Dave's Reviews > Eldest

Eldest by Christopher Paolini
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did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy

I was half expecting Eldest to be an improvement for Paolini, but what I expect never seems to be what I get.

Eldest was lengthy; too lengthy. What were easily 500 pages of adjective oriented action would have been fine at 30 pages tops. It seems as if Paolini is still aiming his novels towards the pre-teen to teen audience, something that paid off for him after making Eragon. It's a shame that strategy worked again.

Besides the one or two exciting twists and turns, the plot did not impress. There are two words to sum it up: long, and predictable. It begins with a stretched and dry account of Eragon's journey to the elf capital of Ellesméra, on the way encountering various linear characters and scenarios. This was no doubt the worst part of the book, for not a trace of excitement surfaces for over a bulging 150 pages.

These two pitfalls together create a novel twice as difficult to read, and twice as easy to give one star.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 3, 2007 – Shelved
December 7, 2008 – Shelved as: fantasy

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by John (new)

John Stanfield I can understand your frustration that there is a large portion of the book that seems boring to you, but I have to disagree with you on the boring part. Yes, there isn't any real action in Eragons travel to Ellesmera, but what it lacks in fighting it makes up for in showing the reader more and more of Alegaesia. I really enjoyed reading about them traveling up the River Edarth and visiting all of the small dwarf settlements along the way. If there was any discrepancy I noticed in that whole section, it was how the dwarves treated Saphira after she destroyed the Isidar Mithrim. After all, it was literally the crowning jewel of their society and they let her off rather easily, even though she did promise to repair it upon her return. Regarding the length of the book, it was long but I think that length was necessary in order for us to gain an accurate picture on Eragon's visit to Ellesmera, and it helped me a lot when he described certain events such as Blood-Oath Celebration, when Eragon became a human/elf hybrid thing.

message 2: by Van (new) - rated it 5 stars

Van Markiton I do agree with you that the book was a bit long, but that is just how I like my books. I like to have to male a committment to read a book and that is exactly what I had to do with this one. You say that It could have been a 30 page book and it would have conveyed the same thing, but I disagree. I think that it could have been cut down by maybe 100 pages max if he cut down on all of the descriptors and even that is a huge stretch. Plus I love the descriptors because it gae me a better ppicture of the setting. One part that I really liked was when Roran was in the village at Carvahall. The author wrote, "As Roron proceeded about his work throughout the rest of the day, he felt Carvahall's emptiness deep inside.It was as if part of himself had been extracted and hidden in the spine". This part really showed me how empty he felt and there were an abundance of scenes like this where Paolini described just what he wanted you to know. Also, Saphirras's awesome so theres that.

message 3: by Joe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joe Miller I agree with you that the book is a little long, but with that came very good descriptions. Also you say that it could be fit into 30 pages top but then there would be very little detail and would be very boring. Sometimes the trip to the sacred place to the elves hometown is always the same in almost every fantasy book.

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