Book Review of Inheritance Cycle – Eldest By Christopher Paolini

Kvetha Fricai! – for those who don’t know that’s a greeting in the Ancient Language and it means “Greetings Friends”

The Inheritance Cylcle by Christopher Paolini is a series of four books all about dragons, danger, epic battles, sacrifice and great victories.  The series books include:

  • Eragon – 2002
  • Eldest – 2005
  • Brisingr – 2008
  • Inheritance – 2011

At the time of this writing Paolini has confirmed he will be writing a book 5 in the series but its unclear how it will fit into the overall set of books.

The second book is Eldest and continues to feature the series hero Eragon and his battle against the forces of evil.

Synopsis of the Book

The book starts right after the battle of Farthen Dur and Eragon has just recovered from his fight with the shade Durza. Eragon goes on to Ellesmera – the capital of the Elves’ empire – to study magic and to look for the Cripple who is Whole.  There, Eragon’s back wound begins to torture him wth fits of unimaginable pain hindering his training. In a strange Elvin ceremony – called the Agaeti Blodhren – a ghost of a dragon heals Eragon’s back and makes him a half elf at the same time. Eragon then goes on to fight in the battle of Du Vollar Eldrvarya (which means The Burning Plains) and finally finds Murtagh again and finds out that he has been turned against him. Murtagh reveals a shocking secret to Eragon…

What is great about Christopher Paolini’s writing style is that his books are not predictable. You never know what is going to happen and you are surprised when you find out a hidden secret. The plot, stories and general writing style keep the young reader strongly engaged in the books.

About the book and the author

Eldest is the second book of the best-selling The Inheritance Cycle, a series of young adult adventure-fantasy novels created by American author Christopher Paolini.

Paolini, a homeschooled student, started writing when he was 15 years old. His family owns a small publishing business, Paolini LLC. When his parents later discovered his manuscripts they decided to publish these manuscripts themselves, starting from the first book Eragon. The first novel was published when Paolini was 18 years old.

Soon a bigger publishing house Alfred A. Knopf acquired the rights of Eragon and all the other Inheritance Cycle books. At only 19 years old, Paolini had become a best-selling author. Eragon was adapted to the big screen in 2006.

Eldest in some cases received negative reviews. Like its predecessor Eragon, Eldest was also derided for being too unoriginal and derivative, with some hints of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. But especially for the fans of Paolini’s works, Eldest is a delight to read, citing excellence in the story plot and characters as well. Even those critics who are not keen on Eldest will otherwise acknowledge that children will be definitely pulled in to read the book due to its appeal. Despite the reaction its sales showed its popularity.

Aside from the fantasy and action, there are a lot of lessons to be derived from reading Eldest. One of those is to living full life in the present, as well as honor, friendship and the act of forgiveness.

Additional links for further reading

  • Review of the Inheritance Cycle Third Volume – Brisingr