Sheila Goicea's Reviews > Eldest

Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: epic-fantasies, dragons, 2015-and-before-releases, ya-fantasy, magic, 2017-completed-reads, series-completed
Read 2 times. Last read June 12, 2017 to July 17, 2017.

This full review can be viewed on my blog along with others at:

Buddy read with Maks
Understanding begets empathy and compassion, even for the meanest beggar in the meanest city of Alagaësia.

The battle against Galbatorix' army in the dwarvan mountain realm was only the cusp of the war looming ahead. Now that Eragon and Saphira's presence is becoming known across Alagaësia, enemies arise at every turn.

Strategy, politics, and duty threaten to delay Eragon's much needed journey to the northern region of the elves to train. As the first dragon rider in years, he has much to learn for the him impending meeting with the evil king himself. 

Roran, Eragon's cousin, finds himself in charge of the small village of Carvahall. Since Eragon's mysterious disappearance, the Ra'zac lurk around its borders, requesting the villagers to turn Roran over to them as he is now a fugitive to the empire. With this town, friends, and future family's lives on the line, Roran must utilize offensive tactics to defend those he holds dear. 

Time is of the essence, and each player has a vital part to play in this complex plot of treachery, suspense, intrigue, and magic. 


I was instantly reminded why this book is my least favorite in the series. The pacing is so slow throughout the first half of the book, and very gradually increases. Then the climax comes at the end and throws me off guard, every time with its unparalleled element of surprise.  

Eragon battles with himself throughout this entire book. Now at the awkward stage in his life where he transitions into a man, he battles with his growing feelings for Arya, insecurities, and immaturity. It's painful to watch him grapple with trying to understand why Arya and himself are not an appropriate fit, and I genuinely felt sorry for him. But there were times when I couldn't help think (and wish) that he'd just move on. 

Ironically enough, Saphira goes through a similar scenario, when she confronts the reality that she is the last surviving female dragon in Alagaësia. Out of desperation to rebuild her race, she too, makes foolish choices that have their consequences. 

Even though some of these characters' deliberations could be annoying necessary, I appreciated how it allowed the characters to show their age, experience, and understanding, which later on shows how much they have grown and matured throughout this series. 
He welcomed those limitations, for if he were perfect, what would be left for him to accomplish?

Most of use can agree that there are definite parallels between The Inheritance Cycle, and The Lord of the Rings. These similarities are especially obvious in Eldest. When Islanzadi is confronted about keeping Gleadr's existence a secret, she states, "I am diminished." It sounds almost exactly like the scene from LOTR when Galadriel says, "I will diminish, and go into the West..." (I think we all remember the scene from the movie.


The fact that Eragon spends so much time in Du Weldenvarden makes it impossible to not point out just how similar it is to Lothlórien. The universally established fact that elves possess strong ties to nature works against this series, as it handcuffs its creativity in ways. However, there are a few tell-tale differences (view spoiler)

For all of the points in this book that dissuade me, there are points equally as important, notable, and genuinely wise, and say a lot about how skilled Paolini truly is as an author. 

#1 Nasuada is a gem and shines brighter than all characters in this book. Although she is young, she is extremely capable. She has several opportunities to "show her age" and react before thinking. Alas, she doesn't. It just shows that youth are just as capable of leadership as adults. Not only that, her tremendous ability at looking at situations from all angles only aids her in her station. 

#2 I appreciate Paolini's approach on prejudice, and how common, and hindering it is. This is most obviously depicted towards the Urguals, (view spoiler) 

#3 I also appreciate how Paolini holds his characters accountable for their actions. Every action has a reaction, and a consequence. And these characters are faced with the products of their own doing many times over.

This book has great potential in teaching great lessons to its readers, which makes it a solid read, and addition to this series. 

Vulgarity: Only in dwarvish.
Sexual content: None, other that discussing the future existence of the dragon race.
Violence: Moderate, battles occur several times. But there isn't an overabundance of gore. 

3.5 stars.  
24 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Eldest.
Sign In »

Quotes Sheila Liked

Christopher Paolini
“A good compromise leaves everyone angry.”
Christopher Paolini, Eldest

Christopher Paolini
“Understanding begets empathy and compassion even for the meanest beggar - Oromis”
Christopher Paolini, Eldest

Christopher Paolini
“Power without moral direction is the most dangerous force in the world.”
Christopher Paolini, Eldest

Christopher Paolini
“Determination is as common among men who are dull and foolish as it is among those who are brilliant intellects.”
Christopher Paolini, Eldest

Christopher Paolini
“He welcomed those limitations, for if he were perfect, what would be left for him to accomplish?”
Christopher Paolini, Eldest

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 21, 2016 – Shelved
December 1, 2016 – Shelved as: epic-fantasies
March 13, 2017 – Shelved as: dragons
June 12, 2017 – Started Reading
June 13, 2017 –
June 22, 2017 – Shelved as: 2015-and-before-releases
June 22, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-fantasy
June 26, 2017 –
June 29, 2017 – Shelved as: magic
July 8, 2017 –
July 13, 2017 –
July 14, 2017 –
July 17, 2017 –
July 17, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017-completed-reads
July 17, 2017 – Shelved as: series-completed
July 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

BR tomorrow

message 2: by Lara xoxo (new)

Lara xoxo good luck with BR

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)


Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "BR tomorrow"


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry late start

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

how is the progress?

Sheila Goicea I haven't been reading this much :( But I'm going to make some headway on it today!

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

any thoughts?

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

how is it going?

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "how is it going?"

As said before, it's on the back-burner because I had deadlines for other books. Sorry, I'm a terrible buddy-reader. I will have it completed by next week Friday, however.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Im worse for going ahead :p

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "Im worse for going ahead :p"

Nope. That's the point of reading --- to move forward. So go ahead and finish it if you like. Perhaps I'll try another buddy read when I have less deadlines and more free time.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Nah its fine Im reading another 2 books so I can be plowing ahead with them ;)

Sheila Goicea Did you finish it?

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

yep yesterday night

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "yep yesterday night"

Nice. What did you think? I'm ALMOST DONE.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Almost? ahhahah lol well It was worth the re read I love the plot twist at the end!! Not sure if Ill review it…idk

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "Almost? ahhahah lol well It was worth the re read I love the plot twist at the end!! Not sure if Ill review it…idk"

Yeah. Any new thoughts on it? Or just a refresher

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

well I kinda liked it more...I was squealing because I kmnow what will happen

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I might review it after all

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "I might review it after all"

Why not? Do it!

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Do you have any new thought?

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "Do you have any new thought?"

I'm currently writing a review. It will be up this evening. :)

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

cant wait

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I will just steal your review anyways

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "I will just steal your review anyways"


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

;) jk if what

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: ";) jk if what"

Boom. It's up. I'm looking forward to reading yours! (If you write one.)

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

lovely review…I will be late with mine things to do....

message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Chick chick boom
quick review is up

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "Chick chick boom
quick review is up"

:) great job

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you!
I love your reviews

Sheila Goicea Maks wrote: "Thank you!
I love your reviews"

Thanks! Your feedback is much appreciated.

back to top