Books and Movies Reviews

Eldest

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 the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life. . . .Praise for Eragon:”Unusual, powerful . . . fresh and fluid. An impressive start to a writing career that’s sure to flourish.” –Booklist, Starred”Christopher Paolini make[s] literary magic with his precocious debut.” –People”The new ‘It’ book of children’s lit.” –U.S. News & World Report”An auspicious beginning to both career and series.” –Publishers WeeklyA #1 New York Times BestsellerA #1 Publishers Weekly BestsellerA USA Today BestsellerA Wall Street Journal BestsellerA Book Sense Book of the YearA #1 Book Sense SelectionFrom the Hardcover edition.

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

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