Review Detail

4.0 14
Young Adult Fiction 2441
Epic of Eragon
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Christopher Paulini’s second sequel of Eragon, Eldest, brings a whole new adventure for Eragon. Eragon, now recognized widely as a dragon rider and shade slayer, receives a message from an elf in Ellesmera. Eragon has to go to Ellesmera to finish his training in the arts of a dragon rider. Meanwhile, Roran, Eragon’s cousin, living far off in Carvahall, has to escape the evil ruler Galbatorix’s minions. When the villagers try to help Roran, all the villagers of Carvahall get in trouble, and Roran has to then find a way to protect them all. Eragon’s half of the story didn’t show much plot or conflict, being mostly about learning new knowledge and magic. Eragon didn’t really accomplish much, making me feel like he wasted his whole time learning things that won’t really be used. Roran’s tale was similarly boring, as everything was extremely predictable. Since in stories, main characters don’t really die, so Roran never really feels in danger. Evil servants and heinous monsters blocking their way would die as if miracles happened and whirlpools and trenches would vanish like mirages. The fighting scenes were described in short fleeting moments, making the parts boring and unrealistic. Overall, the book showed great potential to be a fairly interesting sequel to Eragon, but the predictability of the plot and unreal action made the book less interesting.
Christopher Paolini has the amazing ability to make the characters very realistic and believable. For example, Eragon, a once impulsive and brutal farmer, has his character change drastically throughout his training in Ellesmera, making him more considerate and wise. Roran, who used to be weak and cowardly, becomes a headstrong, persuasive leader. However, I feel their character changes a little too fast and sudden. Roran, who kills a few soldiers in Carvahall, suddenly gains a huge amount of respect and admiration. He continues to make mistakes yet the villagers still love him and treat him with great reverence. Even though it was obvious that there was character progression, I think this novel tried to fit in too much character change in too short of a time.
Throughout the story I did not really like the way the words were worded. The story would often have unnecessary amounts of overly descriptive words. Sometimes he would make the idea that could be described in a sentence, expand into a whole paragraph. For example, “Above them loomed a sheer black cliff. It acted like a buttress and dam for a cornice of blue ice that groaned and split under the wind, loosing jagged slabs that shattered on the granite below” makes the paragraph originally talking about a dragon landing into one that describes too much about unimportant landscape. Sometimes, an excessive amount of these kinds of paragraphs tend to make the story hard and boring to read.
My overall impression of this story is that this story has an interesting plot and great potential, but includes a storyline that reminds me greatly of Star Wars. In both stories, an enormity of evil scourges the land, causing great despair to all that oppose it. In Star Wars, the evil is Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, both who are defeated when a powerful youngster appears. In Eldest, that hope is Eragon, who is the last and only dragon rider that is said to be able to defeat Galbatorix. However, Eragon needs to train, similar to how Luke Skywalker was training with Yoda on Dagobah. In both stories, the pupils do not manage to finish their training and their masters die before they could get back and receive it. The similarity of the two stories made me feel like this book wasn’t really worth reading, since it wasn’t very original or creative. However, I would recommend this book to people who like storylines like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, who may find this similarly interesting to read.
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