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Eldest

Christopher Paolini, Author
Christopher Paolini, Author . Knopf $21 (681p) ISBN 978-0-375-82670-2
Open Ebook - 468 pages - 978-0-375-83753-1
Hardcover - 831 pages - 978-84-96284-96-8
Paperback - 831 pages - 978-84-96544-07-9
Compact Disc - 1 pages - 978-0-307-28288-0
Library Binding - 706 pages - 978-0-375-94060-6
Hardcover - 706 pages - 978-0-375-84060-9
Paperback - 679 pages - 978-0-375-84040-1
Library Binding - 681 pages - 978-0-375-92670-9
Compact Disc - 20 pages
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4000-9862-0
Hardcover - 533 pages - 978-4-86389-145-6
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-4-86389-152-4
Paperback - 330 pages - 978-4-86389-151-7
Hardcover - 501 pages - 978-4-86389-146-3
Paperback - 347 pages - 978-4-86389-153-1
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-4-86389-150-0
Prebound-Glued - 679 pages - 978-1-4177-7363-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 1016 pages - 978-0-440-23849-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7393-5332-5
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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 Ellesméra 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 fiancée—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. (Aug.)

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