Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Welcome to the first of many book reviews! I just finished this book at 5am this morning. I was up all night to finish the last 300 pages, pages that were jam packed with action and adventure.

Before I get any further into the review I should note that this is the last book in the series that began with Eragon. If you haven’t read Eragon, Eldest, or Brisingr STOP READING THIS REVIEW NOW and go pick up one of those books, you will not regret it.

InheritanceWhere do I even begin to explain or form a review on Inheritance. I guess I should first start by saying that this is the last book in the Eragon series, however Christopher Paolini openly admits that he plans on writing several more books from the land of Alagaesia but those won’t be in the works for an undetermined amount of time. Along with Harry Potter, this is a series I grew up reading. I read Eragon when I was in 7th grade, and just finished Inheritance the summer approaching my Junior year in college. Not only did I grow up with this series, but so did the author and his characters.

Out of all of them I think Eragon has had the biggest transformation and the depth of his character in this book is astounding. Regardless of my feelings towards Eragon, there is a compelling force so strong that even while he was evil, Murtagh was and will forever be my favorite character of this series. I attempted to make a list from favorite to less than favorite the night I finished this book and this is what I came up with…Murtagh, Saphira, Roran, Eragon, Arya, Nasuada, Brom, Orik, and Elva. Of course there are way more characters in this series and I was particularly fond of Roran’s spellcaster friend Carn so it was sad to see him go. Happily all of my other favorites (aside from Brom who technically is not in Inheritance unless you count the time when Eragon visits his grave) lived and did not die in the many battles to gain the Empire or the fight to best Galbatorix.

Each character has something I deeply admire about them and I’d be here all night if I began to rant about each one but I will say this, in his next book, whenever he writes it, Arya and Eragon and Murtagh and Nasuada better freakin see each other again. That’s the least I can ask for right?! I mean come on I was rooting for Eragon and Arya from day one and I began to give up hope in Eldest when she smashes his painting of her and then I had hope again in Brisingr when she goes to find Eragon after he defeats the Ra’zac, and finally in Inheritance when Eragon and Arya meet after the green dragon egg hatches for her I thought YES! FINALLY! Now Arya has no reason not to be with Eragon. However destiny chose to intervene and Paolini holds true to the prophecy he wrote in the first novel. Sigh, a girl can dream.

This book, more so than the others, had many profound moments. These moments made me stop and think about what kind of person I am and what I would be willing to do were the situation on my shoulders. Eragon and Saphira’s choice to try and find the Vault of Souls while leaving his family and his people behind and knowing that they may never come back showed their immense amount of bravery and a sense to do whatever it takes to set things right. Another profound moment is the way Eragon, with of course the help of Murtagh, Arya, Saphira, Thorn, and Elva, defeats Galbatorix. I’ve got to be honest I never really believed they would be able to overthrow Galbatorix until I read it on the page. I was imagining them fighting to the death, and dying honorably, but I never envisioned Murtagh and Eragon actually working together (even though I always wished in my heart that that would indeed happen) and that Eragon, with the help of the Eldunari, would make a spell that didn’t kill Galbatorix, but it made him understand all the crimes he had committed and to feel the pain from all those whose lives he had ruined. That was such a powerful moment, that emotion and guilt is stronger than any physical or magical weapon, says a lot about who we are as people and as a human race.

Many questions get answered in this book and yet, with each answered question there seems to be two or three unanswered questions that arise because of it. I think the ending was beautiful, poetic, sad, and necessary. If I was writing the ending I would’ve made Eragon somehow end up with Arya, but Paolini did right by his characters and he allowed them to each follow their destinies whole heartedly.

Somehow I’ve managed to turn this review into a gibbering nonsense about character’s and feelings and emotions and nothing about the battles. This book, despite its immense size, length, and amount of content was probably one of my quickest reads. There was never a dull moment and every page I turned I was faced with gory but brilliantly staged battles with swords, hammers, fire breathing dragons and magic, ambushes, kidnappings, torture, unexplainable events and wildly imaginative creatures that could be only lurking in the wondrous lands of Alagaesia. I find myself discussing this book at length with all my guy friends and wishing I had an imagination as great as Paolini’s so that I could reenact the fight scenes myself.

After reading this book I find myself looking at the real world around me in a different way. Every creature, tree, bug, dog, human or otherwise somehow seems different. This was a magnificent end to a collection of work by Christopher Paolini and I look forward to reading whatever he comes up with next.

Check out this quick little quiz I made on freado.com

How well do you know Eragon?

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