Darkness falls . . .
Despair abounds . . .
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 . . .
I first read this book in 2008 but I barely got half way through before giving up. I was thirteen then and although I liked reading my tastes hadn’t fully matured yet. I read light young adult fiction more often than not especially stories with love interests in them.
It’s funny reading this statement in hindsight considering the amount of times I’ve loudly stated my opinion that young adults are between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, and here I was as a thirteen year old reading YA fiction.
Back to the review… 😛
As you can imagine I felt hesitant to pick this book up again. I wanted to finish it as I really liked Eragon, and since I’d successfully read The Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers this year I thought my tastes had definitely matured.
My favourite thing about Eldest was the split perspectives. I’ve read countless books between Eragon and Eldest and cannot remember if Eragon was split. It was great to learn about what had happened to Carvahall after Eragon left. Since Eragon was off training with the elves it was nice to flick back to Roran’s perspective for a change of pace. It kept things interesting. I understand why the book is 500+ pages, because it’s narrating two characters.
I guess many people would call this a filler book. A lot of it is spent in Du Welden Varden, and whilst it is interesting reading what a Rider learns and of course learning more about the elves, it doesn’t exactly help the story move forward. However it is necessary to see Eragon learn these things as who likes a character that knows everything instantly? It is very relatable to see him struggle to learn something very advanced and challenging. Also it was entertaining and I didn’t feel it was dry at all.
I was surprised to have Roran being narrated, though of course it makes sense. If Galbatorix is as smart as everyone says he is then of course he’d send forces to interrogate Carvahall for information about Eragon. It helped to juxtapose with Eragon’s chapters, and bring more depth into the novel.
This time I won’t write my Writerly Opinion as I don’t have one. Although I haven’t given this book five stars, I cannot find fault in it. It’s wasn’t dry, it was entertaining and I really liked it. The fault might lie in the reader. I enjoy epic fantasies, but they generally don’t evoke the I-must-keep-reading-or-I’ll-die as young adult novels do. But then again it’s getting rarer and rarer than I find a five star worthy book 😉
If you liked Eragon read Eldest. It’s larger but it’s more in depth You learn much more about the characters and the world than in Eragon. I am eagerly anticipating what Brisingr has to offer.
Jo Carter 🙂