This is book two in Paolini's Inheritence trilogy. In the last book, "Eragon", Eragon discovers a dragon egg which hatches to produces Eragon's dragon, Saphira. He leaves his home village to protect them as Galbatorix, head of the empire, will go to any length to get his hands on them. He heads to the Varden who are supporters of the riders and along the way he learns how to use his magic and some of his own history. "Eldest" finds Eragon having survived an attack on the Varden by supporters of Galbatorix. He realises that in order to help the people he has to learn everything he can and so goes off to the elves. There he learns how to use his skills properly and is readied to face Galbatorix. He returns to the Varden in time to help them in defeat the Empire. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran is having his own adventure. Pursued for being related to Eragon he helps his fellow villagers fight off an army. Knowing that their survival is at stake he leads them to the Varden and their only chance of survival.
For anyone one who loves stories of adventure and magic this is a must read. Paolini is very talented when it comes to keeping readers engrossed. I was caught straight back into the story line as though I had just left it the previous day rather than year. I did find that some of it seemed familiar to me. I could trace some parts back to "Lord of the Rings", "Star Wars" and (believe it or not) "Dune". I was able to ignore this though as the story took on a life of its own and I didn't want to put it down.