Inheritance by Christopher Paolini Review 5/5

Overall Impression: Wow, wow, wow! An emotional and fitting end to the wonderful Inheritance Cycle. I didn’t want it to end. Can we have another Cycle? Pretty please?

(To read my review of the previous book from the Inheritance Cycle, Brisingr click here.)
Inheritance by christopher-paolini
This book was read as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge for the favourite genre category.
Ohhh how I have been dreading writing this review. It had actually gotten to the point where I was having full on staring contests with my computer. It’s a typical example of when you read a fantastic book, and afterwards have an inability to form any coherent thoughts and your vocabulary flies off the face of the Earth and is replaced with simplistic “EEEEEEP” “EEEEEK” “OOOH” “AHHHH” syllables. Sure, this series has flaws as most do, but this book series has spanned eight years of my life. I remember the first time I laid eyes on it in Waterstones, the excitement that Christmas when I received it, and the next when I received the second book. I guess you would say it has sentimental value. The characters have grown and evolved parallel to my own life. It’s sad to have to say goodbye to them… and yet, at the same time there is something rather satisfying about seeing their stories finally completed. It may have been a long journey, but good things come to those who wait!

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the rest of the Inheritance Cycle this review may contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from past books in the series. However, for those of you who have read the previous books, this review will not contain any major spoilers about the book Inheritance.

It began with Eragon . . .
It ends with Inheritance.

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 Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

The book opens with Eragon fighting for his life (just his average Tuesday then :P) alongside his cousin Roran, and the rest of the Varden. Taking the city of Belatona is one small step in Nasuada’s plan to defeat the evil King Galbatorix. As commander of the rebel army the Varden, she decides they have spent too long hiding in the shadows. The time to fight the Empire is now. Even though hope seems slim. The plan? To slowly work their way to the King’s fortress Urû’baen, capturing all the major cities along the way. But problems surface when they have barely even begun. Mysterious spears, zombie-esk soldiers, magicians, helpless civilians bound by oath, a rapid lack of supplies, and the biggest threat of all? Murtaugh and his dragon Thorn. Even with the enlisted help of the Werecats; mysterious mystical and unpredictable creatures, our heroes are struggling as they continually hit dead ends. Our two lead protagonists are divided in different directions; Roran is sent off to capture the city of Aroughs, meanwhile Eragon and the rest of the Varden ponder how to capture Dras-Leona. When further disasters strike, all seems lost. That is, until Eragon receives a grain of hope from an unexpected source. Will it be enough to help him overthrow the deranged king once and for all?
Read the book and find out. 😉

Wow, wow, wow! Have I mentioned wow? Ok sorry, trying to compose myself! One of the best parts of reading this book was seeing Paolini’s writing shine. It was just excellent, it felt like a culmination of everything he has learnt. This series has taken up thirteen years of his life and undoubtedly his writing at first needed a lot of work. But with Inheritance, nearly all his previous faults have been dealt with. He has gotten rid of most of the fluff and filler that padded out the previous books, he has reigned in his descriptions which are beautifully detailed without going overboard, and his storytelling exudes excitement!
My only small gripe is that his battle scenes can still be a little dull at times, although they have improved dramatically since the last book. I tend to think battle scenes should either be fast paced, or slower with emphasis placed more on the characters emotions but Paolini doesn’t seem to do either of these, I think maybe he tries to focus too much on the mechanics, spending so much time trying to explain the specifics and logistics of what is going on that he forgets to entertain the reader sometimes.

The pace of Inheritance is also very impressive, it manages to keep consistent with lots of interesting events taking place, and not just with battle scenes, but with emotional stimuli and conversations as well which are spaced just the right distance from each other. Too many together would have made it cheesy, but as it stands they come across as sweet, just right. I still felt there were a couple of un-needed chapters *cough* battles from Roran’s point of view which take you away from the action you really want to read about! Grr. There was also a chapter that was prolonged way further than it ought to have been simply because the dragon Saphira hit some stormy weather.
However I especially loved a certain idea Paolini used in his plot (I’m being slightly vague to avoid spoilers here) about how magic gone wrong could change and warp living creatures with habitat’s near by, dramatically changing them into something foreign and strange. Almost like a toxic waste effect.
Lastly, I loved the fact that this book didn’t just stop after the final battle which a lot of stories do. Instead we get to hear a lot about the aftermath as well as some of the future plans for Alagaësia, the repercussions from the result of the final battle, and most importantly, we get to see a lot of our favourite characters stories resolved. Although not all, Angela (my favourite character) still remains an enigma to be solved at a later date. Dammit! 😛

Eragon’s, Saphira’s, and Arya’s character development in this one was very interesting, they had to really dig down deep into the depths of their personalities, assessing their strengths and their weaknesses in order to move on and progress with the battle against Gabatorix. I have to admit, I did get a bit bored of Roran and his hammer wielding ways though, his moaning woe is me life’s not fair attitude has kind of put me off. Guess what Roran? All the other characters have been dealt a rubbish hand too but they don’t go around moaning about it all the time, suck it up! I was also expecting Galbatorix to be a little more menacing. We were more just told how menacing he was but his actions weren’t exactly reinforcing it…. or wait, maybe they were because hey, torture! But ermmm… I don’t know, he just didn’t seem quite as intimidating as I thought he would.
I loved the further development on Angela the witch as well, she’s so intriguing and it only gets more so in this book! The same goes for the werecats, they are such mysterious creatures and I loved that we got to spend some more time with them!

So although I do have some small criticisms of this book, my overall enjoyment wins out by far! I would recommend this book to readers that enjoyed the previous books in the series, (you can check out my review for the first book in the series, Eragon here if you’re interested in finding out more) male or female, aged 16 and upwards who enjoy traditional fantasy, descriptive prose and stories of good vs evil.

Some fun quotes:

‘If you don’t make a few enemies now and then, you’re a coward – or worse.’ – Angela

“Why does everything have to be so hard?” he wondered.
“Because” said Saphira “everyone wants to eat, but no one wants to be eaten.”

‘It took her a moment to realize that the discoloration was where a chip had fallen free. The sight amused her, for she found it humorous – and somewhat comforting – to know that Galbatorix’s perfect chamber was not quite so perfect after all, and that, despite his pretensions otherwise, he was not omniscient or infallible.’ – I’m a sucker for a good metaphor. 😛

Writing Style: 5/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 5/5
Character Development: 4/5
Would I recommend this book? Yes, if you are a fan of the other books in the series.

Overall 5/5


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28 thoughts on “Inheritance by Christopher Paolini Review 5/5

  1. You have no idea how excited I got when this popped up in my inbox! I am soooooo glad you enjoyed this, I think it’s the best one in the series, even though I guessed the way some of things went after I read Eldest!
    Anyway,what did you think of the end? Also, with the Angela point, I can’t remember if I’ve shared my theory with you, but I think he’s going to return to this series but with her as the main character! She’s so myserious and can pop up everywhere!
    Although, it could have done without Roran! If Paolini ever uses him again I might have to hit him in the head with Roran’s hammer! It’s the fact that he thinks he has it so hard and his cousin is being hunted by Galbatorix! Pretty sure we know who has it harder!
    Another fantastic review by the way! You can really tell you enjoyed the book!

    • —————————–SPOILERS——————————-
      Hahaha, I imagine it was the same amount of excitement when I saw your Elsewhere review pop up! 😛 I’m so glad I enjoyed it too! It seemed a little slow at the start and I was thinking uh-oh, but then when it kicked in – wow! I couldn’t put it down – until I got the the end that is, I read the last bit really slowly because I didn’t want it to end! 😦
      Ohhh I’m so torn by the ending! I loved how Paolini used Eragon saying farewell to the characters in a way that almost felt like it was us saying goodbye to them, and I teared up and everything. (Didn’t put this is the review because of spoilers) But it was also really irritating, I mean NEVER to return!??! that’s a little harsh! Although I suppose that doesn’t mean others can’t go to him. Weirdly I never really felt it was right for Eragon and Arya to end up together, but in this last book I kind of changed my mind and started routing for them and then Paolini denies me it dammit!
      Ohhh I really hope he does! I would love to spend some more time with Angela! Although I think maybe he should write something else before diving back into this world, just so that he can prove that he can write something other than this series – like JK. 🙂
      Haha ohh I’m so glad it wasn’t just me! When I was younger I really enjoyed reading Roran’s part in Eldest, but now he’s just so whiny. I mean he complains that it’s not fair because it’s a war of ‘gods’ etc, well he’s got a lot more chance surviving than others, and I mean, you could justify anything with that logic. Lol! Good plan to hit him with the hammer! I’ll hold him down for you! 😉
      Thank you! 🙂 It took me forever to write it -_- I’m off to check out yours now, but I’ll leave you with: Murtaugh and Nasuada; thoughts???? (also, sorry for the longness, I have a lot to say! 😛 )

        It was such a great ending! Like you I love that it didn’t end with the final battle! I also love how he basically invented the olympics with the Urgals! 😛 I knwo right, it is pretty harsh, but I guess with Nasuada’s view on magic he doesn;t really have a choice. I bet they’l go to him a lot, they might hitch a ride with Arya, I mean she has to go because she’s a dragon rider so she has some duties there.
        Haha, I’ve always wanted them together! I’m glad the last book changed your mind though 😛
        Oh he will do, he’s already said he’s going to go onto something else but will probably return to this story at some point.
        Some people wanted Roran to be the rider for the green dragon and I’ve never understood that, but thank god he wasn;t! Could you imagine his whining then!! Haha, maybe we should try sending him a strongly worded letter first! 😛
        Haha, thanks for reading it btw!
        Ah, see I’m not sure about them, it’s kind of odd! I mean sweet, but the situation was a very odd one to fall for each other in! Also I really disliked Nasuada by the end of it, I think it was her stance on things after the war! What did you think?
        Don’t be sorry for it, I appreciate it! Been wanting to discuss this with someone for a very long time, haha! 😀

      • ——————— MORE SPOILERS —————–
        Yeah that’s a very good point actually! She must have to visit sometimes, I hadn’t really thought of that…YAY! Potential smoochies in the future! Even though we were denied them in this book lol.
        Hahaa ohh yeah, the olympics idea was great, I actually almost laughed out loud when I heard it because of the similarities, ohh and the fact that the Urgals can now be dragon riders! That caused a huge jaw drop! I loved the idea though. 😛
        Hmmmm…..Roran as a rider, I don’t think so! I thought they might make him king at one point near the end, but I think he’s far too hot headed for that! Ohhh god yeah, the moaning would be out of control! I never thought he would be the rider, I thought his kid might though 😛 Besides, green doesn’t seem like the right colour for him, but green fits Arya perfectly because of her relationship with nature and her temprement etc.
        No problem, I’d been waiting to read it for ages! 😛
        I thought it was cute like you, but I’ve always really liked Murtaugh as a character, even though he can be a bit self pitying so I was glad he managed to find something to fight for, so yeah, I kind of liked them together.
        Ohhh god yeah! So did I actually, the whole magic idea – or rather the way she was trying to inforce it was really bad in my opinion, and was going to cause more problems than it solved! It seemed like a move she was making out of fear rather than for the sake of Alagaësia. Didn’t like that at all….
        What did you think of the whole Vroengard/Rock of Kuthian thing?

      • MORE SPOILERS. Haha, hopefully we’ll find something out when he comes back to it! Yeah, I loved that too, I think it marked how mature he had become, because he was kind of reckless in the first book and now he’s coming up with these diplomatic solutions, it was at that point that I really realised how much he had grown up! Did he include Dwarves as well? I can’t remember!
        I couldn;t imagine it either, or him being the king, like you say, he’s too hot headed!
        Yeah I always thought it would suit Arya more, because of her magic, like Eragon’s is blue and so is Saphira and it was revealed that Ary’s was blue when they fought Durza! I think Roran would be red, but that one was already taken 😛
        Totally, it was nice to see him change ever so slightly, I love his charater if I’m honest, and I was gutted whe he disappeared in Eldest then turned out to be on the bad guy’s side, even if it was forced 😛
        Yeah, she did seem scared didn’t she? I hadn’t noticed that before, good point! It did seem like it would cause a whole lot of trouble, that might be the premise for the later series, like Angela just sneaking about staying out of reach or something!
        Oh my god, that made my jaw drop and a few happy tears kind of threatened to fall. I was so happy about that and it was a brillaint surprise! I especially likedd that it was the really old one with the disjointed thought that ave the key to beating him!

        Haha yeah that’s very true, it does show how much more mature he has gotten as a writer. Yeah the Dwarves were included, they decided the ferry the current eggs that were staying between the Urgals and the Dwarves until one of them hatched so that one of those races would be the next rider, and so would also balance out the races. 🙂
        Haha, that’s so weird! I was thinking that Roran should be red too when I was writing my comment! It seems to just fit him, plus it might also be a bit of a subconcious thing seeing as we had Roran intruduced as the main character in Eldest and that had a red dragon on the cover. 😛 But yeah, I can’t imagine him with any other colour really. That’s a good point about the magic! I hadn’t thought of that.
        Yeahhh I SO didn’t want him to be on the bad side either, but I wouldn’t have minded as much if we still got to spend a load of time from his perspective or something, but alas, it was not to be. :/ Ohh well, maybe in the future!
        That’s a good point, it could make Angela’s story more interesting!

        Thanks for chatting! 😀

  2. I read the first book in this series just over a year ago, but I didn’t really like it. I thought some of the plot elements seemed like they were taken from other works, and I wasn’t really interested too much in the story. Also, I didn’t like how the ending didn’t seem conclusive; the entire book seemed more like a beginning than a complete story. I finished it just because I paid for it and didn’t want to leave it unread.

    I hope that’s not too negative! I realize some other people connected to the series more than I did, considering how successful it is, so I don’t mean to discourage those who enjoy it, but I guess it wasn’t for me.

    • No it’s not too negative at all! It is all very much down to opinion. I think I have mentioned this to another blogger before, but if I had encountered these novels now, at this point in my literary journey I don’t think I would have liked them very much at all! But because I discovered them when I was 11/12 I didn’t see all the faults in them at the time I first read them, or the similarities to other works (which I now find glaringly obvious, although I still think people should cut him some slack on that, because a lot of books do use all those cliché’s) so I fell in love with the characters and the story at a young age, so I still love them now. However I do have to say this final book Inheritance does stand on it’s own, and deserves the credit. 🙂

      Thanks for giving your opinion! 🙂

  3. Oh, you have to stop doing this to me!! LOL :). I have too many books on my TBR list! I read Eragon when it first came out years ago but never got around to the second or third one. I have them on my ereader so I think I will have to move them up the list now. Great review!

    • Hahaaa sorry! 😛 I know the feeling! 🙂 Ohh right cool, I remember when it first came out like it was yesturday. I think that happened with quite a lot of people actually because there was such a delay between books. Inheritance is the best book in the series by far, so it’s worth the wait. 🙂

    • No worries. 🙂 Glad to hear you’ve decided to read them, I think you will like them. Although be aware sometimes you have to be a little patient with his earlier writing, he goes off on a few tangents sometimes. 😛

      Looking forward to comparing!

  4. Well, I guess the series is worth rechecking!
    I read and enjoyed Eragon a long time ago but couldn’t get into the next one… I think because the POV switched too much and I wasn’t as interested in one of them as much at the time. Side thought – It must be really interesting to see the writing progress in these.
    Great review! 🙂

    • Ohhh I don’t blame you for that at all, I really loved Eldest (the second one) the first time I read it, but when I reread it recently it did seem to really drag on for a long time! The view point is pretty much 50/50 so if you don’t like one of them it is very irritating, the rest of the books focus far more on Eragon though who has the more interesting story. 🙂 Brisingr also drags on quite a lot but Paolini’s writing improves dramatically so that makes the story stay entertaining.
      It definitely was really interesting seeing how his writing progressed, Inheritance is by far the best of the bunch!

      Thank you 🙂

      P.S. I’m holding off reading your Great Gatsby review because I am reading it at the moment, but you can expect a comment on that soon. 😉

    • Haha it’s not strange at all, I very rarely buy a book that I don’t like the cover of, and if I do, it stays on my shelf FOREVER because I never feel like picking it up. 😛

  5. BECKY!!! HI! 😀 Epic as usual! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these books! Inheritance was my favorite of the bunch (hands down!) I agree with everything you said and I really do hope Paolini considers making another cycle. These books were amazing! 🙂

    • OMG!! HI !!!! xD I’ve missed you Miss Jinggy! Where have you been!?!?!? I hope life is treating you well. 🙂
      Awww thank you! I’m glad to find another Inheritance fan. It was definitely my favourite of the bunch too! Everything is just ten times better in this book. 🙂

      Well according to Paolini and rumours he IS planning on returning to the world of Alagaësia at some point in the future. He’s had several ideas for induvidual books and also a trilogy I think. Such good news! 🙂

  6. Never heard of them, but one of the covers looks a bit familiar.

    I look forward to a post from you in the future, squealing something like “OMG INHERITANCE IS GOING TO BE MADE INTO A TRILOGY FILM I AM SOOOO EXCITED LOL”

    • Hahaaaa! you will definitely get a sqeeley fangirl post if he announces any new books thats for sure! 🙂 However, they already turned the first book Eragon into a film and it was the biggest pile of *$@~# I have ever seen. Probably the worst book to film adaption ever. Avoid it like the plague! You have been warned! :L

  7. It’s always depressing when a series ends. Thanks for sharing your Eclectic Reader Challenge review
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

  8. Oooh, I totally forgot about these books. Honestly, I’d lost a bit of interest in them and never read the third. I own it though so I should dig it out and then read the last one!

    • Haha I’m not surprised, that seems to have happened with a lot of people, and I don’t blame you! There was such a long gap between books, and with so many others competing for attention it can become easy to forget about a series.
      Oooh, you definitely should, it’s a series worth finishing! Although I will warn you, I felt that the third book was the weakest in the series. But it’s worth it to read the last book. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

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