The 15 year old resident of Carvahall, Eragon, starts the book by finding a strange blue stone while traversing The Spine, a mountainous area outside his home. The world in which this novel takes place is known as Alagaësia, under the control of Galbatorix, a fallen Dragon Rider, now evil. These dragon riders used to be the peace keepers of the world, but when his dragon died, Galbatorix went mad and killed his fellow riders.
Eragon’s blue stone hatches eventually and from it emerges a dragon. Because of the rarity of the birth (dragons are supposed to be extinct), Eragon keeps his find secret and raises his dragon away from prying eyes, until two dark Ra’zac enter the town looking for the stone.The dragon, named Saphira, leaves the town with Eragon to hide in the forest. While Eragon is away, the Ra’zac kill Eragon’s Uncle Garrow and burn his house down. In response, Eragon declares himself a new Dragon Rider in the vain of those past, the peace keepers, before Galbatorix betrayed them. Eragon takes with him on his journeys Brom, a weaver of stories from his town with knowledge on everything Eragon needs to protect himself and defeat the Ra’zac.
The three finally reach the town of Teirm where Brom learns that the Ra’zac are in Helgrind, the four-peaked mountain near the city of Dras-Leona. The three travel there and are lured into a trap set by the Ra’zac, failing to find the revenge that Eragon so desparately seeks. Rescued by Murtagh, an unknown stranger, Eragon and Saphira survive, but his mentor Bram is hurt and soon dies. He reveals before his death though that he was once a Dragon Rider, betrayed by Gaslbatorix like the others, his dragon murdered. After Galbatorix’s coup, Brom became a member of Varden, and sniped the unhatched egg that Eragon eventually found, Saphira’s blue stone.
Along with Murtagh, Eragon and Saphira set out to find Varden to help them. Along their journey, Eragon begins to have odd dreams of a mysterious female elf in trouble. When Eragon is captured, he finally meets her, both of them imprisoned together. Murtagh and Saphira strike the prison though and manage to resuce both Eragon and the elf. During the rescue, the three encounter Shade, a horrible creature that should not be awake. The revalation of such a horrible creature loose upon the world causes the three to assume that Galbatorix is in league with darker forces yet.
On the way to the Varden, Eragon must deal with an immense influx of foes and dangers, including an army of Urgals chasing them all the way there. The Vardens’ fortress, located in the depths of the Beor Mountains, is host to groups of dwarves, elves, and Varden, who are in league, having sent Saphira’s egg to The Spine where Eragon found it. Given a short rest, the three along with the Varden and their allies must prepare for the arrival of the Urgal as the approach the mountain. They learn for sure that Galbatorix is in league with the dark forces from a stolen messenge and soon they are in a battle with the Urgal. During the battle, the Urgals are close to defeating the Varden until Eragon defeats the Shade they encountered earlier. However, the battle with the Shade leaves him horribly disfigured and in pain. When the battle ends, closing the first chapter in the Inheritance trilogy, Eragon is preparing to go study with the elves.