Inheritance Cycle: Book 1
Author: Christopher Paolini
Guided reading level: V
Lexile: 710L
DRA 44
Interest Level: grade 6 - 8
Reading level: 7.8
My recommended reading age: 12 and up

Eragon is a typical 15 year old nobody from a small farm village.  Orphaned and left to be raised by his Uncle, his only special gift is the ability to hunt in a dangerous part of the forest that others fear.  Life changes for him drastically when he discovers a mysterious stone which eventually leads to his true destiny, that of a dragon rider.  Throughout the book, Eragon struggles to learn all that this entails, seek revenge for the death of a friend, and train to become a legendary rider.  He is met with danger he never knew existed, and the choice between caring only for himself, or devoting his skills to help save the entire kingdom.

I picked up this book after my 10 year old son had read the first two in the Inheritance Cycle.  Sufficeth to say that I felt like a heathen for allowing such a young innocent mind to read it.  I had no idea about the amount of graphic material in this book.  For starters, Eragon comes upon a town that has been destroyed by Urgals, and discovers a pile of bodies with children on top (big problem for me).  There is also torture, many many violent battles, stabbing, mind reading, dark magic, a really creepy bad guy, and a beheading.  This book reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings in it's nature, both the storyline and the amount of detailed gory fighting.  Having said all of that, I did enjoy the story, went on to read the next two books in the series, and am awaiting the final installment, I wonder what this says about me?  I guess I just don't think that the material is appropriate for a 10 year old, give him a few more years to grow up.  Also recognize that these books will get more intense as they progress.


1 comment:

  1. Very appropriate warnings for this book and series. I wasn't ready for Lord of the Rings till I was in my 30's, though enjoyed many of the themes by then. This series requires a little reading quickly through the gross or violent parts for me, so I agree on your age recommendation. Also the story is well told and interesting.


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