The Inheritance Cycle and Eragon specifically were some of my favourite books as a kid. I had read the Harry Potter series enough times and The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney were a little too young for me – Christopher’s Paolini’s fantastic world drew me in and I was hooked.
However, there are only 4 books (and a collection of stories) in the series. This begs the question, “What to Read if You Like Eragon?”
The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
My first 3 suggestions will be purely because the books have dragons! The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey is a classic, and there are far more than just 4 books to breeze through.
This series is made up of lots of different trilogies and arcs. The best place to start is the beginning, with Dragonflight, book 1 in the Dragonriders of Pern Series.
HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD?
To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.
But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . . .
Rivenworld by ML Spencer
ML Spencer’s epic fantasy series, Rivenworld, begins with Dragon Mage. From a boy in a small village to an adventurer and dragon rider, what wouldn’t fans of Eragon like about this premise?
Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Aram thinks he’s nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he’s never known. But Aram is more.
Much, much more.
Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders.
Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the caliber of mage that hasn’t existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need.
Songs of Chaos by Michael R. Miller
And for the final time on this list for “What to Read if You Like Eragon“, we have dragons, dragon riders, and a boy-turned-hero in the Songs of Chaos series by Michael R. Miller.
Book 1 of the series is Ascendant.
Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean.
Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within.
But the Scourge is rising. Undead hordes roam the land, spreading the blight and leaving destruction in their wake. The dragon riders are being slaughtered and betrayal lurks in the shadows.
Holt has one chance to survive. He must cultivate the mysterious power of his dragon’s magical core. A unique energy which may tip the balance in the battles to come, and prove to the world that a servant is worthy after all.
The Belgariad by David Eddings
The Belgariad by David Eddings is a classic fantasy series that strongly influenced the creation of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. If you love a series, it can be rewarding to read its influences.
This series begins with Pawn of Prophecy and has 5 books in total.
A magnificent epic set against a history of seven thousand years of the struggles of Gods and Kings and men – of strange lands and events – of fate and a prophecy that must be fulfilled! THE BELGARIAD
Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.
But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved – but did not know? For a while his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while… THUS BEGINS BOOK ONE OF THE BELGARIAD’
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
Another classic of the genre is The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin. These books are incredible, and their influence on the genre today includes many favourites, including Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle and the Harry Potter series.
If you want to read a whimsical fantasy series that is fast-paced and has characters you can root for, pick up book 1, A Wizard of Earthsea and get sucked into an incredible world.
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.
Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
And finally, if you are looking for big books, lots of them, then The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (completed by Brandon Sanderson) is definitely your best bet if you liked Eragon.
Start with book 1, The Eye of the World, rather than the prequel novel, New Spring.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Moiraine Damodred arrives in Emond’s Field on a quest to find the one prophesized to stand against The Dark One, a malicious entity sowing the seeds of chaos and destruction. When a vicious band of half-men, half beasts invade the village seeking their master’s enemy, Moiraine persuades Rand al’Thor and his friends to leave their home and enter a larger unimaginable world filled with dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
There are plenty of long, epic fantasy series out there if that’s what you are looking for, but The Wheel of Time has a similar atmosphere to The Inheritance Cycle.
Some alternative, long fantasy series include:
The Shannara series by Terry Brooks – Start with The Original Shannara Trilogy, book 1 being The Sword of Shannara.
Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson. Book 1 is Gardens of the Moon.
The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. Book 1 is Wizard’s First Rule.
Final Thoughts on What to Read if You Like ‘Eragon’
There are so many fantastic fantasy books and series to discover. Whether you want to read a classic series that inspired Eragon, like The Belgariad, or you want to jump into something a little more modern, such as Rivenworld, the options are almost endless.
If you want to branch out a little bit more, the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is one of the largest and complex fantasy series out there. Alternatively, read some easy trilogies by Trudi Canavan or anything set in the Cosmere by Brandon Sandserson.