Author: Christopher Paolini
Publication Date: March 23rd, 2007
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Synopsis:Darkness falls ...Despair abounds ...Evil reigns ...Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn't sure whom he can trust. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall - one that puts Eragon in even graver danger. Will the king's dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life .
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book even more so than the first one. In the second installment in the Inheritance Cycle we get to see so much character growth! Eragon is pretty much forced to grow up quickly with all the pressure on him of being the only rider to oppose Galbatorix. But he does so amazingly well. Facing every challenge head on, and never backing down, even when it means risking his life, extreme pain, or extreme illness. Even when all seems futile, and it seems impossible to press on, nothing stands in the way of Eragon and Saphira's goals. Eragon and Saphira are each other's pillars. They support each other, lend strength when needed and even tell them when they think they are making the wrong choices. The bond they share is ultimate.
So in this book Eragon travels to Ellesmera, where the elves live. There he receives training from the most unexpected character! During his training he grows immensely. He becomes quite a changed person. But all for the better of course! His training was hard and un-relenting. Continuing on despite his crippling injury inflicted on him by Durza the shade commands the utmost respect. It is a good thing he trains so hard because there is an impending battle between the Varden and Galbatorix and Eragon and Saphira will be the Varden's key weapons. Without them they would all surely die. Will Eragon be able to reach his full strength with the barrier of his wound in the way? Will it be in time for the battle that is ever approaching?
Another reason I really enjoyed this book was because it did not solely focus on Eragon. We got to read a lot about Roran and his journeys and experiences in Carvahall after Eragon left. Which are tremendous, exciting, and scary. Roran is also placed in a position where many depend on him. The entire town in fact. And Galbatorix's servants are not about to let the town go free when they could know Eragon's whereabouts. How will the town defend itself? Is Roran brave enough to face his enemies whilst protecting his entire village? We also get to read a lot about the Varden, and they new leader. The Varden being the major rebels of Galbatorix's ruling. But they find themselves with very depleted resources, the dwarves can no long feed them as well as their own. How will Nasuada, who has just taken role of leader take care of all these people? While preparing for a war?
All this and more happens in Eldest. The story has lots of really great twists and surprises that left me completely shocked. I love when a book can surprise me like that! This book is an epic fantasy that all lovers of the genre should read. It is a long one, but it's well worth the time it takes to read. I'm actually excited that the books in the series get longer as they go. I can't wait to read more about Eragon and Saphira and all the others! This is a world I can so easily immerse myself in and get lost in. The world is beautifully depicted and all the characters are so hard not to love. If you're up for a longer read, and you like fantasy, you should read this series:)