Inheritance (Chistopher Paolini) Book Review

Inheritance, Christopher Paolini

Inheritance is the long awaited final book in the Inheritance (Eragon) Cycle. It’s been out a few months now, but the Hobbit has been out fifty years and I reviewed that! I won’t say this book is controversial, that’s the wrong word. Let’s just say some people liked how it turned out, and some didn’t. It was a bold move by Paolini, at any rate.

In Inheritance, Oromis and Glaedr are dead, so Eragon is the only rider fighting for freedom. His brother Murtagh is fighting for Galbatorix with the power of the enslaved, dead dragons. It is time for a final stand, but Eragon won’t be taking it alone. From an ancient prophecy only the Werecats know, help may come – if Eragon can decipher the riddling words in time. Galbatorix has a new weapon, though, one that can stop the world in it’s tracks..

The plot of Inheritance is fairly drawn out. It isn’t whirlwind like the first books, being more akin to the latter books. I think that this is good, as it would feel wrong to rush towards the final confrontation, as the Varden are still campaigning slowly towards Uru-Baen. One thing that arose for me in the plot was the Name of the Ancient Language. I seem to have missed when this was introduced, and had to catch up and work out myself what they were on about. I didn’t particularly like this plot twist, but more on that later. The thing is though, the last 100 or so pages of the book did seem to flow much more quickly. It’s almost as if the pace is building up towards the final battle. Paolini does a good job of making success seem nigh impossible for Eragon, and it doesn’t seem like he ‘gets bored’ and suddenly solves Eragon’s problems, as some writers do. It really feels like Eragon sorts it himself. There’s considerable sadness in the book, what with the romance of Eragon and Arya. I won’t give away plot detail, but I doubt their relationship turns out how you think it will!
Okay, okay; down to the bit that many people don’t agree on: the ending. I did not like the ending. Sometimes I like a clever end to a book, where the good guys outplay the enemy in an underhand roll of the dice. Not this time. Galbatorix being so powerful, and Eragon seemingly weak made me want a battle of epic proportion, where they truly match their strength and Eragon only just manages to overcome Galbatorix having been forced to his knees and nearly defeated (maybe I’ll write my own ending. If so, I’ll post it). Also, I wanted – conversely to the Lord of the Rings – a happy ending. Yes, I know Eragon was cursed to leave Alagaesia, but I’d rather Paolini did it differently. The way Eragon and Arya wind up didn’t play me well either; I wanted the hero to get the golden girl! Normally, this isn’t me. Normally, I like the realism of not quite everything falling into place, but I really wanted that here. Why? I’m not sure really. Maybe because Eragon has been such a dunce around Arya, and getting them together more so than Paolini did would really be a score for wearing a gal’ down!

Wow, that section was longer than I imagined it would be. Perhaps it’ll balance, as I doubt I’ll have too much to say here. The characters are the same guys that we know from the previous books. Galbatorix is still the menace we have never met, Eragon the troubled hero and Arya the trinket lady. Personally, I think that Paolini’s characters are pretty good! I really like the way Eragon and Murtagh have developed together. I think it was inevitable, considering their pasts and the envy of Murtagh, that they could have worked together, although it does all turn out for the best in my opinion. The relationship between Eragon and Arya really reminds me of Aragorn and Arwen. In fact, Paolini is the closest modern writer to Tolkien that I can think of right now. The man and the elf. He wants to be with her, but she cannot (or in Inheritance cycle) will not be with him until he fills a certain criterion. A nice touch, whether purposeful or not. I really like the fact that even at the end of the book, Eragon is still open to temptation (especially with his new powers). The difference being that he has the wisdom to know how to use them. The moment that summarises this for me is when Eragon asks Saphira (I think) at Brom’s tomb whether Brom could be brought back to life (because he was entombed very soon after death and is unchanged) and healed with the power that Eragon now has. Obviously, Eragon resolves, with help from Saphira, that it is bes to leave things as they are.
I could write a lot on Eragon and Arya, and whether the way that things are left with them is in or out of character, but I’ll save that for another post, I think.

Despite being unhappy with the ending of the book, I really did enjoy Inheritance. It is definitely the best book in the series. This is definitely a worthy book, and series to read at your pleasure, for pleasure it most definitely should be. Don’t take my opinion as stone, you may love the way the book ended, as some people do. Just.. be ready. It may not be what you expect.

Inheritance is a 9/10 from me. Brilliant, but I must deduct a point because I was not wholly fond of the ending.


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