Review: Eldest- Christopher Paolini

Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2)

(The Inheritance Cycle #2)

Christopher Paolini

My rating:

3 star

Goodreads summary:

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 magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider.
It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure whom he can trust. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall – one that puts Eragon in even graver danger. Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life .

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Previous books in series:


This book just moved a whole lot slower than its predecessor. And this made me love it less. But hopefully the pace will pick up in the third book because otherwise I’m not going to be at all enthusiastic about the fourth and final book in the series. Due to the slow pace this really wasn’t as enjoyable to read and it also made me take longer before finishing this book.

I think that the biggest problem for this was the combination of the slow pacing and there just not being enough events in the course of the story. It definitely feels like an in-between book, the one between a great beginning and an epic ending. Sadly though, some authors run out of juice or ideas somewhere in the middle, and this is one of those books. It’s not as if there is absolutely nothing happening at all, but there’s just nothing like the scale of the events in book 1. There was a lot more world building and giving of information, which I guess will be handy for the next book. Politics also come in to play throughout Eldest. But let me just say that I was not interested. However I do get the importance of the politics, choosing sides is important after all, but in general it’s not something that really holds my interest. And I think there was a bit too much spoon-feeding which opinion we had to have (or how we should see/analyze the political situation) in the chats between Eragon and Saphira. There were just so few parts where the reader could decide his or her standpoint without it being thoroughly highlighted in the prose.

As to the characters, they all developed throughout this book. Which is a good thing, I like having characters grow, especially if the books take place over a prolonged period of time. But I did feel that certain moments could have been made more potent with just a little bit of extra focus on them. Or perhaps they just got swallowed up by all the other slower-moving parts of the book that these scenes of personal reflection just seemed more blasé.

Some aspects of the book intrigued me at the start, but that excitement went away pretty quick. But I think that there is definitely the possibility of the next book picking back up where this one left off, but at a higher pace. Especially since the ending, which was pretty predictable, did give the next book some good plotlines to live on. Hopefully it will be more action-based with a snappy pace to it.

No worries, I will be picking up the remaining two books in the Inheritance cycle, but I really do hope it gets better after this one.

3 thoughts on “Review: Eldest- Christopher Paolini

  1. Sorry for this ramble. I pretty much agree with all your statements here ( though I think I dislike the book to a greater degree than you do). I agree, it felt like a really really disappointing sequel to a pretty entertaining first novel. I know I had to put the book away a few times because it was so frustrating-I don’t know if this happened to you but, I found myself only interested in 1 of the two parallel story lines and really disappointed in the direction of growth of Eragon’s character. Also, from what I’ve heard, if you really are dedicated to the series, the ending is worth the slog through 2 more books ( not my opinion though, since I stopped after this book).

    • Probably at those times that you put down this book, I would have started reading diagonally. Because otherwise I don’t think I would have finished reading this book.

  2. Pingback: 2013 in books | Rantings, ravings and ramblings

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