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Eldest

by Christopher Paolini
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Listening Library
  • Publishing date: 12/2005
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780307282880
  • ISBN: 0307282880

Synopsis

Surpassing its popular prequel Eragon, this second volume in the Inheritance trilogy shows growing maturity and skill on the part of its very young author, who was only seventeen when the first volume was published in 2003. The story is solidly in the tradition (some might say derivative) of the classic heroic quest fantasy, with the predictable cast of dwarves, elves, and dragons--but also including some imaginatively creepy creatures of evil.

The land of Alagaesia is suffering under the Empire of the wicked Galbatorix, and Eragon and his dragon Saphira, last of the Riders, are the only hope. But Eragon is young and has much to learn, and so he is sent off to the elven forest city of Ellesmera, where he and Saphira are tutored in magic, battle skills, and the ancient language by the wise former Rider Oromis and his elderly dragon Glaedr. Meanwhile, back at Carvahall, Eragon's home, his cousin Roran is the target of a siege by the hideous Ra'zac, and he must lead the villagers on a desperate escape over the mountains. The two narratives move toward a massive battle with the forces of Galbatorix, where Eragon learns a shocking secret about his parentage and commits himself to saving his people.

The sheer size of the novel, as well as its many characters, places with difficult names, and its use of imaginary languages make this a challenging read, even for experienced fantasy readers. It is essential to have the plot threads of the first volume well in mind before beginning--the publisher has provided not only a map, but a helpful synopsis of the first book and a much-needed Language Guide. But no obstacles will deter the many fans of Eragon from diving headfirst into this highly-awaited fantasy. (Ages 12 and up) --Patty Campbell


Meet Author Christopher Paolini
Christopher Paolini’s abiding love of fantasy and science fiction inspired him to begin writing his debut novel, Eragon, when he graduated from high school at age 15.

"Writing is the heart and soul of my being. It is the means through which I bring my stories to life. There is nothing like putting words on a page and knowing that they will summon certain emotions and reactions from the reader. In my writing, I strive for a lyrical beauty somewhere between Tolkien at his best and Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf." --Christopher Paolini

Paolini talks more about the series, and about what inspires him in this video clip.
Watch the video (high bandwith)
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The Eragon/Eldest Boxed Set


Want to learn more about the series? Check out our review of Eragon: Here's a great big fantasy that you can pull over your head like a comfy old sweater and disappear into for a whole weekend. Christopher Paolini began Eragon when he was just 15, and the book shows the influence of Tolkien, of course, but also Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffrey, and perhaps even Wagner in its traditional quest structure and the generally agreed-upon nature of dwarves, elves, dragons, and heroic warfare with magic swords. Read more

Order your copy of the boxed set today





Learn the Lingo
Our quickie pronunciation guide will help you get to know some of the names and places in the Inheritance series.

AjihadAH-zhi-hod The Leader of the Varden

ArgetlamARE-jet-lahm Elven word to describe Dragon Riders meaning "silver hand"
AryaAR-ee-uh A powerful elf who is both beautiful and a master swordswoman
EragonEHR-uh-gahn A Dragon Rider from Carvahall
Ra-zacRAA-zack Evil creatures
Saphirasuh-FEAR-uh Eragon’s dragon
*Art copyright © 2004 John Jude Palencar



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  • Great book, slow shipping
    From Amazon

    Excellent book, just like the first book of the trilogy. Unfortunately, it took 2 month to reach me. Then there was a mix up with my account at amazon. Although I addressed it twice, I was only given the instructions of howto change my password. Comunication with amazon is very difficult and turns fast into a hassle. You're not supposed to return any email to their response addresses, whcih makes it impossible to keep an issue history in one email string and every time someone else answers. I just gave up and kept waiting towards the second deadline they gave me. Definitely my first and last purchase with amazon.

  • Like wading through mud...
    From Amazon

    I found this book to be long, dull boring, even not having read the previous book, nothing in the writing compels me to read the previous book. It was a schizophrenic split between plots and neither got anywhere fast. I was bored reading it. I stooped reading it and I found it not worth picking up at all. Not at all the excited about reading the third since it would take a whole set of encyclopedias to clear up all the messy plot messes everywhere. Not exactly anything new or original in this writing. Just boring and drawn out.

  • An absolute joy to read, based on deep and logical theories of magic and its applications.
    From Amazon

    What I look for, when I pick up a fantasy fiction based on elves, dwarves and humans, is how the author has striven to reinvent the races, their relationships, the magic and creatures of the realm, but all within some established conventions and rules (ie: dwarves live in mountains, elves forests, etc). What particularly interests me is how an author breaks barriers in formulating the governing rules of magic, how it is discovered, learned, and the system of laws the creatures of the realm must follow in order to harnest and manipulate this magic. It is this governing system behind the use of magic, reinvented by the author that either draws me or repels me to a fiction. Of this, Paolini has done a fantastic work. What might have appeared boring and dragging to certain impatient readers of Eragon's training with the elves, to me were the most delightful passages of the book. This book tells me that the author has a theory in his mind, a fresh idea of how magic SHOULD be, how it SHOULD be explained, to on one hand fit the rules and conventions we've come to be familiar with, and on the other hand offer a better, a more revelational, perhaps you can even say a scientific explanation to magic, one that makes people go "oh.. that makes sense" that they're crying to share with the rest of the fantasy lovers of the world. To slowly nurture his theory on magic into existence, to share it with us by imbuing it within the story of a hero inside a spellbinding world full of skillfully illustrated settings and characters, is Paolini's greatest triumph. I would agree, that the individual subplots may be a little cliche (only when treated individually, not together), and that some elven names sound strikingly familiar (which I've actually come to appreciate as it allowed me to quickly envision what those names represented), but they have been skillfully woven together to an original story, backed by breathtaking setting, characterization, and most importantly such an original, beautiful and convincing reinvention of the governing laws of magic, psychic bonds, and the philosophies that accompany them. So far, Paolini's creation earns 5 stars from me, it has been a more enjoyable, and more personal read than Lord of the Rings. I will now eagerly turn to the third book.

  • Almost painful
    From Amazon

    I only gave two stars because he must read Mercedes Lackey novels too. The first book was read as said before drawn out and I kept catching myself being drawn to other novel's scenes. That is disruptive to the flow of the read.

  • Great continue of a great start
    From Amazon

    It seems that even when the first book in a series is great the second or third one absoluley sucks. Not with something Cristopher Paolini writes!! The first book was great but the second was (if anything) even better because of his maturity in his writing style. The parellel storyline with Roran add a huge amount to the book. A great book and a fun read!

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