Eldest (Inheritance Trilogy)
Hardcover – 736 pages
ISBN: 0385611609 / 9780385611602
Picking up from the exact point where its predecessor gave way, Eldest begins with dragon rider and now shade slayer, Eragon, on the battlefield of his greatest triumph. He is saddened by the death and carnage before him, and fearful for the future. King Galbatorix is, despite this battle won, still the cruel ruler of the Empire and must be defeated. Together with the beautiful and elegant dragon, Saphira, with whom he can communicate without speech, they must travel to Ellesmera - fabled land of the Elves to undergo further training in magic, swordsmanship and other worldly necessities.
Meanwhile, in his homeland, in the village of Carvahall, Eragon's cousin Roran faces challenges of his own. The king's men, and the dark creature that instructs them, lay siege to the tiny mountain community in the hope of finding Roran, and thus lead them to Eragon. After fierce resistance, Roran leads the villagers on a long, arduous journey to salvation (hopefully) with the community known as the Varden.
Told in alternate chapters, the stories of both young men on separate missions give this `difficult second novel' a refreshing feel. Eragon is still the star, but has a substantial second cast to make this novel a worthy sequel to the first book and a tantalising bridge to the final chapter in volume three.
(Age 12 and over) --John McLay