Eragon finally allowed the tears to spill from his eyes, and he clutched the railing of the ship and wept as he left behind all that he had ever known. Above, Saphira keened, and her grief mingled with his as they mourned what could never be.Inheritance; Christopher Paolini
In time, however, Eragon’s heart slowed, and his tears dried, and a measure of peace stole over him as he gazed out at the empty plain. He wondered what strange things they might encounter within its wild reaches, and he pondered the life he and Saphira were to have—a life with the dragons and the Riders.
We are not alone, little one, said Saphira.
A smile crept across his face.
And the ship sailed onward, gliding serenely down the moonlit river toward the dark lands beyond.
I started reading Harry Potter the year Eragon was released. I didn’t know this at the time; I was nine years old, and so far away from being interested in reading about a teenage boy and his dragon that had I been aware that Eragon even existed at the time, I probably would have passed on the story altogether.
Now, at twenty-five, I find it ironic.
The Inheritance Cycle was to me as a teen and young adult what Harry Potter had been to me as a child. It was a gateway. An escape. It was the genesis of a vibrant world unlike my own that had much of the same problems yet served as a sanctuary from the realities of growing up. Where Harry Potter had set my imagination ablaze, Eragon and his adventures in Alagaësia kept the flame burning, adding tinder, feeding oxygen to a mind that would eventually come to realize it wouldn’t be satisfied doing anything that didn’t involve books.