Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce


Charlotte Miller's father has died, leaving her and her sister, Rose, the sole heirs of their family business, the Stirwaters Woolen Mill.  Charlotte keeps herself busy taking care of her sister and the Mill - for the whole town relies on the Mill.  She manages to keep things in order - for a while.  But when something terrible happens, Charlotte must either sell the mill or...sell the mill.  But that's when the stranger shows up.  Jack Spinner, he calls himself, and he has an incredible talent, one that will put Charlotte, Rose, and the rest of Stirwaters back into business.  Jack Spinner spins gold from straw in one night, takes an item precious to Charlotte, and then disappears.  But as time progresses, Charlotte's life changes - and she falls in love.  And nwe misfortunes fall on the Mill.  Jack Spinner keeps coming back to help, but its only a matter of time before he takes something truly important to Charlotte.  Something irreplacable.  And Charlotte may be the only person with guts enough to figure out why.

My thoughts -
For the majority of the book, all I could think was "Five star!  Five star!  Five star!"  It was seriously such an epicly strange and original tale...I was so hooked.  I loved everything about the story, the characters, their hurts and struggles and joys, the conflicts that arose, the beauty of the world Elizabeth Bunce had created.

You may be thinking, "Did it turn bad in the end?  Boring?  Stupid?"  I'm happy to report, "No, it didn't."  I did love every moment of the book.  However, I was a little disappointed (and more creeped out than I was expecting) with the end.  Because the whole book has a leisurely pace, like hot summertime, the end seemed rushed.  There are a couple of different ways that it could have been slowed down to match pace with the rest of the book.

This is my only issue.  I loved everything else.  And, I must say, even the last five or so chapters, with their quick tying up of loose ends, was enjoyable.  I just wish she would have kept the pace.

A note on the writing:  WHOOHOO!!!  Elizabeth C. Bunce - you had me under a spell with your lyrical style and beautiful word choices.  The way the author conjures pictures to the readers mind should be a world-wide example to all writers.  Within the first 15 pages I knew everything I needed to know about all of the introduced characters, their pasts, the world they lived in, and the direction the story was going.  The first paragraph is one of my favorite paragraphs...ever.  It is one incredible example of what kind of information should be in a paragraph, plus how you can grip your readers from sentence #1.

Character notes -
The characters were so amazing, down to those who I absolutely hated.  Charlotte was immediately defined, as was Rose, and Randall (who has been added to my "favorite male leads" list), Uncle Wheeler, Jack Spinner, all the townspeople, all the contracters.  This is a story of friendship, caring for one another, and love.  But it is also a story about cheating thieves, backstabbers, and selfish men.  Those two groups put together makes for a ridiculously good story with characters I will never forget.

I think what really stood out to me about this book was the tension between characters.  It was riveting.  Completely engrossing.  When Charlotte and Randall began fighting, especially, I was on my seat with anticipation, wondering how it would turn out.  A lot of the time I was like, "Ugh, Charlotte, another mistake?"  But isn't that how we learn?  We make mistakes.  Charlotte makes mistakes, Randall makes mistakes.  They all had their faults to deal with, things to apologize for, and they all learned something valuable in the end.  The healing of broken relationships and hearts is really a wonderful way to end a story.  These things, these invaluable, human things, made me love the characters even more.

Story notes -
Like I said above, the story was absolutely amazing until the end.  Then it was just good.  I didn't love the quickness of it, because the book set me in a nostalgic mood, and then quickly jerked me awake when it totally could have kept going slowly.  I'm not complaining though - despite the fastness of the climax, I loved the turnout.  The layers tacked on to this story, one at a time, in perfect order, make it hard not to fall in love with.

The story holds superstition, possible ghosts, a creepy guy who spins straw into gold (and then takes what you love most: a gold watch your father gave you, a pair of pearl earrings from your grandmother...your child), lots of accidents (were they really accidents?), and a full cast of characters that will keep you rooting for them until the end.

One word/phrase to sum it up (final thoughts) -
Strange and deliciously beautiful.  'Nuff said.

Do you want to read it yet?  I think you should.  Will I read it a second time?  Yes, most likely.  And I'll probably end up buying it, just because 90% of it's one of the loveliest reads I have ever laid my hands on.  Recommended to everyone who likes a great, strange, dark, and slightly creepy fairy tale retelling that holds a whole lot of goodness.

For the parents -
There's absolutely nothing to complain about.  Charlotte and Randall are married, and they share a bed, but no details are written.  She mentions that while they are on their honeymoon, they missed breakfast their first morning together.  I can't remember the exact terms she used but it was along those lines...and you know anyway what's going on because they just got married.  There are also lots of spooky happenings in this story, especially toward the end.  I'd recommend to ages 14 and up.

Read my other reviews!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Buys 5/27/11 - 6/24/11

Here is one month worth of Friday Buys!   Enjoy!


The Pirate Captain's Daughter by Eve Bunting
$1.00 hardcover...I couldn't resist. Great condition.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan  (click for my review)
$1.00
Seriously, a must grab.  Great condition.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Bought with a gift card...only had to spend $5 of my own cash.  I love giftcards!
From my experience, Lauren Oliver = true love.  I can't wait to dive into this book!!! :D

Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren
So excited for this one!

Defend and Betray by Anne Perry
The 3rd book in one of my favorite series, the William Monk series.

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
Remember last Friday Buys?  I went back to that same store right after I published it and found the lovely sequel to Wildwood Dancing.  Yep.  $2.00 perfect condition hardcover.  Love deals like that!!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
So excited about this one!  25 cents!

This beautiful 1940 hardcover edition of The Count of Monte Cristo.  LOVE this book.  So I LOVE any old copies of it I can get my hands on.  This is the first, and it won't be the last.  Promise. :D



The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
A friend bought this for me for high school graduation.  She keeps telling me its amazing, and I believe her.  Basically, it's the "truer" version of Braveheart.  Check it out!

Gone by Michael Grant
My sister reads like I do, and in the last school year she read over 15,000 pages....so obviously she got a prize.  She got to pick a book, and she picked this one.  It may not be mine, but it's sitting under the same roof as me, which means it will eventually be read by me. :)  Excited to read it!

The final product!  One months worth of purchases and gifts and awesome finds!

HAPPY READING! :D

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund


Aerin has never had a life of ease.  Raised by her father, he was the only thing she had until an accident shattered her life and sent her into slavery.  She has finally escaped, and is now being sent to a school - the most prestigious school in the universe.  If she can conquer this, she can conquer anything.  If she can be the top of her class, even passing Dane, one of her classmates, she will be satisfied.  And maybe she can discover a little bit more about the past her father never spoke of.

Dane has always had a life of ease.  But his father was never loving, and Dane wishes his mother was still alive.  He's a smart young man, but without any motivation.  When he is accepted into Academy 7, he refuses to tell his father, who is away with the military.  He arrives at the school and is immediately drawn to Aerin, the outspoken girl who is his only rival in the school.  Could they actually be friends?  Can he discover who he is and learn more about his father and mother?

____________________________________________

My thoughts -
Well, I must say - I'm intensely impressed.  Really truly!  Anne Osterlund knows her trade.  She works her words to her advantage:  everything is so neat and precise, but also leaves room for the imagination to work.

I don't read very many sci-fi, futuristic, space travel, or watch many of those movies.  But when I do I love them.  So when I discovered that fantasy author Osterlund, who writes about princesses and frontiers and frilly dresses and horses, had written a futuristic sci-fi that takes place on multiple planets...I had no idea what to expect.  Now that I'm done with it, however, all I can think is, "Dang!  This girl can write it all!!!"

Character notes -
Wow.  These characters are brilliant.  They're not only the top two students in the entire solar system, but the way Osterlund brought them to life was just the neatest thing to see.  All characters were real to me, from the moment I met them.  All were complicated, all were backed with lives lived, and all were added to the story.  They are not formulaic characters.  So, whatever characters you read about in Aurelia and Exile, you'll read something completely different in Academy 7.  Aerin and Dane are NOT Aurelia and Robert.  Thank you Miss Osterlund for gracing us with completely different/original characters - it is a gift to be able to build character the way you do!

Aerin was lovable.  I felt so badly for her and wanted her to be safe and happy.  She made me smile, she made me hope.  The cruelty in her past made me cringe.  I was so proud of her as she accomplished what most others couldn't do.

Dane was wonderful.  I loved seeing him change over time, seeing the gentle side of him come out as he formed a friendship with Aerin.  I had a hard time picturing him at first but before I was half-way through, I could see him in my mind as clear as day.

Story notes -
This story revolves around character development and interactions, but that doesn't take away from excitement and intensity of the events.  Space ships crash and are maneuvered around intense structures, brilliant students engage in physical combat, these same students sneak out of their dorm rooms and find themselves in bigger trouble than imagined...  It's really well plotted and aids the character development, and vice versa.

This story is really fast paced, but there is one aspect that is slow...  The love story!  YES!  No insta-love like the rest of the Young Adult genre and sub-genres.  There's no making out the entire book because they can't be away from each other for two seconds.  It's slow, perfect...  They have to get to know each other first before the love.  They have to realize they'd die for the other person before they become a couple.  It's a perfect pace and fits perfectly - because it went in the right order!  Ha!  Anne, I commend you for this.
I sometimes wish the story had been longer, but then again, not.  Because this is Osterlund's signature.  She writes really intense books, short, sweet, short books that suck you in - and in under 300 pages.

One word/phrase to sum it up (final thoughts) -
The word vast comes to mind when I think of this book, because of the vast world, characters, and story.  It's a big book, despite its small size.  It's vast in life, too, because everyone can relate to it: a lost family member, harsh family conditions, a desire to be free and learn, a love for someone that is so strong you'd give your life for their safety.  And that is what makes a book incredible.
For the parents -  Highly recommended to 13 and up.  A few minor cuss words sprinkled throughout.  Not in obscene ways.  "Damn it!" or "...knock me on my ass..." are about it.

Have you read this book and liked it?  Want to read more by this author?  Read my reviews for Aurelia (book #1) and Exile (book #2).  (Click on the titles.)

Read my other reviews!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Belated - Memory Monday post at Basically Amazing Books

I know everyone LOVES Ashley at Basically Amazing Books...  I know I do!!  Well, on Monday, June 6th, a LONG time ago, Ashley published my Memory Monday post and I didn't even see her email or the post until a long time after...  So here I am, late, asking you to go on over and check out the post, her website, and FOLLOW HER!!!!!  :D

Enjoy my Memory Monday about Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath - some of my favorite books EVER. (review for Inkdeath coming soon!)

CLICK HERE!

Enjoy!!! :D

Friday, June 17, 2011

Inkdeath (Quotes)

Here are a few quotes...  This book is reminding me of why they are some of my all time favorites.  The power of her word choices, the imagery, the beauty of the world, the bond between characters...it stuns me with every page.  I love it.  LOVE. IT.

They had gone.  Had left him alone with all the blue, that clashed with the red of the fire.  Blue as the evening sky, blue as cranesbill flowers, blue as the lips of drowned men and the heart of a blaze burning with too hot a flame.  Yes, sometimes it was hot in this world, too.  Hot and cold, light and dark, terrible and beautiful, it was everything all at once.  It wasn't true that you felt nothing in the land of Death.  You felt and heard and smelled and saw, but your heart remained strangely calm, as if it were resting before hte dance began again.
Peace.  Was that the word?
-- Chapter 26, Page 230


Another of Violante's soldiers was lying outside the door, his young face showing his terror as he saw death coming.  They lay everywhere.  The Castle in the Lake - and the Bluejay with it - belonged to the Adderhead.  So that was how the story ended.
"What a terrible ending!"  Mo could almost hear Megge saying.  "I don't want to listen to this book, Mo.  Don't you have another story?"
-- Chapter 56, Page 517

Monday, June 13, 2011

May Summary

Sorry this is late...  I've been crazy busy with graduation/end of year stuff!  This will have to be short...


Read the full review here!

I liked this book from the start, but it took me a while to love it like I was hoping to (about 150 pages). But after those 150 pages, I was flying through, totally sucked into the story and loving the characters. This really is a great time travel story. I loved how it was all planned out, each aspect of the story so closely entwined with the others. I felt very...involved. As though I was living in the story. It is original and builds the story on a world that, if I'm not mistaken, has been written about very little....





Read the full review here!

This story is told from Max's perspective, and let me just say first off - Dang! That girl has one powerful, impressive, and strong voice. But more on that in a bit....
This was one heck of a book. It was another "Well...I'm not sure if I'm going to like it" book. Another, "Holy crud I was sooooo wrong" book. I can't say enough good stuff about it - in fact, I'm lacking any sort of criticism...because there's nothing to criticise! James Patterson has all sorts of talent - in every area of writing/story-telling. It blew me out of the water....






I looked forward to reading this book for nearly 9 months before I finally got to read it for school. It most definitely did not disappoint and I want to say right off the bat that everyone should give this a try! :)
For one, this book is hilarious. Everything about it - the characters, story line, and dialogue - has some sort of humorous tinge to it. I laughed and giggled through the whole thing....





Read the full review here! 

WHY did I not keep reading this when I picked it up first a year ago?! Ok, I seriously enjoyed this book. When I won this book in a giveaway, I was so excited to start it back up again. I was expecting it to be good - and instead I got great.
I really loved almost everything about this book. The one thing, however, that didn't quite live up to the rest of the book, was the world building. While everything else was close to perfect, the less-than-300 pages of this book didn't hold very much detail about the world Ty and his family and friends live in and why they're there. You get the gist of it, but I felt there could have been more....



Read the full review here!

I normally don't read mysteries. They intrigue me, but I'm not motivated to read them like I am a good fantasy/dystopian book. That is, I'm not motivated to read mysteries other than the William Monk mysteries, which are some of the greatest books around. I could rave for hours about the genius of these books. They provide incredible, life-like characters, situations that are out of the ordinary but not hard to believe, insight into the Victorian era in England like only a Victorian novelist could give, and phenomenal mysteries that have you guessing until the very end. Literally, the last few pages.


Have I caught your attention yet?

If I haven't, keep reading and I hope by the time you finish reading this review you'll have made up your mind to start reading this incredible series.
___________________________________

Other than reviews...
I hosted some Friday Buys.
The lovely Small from Small Review wrote a guest review For the Classics, which you can read here.
I shared some quotes.
I hosted an Inheritance Cycle Event!
And I hit 50 followers!!!!!



My Pages:
TBR list
Giveaways
About me
Book Reviews
Review Policy/Contact page
"For the Classics" sign up!
Blogs I Love
Looking forward to June! :D

Friday, June 10, 2011

HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY! :D



Guess what today is????!!!

YEP!  Today is the one year blogoversary of Yearning to Read - and boy oh boy am I so happy!!! :D  Since June 10th, 2010, I have written and published 88 reviews, held giveaways, done some blogger interviews, and even started my own guest post theme, For the Classics.  It has been one heck of a year!

I'm still working on the giveaway details...but I promise it's coming soon!!!  I'm so excited to do something fun and big and super duper awesome!  I now have over 50 followers, so the giveaway will have something to do with that as well. :D

So a big thank you to everyone - all my readers, the authors who inspire me to read and write, and to Jesus for giving me the gift of writing and eyes to read great books and fingers to type up reviews about them.  I look forward to more blogging in the years to come!!

I'm currently working on more reviews, but for now, I want to point everyone to the very first review I wrote.  It is to this day one of my favorite books and I hope everyone will take the opportunity to read it!


Happy reading everyone!  Thanks for reading my blog - all your comment/follower love is much appreciated!

Want to read a little bit about me?  Click here!

Want to sign up to write a guest post?  Click here!

Want to read some of my other reviews?  Click here!

Want to read my review policy or contact me?  Click here!

Want to read some other blogs that I love?  Click here!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry (William Monk Mystery, 2)

This is the 2nd book in the William Monk series.  To read my review of the first book (a delicious mystery that shocked me!!!), click:  The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry.


The case is dangerous: the murder of a young woman of society, stabbed to death in her own room and a few trinkets stolen.  Inspector William Monk takes on the case, still lacking 95% of his memory but determined to keep this loss a secret and prove himself worthy.  It seems a simple endeavor, but the case becomes more and more complicated with time.  Monk is able to prove that the murderer attacked from within the house, a feat that could only be accomplished by someone living in the house.  It being practically a crime itself to accuse a member of high society of being a criminal, Monk's reputation is on the line.  Was the murderer a servant, like society says it should be?  Or was he a family member, harboring a dark secret?  And Monk has his own problems to attend to, more personal and deeper than anything he's ever experienced - or so they tell him.  Who is he?  Why does he have the reputation he has?  Who will he become without his memory?  With these questions never ceasing, and the murder case honing in on him, Monk must face problems and consequences he never foresaw.

___________________________________

My thoughts -
I normally don't read mysteries.  They intrigue me, but I'm not motivated to read them like I am a good fantasy/dystopian book.  That is, I'm not motivated to read mysteries other than the William Monk mysteries, which are some of the greatest books around.  I could rave for hours about the genius of these books.  They provide incredible, life-like characters, situations that are out of the ordinary but not hard to believe, insight into the Victorian era in England like only a Victorian novelist could give, and phenomenal mysteries that have you guessing until the very end.  Literally, the last few pages.

Have I caught your attention yet?

If I haven't, keep reading and I hope by the time you finish reading this review you'll have made up your mind to start reading this incredible series.

Character notes -
The characters in Anne Perry's novels seem, to me, as real as any one I can see or hear or interact with.  They are full to the brim with wonderful liveliness and incredible depth, human desires, strengths, and weaknesses.  This is hard to come by these days in a near perfect way - but Anne Perry has nailed it and I can't tell you how much it inspires me.

Monk is one of those "tragically wonderful" characters who I love and adore.  I can't get enough of him.  Whatever he does is interesting, whether its solving a crime or discovering things about his past.  I admire him and love his journey as he discovers how proud he was in the past and is humbled.  He and Hester are the perfect duo for these books...how I love their arguments!

Runcorn and Evan are great characters as well.  The Lord Basil and his wife Beatrice, their son and daughters, their brothers and sisters, their servants - all of them had me captivated.  There is a sense of human desperation in these stories that is very real and easy to relate to.  Everyone, tried and exhausted and frustrated, trying to make sense of it all, no one trusting, everyone confused - it is stunning to read and makes for an intensity that builds and builds and builds and finally bursts.  Wonderfully done, Perry!

Hester has a greater part in this story than the last (actually, half of the book is from her perspective).  I feel like I should say this in case anyone is expecting just Monk's perspective and is possibly frustrated (as I was at first).  But Hester is a fun character and brings a lot to the story, so if you go into it expecting that, you'll love it from the first!

Story notes -
While character development and interaction is a major focus (and one of the main ways the author uses to solve the mystery), Anne Perry uses incredible details and events to set up the story, create a conflict, and solve the crime.  A few scenes had me cringing (or freaking out, haha!) because it was so intense and I had no idea what was going to happen and I didn't want one thing to happen...  Or I was just plain stumped.

This book, just like its predecessor, was not a "fast" read for me.  For me, it was intense, yes, and very interesting and satisfying and incredible, but it's one of those books I feel like I have to read slower to get all the details...  The details are meant to be soaked in.  Let's say you ate a really sweet strawberry really fast and didn't let the taste linger on your tongue...how sad!  You wouldn't get the full potential of that wonderfully tasting strawberry!  It's the same with these books.  If you don't savor them, you might miss out on some incredible details that make the story all the more fantasic.  That is what I love about these books.  They make me slow down and focus on the little things; they make me forget about the next book I have to read and just enjoy; they make me appreciate slow-building intensity.
One word to sum it up (final thoughts) -
Stunning.  This is some of the best prose out there, a lovely combination of mystery and historical fiction, of detail and story and character.  And it's all tied up perfectly at the end, leaving you surprised at the turn the story took in just the last ten pages, and totally in love with good literature, Victorian England, and William Monk.  Is there anything not to love?  Need I say more?

For the parents:  These are not children's books; whether or not they are young adult books is everyone's personal opinion.  There is nothing sexual, and there is little bad language.  However, the subject matter and the violence and possible psychotic killer can be very intense for certain readers.  One character is stabbed mercilessly and left for dead (details not shown, but the inferred could be enough to make a more sensitive reader uncomfortable to the point of dislike); there are a few references to rape and how to rape a Lord's daughter is a crime, but to rape the same Lord's servant is pardonable.  Over all a profound book and recommended to every adult, and most older teens out there!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wrap up - an Inheritance Event


So...the week comes to a close, and so does my mini-event.  I'm so glad I did this, because now everyone can get out there and read these books before Inheritance comes out!!

And what do I expect from #4?  Well, I'm not expecting anything, weirdly enough.  I have no idea what is going to happen, and I don't want to get my hopes up one way or another.  I am hoping, however, that the book will be just as wonderful as Brisingr, and that Paolini will wow me again with the incredible depth of the story.  I'm sensing a bit of tragedy, something a bit darker, and a surprising ending.  But that's just speculation. ;)

I hope you all enjoyed this small and random event of mine, and that you will all go and read these books!

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini - an Inheritance Event


Summary from Goodreads:
OATHS SWORN . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide...  Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.  First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength—as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices— choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.   Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

Thoughts on Brisingr:
As the third book in a series, there's not much I can say without giving away important details from the other books.  So I won't go into detail.  Instead, I'm going to rave.

Ummmm....HOW did this happen??!!  All of a sudden, Paolini is a genius.  The writing, the story, the characters, the incredible visuals and personal depth.  I mean - where in the heck did it come from?!

For one, I was taken away by Roran's incredible role for this book.  He's one heck of a man:  hammer-weilding, Katrina-loving, brave, courageous, honest, and just plain awesome!  All the scenes including him in Brisingr absolutely shock me into awe.  I can't wait to see what happens to him in Book 4!  "Insubordination" is my favorite chapter in the whole book...the WHOLE book.

Nasuada lived up to expectations, and actually surpassed them.  The chapter about the knives and the tribal leaders was chilling and gross and fantastic.  WOW.  Elva, Arya, and Eragon were also wonderful.  I enjoyed everything about them so much more this time around!

Oh, and the laughing dead... OOOHHHH.......

The story holds much more depth and just the right amount of detail.  (Except for the sword scene...it was like 80 pages and kind of grueling, but interesting if you skim...haha!)  The writing surprised me this time around, in such a good way that I can't recommend this book enough!!  Everything about it blew me away...

So I'm thinking, if you haven't already, you need to give this series a try.  Today.

5/5 stars

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Eldest by Christopher Paolini - an Inheritance Event


Summary from Goodreads:

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 magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the 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 isn't sure 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 ...


My thoughts on Eldest:
I have yet to read this a second time.  I will soon, but for now I remember it too well to want to pick it up again.  It was good, better than Eragon, and I enjoyed the characters much better.  Paolini introduces Roran as a leading role who has a lot to offer the story.  In the end, I always go back to him as my favorite character in the whole series.  He's a gem, really.

The writing is better in Eldest than in the first, much more personal.  The story, while very active and full of wonders, held a little too much detail, I felt, in the scenes that involved Eragon's training under Oromis.  But overall I was sucked in and couldn't finish it fast enough!  I grew to love Eragon a bit more in this story, and when I was done I couldn't wait for Brisingr to come out!

On a whole, Eldest is a step up from Eragon and shows just how quickly an author can grow, in story, world building, writing, and character development.  Again, definitely worth the read....because Brisingr is freaking incredible.  You just have to get there first.

4/5 stars