Tag Archives: Varden

Book Review – Eldest, By Christopher Paolini

Eldest is the second book in the Inheritance saga and is written by Christopher Paolini. I would like to say that I think I liked the first book better than the second installment. Because I think nothing really happens in this second installment. I mean like literally nothing happens! The author has Eregon spend a lot of time with the Varden, then he gets shipped off to the Elves where he spends half the book training as a Rider. Yeah we sometimes cut to Roran and I actually felt relieved when it was his time in the spotlight. I was bored to tears and figured out the plot twist in the end of this book around the tenth chapter. It is painfully obvious of the allusions to other films and literary works. I felt like Christopher Paolini used them as cookie cutters, but jazzed the cookies up and made them his own. The allegory in this novel is painfully simple that a monkey could point it out. If I had started reading this series when I was younger I would still find some of these faults, like the allusions, but I would probably be giddy with delight at the connections and write them off as nothing more than a parody. I would probably have liked this book better. I probably would have had the whole series read and done by now.

Now those are my grievances, and now here are the positive criticisms:

The author’s writing is slightly better and more fluid than the first novel of the series, even if at some points the dialogue seems forced, or as if the author tried too hard. Christopher Paolini does have an extraordinary imaginative talent, but his starting point started from a “Heroes Journey” (which George Lucas and many others have used as a reference). But, instead of using it as a road map like other storytellers I think he used it while it was already wrapped around other’s stories and put them together. I did enjoy the ancient language that he came up with using different old mythologies (especially Norse Mythology). I was happily gleeful at the Norse references and allusions. Well, because I love Norse Mythology. I love mythology in general, but you know…

If I had read Lord of the Rings I probably would of stopped after reading the first book, Eregon, but I only watched the long agonizing films. Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings films, but man were they really long and hard to keep up with. I endured though and loved the action sequences and….Okay I am getting off topic.

I am writing this review because I only have had four hours of sleep the previous night.

Oh! I did like the subtle jokes that was peppered through out the book. With the other criticisms I do have to say that I have always enjoyed reading the last eight chapters though. Because it seems like Christopher Paolini gets a second wind or something because he knows he’s at the ending for the novel and moves the plot faster. This keeps my interest and I also enjoy the climax and the falling action of the novel. The author also does this tease thing where the plot/story will pick up in the middle or a little after the middle, but then die down again until towards the end. This feels like I have been on this long journey and I am almost out of energy, but then there is a pit stop and then a power up/recharge. Then things slow down again. I love and hate that.

I give Eldest three out of five stars.

I would write even more about it, but I am really tired and I need to at least try and get some sleep. I hope this review is useful to anyone who reads it. I also may revise this once I can actually catch some Z’s….