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-inspiring 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.
©2005 Christopher Paolini (P)2005 Listening Library, a division of Random House, Inc.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I found myself enjoying this title the more the title progressed. It was one of those books that tends to build so smoothly up to those points of sheer action. Also of specific note is the growth that one is able to witness in the general writing style of the author. The way Christopher Paolini seems to tackle certain issues in this book as opposed to book one (Eragon) also lent to the book being even more enjoyable than the previous.
Book 2 of the Inheritance Cycle is your typical mythical fantasy novel. I couldn't help but notice slight similarities with Star Wars regarding some of the twists that the story takes. That being said, I found the entire title put together very well. In this book you get a glimpse in the lives of the elves and see as Eragon himself grows into an impressive Dragon Rider. Another great addition to this story was Roran, Eragon's cousin, whose own struggles and quest becomes even more challenging and exciting than Eragon's it would seem. A number of new characters were introduced in this title and it would seem that no one from the previous novel was forgotten either, all reappearing in some form or another through the scope of the title.
The narration grew on me throughout this book. You sometimes forget that it is one person doing the narration even though there are so many distinct voices, tones and intonations in the title. The narration in this case only adds to the title here.
Truly an impressive listen all over. I look forward to listening to the third book in this series.
I really enjoyed the Eragon audio book and was looking forward to Eldest.
The Eragon plot was good and the voices suited the characters including a female voice for the female dragon. In Eldest the same female dragon now has a rough male voice which ruined the audio book for me.
Eldest has an extremely complex plot and seemed to go on and on and on and on. My daughter enjoyed it but I could not finish it.
In summary Eragon was like the Hobbit, readable, concise with great character development. Eldest is more like the second book of the Lord of the Rings and I just lost patience with it.
Great story. A standard hero quest but very enjoyable to listen to and I found myself caring about the characters. It built well upon Eragon and I'm looking forward to the next book. I found myself admiring the narrator more and more as the book went on he did an excellent job. I think this is one story best heard, I agree with another reviewer this may have been a bit heavy reading, but being able to relax and enjoy the ride was perfect. Good job and definitely will finish out the series when it is done.
As another reviewer noted, the middle of the book seems to be bloated with excessive details about Eragon's training with the elves. That part -- about eight hours that could have been reduced to two without losing anything necessary to the story -- reveals signs that the author has discovered his own importance and lost sight of the goal of storytelling. Fortunately the beginning and the end were good enough to bring this up to four start combined with the excellent narration. Hopefully the third book will show that the author has moved beyond using a thesaurus to impress the reader and that he says just what is needed to move the story forward.
I thought book one was good but book two is even better with more twists and unexpected surprises. I loved the action and suspense. I could not stop listening to the book and cannot wait until book 3 comes out to finish the story.
Paolini continues to spin his story that is engaging and entertaining to listen to. Though, as with his first novel, the plot is predictable and dialogue that is intended to be dramatic is often laughably absurd. The story is fun to listen to, but Paolini still needs to refine his style and his stories would benefit from more original plot twists (echoes heavily of LOTR and The Wheel of Time).
That being said, I've just downloaded Brisingr and am about to continue the tale...
I expected more from this series and am now on a quest of my own: to finish it, no matter how hard. There are scenes that I have enjoyed in these books, and for an author's first attempts into writing, these are very good. I would even say thhat they are excellent...for that level of author. Unfortunately, they are not good on the level of other authors, and the borrowed LOTR names and insights are disturbing to a die-hard LOTR fan. Here are but a FEW striking similarities. I have read that he had other inspirations but the similarities remain very annoying to me as I navigate the books.
1. Eragon / Aragorn
2. Beor Mountains / Beor from the Hobbit
3. The Grey Folk / The Grey Elves
4. The Dwarves and their origins are almost taken exactly from the Silmarillion.
5. The use of song to create things is also exactly how Middle Earth was created in the Silmarillion.
6. Eragon's poem that uses the words "the land of shadow" multiple times is strikingly similar to Tolkien's "In the Land of Mordor, where the shadows lie"
7. Ellesmera = Lothlorien
Much of the other parts of the book seem original enough, but these are just a few of the DIRECT similarities with LOTR that I have to really swallow or I would toss the book altogether.
Other criticisms are the overly descriptive discussions of inconsequential things...meals etc. that do not fit with other parts of the story. Tolkien was descriptive of absolutely everything, while here some things are described in detail while others are not, and there is no rhyme or reason as to why one is explained and another glossed over.
The reader gives Eragon a very high pitched voice, which seems to make Eragon mad every time he opens his mouth. It is less so in this book, but the first book was terrible for the constant "high-pitched soft-yell" that was Eragon's voice.
Having said all this, I am still listening to the audiobook and like it enough to finish it...but I am not quite sure why.
The narration on this amazing book is excellent! I listened to this book while on an exercise bike, and increased to 1 hour a day because I wanted to hear what would happen next! It's a great listen for a long drive, as well.
I would recommend this to any fantasy/sci-fi fan for a great adventure.
The author doesn't talk down to the audience, and he has taken a character through a difficult changes with help from wise mentors and good friends. A good reminder for those of us on either side of that equation.
As a mother of young children, I am always looking for books to listen to that are children friendly (no vulgarity, cussing, etc) yet interesting enough to hold my attention. The book does drag a little bit, but I don't mind really long books. I thoroughly enjoy the narrator and think that Paolini is doing a great job considering his age.
The story is without a doubt, one of the best I've ever been exposed to. It is simple to follow, yet full of enough adventure to thrill any reader.
If the book doesn't keep your attention, the reader, Mr Doyle will keep you interested. His voice inflections, various voices, etc are the very best I've heard since becoming an Audible member.
Everyone with the remotest interest needs to download/ buy this book!
Richard Allen, RN
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