Bound To Stay Bound

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 Eragon (Inheritance )
 Author: Paolini, Christopher

 Publisher:  Knopf (2003)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 509 p., ill., map, 23 cm.

 BTSB No: 698595 ISBN: 9780375826689
 Ages: 12-16 Grades: 7-11

 Fantasy fiction
 Dragons -- Fiction
 Youths' writings

Price: $22.76

In Alagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 5.60
   Points: 25.0   Quiz: 74404
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 7.80
   Points: 32.0   Quiz: 34033

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
   Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 7 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
   Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
   Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 8 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading

   Kirkus Reviews (07/15/03)
   School Library Journal (09/03)
   Booklist (+) (08/01/03)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (12/03)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2003 Fifteen-year-old Eragon, "less than a year from manhood," discovers a strange stone that proves to be a dragon egg, which eventually hatches. Saphira, the dragon, chooses Eragon to be her companion, making the unsuspecting and unready boy a Dragon Rider, the only one of a legendary breed wiped out by the kingdom’s ruthless tyrant, King Galbatorix, years before. Galbatorix has been searching for this particular egg for some time, and his evil minions, the Ra’zac, are closing in. With the help of local storyteller Brom, Eragon flees his village with Saphira, and begins his quest to avenge his murdered uncle, join the rebel Varden, and defeat Galbatorix. This is a lengthy and derivative fantasy novel that often suffers from clichéd language and sputtering momentum. Characterizations (especially the women) are shallow without being necessarily archetypal, and the preponderance of magical convenience is repetitive and contrived. Despite pacing problems caused by a lengthy setup and an overly explanatory text (especially in the book’s first 300 pages), this first novel follows a classic trajectory: a young, untried boy is tapped as reluctant hero in an epic battle against evil. His allies are a mysterious dragon with whom he is psychically linked, a mysterious old man who teaches him how to fight, a mysterious adventurer who turns out to be the son of a notorious traitor, and a mysterious, impossibly beautiful elf woman warrior who just happens to need rescuing. Echoes of McCaffrey’s dragonriders, Tolkien’s Urukai, and other by-now-standard fantasy tropes abound, but Paolini manages to combine his own characters with prototypical plot developments in relatively original ways, and makes up for all the scene-setting with a rousing battlefield payoff. That should be enough to satisfy the insatiable appetites of hardcore fantasy readers, who will certainly be on the lookout for the upcoming sequel. - Copyright 2003 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 09/01/2003 Gr 5 Up-Eragon, 15, is hunting for wild game when he witnesses a mysterious explosion. At the center of the blast radius he finds a polished blue stone marked with white veins. Brom, the village storyteller, has shown interest in it, so it is to him that Eragon turns when it starts squeaking, then wobbling, and then hatches into a majestic sapphire blue dragon. His decision to keep and raise Saphira starts him on an epic journey of Tolkienesque proportions that is only partially told in the 500 pages of this book. Eragon learns that the Empire's cruel and oppressive king will stop at nothing to get Eragon and Saphira to serve him. Training and traveling with Brom, the teen and dragon learn to work together in war and peace, using a combination of traditional fighting arts and magic. They encounter massive humanoid warriors with savage intentions and are befriended by Murtagh, a human warrior with mysterious ties to the Varden and the Empire. Eventually, they seek refuge with dwarves who harbor the Varden, who exist to free the Empire. Eragon does not approach the depth, uniqueness, or mastery of J. R. R. Tolkien's works, and sometimes the magic solutions are just too convenient for getting out of difficult situations. However, the empathetic characters and interesting plot twists will appeal to the legions of readers who have been captivated by the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and are looking for more books like it.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2003 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 08/01/2003 *Starred Review* Was the mysterious blue stone that appears out of nowhere sent by accident or is teenage Eragon meant to have it? When a dragon, Saphira, hatches from it, beast and boy connect (in much the same way dragons and riders do in Anne McCaffrey's popular Pern series) and face danger together. In this story, Eragon is thrust into a new role as the first Dragon Rider in more than 100 years who is not under the evil king's control. After the king's ghastly minions kill Eragon's uncle as they search for the teen, Eragon and Saphira, mentored by the village's aged storyteller, hunt for the killers and, in turn, find themselves being hunted. This unusual, powerful tale, begun when Paolini was 15 (he's now 19) and self-published in 2002 before being picked up by Knopf, is the first book in the planned Inheritance trilogy. It's obvious that Paolini knows the genre well--his lush tale is full of recognizable fantasy elements and conventions. But the telling remains constantly fresh and fluid, and he has done a fine job of creating an appealing and convincing relationship between the youth and the dragon. It's an impressive start to a writing career that's sure to flourish. - Copyright 2003 Booklist.

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