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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

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 Ellesméra, 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-inspiring 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. . . .

*summary taken from the official site of the Inheritance Cycle

My views:

I just finished reading Eldest – book 2 of the Inheritance Cycle and I enjoyed it as much as book 1 - Eragon. I won’t make this review a spoiler, so I would leave it to you to find out what happens next. It’s great that Paolini started the book with a prologue summarizing the important events of the previous book. Christopher Paolini shaped the events in the second book in a way that would make you want (need?) to read the next book.

Eldest follows the adventures of Eragon and Saphira as they train with the elves at Ellesmera where Eragon is to heal, learn magic, and train to become a real Rider. Eragon is much stronger and wiser this time, and he is not as arrogant as he was on Eragon. But the cockiness is still there though, it makes you love and hate him at the same time. I love how Paolini showed the readers the gradual transformation of both Eragon and Saphira during their training. The bond between them can be so touching at times.

Eragon’s growing interest in Arya is also pointed out. However, as I expected, no romance has flourished, yet. I think it would be more cliché if Paolini delved into this further.

There are several details unveiled for some characters – Arya’s true identity and her life story, the history of dragons and how the Riders came to be, Eragon's true parentage, and some very pleasant and unpleasant(?) surprises that would make the stories more interesting.

I can sense a bit of influence from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings on Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. Avid fans of Tolkien might scrutinize the Inheritance Cycle as an imitation of Lord of the Rings while some might just get into the groove for this one (as I have). The only addition here is the detailed subject of dragons. So this is more like a Dragonheart and Lord of the Rings rolled into one.

Eldest is longer, suspenseful, and has a touch of romance here and there. I think Eldest could have been several pages shorter, if Paolini cut back some of the lengthy description of events that are of no importance to the story at all. But all in all, it’s still a good read. I’m giving this one 4 stars.


Z'riz October 11, 2008 at 1:22 PM  

weeee i am halfway through Eragon right now and I soooooooo hate Eragon's cockiness.... I am putting off reading books for now muna.. will be back to posting full time next month...hopefully :)

shenzee October 11, 2008 at 5:37 PM  

heheheh yeah.. he'll get better it book 2.. i'm starting to read Brisingr now.. hehe

im officially addicted..

Z'riz October 11, 2008 at 7:40 PM  

hahaha when i have time i will... i already have eragon and eldest here (as in book gyud kay magsakit akong mata basta ebook) pero hold off usa kay tuon sa ko... toinks!

lursil October 11, 2008 at 9:51 PM  

weh... have any of you read the assigned piece yet? :D

eldest sounds interesting... i think i might read. ehn, can you email me a copy please? grazie! :D

Z'riz October 11, 2008 at 11:28 PM  

ako not yet...am soooo sorry dear... I NEED TO CONCENTRATE! no books for me usa... :( huhuhuhu kuyawan ko..mura'g wala ko'y nabal-an!!!

shenzee October 12, 2008 at 4:31 AM  

teehee.. sorry lurchie.. havnt read the assigned book yet.. i got caught up with the Inheritance Cycle.. heheh plus it usually takes me weeks to finish an ebook.. have to rest my eyes from time to time.. i'll send u a copy of Eldest.. I also got a copy of Brisingr if you want.. :)

z, u definitely should concentrate on your review.. :)

Z'riz October 12, 2008 at 10:43 AM  

Thanks ehn....I know I SHOULD! huhuhu wish me luck...the end is near ya know...

kouji haiku October 27, 2008 at 8:18 AM  

interesting. i didn't enjoy the first book that much actually. but the second and third were better. :) so i'm looking forward to the 4th.

Z'riz October 27, 2008 at 11:26 AM  

Hi kouji! Thanks for dropping by! Actually Brisingr (4th book) is already out! :)

kouji haiku October 27, 2008 at 4:53 PM  

sorry. what i should have said was that i'm done reading brisingr, which i liked. :) and i'm looking forward to the next book in the series. :)

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