This is the second book in ‘The Inheritance Cycle’ written by Christopher Paolini, published in 2005.
First of all you need to have read the previous book in the series to follow the story of this book. The plot starts where the last book left off, and is a continuation of the same story. This cannot be read as a stand alone book.
Eldest tells the story of Eragon after the events of the last book. Eragon is no longer a simple farm boy, but has truly grown into his role as dragon rider. His story isn’t over however, the struggle only gets harder from here.
Unlike the first book, the plot of this one is divided into multiple storylines and follow Eragon, his cousin Roran, and the leader of the Varden in their struggles (Which is a good thing as most of Eragon’s storyline is a training montage). And the writing itself is much better than in the first book. Paolini has clearly improved. This book is also a lot bigger than the first book.
Sadly the plot itself is a little disappointing.
It doesn’t have the fast pace of the last book and unless you are really interested in the series you might get bored. Paolini spends a long time developing Eragon’s magical and martial knowledge and he writes down far too much of it. Training montages might be fun, but not when you write every little bit of it. As for the storyline of the Varden, Paolini glosses over far too much of it. The thing that kept me interested in the book was Roran and his adventure.
I would recommend this book for a fan of the first book who wants to find out how Eragon’s story ends. It wouldn’t be very interesting otherwise.