|Submitted by Miriam |
(Oct 22, 2009)
Eldest did not improve on Eragon, which was perhaps enjoyable, but technically an average book. I expected Paolini to improve with age, but his writing did not. The book is bloated and desperately in need of editing. The story could have been greatly condensed and it would have been more enjoyable if something more had happened.
I rated Eldest below Eragon because the excuse made for Eragon (all too frequently) is that Paolini was so young when he began writing it. While the book wasn't published till he was older, and so that should not be an excuse, it is true that he plotted it while still very young, so its derivative nature and generic and/or improbable plot devices were based on a plot drafted by a very young fan of fantasy. Unfortunately he could have restructured and bettered his plot by endowing Eldest with evidence that he had grown up as a writer, but the evidence is not there. The prose is poor, the story slow and not engaging, the plot devices obvious and not exciting.
Paolini could benefit from a kinder or better editor, or learning to edit himself harshly, if need be. He has created a large world and many characters that would also benefit from some subtler treatment. There is lots of possibility with Paolini's imagination, but the execution is, frankly, pretty bad.