As previously noted I am a fan of this series. And yet at the same time I am a fan of literary masterpieces. How does a series that dips occasionally into overuse of fantasy cliche and borrows ideas from epic masterpieces break into my personal favourites shelf? Well read on and I shall explain.
The answer is simple. Despite all the petty flaws in the writing, the borrowing of ideas and occasional overuse of cliche Christopher Paolini succeeds in creating a living breathing world that is in no way shallow or childish. Its obvious through his writing that Paolini has a gift for storytelling and its this gift and his imagination that I appreciate within his series.
But I must admit that Eldest is one of my least favourites of the series. And that is the problem when you have a series. One book that needs to be read for the story to make sense can turn out less impressive and ruin part of the overall narrative for you. Not that Eldest is bad. Its far from it. I just felt that despite Paolini's improving skill as a writer many of the elven scenes, and there were a lot of elven scenes were too weird for my tastes. They had elves modified with animal body parts to look beautiful - to me that's not beautiful. They had weird magical ceremonies. And the thing I disliked the most: the use of meditation. Personally I don't think emptying my mind and casting it out there is really going to do anything much but leave my mind open to be filled with anything. Also have you ever tried to calm your mind - you can't, it's impossible. To me the idea of meditation from a new age viewpoint is well... I don't see it as a positive thing that needed to be in the book. It was too alien to me.