Eragon – Christopher Paolini

Synopsis: One boy. One dragon. A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgeling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

 

Violence

The book contains a fair amount of violence and characters that reap destruction where they go. The Urgals, for example, are fearsome man-beasts. They slaughtered a village, piled the bodies in the centre – the pile was crowned with a baby impaled by a barbed spear. Stories are told of the Ranger’s battle prowess, and the King’s evil acts of war and murder are detailed. He has many evil servants, including the Ra’zac – unnaturally shaped beings, with beaks- and the Urgals, Kulls and a Shade (a magic user who obtains magic through spirits.)

Eragon is trained to become a warrior, practising the sword, the bow and sharpening his magic and mind. However, he thinks to kill his enemies ‘extreme’, and his mentor scold him, saying “It’s not extreme if they wouldn’t show you the same mercy!”

Arya was tortured for information – Eragon heals her wounds.

 

Romance

Eragon’s cousin, Roran, is in love with Katrina. They kiss on occasion, but the whole romance is secret because her father would disapprove. He is intent on marrying her.

Eragon is attracted to Arya.

 

Alcohol/Substance

Eragon listens to the drunk men in the pub, and he and Brom find information in a tavern. A drunk soldier lets them in a building their breaking into for information. Eragon and Brom indulge in beer one evening and wake up with a hangover, which they ‘cure’ with brandy and tea. Eragon is drugged to keep him from using magic.
In a drunken rage, a character’s father cut him with his sword when he was only three.

 

Authority

Show respect for those in power, but don’t follow them blindly…

 

Language

Damnation, a–, hellfire.

 

Religion

Eragon thanks the gods in relief, and after the death of his uncle, cries out in frustration, “What god would do this?”
They encounter a religion where the ‘believers’ worship the mountain of Helgrind. They drink human blood and offer human offerings.

 

Other:

Eragon knows stealing is wrong and when he says so, his mentor Brom responds, “Depends on your point of view” and goes on to explain about motives. Brom cuts a man’s purse (in defence, the man cheated money from them).

Eragon has his fortune told (and it all comes true later on). Necromancy is mentioned but as the worst kind of magic. Eragon is taught the different types of magic users.

 

Overall feel: It’s a more mature read, in content and style, but was written beautifully. The story is very interesting, and the world quite complex. It might seem a little slow in the beginning but picks up after that. (You have to set the stage, right?) If you’re not one for violence or magic, this is not for you, but to those who enjoy fantasy, this is a must-read.

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