Saturday, October 2, 2010
Eldest- Christopher Paolini
If you haven't read the first book Eragon, then skip this review and look at my Eragon review here. Then decide whether you want to read Eragon and then come back to this.
The story picks up three days after the Battle of Farthen Dûr, which is a mountain where the capital city of the Dwarf empire, Tronjheim, is located. During the battle, Eragon killed the shade Durza, earning him the name of Shadeslayer. But he also picked up another memento- a huge scar across his back which wracks him with pain at the slightest excursion.
In the first chapter itself, things start to get interesting when the Varden leader, Ajihad, is killed by Urgals. Murtagh and the Twins are also presumed dead after their bodies could not be located. Also, Eragon could not scry Murtagh. Amid this turmoil, Eragon must now adventure to the land of the Elves to complete his Rider training. He must also find the mysterious Mourning Sage who saved his life after the Battle.
In Ellesméra, the capital of the Elves, Eragon finds many new surprises and challenges. As he gears up for war, his cousin Roran fights a different battle back home at Carvahall. The Ra'zac have returned looking for clues to Eragon's whereabouts. They threaten the lives of Roran and every other person there. Roran's battle affects the destiny of Eragon more than anyone can imagine.
Eragon was a very nice read, and Eldest continues the story in a satisfying way. I will not comment on the originality of the series as a whole which has come under a lot of criticism. I just look at whether a book can interest me as a reader. Eldest has done that.
Compared to Eragon, the tone of this book is more laid back, which kind of better in a sense since it lends the story a more uniform pace ( remember I had talked about an irregularity of pace in my Eragon review). The character development was once again good. The new point of views lend a more refreshing look to the story and avoids a feeling of isolation as Eragon was stuck in one place with no word on the outside world. Overall, I think Eldest was a much better job than Eragon.
For those who were impressed by Eragon, don't hesitate to give this a try. If you weren't impressed with Eragon, then you should still give this shot; you may find this better.