RSS

Tag Archives: Christopher Paolini

Review: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle #4)

November 2011, Random House Children’s Books

Young Adult fantasy

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 chances.

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

This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

What a long journey the Inheritance Cycle has been! From the first book about a poor 15-year-old farm boy to this final volume about a mighty Dragon Rider, the series has undeniably developed and matured along with its protagonist. I’ve been reading this series since I was about eleven years old, and I felt an acute sense of nostalgia as old characters and locations were revisited. The nostalgia wasn’t always entirely welcome, however: the long, arduous descriptions found throughout the series haven’t lessened in Inheritance, and neither have the meticulous political arrangements that are unlikely to fascinate the average reader.

Christopher Paolini is an excellent writer. For the majority of the book, though, I felt this talent was a bit overused. For the first six hundred pages or so, the vivid descriptions of people, landscapes, mental states, weather conditions, and nearly everything else were an inescapable impediment to the action and flow of the story. This, in turn, made me a thoroughly disengaged reader for the majority of the book, and was in part why it took me several months to plow my way through the novel. The overuse of description and slightly heavy-handed plot set-up are my only real complaints about Inheritance.

Once the action really gets going, as the plot nears its climax, Inheritance improves immensely. The heart-pounding action and suspense really kept the pages turning for me as the final confrontation grew near. Paolini’s characters are, as always, delightfully varied and skillfully painted, from the haunting witch child Elva to the despicable King Galbatorix himself. The world of Alagaësia is enthralling, and it’s clear that Paolini put much time and effort into its development. It’s world-building at its best, and the sort that I aspire to.

Most fans of the Inheritance Cycle have probably already readInheritance and are “tsk-tsk”-ing behind their computer screens at my slowness. Fans of high fantasy who haven’t started this series yet should definitely try it. It’s a difficult-at-times but rewarding reading experience.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Advertisements
 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Inheritance: A Progress Report

My current reading situation is one that I am entirely new to. Going back into my January archives, you’ll find references to my failed attempts to read Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance at a somewhat decent pace. Any reasonable person would assume that by now I have either given up or finished and forgotten to write a review.

I am still reading it, and just approaching the halfway point. This may well be considered an abomination to reader-kind, an act of blasphemy against the reputation of a bibliophile. I must assure you that I have conquered books just as formidable as Paolini’s work in a much shorter time. What is it about Inheritance that is making it so difficult to read?

My first theory is that it has been such a long time since I read the first three books in the Inheritance Cycle that I have ceased to care about the characters or the story. Correct me if I’m wrong–actually, don’t, because even as slow as this reading process is going, I don’t want spoilers–but I have a sneaking suspicion that our hero, Eragon, will triumph, and I’m just following him on his arduous journey to success. As I continue reading, though, I’m getting more and more intrigued as to how this is all going to turn out. Nevertheless, I don’t have the deeply personal interest in the characters’ well-being as I did a few years ago.

Secondly, the plot has taken a good deal of time in building and laying out a framework for how the rest of the novel is going to go. The action is really starting to take off now and I find myself reading more and more every day. Maybe this long, foot-dragging reading experience will end now and I can finish off Inheritance within the week.

Either way, my preliminary assessment of the book so far is overall good–not fantastic, but good. Readers looking for a rollicking thriller from page one may want to avoid it. There have been lots of plot elements left hanging that need to be finalized, and I’m curious to see how Paolini does it.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2012 in Book Rambles

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Books I Highly Recommend (and not)

At the very beginning of the history of this blog, a little less than a year ago, I wrote a post titled “Some of my Favorite Books” which listed ten of my favorite books and series. Now, I realize that that list needs serious updating. And, where’s the list of my least-favs? Here I list the books I highly recommend, and afterwards, the ones that, frankly, I don’t.

Favorites:

  • The Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
  • The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini
  • Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
  • Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
  • Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
  • Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Please keep in mind this list is subject to change!

Least Favorites:

  • Swordbird by Nancy Yi Fan
  • The Capture by Kathryn Lasky
  • Bright Shadow by Avi
  • Jade Green by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Zel by Donna Jo Napoli

That’s all I can think of right now, and, as mentioned above, this list is subject to change! And I have another note on not-worthy-of-publication books. Molly, a relative, friend, and commenter, has asked me to warn  readers against one book  that she read and detested: Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson. She says this book was an utter waste of time and money, and I’m going to take her word for it! From what she’s told me, I can tell it’s horrid.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2009 in Book Rambles

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,