Thursday, 13 September 2012

Book Review: Inheritance, by Christopher Paolini

This review contains spoilers of the end of Brisingr. Read at your own risk.

Title: Inheritance
Author: Christopher Paolini
Series: Inheritance Cycle, #4
Genre: YA high fantasy
Published: 08 November 2011
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 civilisation 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?
The Inheritance Cycle comes to an end in this fourth book. Not as good a book as Brisingr, but definitely a great end to the series.

The story starts a few days after the end of Brisingr. The Varden have ended the siege on Feinster and are now preparing to take on Belatona. They are closer and closer by the minute to Urû’baen, where Eragon and Saphira will have to battle Galbatorix and Shruikan. They still don’t feel ready to defeat the evil King. They aren’t powerful enough to topple the overpowered Galbatorix and they cannot count on Oromis to help anymore since he is dead. The future still looks grim for the Rider and his dragon.

The whole book is chock-full of battle scenes. I loved that. There’s also lots and lots of magic duels. We finally see the Empire’s spellcasters and the Elven wizards use magic full-on in a duel. Eragon participates in magic duels too, though to a lesser extent. He becomes more powerful than ever, both physically and mentally.

Eragon grows a lot psychologically. He gets to know himself profoundly. By the end of the book, he is the most powerful being in Alagaësia and a very wise man. I do not think that some of his decisions were quite right at the very end. No spoilers, all I’ll say is that he could have instead cleansed Vroengard like he did Urû’baen at the end, rather than what he opted to do. His relationship with Arya improves a lot.

Ever since his introduction in Eldest, King Orrin of Surda has been one of my least favourite characters of all time and in Inheritance he becomes more annoying than ever. He is just so full of himself. He thinks that he should rule all of Alagaësia simply because he helped the Varden a little. The whole time I was hoping that Galbatorix himself would leave his castle in Urû’baen and kill him.

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