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  • Eldest

  • The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2
  • Written by: Christopher Paolini
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 23 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (638 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Don’t miss the latest from the author of Eragon: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Tales from Alagaësia!

Perfect for fans of Lord of the Rings, the New York Times best-selling Inheritance Cycle about the dragon rider Eragon has sold more than 35 million copies and is an international fantasy sensation. 

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....

A number-one New York Times best-seller.

A number-one Publishers Weekly best-seller.

A USA Today best-seller.

A Wall Street Journal best-seller.

A Book Sense book of the year.

A number-one Book Sense selection.

©2005 Christopher Paolini (P)2005 Listening Library, a division of Random House, Inc.

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What listeners say about Eldest

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story, Amazing Story Teller

Story Review:

The shocking revelations really keep you listening with the Inheritance Cycle book series. Just when you think you've got the plot all figured out and you know what's going to happen next (because psshhh, that's the only logical thing that can happen next), BAM, the author surprises you with something you DEFINITELY didn't see coming.

Without spoiling the entire series, (I write this review having read all four books in the series), I'd say the fantasy world Christopher Paolini created with this series is remarkable:

Magic system: 10/10
Fictional creatures (dragons not included): 10/10
DRAGONS: 12/10
Geographical world: 10/10
Character depth (backstories, and continuations): 10/10

Though the story does tend to progress fairly quickly, there are times when I felt it became a little slow and stagnant, justifiably knocking one star off my review. I found myself a few times wishing he would just get on with the story, (next exciting event please!). However, stacked up against other fantasy series' I'd say this one isn't nearly as dry - and the bond he creates between dragon and rider, (not to mention the dragons themselves), are more than enough to keep on reading for.


Performance Review:

I have nothing bad to say about Gerard Doyle. Does anyone? He's one of my favorite audio book narrators thanks to this series, and I wish going forward he would narrate everything, everywhere, forever. Incredible. He delivers a consistent performance throughout all four books in this series, which is saying a lot because he uses a different voice for every. single. character. It's a fantasy novel - there are a lot of characters. The most amazing is the voice he somehow produces for the dragon Saphira and *spolier alert* how he changes it just a little to reflect the personality of each dragon. I think it's important to have consistency in the characters voices because in fantasy novels like this where different chapters are told from the POV of different characters, it really helps you keep track of who's who, and where each chapter is starting from.

#Audible1

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love it

Loved it

Saphira's voice could be done nicer.
Still couldnt stop listening finished in 3 days.

Happy listening

3 people found this helpful

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WOW

let me just say that in the first book I was not a big fan of Gerard Doyles imitation of the dragons but during this book it really grew in me. Not only that but his narration of all the different characters is absolutely incredible, I especially liked the way he voiced the dwarves.

The book itself is very exciting and really activates your imagination, with the help of a great piece of writing and a great narrator you find yourself feeling the emotion and getting dragged deeply into many moments of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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love it

the book was amazing the whole way through i would recommend it to anyone interested

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A compelling listen.

Gerard Doyle brings the characters of the Inheritance Cycle to life. The story itself is compelling with action, mysteries, and fantasy at its purest form.

1 person found this helpful

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awesome book ! narrator was captivating !

awesome book ! narrator was captivating ! loved the story and looking forward to next book

1 person found this helpful

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Love the book

Books are amazing. Great narration but How he voices the dragons are a little disappointing.

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Timeless

I enjoyed this series as a kid and I am still enjoying it now. great for long commutes! Saphira and Gladr's voice is grating for long amounts of time but for little conversations, it's fine.

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middle dragged on overall good story

I loved this story but I definitely found there were times where it felt like it dragged on in the middle - SPOILERS - like with the constant repeating of Eragon messing up with Arya. Sometimes the dramatics of Eragon being a teenager took up time I felt that was filler between more crucial plot scenes. I did however love the story of Roaran and all the things we learned about the Elves. This author definitely loves details, which is great for visualization though. I will continue reading the next book.

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Better mostly on paolini's behalf

Once again, the increased skill and potency o paolini's writing, overshadowed by a mediocre performance.
Just because you're from the UK anf older, doesn't make you a suitable voice for a North American written fantasy series.

I'm not saying there aren't excellent (in fact some of the best) narrators and VC actors in the UK. Doyle's inconsistencies and choices with some key voices take away from the performance.
I will say, it's better than the first as you somewhat get used to, or tolerate it more.

Paolini's writing continues to improve and mature throughout the series though.
Look forward to that.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Theodore
  • 2013-01-09

You see growth in the Author

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.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Danielle Toscano
  • 2009-09-15

Overall OK, but....

Like the book- hate the voice used for all the Dragons. Saphira is a female dragon but for some reason Doyle believes her voice should sound just like Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.

51 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason Calk
  • 2018-05-07

Great Book - Horrible Narration

I’ve owned this series of books for several years and as I started reading back through them I decided to get the audible version... it was a waste. I couldn’t get past the first chapter because the narration was so bad. The overly thick accent of the narrator made it difficult enough, but when Saphira’s ‘voice’ was conveyed he made it sound like a troll! I couldn’t listen any longer. Dragons are majestic, magical, and powerful in Paolini’s world. The narrator made her sound brutish, unintelligent, and barely understandable. Absolutely horrible! Literally the worst narration I’ve heard on audible in my many years and scores of titles.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole Leimbach
  • 2006-09-17

WOW!

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.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2005-12-28

Great Story

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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R
  • 2006-02-13

ABSOLUTELY THE GREATEST

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

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kayne
  • 2016-12-24

love everything

love the narration, just feel like safiras voice could be less raspy :P but everything else is amazing.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Garret
  • 2007-04-23

Better than the first one

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 2006-04-19

Fabulous for all ages!

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine
  • 2017-08-02

Awful narration.

I love this book but the narration ruins it! The little "voices" that Doyle makes for the characters are often mocking and diminish the characters' weight. Does he know that Saphira is female?

9 people found this helpful