So, after writing a book that is the crazy, not-very-smart love child of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Dragonriders of Pern and the Earthsea books, what would be the natural second book of Christopher Paolini?

Answer: a slow, pretentious slog that seems to be fascinated by ants and yoga. And where his naivete about the real world was merely distracting before, here it becomes incredibly annoying as he passes judgement on almost every person in the world for not living up to the standards of his imaginary elves, and insists that taxes should be totally voluntary (in which case nobody would ever pay them.

It also dials the unintentional homoeroticism up to 11, with the introduction of the hairless-groined Elf Yoda. I wish I were kidding.