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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Eldest is Christopher Paolini's second installment of the Inheritance series. The story continues where Eragon left off, in Farthen Dur.

Eragon and Saphira, now heros, travel to the home of the elves to continue magical training. Eragon learns not only deeper magic but becomes literate in the elven language, which is important in spell-casting.

After his training, he must join forces with the Varden and meet the Empire's army and fight.

The author branches out to 2-3 different story lines in Eldest. He follows Roran, Eragon's cousin. Roran is also being pursued by the enemy and must make difficult decisions that effect not only him, but all of his village.

Eldest has a decent storyline (if quite predictable) and the characters develop a little. The author seems to have grown in his writing, although I'd not put him in the same league with the staples in modern fantasy. I've read other reviews on big sites and, while this series gets a lot of bad reviews, I don't believe it's as bad as they say, just not world class.

The author did two things that I did not appreciate much as a reader. First, it seemed as if he had a list of a couple dozen $10 words that he wanted to slip in occasionally. His writing overall is simple (a compliment) but some of the archaic words he uses are used inappropriately. The other thing that got me was a certain chapter that started out talking about religion and ended up being a very poor and ill-placed preaching job. I personally disagree with what he had to say but besides that, it just didn't fit in the story.

I give Eldest a "C". The writing was a little more mature but he countered his gains with some weird choices that left me shaking my head.

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