Eldest by Christopher Paolini is the sequel to Eragon in the Inheritance Cycle. For those who have never heard of these books, they are about a young boy who finds a special stone in a forbidden and dangerous part of their world called the Spine. After many days trying to figure out the worth of the stone, it begins to make noises. Soon the noise turns into a crack which turns into a shocking surprise. The stone was really a dragon’s egg. In Eragon’s world, dragons are believed to be extinct due to a massive attack on the dragon population by a Rider who turned to the dark side of the world. Keeping the brilliantly blue dragon a secret, he begins to wonder what to do to keep both him and his dragon safe. Not long after she hatches does unfortunate events come their way. Throughout the first book, Eragon and Saphira run away and embark on a journey for revenge of his deceased father who was killed by the Empire. With the help of a mysterious man by the name of Brom, Eragon begins to unlock the world of the Riders and magic. He begins to learn more about himself than he ever thought possible. The group find themselves in many grave situations that they have to pull through if they want to attack the Empire and seek revenge.
In Eldest, the quest continues. In Eragon, the story was mainly told through the viewpoint of Eragon himself, but in this book, the story is told through three viewpoints that begin to merge together towards the end of the sequel. We see how Eragon journeys to the elf world of Ellesmera, how the Varden is taken over by their new leader, and how Eragon’s brother Rowan deals with the events that transpire after Eragon left his hometown of Carvahall. The Varden are beginning to prepare themselves for battle against King Galbatorix while Eragon journeys to complete his promised teachings of how to be a Rider through the elves. When he arrives in Ellesmera, he soon encounters a huge secret that may change the way he sees the outcome of his own strength. We begin to see major changes within Eragon and Saphira physically and mentally. As the book begins to close, many shocking surprises pop out. It will leave you speechless.
I give Eldest 3 out of 5 stars. The book itself was good, but I do not think it was as good as the first. I encountered myself in a reading slump during most of the beginning of the book, so I was not as focused on the content as I should have been. I would not say that the book is slow by any means because the events throughout are enticing and important for later events. I felt like the author was taking his time in laying out the events so that the reader can have time to take in all of the details. I enjoyed the book. Especially towards the end, I was drawn in by what was going on because there really were a lot of ground-changing events that will make the next two books interesting to see what will happen next. This book does answer some questions that the first book poses. There is more understanding of the background of the characters which help to really see their characterization and development. Overall, this book leaves me wanting to read the next one right now. Like the first book, it was an easy read, and it is not one that drags on too much. It deserves the 3 out of 5 stars.
More Book Information:
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Knopf Books
Published: 23 March 2007
How I Read It: Paperback
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Thank you so much for reading this review, and hopefully you pick this book up on your next visit to the bookstore. You will not be sorry.