Review: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Inheritnace Cycle Book 4

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Title: Inheritance (Inheritance Book Four)
Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre:Fantasy,  Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (8th November 2011)

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 most 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 Riders and his dragon have come father than anyone dared to imagine. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the spellbinding conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Inheritance brings to a conclusion Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, a series that was originally conceived as a trilogy. It is always sad to see the end of the series, to say goodbye to the characters you’ve grown to know and love. This book is no exception.

The first book of the cycle Eragon was published for the second time way back in 2004 (or 2003 according to Wikipedia), so we’ve had a long time to “get to know” the characters. They’ve become familiar. We’ve had seven years to love the series. Seven years to wonder how it’s all going to end. Well, with this book, the end is upon us.

The ending of a series is a tricky thing, I think. It’s something you have to get right as an author, or risk leaving your audience disappointed. There’s a level of pressure, that perhaps only exists in the first book – get it right and make us love this book, get it wrong and earn our disfavour. Not that we’re putting pressure on you or anything.

Inheritance is a competent book. Four books and seven years down the road Paolini knows his craft. He knows all the different threads he’s got to wind up, he knows he’s got to throw in a curve ball or two just to keep us on our toes. Inheritance is a well written narrative. It’s enjoyable. We get to meet up again with “old friends” but we also get introduced to some new ones.

Then there is the final build-up to the end, and the ending itself. It was unique. At least, I think it was. And it’s really all I can say – all that I’m prepared to say – without worrying that I’m falling into spoiler territory. Paolini was brave, I admire him for that. I even wish more authors could be like him. Yet the ending gives me pause. Not in a good way, but not in a bad way either. I’m left at the end of the book wanting to know what happens next. It’s understandable that Paolini wants to take a break, maybe write something else, but I want more!

There are some extraordinary things about this book, but for the most part it feels mundane. Normal. Don’t get me wrong, this book is a good read. But it’s not a remarkable one. At least not for me.

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