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Eldest is the second book in the Inheritance cycle. It was released on August 23, 2005, and, like Eragon, became a New York Times bestseller.

Cover flap summary[]

Darkness falls… Despair abounds… Evil Reigns— Eldest

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 Ellesméra, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, vital skills for a Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall – one that puts Eragon in even graver danger. 

Will the king's dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life...

Plot summary[]

A Twin Disaster[]

Eldest begins with Urgals attacking the Varden. This leads to the death of Ajihad, and the disappearance of Murtagh and the Twins. Subsequently, Eragon Shadeslayer, who witnessed Ajihad's death, is summoned to the Council of Elders to help them choose a new leader. They want to choose Nasuada, and use her as a puppet for their wishes. Eragon accepts their choice and agrees to pledge his fealty. However, Eragon stuns the Council by pledging his fealty to Nasuada, not them, and Nasuada is not as easy to control as the Council thought previously.

The Battle for Carvahall Begins[]

Meanwhile, Roran has returned to Carvahall and come to the conclusion that Garrow died because of Eragon bringing home the blue stone. He is also trying to tell Sloan that he wants to marry Katrina. They are disrupted, however, when Roran and Baldor, one of Horst's sons, spot the Ra'zac and thirty Imperial soldiers camped nearby. Roran hides in the spine.

Departure for Ellesméra[]

Saphira promises Hrothgar to repair the Star Sapphire, Isidar Mithrim. Ajihad's funeral is held, and Nasuada officially becomes the leader of the Varden. Eragon, in deference to Ajihad's last wishes, swears fealty to her. Eragon meets Trianna, a sorceress, she invites Eragon to lead the Du Vrangr Gata, a group of magic users who serve the Varden. Before Eragon can respond, Saphira scares the woman off. A few days later, Eragon prepares for his departure for Ellesméra. It turns out, that Orik and Arya will accompany him. Nasuada's first action as the leader of the Varden is to move the Varden to Surda, a small, neutral country south of the Empire. Eragon and Saphira say goodbye to Angela and Solembum, who will be accompanying the Varden. The next day, as they are about to leave, Orik announces that Eragon is invited into Dûrgrimst Ingeitum, the clan that Orik and Hrothgar belong to. Eragon accepts, and they leave.

The Ra'zac's Threat[]

Roran hears from one of Horst's sons, Albriech, that the brewer, Quimby, is dead and that he was eaten by the Ra'zac. Roran and several other men, including Quimby's thirteen-year-old son, Nolfavrell, decide to fight back. They kill some soldiers, but some of their own are killed. They build a wall against the Ra'zac, and there is another battle. More villagers die, including ten-year-old Elmund. Quimby's widow, Birgit, has a vendetta against Roran for being related to Eragon and she feels Roran is the cause of Quimby's death. Roran and Katrina are finally engaged. The Ra'zac say that they will enslave the villagers if they give up Roran, and if they don't give Roran up, the villagers will all be killed.

The Journey of a Lifetime[]

Eragon, Saphira, Arya, and Orik stop at a dwarf city called Tarnag. Not all the dwarves there are happy about Eragon being part of a clan, particularly one clan, Dûrgrimst Az Sweldn rak Anhûin, which hates all Dragon Riders. Eragon visits a dwarf temple, Celbedeil, where he learns about their religion and six deities. They all decide to leave when the city becomes increasingly unstable. The rest of the journey is fairly uneventful. They encounter a fanghur in the Beor Mountains. Arya teaches Eragon how to politely greet among elves. They travel by raft and donkey until the company of eleven reaches Ceris, an elven outpost. Two elves, Lifaen and Narí, accompany Eragon, Saphira, Arya, and Orik to Ellesméra. They tell Eragon of King Palancar, who lived in Carvahall and led the humans long ago. As they near an elven city, Eragon and Orik are overcome by elvish singing, driving them into a rage when they are held back by their elven guards.


The Carvahall villagers are fighting over what to do. Roran convinces them to escort the women and children into the Spine. He privately asks Katrina to go, despite the fact that she is an adult and Sloan hates the Spine. As they prepare to leave, Sloan discovers everything and is forced to accept that Roran and Katrina are engaged. Sloan betrays everybody by murdering Byrd, the watchman, allowing the Ra'zac to kidnap Katrina and wound Roran in the process. Nevertheless, Roran decides to leave Carvahall and lead the villagers on an exodus to Surda, a small, independent nation south of the Empire. He does not convince all the villagers, however. A few do not go.

A Long-lost Secret[]

In Ellesméra, Eragon and his friends meet Queen Islanzadí of the elves. It turns out that Arya, who is a hundred years old, is her daughter. He also meets Maud, who is another werecat, and Blagden, a bird who can talk and sense the future. Eragon is also introduced to another Dragon Rider, Oromis, the "Togira Ikonoka" who shielded Eragon during the battle under Farthen Dûr, and his three-legged golden dragon, Glaedr. It was they who taught Brom, Morzan, and their dragons. Oromis is weak, and therefore cannot take part in the war against Galbatorix, but has woven countless spells around himself to ensure that he will survive long enough to train the next Rider.

The Training Begins[]

Eragon and Saphira begin their training with Oromis and Glaedr. Eragon finds out that he actually cursed the baby in Farthen Dûr. Arya introduces him to a smith named Rhunön who made all the Riders' swords, including Zar'roc. She has sworn an oath that she will never make another weapon. Arya shows Eragon a tree called the Menoa Tree which was once an elven woman. Eragon recalls that Solembum mentioned it in a prophecy of sorts, telling Eragon if he needs a weapon to "look under the Menoa Tree".

Lace and Chemistry[]

At this point, Nasuada and the Varden are in Aberon, Surda's capital. The Surdan king, Orrin, who is relatively young for a monarch, is a chemist. He is worried that Nasuada is taking over his country. Nasuada tells Trianna to magically create lace to raise money for the Varden, which Orrin objects to. Nasuada meets Elva, the cursed baby, who appears to be about four years old. Instead of being shielded from misfortune, she shields others from misfortune.

Lessons in the Forest[]

Back in Ellesméra, Eragon has lessons on debating and logic, history and geography, and magic and sword fighting. He becomes fluent in the Ancient Language. Every day he spars with an elf named Vanir. He learns that Orik is engaged to Hvedra, another dwarf. Eragon learns that the Ra'zac ride on their parents, the Lethrblaka. He realizes that not all Urgals are evil. Saphira also has lessons from Glaedr. Eragon begins to experience strong feelings for Arya, but faces the realization that he cannot join her because of the age gap between them. At the same time, he suffers repeated painful attacks from the scar on his back.

A Lucky Escape[]

Roran and the villagers arrive at the port city of Narda. They find three barges and convince the captain, Clovis, to take them to Teirm. In Teirm, Roran, Gertrude, Birgit, Nolfavrell, Byrd's son Mandel, and Loring, an elder, enter the city in disguise. Gertrude and Mandel go off in search of Angela, and the others visit Jeod in search of a ship. When Nolfavrell is about to reveal something, Roran interrupts by asking about Angela's shop. Jeod answers, and Nolfavrell asks if that was who Gertrude was looking for. Jeod recognizes Gertrude's name from what Brom said, and tells Roran what happened to Eragon and Brom. They pirate a ship to Surda. When they are pursued by the Empire, they bravely lead their enemies across a whirlpool called the Boar's Eye.

Changed Forever[]

Glaedr teaches Eragon and Saphira about dragons. Then there is a celebration called the Blood-Oath Celebration to honor the first Riders. The last art piece that Eragon saw was of Iduna and Neya with a dragon tattoo. The dragon danced around their bodies, and in a voice of fire, spoke to Eragon: "Our gift to you." The dragons (the tattoo, Glaedr, and Saphira) had given Eragon a gift; they make him into an elf-human hybrid, removing all of his scars. Orik, Arya, and even Vanir are impressed. After the blood-oath, Eragon learns that the elves have no religion.

Threat to the Varden[]

One of the Varden's spies in Uru'baen spots a large army heading south to Surda, and finds that they have been tricked to think that the army was still in Gil'ead, concluding that Galbatorix is with the army, and the Varden quickly discuss strategy, in which Orrin brings up the matter of a complaint from the weavers' guild saying that the textile market had been flooded with extremely cheap lace, and rightfully blames the Varden.

In Ellesmera, Eragon scries the Varden with magic, and the threat of war with Galbatorix seems imminent. Upon hearing of this, Eragon, Saphira, and Orik immediately leave to go to their aid. They stop at Aberon to find out that the battle will be on the Burning Plains.

The Battle of the Burning Plains[]

Eragon arrives to find the situation poised on the edge of war. The armies of the Varden, mixed with the army of Surda, camp on a plain opposite the vast armies of Galbatorix. Some Urgals, led by Nar Garzhvog, who have been freed from Durza's spell, ask to join the Varden. At first Eragon hates the idea, but Nasuada and Saphira convince him otherwise. The battle begins, and Eragon is able to repel the opposing armies for some time using his new-found powers. The tide of the battle shifts back and forth between both sides. With the appearance of the dwarves, the situation changes to favor the Varden. Roran comes with Jeod and the villagers. The appearance of an unknown Dragon Rider who kills Hrothgar with magic turns the tables once again.

A Startling Revelation[]

Eragon faces off with the strange Rider, and ultimately unmasks him to reveal Murtagh, who had not been killed, but had been taken by the Twins to Galbatorix, and forced to swear allegiance to the king Galbatorix in the Ancient Language. He and his dragon, Thorn, prove to be more powerful than the weakened Eragon, while Murtagh displays an exemplary skill in magic, using spells that would have killed a normal human. Murtagh decides to have mercy on Eragon and Saphira, however, by twisting a way out of his oaths he took in the Ancient Language. Before he leaves, he claims Zar'roc as his own and uncovers a terrible truth: Eragon was the youngest son of Morzan, and is therefore Murtagh's brother. Murtagh also reveals that Galbatorix is working to save the dragon race and reestablish the Riders; but in order to do this, he must capture Saphira, who is the last female dragon in existence. In the end, Galbatorix's army is routed, thanks to the timely appearance of the villagers of Carvahall. Eragon is reunited with Roran, and they agree to work together to rescue Katrina.

Publishers in other countries[]

  • Australia: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Bulgaria: Hermes Books
  • Brazil: Editora Rocco
  • Canada: Alfred A. Knopf
  • China:
  • Croatia: Kapitol
  • Czech Republic: Fragment Publishing House
  • Denmark: Sesam
  • Finland: Tammi
  • France: Bayard Jeunesse
  • Germany: Random House/Blanvalet (Bertelsmann)
  • The Netherlands: Publisher M
  • Indonesia: Gramedia Pustaka Utama
  • Italy: Fabbri Editors & Mondolibri
  • Japan: Random House Japan
  • Korea: ???
  • Latin America: Roca Editorial
  • New Zealand: Corgi/Random House
  • Poland: Mag Publishing House
  • Portugal: Gailivro
  • Romania: Rao International Publishing Company
  • Slovakia: Fragment
  • Spain: Roca Editorial
  • Sweden: Bonnier Carlsen
  • Taiwan and Hong Kong: Linking Publishing
  • Thailand: Amarin
  • United Kingdom: Doubleday
  • United States: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Serbia: Čarobna knjiga


*Indicates new character

List of chapters[]

  • A list of chapters with their respective point of view.

Synopsis of Eldest

  1. A Twin Disaster - Eragon
  2. The Council of Elders - Eragon
  3. Truth Among Friends - Eragon
  4. Roran - Roran
  5. The Hunted Hunters - Roran
  6. Saphira's Promise - Eragon
  7. Requiem - Eragon
  8. Fealty - Eragon
  9. A Sorceress, a Snake, and a Scroll - Eragon
  10. Hrothgar's Gift - Eragon
  11. Hammer and Tongs - Roran
  12. Retaliation - Roran
  13. Az Sweldn rak Anhûin - Eragon
  14. Celbedeil - Eragon
  15. Diamonds in the Night - Roran
  16. Under a Darkling Sky - Roran
  17. Down the Rushing Mere-Wash - Eragon
  18. Drifting - Eragon
  19. Arya Svit-kona - Eragon
  20. Ceris - Eragon
  21. Wounds of the Past - Roran
  22. Wounds of the Present - Roran
  23. His Enemy's Face - Roran
  24. Arrow to the Heart - Eragon
  25. The Dagshelgr Invocation - Eragon
  26. The Pinewood City - Eragon
  27. Queen Islanzadí - Eragon
  28. Out of the Past - Eragon
  29. Conviction - Roran
  30. Repercussions - Roran
  31. Exodus - Roran
  32. On the Crags of Tel'naeír - Eragon
  33. The Secret Lives of Ants - Eragon
  34. Under the Menoa Tree - Eragon
  35. A Maze of Opposition - Nasuada
  36. Hanging by a Thread - Nasuada
  37. Elva - Nasuada
  38. Resurgence - Eragon
  39. Why Do You Fight? - Eragon
  40. Black Morning Glory - Eragon
  41. The Nature of Evil - Eragon
  42. Image of Perfection - Eragon
  43. The Obliterator - Eragon
  44. Narda - Roran
  45. The Hammer Falls - Roran
  46. The Beginning of Wisdom - Eragon
  47. Broken Egg and Scattered Nest - Eragon
  48. The Gift of Dragons - Eragon
  49. In a Starry Glade - Eragon
  50. Landfall - Roran
  51. Teirm - Roran
  52. Jeod Longshanks - Roran
  53. An Unexpected Ally - Roran
  54. Escape - Roran
  55. Child's Play - Nasuada
  56. Premonition of War - Nasuada
  57. Red Blade, White Blade - Eragon
  58. Visions Near and Far - Eragon
  59. Gifts - Eragon
  60. The Maw of the Ocean - Roran
  61. Running the Boar's Eye - Roran
  62. To Aberon - Eragon
  63. The Burning Plains - Eragon
  64. The Clouds of War - Eragon
  65. Nar Garzhvog - Eragon
  66. Witch's Brew - Eragon
  67. The Storm Breaks - Eragon
  68. Convergence - Roran
  69. Eldest - Eragon
  70. Inheritance - Eragon
  71. Reunion - Eragon


  • Pronunciation Guide and glossary
  • Acknowledgments

Inside the book[]

As always, this book is for family. And also to my incredible fans. You made this adventure possible. Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!Eldest dedication

Eldest contains a concise summary of Eragon, the previous book in the cycle. It also includes a pronunciation guide to the names and phrases used in the book, as well as a note upon the origins of the names.

Map of Alagaësia[]

Du WeldenvardenNorth SeaNorth SeaTüdosten LakeDu WeldenvardenDu WeldenvardenDu WeldenvardenAlagaësiaArdwen LakeAroughsÂz RagniBeartooth RiverBeirland IslandBelatonaBeor MountainsBullridgeCarvahallPalancar ValleyCerisCeunonCithríDalgonDaretDauthDoru AraebaDras-LeonaEdda RiverEldor LakeEllesméraEoamFeinsterFläm LakeFurnostGaena RiverGalfniGil'eadHadarac DesertHedarthHelgrindÍlia FëonIllium IslandIsenstar LakeOrthíadJiet RiverKirtanKuastaLeona LakeLithgowMelianNädindelNardaNía IslandNinor RiverOsilonParlim IslandPetrøvyaRamr RiverReavstoneRöna LakeSharktooth IslandSílthrimSurdaTarnagTeirmThe EmpireThe EmpireThe SeaThe SpineThe SpineTherinsfordToark RiverUden IslandUrû'baenUtgard MountainVroengardWoadark LakeYazuacSouthern IslesTronjheimKóstha-mérnaFarthen DûrAlagaësia

Excerpt from the publisher[]

This is a copy of the excerpt. Click [show] to read its contents. The original excerpt may be found here.

Critical reaction[]

Eldest received generally negative reviews, and it was met with criticism similar to Eragon for its derivative nature. School Library Journal noted that Eldest lacked originality, but would still find reception among fans. It also acknowledged that themes of Eldest are based generally on the works of other writers. BookBrowse also criticized Eldest, but said, as School Library Journal noted, that nothing the reviewers can say will stop some children from reading the book. Entertainment Weekly rated Eldest as one of the worst five books of 2005, calling it a "700-page drag." The Boston Globe gave a negative review for Eldest, criticizing the very low points and for "drama that rises to a wet pop." The Christian Science Monitor gave Eldest a C+ grade. Similar to other reviews, it criticized the long plot and its similarities to The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, as well as the lack of humor. The review commented that Roran, one of the secondary major characters, had the best part of the book. SFSignal also gave Eldest a poor review, giving it one out of five stars. The main reason of this was for its dull pace. The SFSignal review, like The Christian Science Monitor, did say that Roran had the "strongest sequence" in the book.

However, there were also some more positive reviews of Eldest. Bookmarks magazine saw Eldest's similarity to other works, but said that Eldest displayed more emotional depth than Eragon. Publishers Weekly also gave a positive review for Eldest, praising the revelations in the final pages. Barnes & Noble gave a positive review for Eldest, in particular for its style, characters and themes such as friendship, forgiveness, responsibility, and honor. Eldest won the 2006 Quill Award in Young Adult Literature. Eldest also was nominated for a British Book Award in the Children's Book of the Year section, the Disney Adventures Book Award, the Colorado Blue Spruce Award, Young Adult Book Award, and the Wyoming Soaring Eagle Book Award.


As of 2014, no film adaption of Eldest has been announced. If it is, there are many things that would need addressing, seeing as many plot elements crucial to Eldest were left out of the Eragon film. It is generally regarded among fans that Eragon would have to be remade in order for Eldest and the other books to be made into films.

See also[]

External links[]