Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini

GoodReads Summary:
Welcome back to the world of Alagaësia. It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective. This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist . . . penned by Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character, herself! Relish the incomparable imagination of Christopher Paolini in this thrilling new collection of stories based in the world of the Inheritance Cycle.
The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Eragon (Tales from Alagaësia #1; The Inheritance Cycle World)Review:
The wonderful Antonia bought me the Inheritance Cycle for this past Christmas and we have spent most of this year attempting to buddy read them. I finally finished the final book last month. I requested the new novella, The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm from my library so that I could finally say that I’ve completed all of the books in this world.
I think this novella was fun but a little too short. I enjoyed all three parts. In the first, we get to see Eragon struggling with the menial duties of being in charge. But he gets help from the Eldunari and I thought that story was fun. Next, we see Angela collects the girl that Eragon tried to bless, but didn’t use the right words. We finally get to learn a little bit more about Angela, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted more from her chapters. I wish it was a little bit longer. I just want Angela’s whole book. The final part of this novella was Eragon listening to a story told by one of the Urgal. I thought the story was beyond interesting. It was a great story that really gave us a piece of the Urgal’s history that we didn’t previously know.
Overall, this was a fun story. I enjoyed being back in the world that I’ve come to love (though later than most people). It was over too quickly. I enjoyed each of the stories but was left wanting just a little bit more. If you read and loved the Inheritance Cycle, you’ll love this short trip back into Alagaësia.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Summary:
It began with Eragon… It ends with Inheritance.
Not so very long ago, Eragon — Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider — was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance.
The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?
This is the spellbinding conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.
Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4)Review:
What to say about Inheritance? So much, but also nothing at all. I was about 30% into this book when I seriously considered DNF’ing it. In the end, I’m really glad that I didn’t (especially since I ended up giving it five stars on GoodReads). I absolutely loved the way this series was concluded. So much happened, so I’m at a loss with what to say.
Eragon was by far my favorite. As always, he’s still courageous and clever. He thinks outside the box and manages to win in the end because of these traits. I really liked his growth and the hard choices he has to make. He doesn’t back down from a fight and always sticks to what he thinks is right. He also makes sure to listen and take into consideration what those around him are saying.
I still love Arya. I was almost shrieking with how her story is left at the end of this story. I was so happy with it. I really don’t have too much else to say about her except that I’m excited to see if she appears in Paolini’s newest stories in this world.
The plot for this final book was so slow for the first half of the book. That was really tough for me because this is an 800 something page book so getting through 400 pages of minor battles that were needed before the big final showdown was hard. Once we got about halfway, some really interesting and wild things start happening and I just got sucked right into the story. I needed to know how it ended and I did nothing but read until I finally got to the end.
Overall, I’m going to keep this review short because after three books, so much has happened that I can’t really get into and I’m not going to talk about every single character because there’s too many. I loved the story, the complex world, the characters, and the conclusion to this beloved series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

Summary:
It’s been only months since Eragon first uttered “brisingr,” the ancient language term for fire. Since then, he’s not only learned to create magic with words—he’s been challenged to his very core. Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still, there is more adventure at hand, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.
When danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices—choices that will take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimaginable sacrifice.
Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?
Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle, #3)Review:
I’m going to be honest here. I had a really hard time with this book. It didn’t keep my interest like the first two did. I don’t know if that’s because of the different perspectives or something else, but I kept putting it down and really had to convince myself to pick it up again. Part of me is wondering how I’m going to get through the final book.
Things I liked are as follows; I love that we’re seeing some really great character development from Eragon. He’s grown so much from the annoying boy he was in the first book. I’ve really grown to care about him and his journey. He’s making better choices and really thinking about the effects that his actions have on the world around him. I also really enjoyed the big reveals we were given. We learn a few things that pull the story together. I thought they were unexpected and I really enjoyed the plot twists. I also enjoying seeing more of the world this story takes place in. Eragon travels all over and I love seeing the world because it’s full of so many interesting characters and places. There are some great relationships that have been developed over the time line of the story and the just get better and better.
What I didn’t like; no surprise here. Roran, Eragon’s cousin. I just don’t care about him. I think I might have cared had we learned about him in another way, but when the story is in his perspective it just makes me want to put the book down. I don’t care what he thinks or says. Katrina is annoying with always worrying and him never wanting to worry her. I just don’t care about him. I don’t know what it is.
Overall, I’m still hooked enough into the story, especially since I’ve read three of the four books. So, I’ll be continuing onto the fourth book because I need to know how Eragon is going to defeat the villain. I am excited to see how this saga is concluded and what Eragon comes up with to beat the big bad.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Summary:
Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, vital skills of the Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure who he can trust.
Meanwhile, his cousin, Roran, must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall—one that puts Eragon in even graver danger.
Will the kind’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life…
Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2)Review:
Eldest is the second book in the Inheritance Cycle. I’m buddy reading this series with Antonia because she’s wonderful and bought the whole series for me as a Christmas gift. Check out my review for the first book, Eragon, here.
I enjoyed this book, not quite as much as the first, but I enjoyed it. There was a lot of traveling and learning in this book that tends to come with fantasy books but I don’t mind that. I really enjoyed following Eragon as he learned all about the history of the Dragon Riders and elf culture. I thought the world in this book is incredible. It’s so complex, intricate, and well built. The writing is also intricate and well done. The story flows smoothly and is filled with creative and interesting language.
I believe that the most impressive part about this book is Eragon’s character growth. He learns so much about himself and about the world around him in these pages. By the final page he is not the same boy that he was on page one. He really takes the things he learns and adapts his world view and opinions. He’s not afraid of learning new things and letting those things change him. He becomes a man in this book.
I was blown away again and again by the plot twists Paolini threw at us. I’m not sure how many texts I sent to Antonia saying, “WHAT DID HE JUST DO” because the author had me dropping my jaw a fair few times at the end of the story.
We were introduced to a few new characters in this second book. the one that I’m most interested to learn more about is the elf that trained Eragon in the Dragon Rider ways. I just have a feeling that there’s more to his story that we haven’t learned yet.
The only aspect of this story that I didn’t enjoy was the changing perspectives. I’m usually all for different perspectives, but one of the points of view was from Roran (Eragon’s cousin)and I just couldn’t bring myself to care about those chapters at all.
Overall, this was pretty much what I was expecting from this sequel. We traveled. We learned. We grew. I loved it and I’m very excited to see where the story goes from here.

“How terrible,” said Eragon,”to die alone, seperate even from the one who is closest to you.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Summary:
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of the Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
Review:
Antonia is the best and bought me this entire series for Christmas this year. I was planning to read it because it is the Booksplosion book of the month and I’ve never read the series before, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Antonia was excited because she totally loves this series. We decided to buddy read the whole series together! I am reading Eragon for the first time, but it’s a reread for Antonia. We obviously started with Eragon.
I went into this book expecting to like it, but not sure how much I would like it. There was no doubt in my mind that I would like it, I wasn’t worried about disliking it in the least. My prediction was not wrong. I totally loved this book and I think I’m only going to love them more the further into the series we get. Let’s talk about what I liked and didn’t like and all the good stuff.
I liked Eragon. Even though it was a typical 2000s chosen one trope, I still liked him. He wasn’t a know it all. He wasn’t suddenly super powerful. He learned how to fight. He learned how to do magic. And he’s still learning. I think he was likable and entertaining. I enjoyed following him as he traveled and figured out what to do with all of the changes that were happening to him. The only thing I didn’t like was that Eragon was complimented like ten times in the latter half of the book about how skilled of a swordsman and a fighter he had become, but despite this, he manages to get knocked unconscious and even kidnapped so. many. times. It was annoying, not enough to really put me off, just something I noticed and didn’t like.
I also loved Brom. He was funny and sassy. I liked his relationship with Eragon. I also wanted him to answer all of Eragon’s questions, but I liked the air of mystery he gave. I love the relationship that developed between him and Eragon while the traveled. I can’t wait to see what else we learn about him.
Murtaugh, another traveling buddy that I like. He’s loyal(ish) and interesting and mysterious. There’s so much that we don’t know about him and I really enjoyed learning about him. I also loved his dedication to getting Eragon to his destination. I’m interested to see what happens with him in the next books.
There is so much traveling done by these characters. Many readers don’t like that, but I’m not one of those. I ate up these pages telling me about this world. This world that Eragon lives in is huge and beautiful and creative. Paolini does some seriously incredible world building and I can’t wait to see more of it in the next books. I feel like there’s some serious build up that will be rewarded in the later books and I can’t wait for it. There were some action scenes that were very well done. Paolini’s writing was everything I wanted and more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and I’m sad I slept on it for so long. There was absolutely incredible worldbuilding and I loved it. The characters were interesting and quickly brought me into the story and had me invested in their futures. I was surprised several times in the direction the story took which I appreciated. I can’t wait to see where this story is going to take the characters in Eldest.

“Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it’s actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Antonia's Antics · Everything & Anything · Top Ten Tuesday

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday – Sensory Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten books with sensory reading memories. These are the books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, who you were with, what you were eating, what you were feeling, what you were seeing, etc.

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I’m actually really excited for this topic because books almost always leave me with sensory memories; usually just a feeling or really vivid memory but it happens to me a lot. It’s one of the main reasons why I reread books so often.

I’m going to try not to list all the same books as Amanda but there will probably still be a couple. With that being said, here are my top ten for this week:

1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – I had a huge book that included all seven of the Narnia books in one. I remember carrying it around with me in sixth grade and having to leave it on top of my desk because it wouldn’t fit in the little cubby underneath. I’d have not only students but teachers asking me why I was reading such a big book.

2. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – It felt like I waited forever for the last book in this series to come out and when it did I’d just started my first semester of college so it took awhile for me to get it. Every time I think of this book, it feels like I’m back in my sister’s apartment, crying over the bittersweet ending while my sister and her boyfriend stared at me in confusion.

3. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer – This is going to be a long one: It was Amanda’s birthday and we’d had a giant, all-night party so I was exhausted that day. Amanda and another friend of ours received their pre-ordered books that day but mine was late and I was devastated. Luckily my family rented cottages for summer vacations and the girl staying there had already finished her copy and was nice enough to lend it to me. Like Amanda, I fell asleep reading it and woke up to my sister reading it several chapters ahead of me. I stayed in touch with that girl for several years.

4. Redwall by Brian Jacques – This series is the one that gives me the most sensory memories. Picking out the first one from the school library in 4th grade, telling my brother I was reading it and him being so excited because they were his favorite books as a child, always being so hungry because the descriptions of the giant feasts were amazing, the stuffed animal my brother made me to look like one of the more ridiculous characters, etc. I could go on forever about these books.

5. Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks – This was my first Sparks novel and before this I’d had no idea how devastating a book could be. Right up until the very end it seems happy then BOOM. I cried myself to sleep for days. I remember climbing out on my roof and just crying at like 4 in the morning and refusing to read the last few pages.

6. The Witches by Roald Dahl – Now technically numbers 6 and 7 were not books I read but books that were read to me but I still think they count. This one my third grade teacher read out loud to our class and it’s what got me started on Dahl’s books. I can still feel myself sitting in those tiny desks, listening to his voice bring the book alive.

7. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls – This one was read by my fifth grade teacher. He’d read many books to us that year but when it was time for this one he announced that it was kind of sad and that when we got to that part he was going to have to stop for the day and that he was going to cry. And he did. We all did. Just a class of ten year olds and their teacher crying over a book.

8. 10 Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn – All of Quinn’s books are funny but this one the most. I remember laying on a beach towel next to Amanda at the pond near my house. I wouldn’t stop laughing and trying to read parts out loud to her while she tried to read her own book. It got so bad she actually got mad at me.

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – I remember reading this on a hot summer night. We didn’t have AC so all my windows were open and the crickets were insane. I remember pacing around my room crying in the middle of the night for pretty much the last third of the book.

10. Eragon by Christopher Paolini – I know, I know. I’m repeating authors but I have so many memories for this one. The ten thousand times I read it, being absolutely disgusted by the movie, reading it out loud with my mom every night (keep in mind I was not a child when we did this). Everything about this book gives me happy memories.

 

Well that’s my top ten this week. I’d love to hear your own answers.

-Antonia

Amanda's Adventures · Antonia's Antics · Top Ten Tuesday

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Rewind

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week we post our Top Ten for the weeks topic. This week’s is a rewind so we get to pick a topic we missed or wanted to revisit. I chose to do my top ten book I wish I could read again for the first time. Antonia chose a different topic, but also liked this one so her top ten is here along with mine. We hope you enjoy!
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Amanda’s Top Ten:

1)Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling– I’d like to be able to re read this whole series for the first time because well, it’s Harry Potter and I love them.

2)Looking for Alaska by John Green– This is my all time favorite book ever. I would love to be able to read this for the first time again. It was an amazing book and I’m going to try to put it on as many Top Ten’s as I can.

3)Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn– I read this book when my older brother was in school and he had to read it for one of his classes. I’m really glad I got to read this book and it’s one that I’ll keep rereading forever.

4)Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich– I would like to read this book for the first time again for purely x rated reasons. This is one of my favorite books in the now twenty book series.

5)Exit Here by Jason Myers– This is another book that has made it to my favorites list. I’d love to read this again for the first time so that I can fall in love with the story all over again.

6)Burned by Ellen Hopkins– Ellen Hopkins needs to be on this list somewhere. Burned is my favorite of her books.

7)The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– This book was amazing. I did just recently read The Book Thief, but I’d love to read it again and again.

8)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer– I know, haha. I put Twilight on this list because this saga was a huge part of my younger years and I read it so many times I could almost recite it to you. If I could read these books over for the first time, I wonder how I would feel about them.

9)Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith– I put this on this list mainly because I would love to be able to sit down with all of the books and just go crazy reading the whole series for the first time.

10)The House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast– This is also on the list because now that the whole series is out I would love to be able to have all of them and read them all for the first time. I think I lost interest in this series because I couldn’t keep waiting for the next one to come out.

Antonia’s Top Ten:

1)The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory– This is a given for me. It’s my favorite series of all time and I wish I could meet the characters all over again.

2)The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima– These books made me feel so many different emotions. I wish I could experience that all over again.

3)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer– I wish I could love this series like I did when I was fifteen before the movie and all the twihards ruined it for me.

4)The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis– I wish I could feel all the feelings these books made me feel before they ruined my childhood by ending.

5)The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks– It’s one of my favorite love stories ever. I wish I could read it again without knowing how it ends.

6)Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead– I wish I could fall in love with Dimitri again without knowing what happens to him.

7)The Shack by William Paul Young– This book literally ripped my heart out, stomped on it with steel toe boots and shoved it back into my body. As masochistic as it sounds, I wish that could happen again.

8)The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling– I shouldn’t have to explain this one to anyone.

9)The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini– I wish I could read all four of these books consecutively for the first time. So much time passed between the release dates that I ended up forgetting too many details between reading them.

10)The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout– I only wish I could read all of these consecutively for the first time, after the last book comes out this summer. I had so many feelings for all of these books.

These are our top ten books we’d love to read again for the first time. What are yours?