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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Title: Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle #4)
Author: Christopher Paolini
ISBN: 9780375856112
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Released: November 08, 2011
Page #: 860
Source: My public library

"Not so very long ago, Eragon - Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider - was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance.

The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to imagine. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the spellbinding conclusion to Christopher Paolini's bestselling Inheritance cycle."
First Lines:

"The dragon Saphira roared, and the soldiers before her quailed.
'With me!' shouted Eragon. He lifted Brisingr over is head, holding it aloft for all to see. The blue sword flashed bright and iridescent, stark against the wall of black clouds building in the west."
Page 1

I have two words for this book (and possibly just the author in general): Long. Winded. Or is that really one word? Whatever. It still applies.

So, if you haven't read the first three books in this "cycle," put down the review and walk away. There is a lot of ground for you to cover before you read this book. A lot. Not to deter you or anything...

This is the last book in the Inheritance Cycle - a very long, drawn out series of four books. This is the one that answers all of the questions and brings everything full circle. It is the conclusion to an epic story of a boy and his dragon taking on the most evil king... ever. Their whole society hangs in the balance and Eragon is feeling the pressure. He is the only one that can defeat Galbatorix and things are starting to look grim.

Inheritance took FOR.E.VER to read. When I got it from the library, I figured 21 days would be plenty to finish it - in fact, I scoffed and said I would be done in a week. I was wrong. It's due in a couple days and I had to do some concentrated reading time to get it done. So, my vote goes to this book for the Longest Book Ever. Okay, enough complaining about the sheer size.

I honestly love the bones of the story in the Inheritance Cycle. I love the story of Eragon and Saphira and all of the obstacles they overcome and how they are changed because of them. I do love many of the side characters - Roran, Arya, Nasuada.... I could go on. I truly think that the base story of these books is wonderful. I think that's why these books have become so popular with just about anyone who loves fantasy.

But... there's a lot of extraneous stuff that I'm not sure helps the story. There seems to be an excess of flowery language and desription of things that don't seem obviously important. I'm sure at some level it helps the story develop so you have a full understanding of the world. But there were times that I would just put the book down after some crazy description thinking it was highly unnecessary. Just as an example... in the last 50 pages, the author introduces a new city altogether. Why? Just because it is shown on the map and no one has talked about it yet?

Don't even get me started on the ending. The final battle was wonderful and more than I could have hoped for. I think it gave the right tone for the last big fight... it was well done. And maybe it ended just a little too abruptly. It's after that when I thought we should have just stopped. Instead, the author takes us on a journey to tie up every possible loose end throughout the story. Do we really have to go say goodbye to everyone? Even though the ending itself is over 100 pages long... it feels rushed compared to the rest of the books.

I have to mention one more thing that drove me crazy. Each time a plan was hatched...usually a battle plan... the reader is kept in the dark exactly the same way. It was all... "So and so described his idea to so and so. So and so thought it was sheer madness!" With lots of flowery language, of course. And then a chapter or two later you finally see what the plan was. I think this happened a couple times with Roran and a few with Eragon. Enough that it was noticably the same tactic all over again. I would have appreciated a little variety in that department.

It looks like I have a lot of negatives about this book, huh? Well, I think perhaps I'm bitter because it took me so darn long to finish it. That and I felt like the story could have been told without being over 800 pages long. Personal opinion, of course. Will I continue to recommend this series? Yes, I definitely will. I've always recommended it with a little piece of caution about the length of the books.

With that being said, I'm going to go read something short and light.
Other Blog Reviews:

Book Infinity
Fantasy Review
Good Choice Reading
Ink Scrawl
San Diego Reader

1 comment:

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I've been re-listening to these books in preparation for this final installment. I have been struck (again) at just how ridiculously over-written they are. Too much description and not enough action. I completely agree with the bare bones of the story being interesting, but all that dressing makes it annoying.

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