Wednesday 26 October 2011

Eldest by Christopher Paolini (The Inheritance Cycle #2)

Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date: August 23rd 2005
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life...


This was much slower than the first book. The first was mostly an adventure. Eragon getting from Carvahall to Farthen Dur, on opposite sides of the kingdom. The second is almost entirely Eragon's training with the elves. I found it all very interesting and it kept my attention as much as the first, if not more. Even though there wasnt any action for the first 80% of the book, there were lots of memorable events and we really got to know the characters more. Eragon has really grown and I love him even more. Not only has he matured as he naturally would at his age, but he has been forced to grow due to everything that has happened to him, as well as due to his Rider training. He has grown into a very impressive Rider, warrior, and man. He is pretty awesome. Although he continues to be adorable towards Arya. We unfortunately still dont know her very well. She is very guarded and we have only glimpsed her personality. But, she is still interesting, being a beautiful female warrior is enough for me.

And the last 20% or so of the book was so amazingly epic! One of the best battles I have ever read! I kept picturing Eragon fighting in 300-style slo-mo! It would be so awesome to see on the big screen! No chance of that now, though. Even if they tried to make the sequel I dont know if they could. They set up such a weak ground for the story in the first movie, they would have nowhere to go from there. They left way too much out. Not to mention the huge casting blunder. Chris Egan and Garrett Hedlund should have switched roles.

My one issue with this book is the twist at the end. It really irks me because of how much of a coincidence it is. It is so ridiculous how unlikely it would be to actually happen, but at the same time so terribly cliched. Its like Paolini wanted this obvious twist in his story so badly that he disregarded all reason. It is technically possible, but just so terribly unlikely. I now somewhat understand the Star Wars comparisons, but at least in Star Wars it was supposed to be hereditary!

Anyways, I enjoyed this way too much to let that ruin it for me, especially since it was at the very end. Awesome book!

*edit* There was a twist in the twist, and this twist was revealed in the next book to not be true. So, that is redeeming and far less cliched. I did not see it coming. I much appreciate the clarification and it improves on the series as a whole.

“Live in the present, remember the past, and fear not the future, for it doesn't exist and never shall. There is only now.”

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