Eragon/Eldest Boxed Set

Eragon/Eldest Boxed Set

by Christopher Paolini


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Enjoy every word of the first two books in the Inheritance cycle in one convenient volume. Featuring brand new cover art and never before seen original manuscript pages!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375857041
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 07/08/2008
Series: Inheritance Cycle Series
Edition description: Bind-up
Pages: 1216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 2.20(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Christopher Paolini’s abiding love of fantasy and science fiction inspired him to begin writing his debut novel, Eragon, when he graduated from high school at 15. He lives in Paradise Valley, Montana.

Reading Group Guide

Introducing Fantasy

Fantasy is a form of literature that presents psychological realities in an imaginative or fantastical way. Using myth and folklore as a background, modern writers of fantasy set their stories in an imagined world or in a real-life setting where magical events take place. Ask the group to discuss folktales and myths they remember hearing or reading in the past. Who were the characters who fought for good, and who were the evil characters? Ask them to describe to each other scenes they remember from those stories. How was magic used? What emotions did the stories evoke? What do they remember of dragons in those early tales? Make a list of character traits exhibited by heroes and villains from folktales and myths. Which of these traits are most important in real-life situations?

WARNING: This guide includes key plot points from both Eldest and Eragon. Should you wish to avoid spoilers, please read both books before this readers guide!

1. History and Beliefs

- Compare the different historic traditions of Alagaësia as they are explained in Eldest. Why do the dwarves, the elves, and the humans all have such different mythologies? What do their stories tell us about each of their races?

- What does Saphira tell Eragon about the dragons’ beliefs in Eldest? Compare what the dragons believe with what the dwarves and elves do.

- After reading Eldest, explain the origins of the animosity among the races of dragons, elves, dwarves, and humans. What are the effects of those ancient wars on the present day situation in Alagaësia?

- Why are the elves vegetarians? Why does Eragon become a vegetarian after living with them and studying with Oromis in Eldest?

- Compare the ways the different races live–the elves in the forest, the dwarves in their caves, the humans in cities and towns. How does the habitat of each of these peoples affect their way of life and their connection with their environment

2. Family and Home

- Discuss who his parents might be. Why is his father’s identity a mystery, and why did his mother bring him to her brother to raise and then disappear? How does the reader’s understanding change after reading Eldest?

- What was Eragon’s life like before he found the dragon’s egg in the Spine in Eragon? How did his discovery of the egg change his life?

- Why was Eragon comfortable exploring the Spine when everyone else in his village was afraid of the place? What does the Spine represent to the other inhabitants of Carvahall? How does Roran convince them to overcome those fears in Eldest?

- Is it hard for Roran to convince the villagers to leave their homes in Eldest? What does he hope to find for them when they do leave? Why do some insist on staying behind?

- Does Nasuada take control of the Varden because she is Ajihad’s daughter or because she has special qualities of leadership? Compare Nasuada’s relationship with her father in Eragon with Arya’s relationship with Islanzadí in Eldest.

- Why does Hrothgar make Eragon a member of his clan before he leaves Farthen Dûr in Eldest? What does this mean to Eragon?

- What feelings do Eragon and Roran experience when they meet again at the end of Eldest? Why is Roran so angry with Eragon? Can he forgive Eragon for Garrow’s death?

- When Murtagh tells Eragon who he really is at the end of Eldest, what effect does it have on him? Do you think what Murtagh tells him is true? What does it mean for Eragon’s future?

- In the last chapter of Eldest, Eragon thinks: “Fathers, mothers, brothers, cousins . . . It all comes down to family.” What does he mean? Who is Eragon’s true family? Where has he found his greatest sense of belonging?

3. Destiny and Responsibility

- The first line of Eragon reads: “Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.” What does this opening tell you about the meaning of destiny in the tale? What does the author mean by a “scent that would change the world”?

- Discuss the importance of names in Christopher Paolini’s novels. How does it affect Eragon to learn that his name was also the name of the first dragon rider? How does he choose Saphira’s name in the first book? In Eldest, how is Eragon affected by others calling him “Shadeslayer”? How has Galbatorix gained control over Murtagh and why is that control so complete?

- What does Saphira mean in Eragon when she says, “It is our destiny to attempt the impossible, to accomplish great deeds regardless of fear. It is our responsibility to the future.” Is this true for everyone? What is the responsibility of each of us to the future?

- In Eragon, Angela the fortuneteller says, “To know one’s fate can be a terrible thing.” Would you want to know your future if someone could tell you? Why does Eragon decide to hear her predictions? What does she mean when she says, “That freedom [to choose your fate] is a gift, but it is also a responsibility more binding than chains”? Which of her predictions (in the chapter titled “The Witch and the Werecat”) actually come true as the story continues in Eldest?

- How does it affect Roran when people start to call him “Stronghammer” in Eldest? Why does Roran take most of the village of Carvahall with him in his quest to rescue Katrina?

- How does Eragon change in the course of his studies with Oromis in Eldest? Which of his new powers are the result of hard training and which are the result of learning more about the use of magic? Is he, indeed, fulfilling a destiny or responding to his sense of duty and responsibility–or both?

4. Trust and Fear

- In Eragon, how does Eragon know that he can trust Brom enough to travel with him? Why does he leave his home and all that is familiar to him?

- Who are the Ra’zac and what do they represent to Eragon when he first encounters them in Eragon? Why do the Ra’zac return to Carvahall in Eldest? Why do they take Katrina away with them? Is it trust or fear that makes the people of Carvahall follow Roran into the wilderness?

- In the first book, when Eragon realizes that Arya is an elf, does it change his feelings about her? Why does he rescue her from the prison even though it puts his own safety in jeopardy? What is it that keeps Arya from returning Eragon’s affection in Eldest?

- When Eragon finds the stronghold of the Varden in the first book he is challenged and his mind probed by the Twins. Why did Ajihad trust the Twins? Are there clues in Eragon to indicate that the Twins were actually working for Galbatorix, as we discover in Eldest?

- How does Eragon feel when he learns about Murtagh’s parentage in Eragon? Does the fact that Murtagh’s father was Morzan affect Eragon’s trust of him? Does it affect your feelings about his character? What does Eragon feel when he realizes who he is fighting at the end of Eldest? Will he ever be able to trust Murtagh again?

- What is Eragon’s greatest fear? What is Roran’s greatest fear? Do their fears affect the way they act and interact with others? Discuss their reunion in the last chapter of Eldest. Why does Roran strike Eragon? How do they regain their trust for each other?

5. Use and Abuse of Power

- In Eldest, Oromis says: “As Galbatorix has demonstrated, power without moral direction is the most dangerous force in the world.” What does he mean by this? By the end of Eldest what other characters have “power without moral direction”?

- Discuss the connection of magic to power in this story. Why does Eragon have to learn the use of magic so slowly, first from Brom (in Eragon) and then from Oromis (in Eldest)? Who are the other characters that can use magic and what are the limits on their magical powers?

- Why does the use of magic drain the energy of the person performing the magic? What are the ways that Eragon learns to control his use of magic and his energy in Eldest?

- In Eldest, is Murtagh able to use magic more effectively than Eragon? Why do you think this is so?

6. Good and Evil

- Many fantasy novels deal with the struggle between forces of good and evil. Discuss the ways in which the Inheritance books explore this theme and which characters represent good and which represent evil. Are there some characters that you are still not sure about by the end of Eldest?

- Eragon begins with the Shade and his ruthless ambush of the elf we later learn is Arya. How did this Prologue affect your anticipation of the story to come? Why is the Prologue titled “Shade of Fear”? What do we learn of the Shade’s past when he is killed at the end of Eragon?

- How did Galbatorix establish his rule of Alagaësia? According to the history Brom shares in Eragon, what experiences turned Galbatorix into a cruel and feared ruler?

- The Urgals seem to be completely ruthless, yet Eragon is hesitant to kill them with his magic in Eragon. In the chapter called “A Costly Mistake,” why does he only use his magic to stun them? Why is he so upset when Murtagh kills Torkenbrand, the slave trader? By the end of Eldest, Eragon has different feelings about the Urgals. What has changed his mind?

- In Eldest Roran commits crimes in his efforts to save the people of Carvahall who have placed their trust in him; he kills, steals, and uses trickery to get what he needs. Can he justify what he has done in the name of helping others? How does he feel about the men he has killed?

- Why is Oromis so angry about the blessing that Eragon gave to the child in Farthen Dûr? What is the place of Elva in the story by the end of Eldest? Is her blessing/curse a force for good or for evil? How can it work both ways?

7. Character Study

- Compare Eragon and his cousin Roran. How do Eragon’s and Roran’s journeys in Eldest parallel each other and how are they different? Describe the changes in each of them from the beginning of Eragon to the end of Eldest. What influences are most important on their growth? Which people and events are most important to their development?

- Compare Brom (in Eragon) and Oromis (in Eldest). How are they similar and how are they different? What does each of them contribute to Eragon’s training? Which of them, do you think, has the most influence on Eragon’s growth as a Rider?

- How would you describe Arya? Why does Arya reject Eragon’s romantic feelings in Eldest? What aspects of her personality contribute to their friendship and what keeps them from having a romantic relationship? How does Arya feel about being the daughter of the queen?

- Compare the magical qualities of Angela and Elva as we see them in Eldest. What do we know about each of them and how do their magical abilities contribute to the story? How do you feel about these characters–in terms of their trustworthiness?

- Compare the leadership styles of Nasuada and Orrin, the king of Surda, in Eldest. Why do the Varden go to Surda, and what help do they expect from Orrin?

- Describe the character of Saphira. How has she grown from the time she was a hatchling? What does she learn from Glaedr and how does she grow during her training? What are some of the difficult feelings and pain that Saphira and Eragon share? What are some of the joys that they share?

8. One Step Beyond: Predictions

- Do you think Eragon will ever be able to return to the Palancar Valley and Carvahall? He longs for his home in the midst of his adventures, but will he and Roran be able to return to the farm when their adventures are over?

- At the end of the first book, Eragon hears a voice in his head, someone helping him to escape the horrors of Durza’s memories. In Eldest, we learn that person is Oromis, who will become Eragon’s trainer. What foreshadowing comes at the end of Eldest? Predict some of the plot of Book Three of Inheritance. What do you expect to happen?

- Who are the characters that might play a major role in the next book? Will Eragon come face-to-face with Galbatorix? Will he fight Murtagh again? Will Eragon and Roran be able to rescue Katrina? Who will provide the most assistance to Eragon?

- Why do you think Galbaltorix continues to gain strength, and how is he able to make Murtagh stronger than Eragon? How do you think Eragon and Saphira can develop the strength to combat the evil powers of Galbatorix?

9. Connecting Fantasy to Real Life

- What kinds of good and evil do you hear about in the news of our world? Discuss examples from news stories that report events representing the good and evil in our society and in international news.

- What circumstances can bring people together to become friends and what can make those friendships grow and develop? What circumstances can hurt a friendship? What are some of the ways people have difficulty with family members?

- Do you feel that some people have a destiny to fulfill or a special reason for living? Name people in history who had a strong responsibility to a cause for good or evil. (Possibilities might be Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King for good causes and Attila the Hun, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Stalin for evil.)

- Name some characters from legend, literature, or film who represent the causes of good or evil. (Possibilities might be Luke Skywalker, King Arthur, Frodo for good; Darth Vader, Mordred, Sauron for evil.)

Guide prepared by Connie Rockman, Children’s Literature Consultant, adjunct professor of literature for youth, and editor of the Junior Authors and Illustrators series (H.W. Wilson).

Customer Reviews

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Eragon/Eldest Boxed Set 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 222 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eragon was the best book ever because it was packed with magic and action. The book was written by Christopher Paolini, at age 19 when he became a New York Times best selling author. He was home schooled all his life and graduated high school at age 15. Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance series and Eragon finds out a dangerous secret. As Eragon travels to the Varden with Brom he finds things out about himself he never thought possible, he meets people that could help him very much or they could kill him just as easily. If you read this book I¿m sure you would like it. I think this book teaches people to be careful, and watchful at all times. So read this book because it is the BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!
HarperPH More than 1 year ago
Since his first book, "Eragon," in the newly titled "Inheritance Saga"--it was supposed to be a trilogy, but a new book is now in the works--Christopher Paolini seems to be getting his "sea legs." The fun but very derivative first novel--well-written, but nothing special--has evolved into a riveting, compelling series. Paolini's characters have fleshed out, grown up, and become more varied and less "Lord of the Rings" meets Anne McCaffrey. Paolini has now found his own voice, and it is a beautiful thing indeed. I went from shaking my head in "Eragon" each time I met a derivative character, easily recognized from either Tolkien or McCaffrey, to not being able to put the books down. They are fairly long, but I wanted them longer, because I didn't want the story to end. When the author announced at the end of the third novel in the series that the trilogy had been scrapped to make room for another novel, the announcement was met with as much joy as I have when Bernard Cornwell comes out with a new book, or Sharon Kay Penman, or Robert Jordan--still waiting for the posthumous book ending his "Wheel of Time" series. Yes, Christopher Paolini can now claim a place with the exceptional writers of our day, and given the man's youth, we can only watch him grow even more in the coming years.
lil_devil_57 More than 1 year ago
Let me first say that the books are extremely better than the movie. This series may be pointed towards a young adult crowd, but it is great for anyone that enjoys a great imagination and story line. Once you get to know the characters it's hard to put the book down. Lots of action!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently read the reveiw that debated against this seris being plagerism. I just wanted to say that I Agree 100% That person made an excellent point saying that most people think the same of elves and dwarves. And also for the person who said " I like the book, but not really" please make up your mind. It's a do or you don't situation
Guest More than 1 year ago
These books are very well written, and very well placed throughout. The characters are touching and unforgettable, and the many fantasy creatures boost what you could only imagine. The only problem is the fact that there are some plot points that seem like a rip off, of Star Wars Episode IV and V. Other then that, these are novels that should not be pushed aside as just another lengthy bore.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read both books in this series, expecting them to improve based on the glowing reviews of Eragon. However, the stories have paper thin plots and card board cut out characters. This is a paint by numbers story and possibly the worst I've ever read in my life. I don't usually write unfavorable reviews, but if I can encourage one person to save themselves from this, then it was worth it. Shame on you Knopf!
RedtailMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eragon and Eldest were some of the greatest books I have ever read. They have action, adventure, and lots of other cool stuff. Eragon begins with a young man out hunting in the mountains. He then stumbles upon a giant blue rock and takes it home. It turns out that out of that rock (which is an egg) hatches a dragon.In Eldest Eragon (the young boy) begins his real training to become a draon rider.
grizzly.anderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd heard so much about this series, the next great fantasy epic and so on and so forth, that when the omnibus of the first two books was on sale, I figured I'd check it out. And I'd take all of the hype with a grain of salt.Even so, I was extremely disappointed. Paolini rambles on and on to the point that I think he fancies himself the next JRR Tolkien. Except Tolkien was original, and his passion for detail completely sucked me in to his books, rather than boring me.Aside from the obvious derivation from Middle Earth, the story is pretty derivative of other fantasy and SF - even Star Wars and the Karate Kid. Shortly after Murtaugh was introduced in the first book I predicted to myself what revelations there would eventually be about himself and Eragon. And I was right, even though I had to wait until almost the end of the second book to confirm it. I finished because I hate not finishing a book, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Saieeda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though the writing style of the first book (Eragon) could be better the storyline is excellent. The characters are realistic, and they easily win over the emotions of the reader. Even better, this series is one of the few young adult novels with a male main character. The book has some great descriptions, but this can make certain scenes a little slow. Still, I enjoyed the book, and I would recommend it to teens.
magicdude on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Inheritance series is one of the best Swords and Sorcery books there are! Very creative and action pact story!
DaveFragments on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read parts. I really bought it for my 12 year old nephew and he likes it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a comment on the format of this publication...NOT its content (which is a very good read). The term "Boxed Set" implies a box containing more than one book. There is no box involved here (other than the box the book was mailed in) and there is only one volume--containing both Eragon and Eldest between its covers. Not what I was expecting.
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I've read all of the books in this series. I read the first two when I was younger, before I saw the Star Wars movies & read & saw the Lord of the Rings movies. Initially, I thought these were some of the best books I'd ever read, but after I saw Star Wars, I lost respect, & after I read & saw the Lord of the Rings, I thought these books were silly & a load of junk. But after a few years, I decided to reread them, & found that despite these similarities, I still liked the books, though not quite as much as before. I'd definitely recommend these books to anyone; just don't get too irked when something seems like it's lifted from another story.
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dogsandcatsforever More than 1 year ago
I love this series. everyone should read these books. the movies are okay to!
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