Eragon, a young adult fantasy novel, is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle. It tells the story of a young boy named Eragon who hatches a dragon, Saphira, out of a mysterious stone he finds in the woods. Eragon bonds closely with Saphira and becomes a dragon rider, drawing the attention of the evil king Galbatorix, who sends his servants, the Ra'zac, to kill him. While escaping from the Ra'zac, Eragon and his mentor Brom become embroiled in plots against the evil king.
The next day Eragon hikes his way back out of the woods to return home without any game. It takes him nearly two days to reach the Palancar Valley where Carvahall– his home – is located. Before heading home he decides to stop at the butcher shop and pick up some meat for his family.
Because Eragon has no money, he attempts to sell the blue stone for the meat, but the butcher– Sloan – will not take it because its value is unknown. The small amount he’s willing to offer is too little for Eragon, so he advises him to wait for a merchant to arrive in town to appraise it. When Eragon finally takes the money, he admits he found the stone in the Spine, to which Sloan angrily refuses the trade. He threatens Eragon and tells him to leave.
Horst enters, the town’s blacksmith and calms the butcher, eventually buying a selection of meats for Eragon and sending him on his way, happy to have humiliated the butcher. Confused by the butcher’s reaction, Eragon is advised to ask his uncle about it for more details. Eragon remembers that he must pass along a message of love to the butcher’s daughter Katrina from his cousin Roran.
After completing his business in town, Eragon leaves for his uncle’s farm, a mere 10 miles away. Eragon’s Uncle Garrow greets him gruffly and grows angry at the meat received in charity. Eragon reassures him that he is to work the meat off as an assistant to the blacksmith in the spring and that he will juggle the work between his uncle’s farm and blacksmithing.
After Eragon shows his uncle the stone, Garrow explains that Sloan’s wife was killed in the Spine and that it is indeed odd for him to react quite so harshly, even with such history.