Eldest - Christopher Paolini
Fiction - Children's - ISBN: 0552552119, 8496284964, 0385607903
9 reviews from the community
Review of "Eldest - Christopher Paolini"
This is the sequel to the smash hit book 'Eragon' by Christopher Paolini.The book's cover is simple yet interesting, with a red border and a red dragon pictured on it. At the top in small letters is written 'The Sunday Times bestseller' which is, I am told, a good thing to be. All in all, I really liked the appearance of the book, but there again, you're probably more interested in what was written in the 600 + pages as opposed to the colour and picture on the cover.
I love the way this book is presented inside. On the first double page spread there is a map of Alagaesia (where the story is set) and the detail allows you to imagine what it would be like to be there. I found myself referring back to this map when any journey was made throughout the story, just to see what areas of land the characters would have to cross to reach their destinations. It really fired up my imagination.Also, after the contents page, there's a summary of the first book in the cycle, Eragon. I liked this feature, as it meant I didn't have to re-read Eragon to familiarise myself with the story before I began. The summary is only four and a bit pages long, but I found it really deatailed and defiantely helpful.
The book begins with the aftermath of the battle that occured at the end of the last book. Eragon is walking through the battlefield, amongst the dead bodies, trying to offer help to those still alive. It's a harrowing scene, and the way Paolini writes about Eragon's feeling of almost failure and uselessness made me really feel connected with the character.Soon, action re-enters the book, with the murder of Ajihad at the hands of Urgals, and the kidnap and suspected murder of Murtagh (who is now a friend of the Varder after fighting with them during the previous battle) and the Twins (two powerful sorcerors). It is a sad scene and after reading of Ajihad's bravery and devotion to the Varden, I felt saddened by his death.
After the death of their leader, the Varden know they must elect a new leader. Eragon is the people's choice, however he is too young and needs to go to the elves to complete his training. At this point I knew who they would chose as a new leader, and I was proved right. Nasuada, Ajihad's daughter. The council of elders, who oversee the choices made concerning the Varden, choose her because they think it will give them a puppet, but I am pleased to report that Nasuada doesn't intend to be a puppet. Eragon swears fealty to Nasuada instead of the Varden, giving her a power over the council which leaves a bitter taste in their mouths and made me smile at this triumph.Eragon, along with Arya and Orik the dwarf, now set off to Ellesmera, home of the elves, to complete Eragon's training. When they get there, a surprise is in store. Queen Islanzadi is the mother of Arya, making Arya of noble birth. This follows Angela's prophecy from the previous book, of Eragon embarking upon an epic romance with one of noble birth.
However this isn't the only surprise in store. Eragon finds out who is to help him complete his training and is stunned to find that hidden within Ellesmera is another Rider!!Oromis (the rider) and Glaedr (the dragon) then spend a large section of the book teaching Eragon and Saphira all they need to know to face Galbatorix. I did think this section may be a little bland as it's just training of magic and physical fitness, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it fascinating to read.
Meanwhile, Paolini cleverly intertwines the story of Nasuda and the Varden, and the difficulites she must face as their leader and Roran and the villagers of Cavahall, and this switching between three people's stories keeps things interesting.Roran is now planning to marry Katrina, but the Ra'zac have come to the village and are intent on reaking havoc. Roran and the villagers must escape them and the soldiers who have come for Roran, and this means the village must unite and fight. Despite this being a sort of subplot, I found it a good one, and the altering of Roran from a boy to a man was great to read.
Nasuada is saved by a little girl, who tuns out to be the one that Eragon and Sapphira blessed in the last book. However, Eragon's inexpierience means that Elva (the girl) is now a shield for misfortune, and must suffer others pain constantly. However, she can foresee when someone will feel pain, and therefore is invaluable to Nasuada.The book ends how the last one ended, in an epic battle in which there is a massive surprise in store. Those who were kidnapped when Ajihad died are not dead, and they have most definately chosen their sides in the battle, although not as might be expected....
I found this book a joy to read. It keeps you constantly hooked and there is barely room to pause between action sequences. It's a definate must read.
Product Information : Eldest - Christopher Paolini
Manufacturer's product descriptionFiction - Children's - ISBN: 0552552119, 8496284964, 0385607903
Author: Christopher Paolini
ISBN: 0385607903; 0552552119; 8496284964
Listed on Ciao since: 10/12/2006