A book review for parents
This first fantasy book in the "Inheritance Cycle" series by Christopher Paolini is published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books.
Eragon is written for kids ages 10 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Eragon, a farm boy, discovers a dragon egg and becomes a dragon rider — the first in many decades. The uncle who raised him and a former dragon rider who trains him are both killed. Eragon wants revenge. Eragon befriends the son of the evil emperor's former right-hand man. After traversing the kingdom and facing many dangerous enemies, Eragon must choose whether to serve the emperor or aid the emperor's enemies. An epic battle of the allied humans and dwarves versus the evil Urgals ends the book.
The uncle is kind, and the older man who trains the boy acts as a parent. When these two men die, Eragon realizes that being a rider puts him above others, so he doesn't always respect authority.
Other Belief Systems
References are made to gods and "all the gods, known and unknown." A witch reads the main character's fortune and turns up later to aid him in battle and heal his wounds. Magic, including magical healing and mental control over objects, comprises a major part of the book. The most prevalent use of magic appears in the form of people-to-people and people-to-animal mental telepathy.
A few curse words; vivid description of a pile of dead bodies, including infants; fights; battles against evil creatures with some details about the resulting wounds and deaths; references to torture
There is one reference to a light kiss and amused talk of mistresses in one instance.
The New York Times Best Seller, No. 1; USA Today Best Seller; Publishers Weekly Best Seller; Wall Street Journal Best Seller, 2005 and more.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Eragon deceives his enemies and thwarts their plans.
How important is telling the truth?
- Does killing an unarmed enemy constitute murder (this issue is not resolved in the text)?
- Should slavery of any kind exist?
Note: Producers often use a book as a springboard for a movie idea or to earn a specific rating. Because of this, a movie may differ from the novel. To better understand how this book and movie differ, compare the book review with Plugged In's movie review.
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.