Eldest is the title of the second book in Christopher Paolini's young adult fantasy series Inheritance Cycle. While Eldest continues to follow the adventures of the young Dragon Rider Eragon and his dragon Saphira, it also introduces a new major character, Roran, Eragon's cousin.
Roran is targeted by Galbatorix as a means of getting at Eragon, and he sends soldiers and the evil Ra'zac to capture him. While the people of their village help Roran, one betrays them, forcing Roran to lead them on a dangerous journey across the country in search of Eragon. Meanwhile Eragon and Saphira are undergoing intensive training in the Elf kingdom, in order to be prepared for their next battle.
Like Eragon, Eldest culminates with a battle between the forces of the resistance (the Varden) and the king. While the combined forces of Eragon and Saphira, the Varden, the dwarfs, and Roran and the villagers are able to defeat the army, they receive a great shock during the battle that almost results in Eragon and Saphira's capture. Eldest is a more introspective book than its predecessor. The principal characters learn valuable life lessons, but Eldest still leaves us with the impression that Eragon has much to learn if he hopes to someday defeat Galbatorix.