It was 2002 and here was this nineteen year old guy having a gigantic success story in front of the nation’s eyes. In fact, I can honestly say that Christopher Paolini’s remarkable success at such an early age was one of the reasons I decided to start on my book so young.
Everybody knows that story of Eragon, or if they don’t they aren’t interested so I won’t dwell on that. Suffice to say, it’s a pretty entertaining book. Cliches abound, fresh adjectives are oftentimes sorely wanting, but it’s still a good read. But what most families should be asking is, is it a wholesome one?
Eragon can and should be compared to a Pizza Hut pizza. It’s high quality junk food that, while not having anything in it that’s dangerous to your health, still has nothing that nurtures.
The title character is a likable, rebellious young man who, although sure of himself, seems willing to learn. He is also respectful of others privacy, a honest bloke, fiercely loyal to his friends, and adamantly set against the evil forces that seek to crush the world. Honestly, he’s a pretty nice guy. As a role model (something younger readers will definitely see him as) you could do worse.
In fact, most of those qualities are shared across the good guys. The main exception is Eragon’s mentor Brom, the man whom it is clear Eragon should look up to. This guy has absolutely no problem in cheating, lying or invading others minds (something he warns Eragon not to do, and then conversely does himself.) The fact that Brom is definitely portrayed as the insight into the author’s mind, that’s somewhat disturbing.
Violence here isn’t excessive, or even necessarily often. Nowhere are graphically descriptive words that will cause younger readers to cringe. However, a female elf character is badly beaten and torture, and even has her guards ordered to sexually molest her (something she is able to avoid) in order to wring information out of her.
Which brings us to the next topic. Frankly, the book is clean. Slight romance is hinted at between Eragon and the elf, but besides that, it’s pretty decent.
I can’t remember any language in the entire book either. This doesn’t mean it’s not there…it just means it’s probably not an issue.
Overall, it’s a fun, light read. No moral lessons to bring the reader up, and no real inappropriate content. In fact, for ages ten and up, this book will definitely be one that you can confidently trust nothing bad will come of. (The writer of this blog cannot be held responsible for situations that contradict that last statement. Or the previous statement. Or any other statements he made in the post. Or on this blog. Or in life. Or death.)
Now here’s the tricky part. As everyone knows, this book is a part of a series, and while the first one is fine, the rest? Not so much. Every complimentary thing I said in this post is torn out, chewed up, and thrown away. Every…last…positive…thing. And bad content isn’t only present, it’s prevalent. Anything from nude elves, to hurtful rebellious behavior that’s ‘cool’, to an out-and-out declaration of atheism.
So that’s where the danger lies. Know that although this book is fine, the readers will want more. And more is where everything isn’t fine. Your choice.
By the way, the movie stinks. So much for the movie review.