I remember reading this series back in middle school and enjoying it. They're very flawed books but I still think that the dragons are the most interesting aspect of them, more specifically the friendship between dragon and dragonrider. If the author focused more on that aspect and less on the cringy romance with the elf, or the boring adventures of the protagonist's brother, I think the books would've been better.
The first book is written pretty poorly. Even young me noticed that relative to other novels I was reading at the time. But I do think he improves pretty dramatically as the series goes on, even if the story is the story by that point.
Read and enjoyed the first two a ton when I was really young, then my disillusionment came from a combo of the terrible movie and the fact that the final book was split into two parts and they took way too long to come out so I wasnt interested anymore. There was always a part of me that knew it was kinda cringey but eh
I've got all four on my bookshelf, I'm ashamed to admit. I don't even have the excuse of youth.
I'm 40 now, so I guess I was in my early 30s when I read the first two.
Stopped there. I couldn't take the terribad anymore.
I get he was pretty damn young when he started. But... Yikes.