September 30, 2008

Christopher Paolini: Eldest

I was eager to discover just what would happen next in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy from where I'd left off with Eragon. Though I had very little time when I dove into the book, I did much reading today and have finished it. Before my reading today, I had found the book a bit unsatisfying. This very well could be because of my little reading time I had before today with this book, because it did pick up today, though with finishing over the second half, it was to be expected...or rejected. (Thank goodness scenario number two wasn't the case!)

This book does not have merely one point of view but that of three. It switches off every few chapters. Just to make it more exciting, I'm keeping the names of the other two characters quiet. They were very good choices. It felt that this book had not one journey but more. I must shush myself from saying more about that. I will add one more thing, however: Just when you think you have the point of views figured out is when the third one hits. It was a pleasant addition.

Things begin a little odd in this book, with some surprises as well as suspicions for which I didn't learn that I was right about until the very end, though with some shocks as well. Eragon has traveling to do in order to study with the elves as planned as well as to meet the mysterious one who spoke to his conscious in book one, which he does and whom he meets. The journey is not nearly as rough or terrible as those in the past. I feel this has to do with Eragon's and Saphira's new strengths with having gone through new experiences besides the obvious of having made wonderful allies.

I won't spoil anything to do with elves (or anything else, if I can help it) but will say that the dreaded approaching time to meeting Galbortax draws nearer. Before that time though, Eragon and Saphira are taught a great amount and both mature. Lessons begin where Brom left off, and Eragon learns more about the man who, at least I felt, was at one time like a father to him.

On the subject of fathers, a riddle is told to Eragon about his father, though he pays it little attention. Eragon does not master riddles well and clever Saphira would never have figured it out if she had heard it, but Eragon will learn more of his parentage in this book just as Saphira does, however more difficult to learn.

As to be expected, there is more yet of many familiar faces to Eragon. The werecat's witch, Linda, will be precisely right in her foretelling of Eragon's future. New and interesting characters are added to the mix, some of which I look forward to reading more about just as much as Eragon and others he previously met. I am eager to read the next book.

On a note related to this book, I had been greatly worried when I made a trip to a bookstore two weeks ago and discovered a toy three-headed dragon that was red. I worried it was spoiling Eldest for me since the dragon on the cover of this book bears red skin as well. I can now say for anyone stressing the same that there is no need to worry or connect this to book 2 at all. Now, however, this can only mean one thing. I say nada and since you cannot see me, add that I am shaking my head.

47 / 52 books. 90% done!