So I've had an idea for a fantasy novel for quite a long time (since I was eleven, actually) and I hope to go far with it. Here is a little background: it started with a drawing I did at my friend's house when I was younger, and it has since evolved from there. My only problem is that lately I have been feeling discouraged about the plot and some other things, because a little of it resembles Paolini's Eragon, and the rest in his cycle. To clear something up, I was actually working on this idea before I had even heard about Eragon, believe it or not. A friend of mine introduced me to the book some time later, and I was really dismayed and frustrated when I learned of how many similarities there were to Paolini's book and my own idea. So now I would love it if you could review this for me, and let me know if it would make a good book, or if the idea isn't original enough to capture anyone's attention. The Plot: Erin Griffen (15) has just moved to Oregon with her parents and little brother, Jake (9). There, she grows attached to a forest bordering their new property and frequently visits it. One day she finds a small black stone and she decides to keep it. But days later, as she is walking in the forest, a giant black dog attacks her. Although the creature has wounded her, with the help of her German shepherd dog and her father's hunting rifle she manages to kill it. Knowing that her parents wouldn't believe her if she told the truth about the attack, Erin lies and weaves a convincing story about startling a bear and it attacking her. Sometime later, she encounters another giant dog, only this one is smaller and weaker. Erin decides to help this one, and the two become friends. She learns that the dog can speak her language, and he tells her his name: Züs. Züs tells her about another world called Asturn that he and his family fled from, and that with the power of the black stone Erin found, they can get there. One day Erin's mother discovers Züs and threatens to call the police, so with no other option Erin and Züs flee to Asturn during the night. There, they meet Zya and Nade, a man and another giant dog. The four become friends and Erin and Züs end up staying in Asturn for several days. One day, Nade spots Erin reading a book about Asturn she had gotten from her grandfather's attic. He recognizes the author's name, and informs Erin that the author was once a prince of Asturn. And Erin could be related. Shocked, Erin agrees to return to the real world to question her grandfather about this possibility, but when she gets back she finds that her house has been burned to the ground, her parents dead, and her brother dying. Erin and the others try to save her brother Jake, but he ends up dying later in Asturn. With no home or family left to return to, Erin makes the decision to stay in Asturn and learn more about her history. The rest of the plot is murky from there. Erin, Züs, Nade and Zya, with the help of a gryphon, go on to learn that her grandfather in fact was the prince of Asturn, and that he is the brother of a wicked man named Zarkinnion who seeks to overthrow the current king of Asturn. The rest goes on about an all-powerful amulet hidden away that only the descendants of the past kings (Erin being one of them because of her relations) of Asturn can wield. It's a race against time as Erin tries to find this amulet, while Zarkinnion is searching for it himself. So what do you think? I've tried very hard to get it as original as I can, but there are some things that I can't change... and am also a little unwilling. Comments and constructive criticism are very welcomed! Do you think this would make a good book, or does it just sound like a rip-off of other fantasy novels? Thanks!