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Other titles in the Inheritance series:

Eldest (Inheritance Cycle #02)

by

Eldest (Inheritance Cycle #02) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

The Council of Elders

Saphira's breathing quickened, and she opened her eyes, yawning expansively. Good morning, little one.

Is it? He looked down and leaned on his hands, compressing the mattress. It's terrible . . . Murtagh and Ajihad . . . Why didn't sentries in the tunnels warn us of the Urgals? They shouldn't have been able to trail Ajihad's group without being noticed. . . . Arya was right, it doesn't make sense.

We may never know the truth, said Saphira gently. She stood, wings brushing the ceiling. You need to eat, then we must discover what the Varden are planning. We can't waste time; a new leader could be chosen within hours.

Eragon agreed, thinking of how they had left everyone yesterday: Orik rushing off to give King Hrothgar the tidings, Jörmundur taking Ajihad's body to a place where it would rest until the funeral, and Arya, who stood alone and watched the goings-on.

Eragon rose and strapped on Zar'roc and his bow, then bent and lifted Snowfire's saddle. A line of pain sheared through his torso, driving him to the floor, where he writhed, scrabbling at his back. It felt like he was being sawed in half. Saphira growled as the ripping sensation reached her. She tried to soothe him with her own mind but was unable to alleviate his suffering. Her tail instinctually lifted, as if to fight.

It took minutes before the fit subsided and the last throb faded away, leaving Eragon gasping. Sweat drenched his face, making his hair stick and his eyes sting. He reached back and gingerly fingered the top of his scar. It was hot and inflamed and sensitive to touch. Saphira lowered her nose and touched him on the arm. Oh, little one. . . .

It was worse this time, he said, staggering upright. She let him lean against her as he wiped away the sweat with a rag, then he tentatively stepped for the door.

Are you strong enough to go?

We have to. We're obliged as dragon and Rider to make a public choice regarding the next head of the Varden, and perhaps even influence the selection. I won't ignore the strength of our position; we now wield great authority written the Varden. At least the Twins aren't here to grab the position for themselves. That's the only good in the situation.

Very well, but Durza should suffer a thousand years of torture for what he did to you.

He grunted. Just stay close to me.

Together they made their way through Tronjheim, toward the nearest kitchen. In the corridors and hallways, people stopped and bowed to them, murmuring, "Argetlam," or "Shadeslayer." Even dwarves made the motions, though not as often. Eragon was struck by the somber, haunted expressions of the humans and the dark clothing they wore to display their sadness. Many women dressed entirely in black, lace veils covering their faces.

In the kitchen, Eragon brought a stone platter of food to a low table. Saphira watched him carefully in case he should have another attack. Several people tried to approach him, but she lifted a lip and growled sending them scurrying away. Eragon pretended to ignore the disturbances and picked at the food. Finally, trying to divert his thoughts from Murtagh, he asked, Who do you think has the means to take control of the Varden, now that Ajihad and the Twins are gone?

She hesitated. It's possible you could, if Ajihad's last words were interpreted as a blessing to secure the leadership. Almost no one would oppose you. However, that does not seem a wise path to take. I see only trouble in that direction.

I agree. Besides, Arya wouldn't approve, and she could be a dangerous enemy. Elves can't lie in the ancient language, but they have no such inhibition in ours-she could deny that Ajihad ever uttered those words if it served her purposes. No, I don't want the position. . . . What about Jörmundur?

Ajihad called him his right-hand man. Unfortunately, we know little about him or the Varden's other leaders. Such a short time has passed since we came here. We will have to make our judgment on our feelings and impressions, without the benefit of history.

Eragon pushed his fish around a lump of mashed tubers. Don't forget Hrothgar and the dwarf clans; they won't be quiet in this. Except for Arya, the elves have no say in the succession-a decision will be made before word of this even reaches them. But the dwarves can't be-won't be-ignored. Hrothgar favors the Varden, but if enough clans oppose him, he might be maneuvered into backing someone unsuited for the command.

And who might that be?

A person easily manipulated. He closed his eyes and leaned back. It could be anyone in Farthen Dûr, anyone at all.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

seddyma, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by seddyma)
the story continues of Eragon and Saphira. It picks off right where it left off which makes it feel like one big book instead of them being separated. Amazing writer kept me wanting more every time I had to put it down the tracking of different characters and the twists are truly riveting.
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gken703, November 27, 2006 (view all comments by gken703)
The Inheritance books are the best fantasy books that I have ever read along with Harry Potter. They make you want to read all of the book at once without stopping. They keep you on the edge of your seat turning the pages furiously. I absolutely cannot wait for the third book. He makes you wonder over and over what will happen in the next chapter and the next book. I cant wait until the third book comes out! I will probably keep reading them over and over until the third book comes out. I think that Christopher Paolini is a great author, better than many. I just hope he hurries up with the third book. I don't know how much longer I can wait. Hurry up Christopher!
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(29 of 47 readers found this comment helpful)
bonnell, November 22, 2006 (view all comments by bonnell)
omg eldest and eragon are the best books ive ever read i read both of them in 8 days and im only 13 its crazy i just cant get enough of these books i love them
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(22 of 47 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375826702
Author:
Paolini, Christopher
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Author:
Ch
Author:
ristopher Paolini
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Science Fiction
Subject:
Dragons
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Subject:
fantasy;dragons;fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
The Inheritance Cycle
Series Volume:
02
Publication Date:
August 2005
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
704
Dimensions:
9.46x6.24x2.10 in. 2.42 lbs.
Age Level:
12-17

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Related Subjects


Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Animals » Mythical
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

Eldest (Inheritance Cycle #02) Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 704 pages Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - English 9780375826702 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In his online newsletter Alagaesia, Christopher Paolini shares, "Writing Eldest was one of the hardest things I've ever done, as was writing Eragon, although in different ways. I pushed myself with Eldest, both in terms of the characters, the story, and what I attempted with my technique....[T]he completion of my second novel marks the end and beginning of an era for me."

All the hard work and determination really paid off — Eldest delivers! The deft young author's writing has matured giving the second story in the trilogy more depth, as well as successfully building further anticipation for the conclusion of the series. I'm not letting out any spoilers... Just get the book. Read it. Love it!

"Staff Pick" by ,

Fantasy lovers still recovering from the post-Harry Potter blues will find some much needed late-summer relief in these pages. Eldest, Christopher Paolini's accomplished sequel to his bestselling Eragon, continues the story with excitement and skill, expanding Paolini's imaginary world — and, as the story unfolds, the devoloping voice of its young author is revealed. Of all the swell young adult fantasies currently filling bookstore shelves this summer, Eldest is the swellest!

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This phone-book size second helping in Paolini's planned Inheritance Trilogy picks up with the battle-scarred but conquering hero, first introduced in Eragon, and his dragon, Saphira. As the novel opens, the two are neck-deep in political intrigue over choosing a successor to replace Ajihad, the Varden's slain leader. The scope of the story expands when Eragon and Arya, the elfin ambassador he not-so-secretly lusts after, head to Ellesmra so he can complete his training as a Rider. Eragon's cousin, Roran, makes a more perilous journey, leading the townspeople of Carvahall in pursuit of the villain Galbatorix and his cronies, who have kidnapped Roran's fiance — hoping to bait Eragon and Saphira. The narrative shifts occasionally to follow the troubles plaguing Nasuada, Ajihad's daughter, who now leads the Varden. Fans of the first volume will find even more of the same here: a wealth of descriptive detail, mythic archetypes and prolonged battle sequences. Here, the inspiration sometimes seems less Tolkien than Star Wars (Eragon says 'Yes, Master' frequently). The most affecting element remains the tender relationship between dragon and Rider, and teens will empathize as the object of Eragon's affection (repeatedly) spurns him, his teacher humbles him and he struggles with questions about God and vegetarianism. Readers who persevere are rewarded with walloping revelations in the final pages, including the meaning of the title and the identity of the red dragon on the cover. The story leaves off with a promise — To Be Continued. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Once again, the expected fantasy elements are well in place, and the characters and their relationships continue to develop nicely. The ending promises an even more cataclysmic battle ahead."
"Review" by , "Eldest shows literary growth but is bogged down by inconsistent pacing and an overwrought, archaic style....It's a fine world to escape into. One wishes only that it were grander."
"Review" by , "I have not for many a year read anything so mind-numbingly silly as Eldest....Malarkey like this might be forgiven if it were hitched to a fast-moving narrative. But Paolini dawdles, with long, self-indulgent asides about the proper components of a dwarfish bow... (Grade: D+)"
"Review" by , "Eldest roars along from beginning to end. The author's writing has matured and he has developed great skill at layering his themes as they build to an exciting climax."
"Review" by , "Suffused with purple prose and faux-archaic language, this patchwork of dialogue, characters and concepts pulled whole cloth from the fantasy canon holds together remarkably well....Derivative but exciting."
"Review" by , "Not that Eldest is all bad (although in places it is very bad). It's a good story, if way too familiar....The high points of Eldest are a little higher than Eragon; the low points, unfortunately, are just as low."
"Review" by , "The plot and characters are largely derivative, not just of Tolkien but of Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. Le Guin and others...and the prose is often hackneyed and in need of pruning....Eldest isn't extraordinary, though it has its extraordinary moments."
"Review" by , "Aside from a tendency to wax flowery...and a sad lack of humor, Christopher Paolini largely delivers on the plot of his followup to the bestseller Eragon....The book is too long by about 200 pages, but Paolini has created a likable hero, and fantasy buffs should enjoy Eldest... (Grade: C+)"
"Review" by , "[R]emarkable...[an] intricate plot and meticulously built fantasy world....The story is richly detailed in parts, logically laying down elements of magic and folklore....This is a series worth reading..."
"Review" by , "Paolini's lush writing and close attention to detail make this epic flow effortlessly, leaving readers to wait impatiently again for the third and final book of the trilogy."
"Review" by , "Paolini provides a worthy companion to Eragon....The plot — indeed, most of the fantasy conventions — is heavily inspired by Tolkien, McCaffrey, and especially George Lucas....While there's nothing particularly original here, the book will find its fan-base."
"Synopsis" by , Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship.
"Synopsis" by , Darkness falls...despair abounds...evil reigns...

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn't know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle — one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king's dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life...

"Synopsis" by , With the highly anticipated publication of Book Three in the Inheritance cycle, Brisingr, the hardcover editions of all three books will be available in a handsome boxed set!
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