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A novel by Christopher Paolini and the second installment in the Inheritance Cycle.

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Loses A Bit of Steam, But Still Enjoyable

  • Oct 20, 2005
I bought "Eldest" about a month ago, shortly after I had finished reading "Eragon." When I finished "Eragon" my final judgment of the book is that it wasn't a GREAT book, but it was a very good book nonetheless! I bought "Eldest" in hopes that it would become a great book, as the potential was definitely there. Well, I bought and read "Eldest," and my thoughts on this book is more divided then those I had for "Eragon." The first couple hundred pages of "Eldest" are great. I loved the book, it was greatly entertaining, and there were a few twists that definitely got me wrapped up in Eragon and Saphira's continuing quest. The story also showed us what was going on back home with Roran, and his sub-story was so good it was threatening to take over Eragon's story in terms of quality.

Then (without giving too much of the book away) Eragon started his training to become a rider...and the book started falling apart. At first it was kind of interesting to see how Eragon started to hone his skills in various forms of magic and sword fighting, but either Paolini didn't have a flair for writing training that was interesting, or he just spend too much time on the training period. While Eragon continues, the story keeps revisiting side characters like Roran and Nasuada, and the book started to frustrate me because THEIR side stories were becoming a heck of a lot more interesting (and, might I add, entertaining) then the main characters story! I know that the kind of training Eragon has to go through would realistically (in this universe anyway) take a long time to complete, but there's only so many scenes I can read where Eragon "closes his mind so that all the voices of nature could be heard" before I just get tired of it.

You don't see J.K. Rowling explaining how Harry failed a potions exam every single time he fails one. She just says "after several failed attempts." See, how hard is that? Luckily, the middle portion of the book wasn't a total bore. There were some good moments, a couple of neat twists, and a certain relationship with a certain female elf that all works very well in my opinion. Then Paolini seems to get back on track with the final hundred or so pages, that are very intense, gripping, and includes yet one more twist that truly came as a shock to me and now has me hungering for the third book in the series to come out as SOON as possible! But I guess the real question is whether or not I ultimately recommend "Eldest," and how good is it exactly?

My final evaluation of "Eldest" is that it's a good book. It's not an excellent book, it's not a very good book, it's a good book. This book does have problems. While not all the stuff in the middle of the book was a bore, I think publishers of this book could have edited a couple hundred various pages in the middle of the book to help with the pacing a bit (because, let's face it, some of those middle chapters REALLY sag). I also think that when the third book comes out, when Eragon goes back to his training (we know he will have to since he hasn't completed his training yet), Paolini needs to give us more glances at the training then going into so much detail of the training. As it stands now, "Eldest" may be a flawed book, but you could still find worse fantasy books out there to read.

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More Eldest (book) reviews
review by . June 25, 2010
There aren't many books who can claim the coveted title of "not-able-to-put-down", and this is one of them. For me, anyway. I remember reading this book way into the wee hours of the morning just because I could wait to find out what happened next. (Spoiler!) Especially at the dragon fight at the end when Paolini skillfully wrote the action scenes so vividly. But while the story of a far-away place, war and magical creatures was fun, it lacked good character development or anything …
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
a great second book to get you hooked on the story. secrets are reveled, and eragons world gets flipped upside down.
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Bridging the gap between the two bookends of the trilogy, simple yet readable
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
A good follow-up to Eragon. Paolini develops the setting and adds more interesting characters. It is a great book two.
review by . May 14, 2007
After having read ERAGON, I was looking forward to discovering how the saga in Alagaesia between Eragon and his dragon Saphira and the evil King Galbatorix and his minions would continue. Even though ERAGON was a derivative and not all too original, I enjoyed the book and was looking forward to reading ELDEST, the second part of a planned trilogy. I was even more excited because often the middle part of a trilogy is often the best. My expectations were not met at all.    ELDEST …
review by . January 29, 2006
If you enjoyed reading Eragon, buy this book.    That said, allow me to elaborate. First off, I'm hoping that young Master Paolini will, in his third book of the Inheritance trilogy, include some community of narrow-minded, petty, jealous folks who cannot accept magic even when they see it performed in front of them. My work involves me daily with teenagers; they are the most wonderful and most critical creatures on the face of the planet--and the more jealous they are, the more …
review by . October 06, 2005
I almost didn't buy this book because the sheer size threw me off, but I'm glad I did! I admit it was a bit hard to keep up because I haven't read the first book, Eragon, yet, but it was such an exciting reading adventure that I couldn't put it down.     This heroic quest fantasy, complete with dwarves, dragons and new creatures is a credit to its young author ... only 17 when his first novel came out, now 19.     The author says he strives for lyrical beauty …
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #126
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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About this book



ISBN-10: 0375840400
ISBN-13: 978-0375840401
Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Knopf
Format: Novel
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