Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Inheritance (Book 4 of the Inheritance Cycle)

I first discovered the Eragon books (Later to be known as the Inheritance Cycle) when USA Today ran a story on author Christopher Paolini just before the second book was released in 2005.

Paolini had his first novel published when he was just 18, and it had become a New York Times bestseller. I hadn't heard of him at the time though.

I picked up the first book which by that time was out in paperback, and I quickly fell in love with story, if not the writing style.

Many of the themes are taken straight from other popular fantasy novels, it borrowed a lot from The Lord of the Rings, but then what doesn't take themes or at least influence from works within the genre these days. It's not like he had flat out ripped out Tolkien or anything.

Flash forward to Nov. 8 of this year and the fourth and final book in the series was released. It was everything I could have hoped for, plus about 150 pages. I say that with the utmost respect to the author and the story. It was excellent. Everything wrapped up nicely and then it went on and on for another several chapters and forced some extra knowledge about the characters future on us. It was unneeded and tarnished the final memory of an otherwise fantastic book series.

Paolini definitely developed as a writer throughout the series, the final book showing the most sophistication in both plot and development that he has shown in his young career.

The ending of the book, while drawn out and overly long is still well written, though as he says goodbye to the characters, many of them are not given their due send off. I say that in the sense that while they are given long send-offs, not every single one of them is wrapped up in a way that is satisfying to the reader.

Pieces of the ending few chapters seem forced, and some just seem trivial at best. All in all it's a good book, but it doesn't quite live up to the expectations that I had hyped to myself over the past three years of waiting for the release.

Overall I'd give it 3.5/5 stars.

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