Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Last year I read Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, for Carl’s Once Upon a Time Challenge.  So it seemed fitting to read the sequel for this year’s challenge.  When I completed Eragon at first I wasn’t sold on the series.  I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t too excited to continue the books.  However, I found myself wondering what happened next.

The action in Eldest picks up right where the first novel ended.  Eragon and most of his allies have survived a battle and are in Tronjheim, a dwarf city.  There have been several casualties, including Eragon’s friend Murtagh and Nasuada’s father, Ajihad.  Nasuada becomes the new leader for the Varden.  After making an alliance with Nasuada, Eragon and Saphira, his dragon, set out for the forest Du Weldenvarden to receive training under the tutelage of Oromis and his dragon Glaedr.  Oromis and Glaeder are the only surviving Rider and Dragon who are not under the king’s control and keep their existence unknown from Galbatorix.  The king believes he has destroyed all of the Riders and Dragons to maintain his evil grip on the Empire.  When the king learned of Eragon and Saphira in the last novel he became determined to find them.  Oromis and Glaedr are crippled and so they cannot fight Galbatorix.  Eragon and Saphira are the last hope to defeat the Empire.

While Eragon is training his cousin Roran is being hunted by the Ra’Zac in Carvahall.  He doesn’t know that the reason he is being hunted is because of Eragon and Saphira.  Roran is unaware that Eragon is a rider and that he has a dragon.  Roran’s fiancée is kidnapped and he sets out to save the rest of the people in the village by leading them out of Carvahall to join the Varden in Surda.

Finally, the third storyline is Nasuada and the plight of the Varden after the battle.  She wants to attack the Empire but learns that wars are costly and has to find a way to finance her troops and citizens.

Paolini spends most of the time in this story setting up what will happen in the next novel in the series.  There is action here and there and the end of the novel has a battle with a twist I wasn’t expecting.  However, it is more about the preparation of Eragon, Roran and Nasuada.  Saying this, I actually really enjoyed the novel and I found it much more entertaining than the first book in the series.  As soon as I finished it I wanted to pick up the next book.  However, I think I will hold off and continue my tradition of reading the next book in the series for the Once Upon a Time Challenge.

This book also counts for the reading challenge Award Winning Books.  The novel won the 2006 Quill Award for Young Adult Literature.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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31 Responses to Eldest by Christopher Paolini

  1. I absolutely loved the first book of this series, and I have the rest but haven’t had the chance to read them yet. Why are there not more hours in the day?? 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I know how you feel…I’m looking at a stack of books and I wonder how many I will actually read.

      • I know. I keep telling myself not to buy any more books until I’ve read the ones I have and then a new book comes out by a favorite author and I run to the store or I find new books for my ebook reader that I can get for free so I grab them. Oh well, I guess I could have far worse addictions!!

      • TBM says:

        I think that depends on who you ask. Are your books drifting into every part of the house like mine? Do you know a way to put waterproof shelves in the shower 🙂

      • Waterproof bookshelves in the shower?!?! That’s hilarious! I almost choked on my breakfast I was laughing so hard!! Sounds like you need my hubby to build you 40 foot long bookshelves like he did for me. I am filling them up fast too though :). I have never thrown out a book so mine are really starting to accumulate. I have even packed up all my kids’ children’s books so thay they will have them when they have kids!

  2. Novroz says:

    I haven’t heard this book being mentioned in a very long time.
    I haven’t read it yet but from your review I can tell that you like it…maybe I should give it a try one day

    • TBM says:

      It is a fun type of book to escape reality with. And I’m always late to the next biggest thing. I still haven’t started the Game of Thrones.

      • Novroz says:

        I haven’t started that one too..have no intention to read it either. I have seen the series and somehow it didn’t make me interested to read it….plus the book is HUGE

      • TBM says:

        I’m a sucker for large books. There was a time when I didn’t read books less than 300 pages. I love getting caught up in an epic story. Might be one of the reasons why I love Dickens. Maybe I should start a King project in a year of two.

  3. orples says:

    I hope one day my orples series takes off like Mr. Paolini’s books have done. I feel like I’ve created a square peg … the orples don’t seem to have a category, which makes it difficult to place them. :(. In the meantime though, hats off to Mr. Paolini for his work and his success in the literary field.

    • TBM says:

      Wouldn’t it be great to experience Paolini’s success. I have to give him credit for taking the step to self-publish and to turn it into something big. I wish you and the Orples success!

  4. Lindy says:

    My husband absolutely loves these books.

  5. Geoff W says:

    I thought you could definitely tell he was growing as a writer in the later books of the series. In the first book his youth really came across, and not to his advantage.

    • TBM says:

      I agree the first book was rough in spots…but I really enjoyed the second one and I’m looking forward to the third. All writers need time to grow and it is fun to follow them from the beginning to see what they can do.

      • Geoff W says:

        Definitely! I’ll be interested in seeing what he does next – although reading your post made me think I should re-read the series again (I’ve only read the last book once).

      • TBM says:

        I was wondering if he was working on anything. I might have to investigate. Enjoy the series again if you reread them.

  6. I loved Eragon, the book and the movie. I didn’t know there was a sequel. It’s going on my reading list.

  7. T.F.Walsh says:

    I’ve only read book one in the series… I really should pick up the next one and read it:)

  8. Caroline says:

    Not sure if I should read this review if I haven’t read book I. I don’t know enough about book I to decide whether i would like to read it.
    Your post reminds me that I still haven’t posted on any book for this challenge.
    I’ve already read more than one but should finally write about them as well.

    • TBM says:

      Sometimes finding the time to write the review is harder than finding the time to read the books. I look forward to reading your reviews and good luck 🙂

  9. Face says:

    I’ve read all four books in the series, and it was fascinating watching Paolini grow as a writer and a human. He included a certain reference to Plato in the last book in the series, Inheritance and I remember thinking ‘college education’. You should read the other two books. My favorite is Brisingr, the third in the series, that’s where Eragon’s transition from boy to man is most prominent. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I plan on reading the rest of the series. I hate not knowing what happens next. I think that is the main reason I finish most books and series I start. I have to know!

      I’m curious to see how much his writing evolves over the last two books. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  10. rossanaf says:

    I read Eragon and liked it but… I was still in an Harry Potter era.
    When it was available I bought Eldest, the book is getting old in my shelf. After reading your blog I decided to give it a chance.

  11. Myra GB says:

    I know what you mean about not being sold with the first book. I distinctly recall reading Eragon and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t find it that special. I should probably revisit and re-read and check out the other books in the series. 🙂 Thanks for including this in our AWB Database!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks for hosting the challenge. I love challenges. I’m looking forward to continuing the series and to see him develop more and explore more in his writing. He is such a young writer and it is inspiring to follow his progress.

  12. Jo Bryant says:

    I was given Eragon to read by a friend because i was having trouble with my book – how to have the conversation feel natural when it is telepathic. I was surprised how much i liked it. I just finished the 4th book and was both surprised and thrilled with how it ended. I will be waiting to see what you think.

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