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Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Inheritance Cycle
  • Mass Market Paperback: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf; Reprint edition (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440238498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440238492
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 4.4 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,812 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

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

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up–Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have survived the battle at Tronjheim, but their challenges are not over. Galbatorix, the corrupt emperor, still rules Alagaesia and is looking for them. The magically bonded pair must help the rebellious Varden regroup after their leader is slain. Eragon helps deal with the resulting diplomatic complexities and then leaves for Du Weldenvarden, the home of the Elves, in order to finish his training as a Dragon Rider. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must unite the small town of Carvahall as it is battered by Galbatorix's forces, including the nasty Ra'zac. The story alternates between Eragon and Saphira and their political maneuvering and Roran and his more traditional adventure over land and sea. Paolini provides a worthy companion to Eragon (Knopf, 2003), though it does not stand alone (a summary of the first book will be included in the final edition). The plot–indeed, most of the fantasy conventions–is heavily inspired by Tolkien, McCaffrey, and especially George Lucas. The momentum of the narrative is steady and consistent: a problem presents itself and is neatly (and conveniently) solved before the next one arises, making it appealing to some adventure-quest fantasy fans and runescape.com players. Eragon's journey to maturity is well handled. He wrestles earnestly with definitions for good and evil, and he thoughtfully examines the question of good at what price.While there's nothing particularly original here, the book will find its fan-base.–Sarah Couri, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Christopher Paolini was born on November 17, 1983 in Southern California. He has lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana with his parents and younger sister, Angela. As a child, he often wrote short stories and poems, made frequent trips to the library, and read widely. The idea of Eragon began as the daydreams of a teen. Christopher's love for the magic of stories led him to craft a novel that he would enjoy reading. The project began as a hobby, a personal challenge; he never intended it to be published. All the characters in Eragon are from Christopher's imagination except Angela the herbalist, who is loosely based on his sister. Christopher was fifteen when he wrote the first draft of Eragon. He took a second year to revise the book and then gave it to his parents to read. The family decided to self-publish the book and spent a third year preparing the manuscript for publication: copyediting, proofreading, designing a cover, typesetting the manuscript, and creating marketing materials. During this time Christopher drew the map for Eragon, as well as the dragon eye for the book cover (that now appears inside the Knopf hardcover edition). The manuscript was sent to press and the first books arrived in November 2001. The Paolini family spent the next year promoting the book at libraries, bookstores, and schools in 2002 and early 2003. In summer 2002, author Carl Hiaasen, whose stepson read a copy of the self-published book while on vacation in Montana, brought Eragon to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, which is part of Random House. Knopf published Eragon in August 2003. Eldest, which continues the adventures of Eragon and the dragon Saphira was published in August 2005, and in December 2006, Fox 2000 released their movie adaptation of Eragon in theaters around the world.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#45 in Books > Teens
#45 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Christopher Paolini did a wonderful job.
marie L. hymel
In Eldest there isn't much to hate about it, but like all books there a couple things.
This is a great book and I look forward to reading the third one.
Andrew T. Ellis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
eldest was a disappointing read compared to eragon. true, it is a well sized book and looks impressive; however, this does not make up for the choppy content. Roran's "quest" was unclear and quite lame. Eragon's training and adventures were also a bit boring. I had to read it for school, and the few days it took to finish were slow. This is why I give eldest the 2 star rating it deserves. I hope paolini's next book in the inheritance is one much better than the 2nd one.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Eldest was Chris's big chance to prove himself worthy of being published. We told him what was wrong with Eragon, but he didn't listen very well. It is still so ripped off--even worse. Before Chris tried to hide his rip offs, but here he makes no attempt or anything. It was all kind of sad...

I found this book rather boring and predictible, even for a person like me who always thinks that the dogs in those dog-movies will die...

Eldest is like a movie that had a director that was still too in shock (Oh my goash, they are going to produce/publish my stuff) to concentrate on making his actors put emotion and realism in to what they do. Everything seems forced. Things happen because the author says. I personally believe that authors should kinda set the setting, give the characters a few things to work with, and let what happens happen. It seems as if Chris was breathing down his character's necks all the time, whispering, "If you don't do this, you die in the next scene..."

Oh well, get this book if ya want to. I reccomend, though, checking it out from the library or something. Borrow it. At least wait until it comes out in paperback.

I don't like reading books were everything is slave to the author. You can't direct and act all the parts at the same time...

Signed Average Kid, Who Likes To Read
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43 of 54 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In an interview, Paolini said that he didn't listen to his reviewers and BOY does it show. Eldest has all the flaws of Eragon (derivative plot, flat characters, predictability, etc.) as well as all the flaws anticipated for the sequel (derivative of Empire Strikes Back). I know that these criticisms are almost as cliched as Inheritence itself, but these flaws are so obvious that they bear repeating.

And rather than improving, Eldest has shown ANOTHER weakness in Paolini's writing. It's the same problem I've had with The Amber Spyglass and the later Terry Goodkind books. It's so preachy, probably in an attempt to sound mature. A good, mature writer would introduce his beliefs subtly and let the story teach his philosophy. Paolini hits us over the head with his beliefs in long, blocky monologues. No subtlety at all.

I bought this book because of the possibility that CP would improve. I'm ready to give up hope.
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103 of 133 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Most authors improve as time goes on, but Christopher Paolini has gotten worse since his lamentably poor first novel "Eragon." This book, the second in the Inheritance trilogy, shows all the flaws of the first book, with even more on top.

For starters, the parallels with "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings" are so blatant that it's almost funny. Oromis is a blatant Yoda clone, and Nasuda is an obvious rip-off of Eowyn. And of course, there's the "shocking" plot twist which we all saw coming from a mile off, in which it's revealed that Murtagh is Eragon's brother (identical to how Darth Vader turned out to be Luke's father...I suppose even Paolini realised that resorting to the "I am your father" cliché was one plagarism too far), followed by the phrase "Search your feelings, you know it to be true" which is taken straight from "Star Wars." Oh yes...and let's not forget Morgothar and Elessari, whose names are clear copies of Morgoth and Elessar from "Lord of the Rings." And those are just the rip-offs of two series! He's also stolen from the likes of Anne McCaffrey (the parallels with her "Dragonriders" books are so blatant that I'm surprised she doesn't sue him), Ursula K Le Guin, David Eddings, JK Rowling, and hundreds of other authors. He even steals from the James Bond films (the idea of Eragon becoming an elf sounds suspiciously similar to Bond becoming Japanese in "You Only Live Twice"). Note to Paolini...you seriously need to get some ideas of your own, or it'll reach a point where nobody will read your books as they'll just be rip-offs of others.

Paolini also inserts complicated words every few pages (his favourite one being "stymied"). Most of them are out of place, and none of them are likely to be familiar to the target audience.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Got this book as a gift so felt obligated to read it. At best, a muddled collection cobbled together from previously published books, all recycled. At worst, completely bogus with such keen utterances as "Aye" and "Werg", and annoying characters who slur their letters. Don't waste your money it'll be in the discount rack for 70% off soon.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Summer Paulus on June 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books, and just about all of them have a great story line, great characters, and have a little "new" in them I never read before. With Eragon I liked, but Eldest falls sort of anything I liked for Eragon. And Eragon doesn't come close to any of the other novels I read such as: Elizabeth Haydon, J.R.R.Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Kristen Britain, C. J. Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, and Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman. I feel that all of these were shoved together to try to make an epic fantasy novel of dragonrider's. By the 20th page I immediately dropped the book in disgusts. This all seems so familar to me, and so boring. Of course, it's could be just me. But maybe Ill try it again when I have nothing else better to read. [I would give this review 0 stars, but it wouldn't let me]
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