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Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous owner's name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2) Hardcover – August 23, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 2,120 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Inheritance cycle Series

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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


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.
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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 (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037582670X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375826702
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of SciFi/Fantasy, and while I've not even begun to read everything, it is evident that this young man has read a lot and loves it too - so many scenes remind me of stuff I've read elsewhere - even the Whirlpool comes right out of Greek mythology. Not a bad read, definitely there has been some growing up and he has a lot of potential - but until he learns to write his own stories, he will never truly be great. Anyone who has read the "greats" will recognize them in these stories, a bit here and a bit there - my daughter loves to write and does the same thing, I finally told her that if she really wanted to write well, then she had to stop mimicking her favorite stories, in fact, we boxed them all up and she isn't going to read them, then she put away her plays and stories - just recently she brought them out again and has been working on them, this time the ideas are more her own and not what she reads in other books. That's what this boy needs to do - the book reads like whenever he gets stuck, he goes to his bookshelf or a movie and watches/reads for an idea, then puts that in. I'll have to admit to skipping over pages at a time to avoid lengthy philosophy lessons and battles and long trips where basically nothing happened.
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Format: Hardcover
I am enjoying this second novel in the series as it has a wider scope and broader plot. I think that the author is growing up with his characters and we see them having crushes, making silly mistakes and learning from them. Both Eragon and Saphira are maturing into quite complex characters. However I think that the author needs to read more widely and have a broader life experience to match the appeal of McCaffery, Tolkein and Rowling for example. I hope after the third in this series he will have a break to do these things and then come back to write some more fantasy as he obviously has a liking and a talent for it. I am looking forward to reading a lot of his books!
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Format: Hardcover
My 15 year old is really into these books and his enthusiasm got me to read them. Though I enjoyed both books, I would not consider either one of them great literature. When I started Eragon and found out about Paolini's "ancient language" I asked my son "Who does this guy think he is... Tolkien???" (the answer is yes) I did not enjoy flipping to the back of the book constantly to figure out the dialogue. I wholeheartedly agree with previous reviewers' statements about the author ingesting a thesaurus. It is one thing to have a large vocabulary, it is quite another to try to use every single word in it in a young adult's book. I am also tired of reading about the author's age when he graduated high school. Every time you see anything written about him it is mentioned. I think he's gotten enough mileage out of that already and it is time to let his writing speak for itself. Eldest was okay. That's it. I'll read the third book because it will be an entertaining read, just like the first two were. Final note about the plot...I think the girl-on-girl tattoo dance was a total cop out. Eragon was inferior physically and magically until this dragon dance. Then, suddenly, with no effort on his part and no plausible explanation he is cured? I don't buy it. I understand that it is magic, but a little more meat and a little less mystery would have gone a long way there. Bottom line...check this one out from the library.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked Eragon well enough and I was looking forward to this book coming out. As it turns out, it's a good thing I waited for the library copy and didn't buy it, because owning it would have been pointless. The prose is really rather tedious and immature, not to mention how unnecessarily LONG it is. I won't summarize; just know that the "influence" of other writers is starkly visible. There's little originality in the writing, and the text is ridden with mistakes that a good editor should have eliminated (e.g., the incorrect and completely arbitrary substitution of words like "mine" and "thy/thine" for "my" and "yours"). Overall, the dialogue is probably the most awkard part, with the next most irksome thing being the superfluous scenes. Side note: anyone interested in joining a rescue mission to free the author's thesaurus? The preachiness really got to me, too; the author seems to dream of a society full of vegetarian atheists who practice elf yoga daily and takes "mates" whenever they want to without any commitment. And yes, "aye" is used with obscene frequency.

However -
I did read the whole book, and I wanted to find out what happened to Eragon even after the stupid training period in Ellesmera that was probably supposed to be formative (actually it just ends with us having to accept that Eragon is amazingly powerful and talented). So, I must say -- with reluctance? -- that this book wasn't a total waste of time. No, it is not good, but I wanted to know what happened.
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A Kid's Review on September 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This "Inheritance" trilogy has inspired more animosity then I have seen in a very long time. Their is litterally a great divide here, with many hailing Paolini as the next Tolkien, while others say that he will be the downfall of fantasy literature. Personally, I think BOTH sides are giving him way to much credit.

Let's start off with the pro-Paolini crew. I honestly have to wonder if you have actually read any other fantasy novels out there. If you have, you will notice that Eldest is saturated with cliches which Paolini attempts to hide by calling his work 'archetypal.' The attempt at portraying true love is laughable at best with the protagonist litterally calling a girl "as beautiful as a flower." That type of stuff makes me cringe. It seems to me that Paolini doesn't get his writing from real life experience, but instead from the many different authors that he has read before. Without experience, the emotions of Eldest come out as regurgetated garbage. I do not need to delve to deeply into the storyline itself for that has been mentioned numerous times before. I will say though that Paolini has got away with plagiarism. He copied names of places and towns, people, and plots by tweaking them only slightly so as to get away with it. For an avid reader, he fails at sneaking that theivery by us. It stuck out with each new page that I read. I must also say that I am dissapointed that Paolini failed to add anything original to the fantasy genre. Everything he wrote about HAS been used before; everything. That takes the excitement from the book.

Another problem I have is Paolini's arrogance. In reviewing himself, he said "I strive for a lyrical beauty somewhere between Tolkien at his best, and Seamus Henney's translation of Beowulf." That is ridiculous.
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