag just like you said..... By Golly....." He laughed again.

"You got... him ?"

Ryan pulled the bag up into view, turned it over, and dumped it's contents out on the console. The two boys watched in horror at the little all black and fury creature that rolled out into view. Well... all black except for the white stripe that followed it's back from it's head to the tip of it's tail.

Time seemed to stand still as man and beast regarded one another. At least until, satisfied that all parties guilty of this evil and unnecessary assault upon his person were present and accounted for, the... (snipe) began bathing them in a natural aroma like none you'd ever find in any perfume or aromatherapy shops. Billy escaped out the open window on his side. Warren threw open his door and rolled out onto the ground. Ryan, unable to escape, grabbed the... (snipe's) tail and threw him out the open door. He landed on Warren and rolled onto the ground beside him. Thankful that Warren had broken his fall, he rewarded the gracious young man with another dose of spray. Then, for good measure, hosed down the side of the car and it's rear tire before disappearing into the night. The drive back to town was a quiet one.

It was well into the middle of the next week before the boys smelled good enough to return to school. News had spread rapidly of the mighty hunters and their capture of a ferocious snipe. Ryan Hildarman was popular over night. In fact, Elly asked him to the Homecoming dance the first day he returned. He soon found that he had given many a victims of the 'Warren Bates and Billy Sheetz snipe prank' a last laugh.

Warren never did get the smell entirely out of his car. As a result, the only person he could get to cruise town with him in his Mustang was Billy. Of course you know the old saying, "Birds of a feather...", but in this case, "only skunks run together."

© 2009 all rights reserved by Kyle V. Huseby