Eragon for 11yo - anything to worry about?

My 11yo son is really enjoying the Eragon series.

I've always tried to read at least some of what my kids are reading to make sure it is appropriate for them, but these books are very long and I'm not really getting into them.

For those who have read them, can you save me the time and trouble and let me know if you think there is anything I need to worry about in them? I am wondering mostly about sexual themes, too graphic violence/gore/horror (he likes battle scenes!) and blatant anti-God/religion themes.

I don't have trouble with fantasy/adventure per se and we all have read (and watched) and loved Tolkien, Lewis and Rowling (sorry if it offends anyone to put those three together!) to give you an idea of where I'm coming from.

Thanks!

As a teacher, I say Eragon is a good book for an 11 year old.:thumbsup:

Nothing problematic for an eleven year old. An adult, however, might get the feeling that the writing is mediocre and the plot is derivative, but there's nothing morally wrong with mediocre writing.

An adult, however, might get the feeling that the writing is mediocre and the plot is derivative, but there’s nothing morally wrong with mediocre writing.

Yeah, that’s why I didn’t want to read it all myself :slight_smile:

Thanks to you both!

Anyone else have any thoughts about these books? I’d also like to hear from those of you who disagree that an 11yo should be reading them and why.

I have read all 4 books. Eragon (I think) was perfectly fine for kids. The next book, Eldest, spends a couple of pages where it seems the author inserts his arguments against God. I think these same little arguments are voiced again in the third and fourth books. They aren’t that good of arguments, but it might not be good for an 11 year old. You could probably find the passages in question with a google search of Eragon and Religion, and decide if you want him to continue reading the series.

Why am I not surprised that there’d be an Author On Board moment and that said author was expressing atheist views? I once had the dubious honor of getting yelled at by Christopher Paolini, in an online discussion when I dared to point out how poor his writing is: I think his fame went to his head, and that can make a person see themselves as the god of their own little personal cosmos.

Yes.

You should worry about your child reading absolute rubbish. Awful book, awful series. Nothing original.

Let's not forget that the author of these books isn't much older than the target audience of the books.

ChadS

a google search of Eragon and Religion

Now why didn’t I think of that?

Now that I’ve read one the excerpts, I think I know where to start the conversation with my son about this. I think I might have to read more of these books than I really want to depending on what he says.

Again, thank you all.

[quote="Matrix_Refugee, post:3, topic:271658"]
...but there's nothing morally wrong with mediocre writing.

[/quote]

Except that it might turn a kid right off reading for a lifetime. :p

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:7, topic:271658"]
Yes.

You should worry about your child reading absolute rubbish. Awful book, awful series. Nothing original.

[/quote]

[SIGN]AMEN[/SIGN]

And OP, the movie was horrific as well.

I have only read the first three books (of four) in the Eragon series, because after reading the second one with its redundant, verbose, and generally pompous writing, the annoying Mary Sue Arya, Eragon's perpetual moaning about his back (at least ninety pages of the book could have been removed if he didn't complain about his back so much), and not-so subtle borrowing from Star Wars, I couldn't justify spending money on the series. I read the third one when I friend loaned it to me, and I didn't think that I got nearly as much enjoyment out of reading it that the time I put into it warranted. Honestly, these books would be much more bearable if an editor had reduced their length and forced Paolini to stay away from the cliches that choke his work like weeds.

Anyway, I would say that I don't remember anything really problematic in the first book, but in the second one, the elves (whom Paolini encourages readers to idolize) make it clear to Eragon that they don't believe in God (or gods) and several stale arguments against religion are hashed out. In a better book, that might not necessarily be a reason not to read, but this book doesn't have an interesting plot or intriguing characters or deep themes, so there is no point in reading the author's atheistic views.

In the third one, I think that, in the beginning, Eragon performs a really spiteful act of violence against Sloan (the village butcher from the first book) which makes me lose any sense of sympathy for Eragon, and Eragon seems to take too much joy in the books endless battles. Roran also gradually morphs into a character that seems to love fighting and killing people, and that was a shame because, in the second book, I felt like the Roran plot was much more real and exiting than the Eragon part, but in the third book, even that bright spot was taken away.

I would recommend that you encourage your son to read books that are better written and filled with less vengeful and bloodthirsty characters who don't advocate atheism. I would suggest the Dragon Rider series (which Paolini stole a lot from) or some of Brian Jacques' books.

God bless you and your son.

Only that he could develop a taste for poor literature. ;)

[quote="Heuchler, post:5, topic:271658"]
I have read all 4 books. Eragon (I think) was perfectly fine for kids. The next book, Eldest, spends a couple of pages where it seems the author inserts his arguments against God. I think these same little arguments are voiced again in the third and fourth books. They aren't that good of arguments, but it might not be good for an 11 year old. You could probably find the passages in question with a google search of Eragon and Religion, and decide if you want him to continue reading the series.

[/quote]

That is true. To elaborate, Paolini uses his Elves (sp. may be off) to push his views on religion/vegetarianism with a remarkable lack of subtlety. They are truly a mouthpiece for him. There is, however, an irony: the theistic character who is apparently supposed to come across as irrational and stupid actually makes logical points. It may be a teaching moment.

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:7, topic:271658"]
Yes.

You should worry about your child reading absolute rubbish. Awful book, awful series. Nothing original.

[/quote]

Oh yes indeed, the writing is abysmal. Even the pulp writers back in the days of the 1930's and 40's who were churning out stories for a few cents per word were many orders above the writing in these books. Try vintage Robert E.Howard or C,L. Moore for example as compared to Paolini's tepid stuff. Just to give two examples, one well known and one who should be well known.

Of more modern writers there are many, many who are far better. Le Guin, McCaffrey (at her best anyway), Robin Hobb, Moorcock etc. etc. Although some of these would not be suitable for 11 year olds. Although of course the big daddy of em all Tolkien knocks Paolini into the next universe.

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