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Eldest [Mass Market Paperback]

Christopher Paolini
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 26 2008 The Inheritance Cycle
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. . . .

Praise for Eragon:
“Unusual, powerful . . . fresh and fluid. An impressive start to a writing career that’s sure to flourish.” –Booklist, Starred
“Christopher Paolini make[s] literary magic with his precocious debut.” –People
“The new ‘It’ book of children’s lit.” –U.S. News & World Report
“An auspicious beginning to both career and series.” –Publishers Weekly

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
A #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
A Book Sense Book of the Year
A #1 Book Sense Selection

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up–Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have survived the battle at Tronjheim, but their challenges are not over. Galbatorix, the corrupt emperor, still rules Alagaesia and is looking for them. The magically bonded pair must help the rebellious Varden regroup after their leader is slain. Eragon helps deal with the resulting diplomatic complexities and then leaves for Du Weldenvarden, the home of the Elves, in order to finish his training as a Dragon Rider. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must unite the small town of Carvahall as it is battered by Galbatorix's forces, including the nasty Ra'zac. The story alternates between Eragon and Saphira and their political maneuvering and Roran and his more traditional adventure over land and sea. Paolini provides a worthy companion to Eragon (Knopf, 2003), though it does not stand alone (a summary of the first book will be included in the final edition). The plot–indeed, most of the fantasy conventions–is heavily inspired by Tolkien, McCaffrey, and especially George Lucas. The momentum of the narrative is steady and consistent: a problem presents itself and is neatly (and conveniently) solved before the next one arises, making it appealing to some adventure-quest fantasy fans and runescape.com players. Eragon's journey to maturity is well handled. He wrestles earnestly with definitions for good and evil, and he thoughtfully examines the question of good at what price.While there's nothing particularly original here, the book will find its fan-base.–Sarah Couri, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-11. The second book in the Inheritance Trilogy, following Eragon(2003), takes up the epic story just three days after the end of the bloody battle in which Eragon slew the Shade Durza, and the Varden and dwarves defeated the forces of the evil ruler of the Empire. Although Eragon has proved himself in battle as a Dragon Rider, he has much to learn, so he travels to the land of the elves to complete his rigorous training. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran finds himself the target of Empire forces, which threaten to obliterate his village if Roran is not turned over to them. Alternating narratives follow the exploits of Eragon and of Roran as each plays his role in the inevitable advance toward the final battle. Once again, the expected fantasy elements are well in place, and the characters and their relationships continue to develop nicely. The ending promises an even more cataclysmic battle ahead. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eldest but not wisest June 5 2009
When the very first line of a book is as nonsensical as "The songs of the dead are the lamentations of the living," you know you're in trouble.

So it's pretty obvious from the start that Christopher Paolini's second novel "Eldest" is going to be a disaster. But the biggest weakness of Paolini's book is not his stilted dialogue or numerous cliches, or even the slow-moving pompous slog of the seemingly endless elf training -- it's his cardboard cutout of a self-insert hero, Eragon.

"Eldest" picks up immediately after the end of "Eragon," with Eragon badly wounded, Murtagh missing, and the leader of the Varden murdered. But despite the rebels' turmoil, Eragon is told that he has to accompany Arya back to the elven city Ellesmera, to train as a proper Dragon-rider. When he arrives, Eragon finds that his new master is an ancient, crippled elf named Oromis, who has a lot to teach him before he inevitably expires.

Yup, Oromis has vast stores of knowledge to impart. And sadly, we have to see every step of it -- including yoga, ant-watching and hilariously homoerotic bath scenes.

Unbeknownst to Eragon, his hometown of Carvahall is being ruined by a band of Galbatorix's soldiers, and his newly-engaged cousin Roran may be their only hope. And our hero's truncated training leads to strange new changes in his body and mind, as he prepares for a devastating new battle against Galbatorix -- and a horrifying new discovery about Murtagh. Yes, you can probably see it coming.

Lofty elves, kings-in-waiting, humble farm boys, ghastly goblinesque creatures, mystical women, special swords, evil tyrants who are evil because they just are, wise mentors, and telepathic dragons in a variety of colors. Christopher Paolini never met a fantasy cliche that he didn't like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really want to know what happens next :) April 1 2007
By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Eldest", second book in Christopher Paolini's "Inheritance" triology, picks up where "Eragon" ended, and allows us to know what is going to happen with Eragon, Saphira and their friends, and what they will need to do in order to survive the wrath of king Galbatorix. If you haven't read the first book in the series, please do so before tackling this one. You can understand what happens in "Eldest" without having read "Eragon", but I think you will not enjoy what happens half as much.

Now, my opinion regarding "Eldest". Truth to be told, I loved the first book in the series, but I liked this one even more. From my point of view, Paolini manages to make Eragon's world more believable, without letting the magic go. That doesn't mean that this book is perfect, or that it doesn't have some scenes that are somewhat slow. All the same, I think it deserves 5 stars because it is the kind of book you cannot stop reading once you start, the kind of book that makes you wish you could read the final book of the triology instead of having to wait for it.

What is new in "Eldest", then? Well, Eragon has to travel to Ellesmera (the land of the Elves), in order to continue his training as a dragon raider. Along the way he will meet some new friends and foes, and discover new information about people he already knew. Also, the author introduces an alternative point of view in the story, that of Roran, Eragon's cousin. Roran and Eragon are far from each other, and must to face different challenges and enemies, but they have something in common: some chapters of "Eldest" will be about Eragon's adventures, and others about what is happening to Roran and his followers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read Nov. 17 2005
By David
Contrary to the first part of the trilogy, the story of Eldest is not focused exclusively on Eragon, as Roran gets a big part of it. Paolini lets the characters grow and develop. They are not "either black or white" any more -- they are more human-like now, with their virtues and shortcomings. As before the end of Dragon Riders era, betrayal becomes a big issue again... There is also some love and other emotional events on the horizon...

Another book for young audience that I enjoyed tremendously was "Why Some Cats are Rascals" (Actually a series of three books)

Eldest is filled with a lot of action and adventure. Although some questions raised in Eragon are now answered, some new arise. The second book of the trilogy brings second dragon to the world. Will the third dragon hatch in the last volume? - These questions and uncertainties make me look forward to the third book of the Inheritance series. With the rate of improvement that Paolini showed this time, I expect great things to come...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine follow up!!! Jan. 12 2006
Being such a young writer, Christopher Paolini has blended and crafted a wonderful and definitive fantasy world for his "Inheritance" trilogy. Every detail of the story is vibrant and alive. Eldest, the second installment of the trilogy, is a better written book then the first as it more fully fleshes out this fantasy world. Paolini's maturity as a writer is showing more and more from one book to the next. And as Eldest excellently sets the stage for the next book, I can't wait to see his new found writer's maturity in full bloom. Thumbs up! Another book I've enjoyed recently is the "The Goonies meets The Invaders from Mars" scifi adventure "GAAK" by Darryl Hughes. It's like Spielberg's best stuff.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My daughter really enjoyed this book...
Published 3 months ago by MARK D BRAY
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series
This young author has written a fully engaging fantasy series. Great for teens and adults alike. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books
Published 5 months ago by Mavis Viragos
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE
Published 7 months ago by Lisa Parberry
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I know many who have criticized this series of books for being simplistic, but I would disagree. While this book may not be quite as complicated as other fantasy novels the... Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2012 by awdryden
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story - Vivid Descriptions
Great Story, I was saddened when it took so long for the next story to be released, but now it will be broken into two more parts. I can't wait to see what else Mr. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2008 by Dave Speerbrecker
2.0 out of 5 stars Paolini's Disappointment
When I heard that Christopher's Eldest had come to stores, the book found itself in my hands right away. Read more
Published on March 31 2008 by 7C
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, but predictable
while I enjoyed this installment, I was disappointed with the predictability of the story line. From the opening scenes, I was reasonably certain of many of the major elements of... Read more
Published on Dec 24 2007 by love2read
1.0 out of 5 stars Empire, Eldest, Eragon
I've already read the first two books. And I ever since I've read them, I always went through the possibilities that could happen to Eragon in every possible ways. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2007 by Salty sister
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak 2nd installment of the trilogy??
I bought Eragon on a whim, enjoyed it, and went out and bought Eldest as soon as I finished the first book. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2007 by Tommy Tom Tom
4.0 out of 5 stars It is what it claims to be.
To all of those trashing this book in the reviews, I sincerely think that you are missing the point of the story and the book in general. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2007 by K. Anderson
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