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'Eldest' builds Inheritance Trilogy - slowly

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW

September 13, 2005

Caileigh Oliver and Fedora Copley reviewed "Eldest," by Christopher Paolini, the second book in his Inheritance Trilogy. Paolini, a former home-schooler, wrote the trilogy's first book, "Eragon," when he was 15 and 16. "Eragon" was No. 3 on the New York Times best-selling fiction list a few weeks after it was released. "Eldest" continues the story of Eragon, a young man who is befriended by a dragon.

Caileigh: So do you like the book?

Fedora: I think "Eldest," although long and sometimes repetitive, is well-written. Paolini creates believable characters and situations, and fleshes them out with history, legends and folklore of Alagaesia, the fantastical world in which the book takes place.

Caileigh: The plot moves slowly in some places, but then a surprise happens, and that makes up for the slow parts. Overall, it's well-written. Do you think this book is better than the first?

Fedora: Initially, I found the previous book to be faster-paced and more fun, but, having finished "Eldest," I realize I really enjoyed reading it. I like it better in some ways.

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For example, in "Eldest," Paolini describes the story of Roran, Eragon's cousin. While the story of Eragon is interesting, having another tale helps to keep the book engaging.

What do you think about the dialogue?

Caileigh: The dialogue is pretty good. Paolini seems to have improved his dialogue writing, and most of the conversations are convincing.

What do you think of the general writing?

Fedora: The writing is descriptive and conveys the images well. I could see many pictures clearly in my mind, but some scenes are described in too much detail - enough to lose me.

What do you think about Arya, the elven love interest?

Caileigh: I am glad to see more of Arya. Eragon seems a bit too persistent and he seems unable to focus, but Arya seems realistic, if a bit distant. Some of her history surprises me, but Paolini explains these bits of information.

What do you think of Saphira, the dragon?

Fedora: Saphira is as wise and thoughtful as ever, and I like the relationship between her and Eragon. They seem close and trusting.

The climax is well-done, if a bit drawn out. The plot twist at the end is surprising but not too cheesy or impossible.

Caileigh: The ending is a good way to pause the story until the next book comes out. And it makes me impatient to see it.




For more information about the Inheritance Trilogy, go to www.alagaesia.com.

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