Book Review: ‘Inheritance’ by Christopher Paolini

Posted: 14 February 2013 in Book reviews
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It took me a while to read, but I have now reached the end of the Inheritance Cycle. ‘Inheritance‘ is the fourth and final book in the series. If I am being honest, it was by far the best of the series. That’s not to say I don’t have concerns about it. This review is going to be a little different. Rather than give a play by play of the story, I am going to give a more general synopsis. There is so much in this book that it is the easiest way to describe it. So here we go.

Belatona is the first of the cities the Varden captures as it crosses the country to Urû’baen. In the heat of battle, a magician mortally wounds Saphira when he throws a glowing, barbed lance into her chest. It misses anything serious and the elves are able to sing the lance out of her after destroying the magician. The lance is known as a Dauthdaert. It has one purpose and that is to kill dragons. Luckily it fails at killing Saphira. Shortly thereafter, they capture Belatona and it’s governor Lord Bradburn. That isn’t the craziest thing. Werecats are mysterious creatures that most people know of by legend. They mostly keep out of the affairs of humans and others. That is why it is so strange when they show up at Belatona. Alagaësia is just as much their home as the rest of the them. They know that in order for all races to be free, they must fight as well.

Belatona is only the first of four cities the Varden will do battle at. Now that Belatona is secure, Nasuada sends Roran down to Aroughs and this time as a captain. This is fine for him, but not so much for Captain Brigman who was at Aroughs already. With a handful of men, Roran makes his way down south. Taking Aroughs wasn’t easy. It was heavily fortified and they most likely had more supplies than Roran and his army did. Roran is a clever one though (which is why Nasuada sent him there). They navigated some barges to a waterway by some mills and used the force of destroying the waterways to break through the wall. It worked. Soon they were in and making their way stealthily towards the Keep. Tragedy strikes along the way when Carn is killed. Roran is enraged, but he presses on. Soon they reached where Lord Halstead resides. While looking for the Lord, Roran is shot in the back and then passes out. When he awakes, he found everything in order and Lord Halstead dead and his son taken into custody. He reports back to Nasuada and then makes to return to the Varden.

At Dras-Leona, the Varden are finally confronted by Murtagh and Thorn. With them and the fortifications, there is no direct route to attacking the city. Finally Jeod discovers a secret tunnel leading into the heart of the city. Arya, Eragon, Angela, and Wyrden (en elf) volunteer to follow the tunnel and help the Varden enter the city. In the tunnel, they get attacked and Angela is captured, Wyrden is killed, and he and Arya are chained to become food for the hatching Ra’zac eggs. Come to find the Ra’zac weren’t all eradicated. Once Angela and Solembum rescue them and help destroy the hatched Ra’zac, they find the exit (which is the cathedral Eragon visited in book one) and destroy most of the priests. It doesn’t take long before Eragon and Saphira and fighting Murtagh and Thorn. They defeat them and take Dras Leona.

Capturing Dras Leona was a big deal for the Varden. It was the last stop before confronting Galbatorix at Urû’baen. Their celebrating is short lived when Murtagh and an army attack in the night and kidnap Nasuada. This is a big blow to the Varden. Naturally Eragon is called to lead them, but he has other plans. He needs to go to Vroengard in hopes of finding the Vault of Souls. So they devise a plan where the elven spellcasters create a look-a-like to act as the leader while he leaves. As he is on his journey, Nasuada is in Urû’baen being tortured by Galbatorix. He wants her to swear fealty but she won’t. Murtagh helps her as much as he can, but he can only do so much.

I’m going to end a lot sooner than I usually do. As this is the last book of the series, a ton happens in the end and I really don’t want to give any spoilers. I’d rather you go read the book and find them out for yourselves.

As I said before, this is by far the best book of the series. So much happens, it is engaging, the action is practically nonstop, Eragon becomes less annoying, and so on. It made me really happy that Eragon finally grew up. Sure it took a good ways into the book for it to happen, but at least it did.

I was really happy to have Murtagh make more of an appearance in this bok. It wasn’t huge and it mainly happened after Nasuada was captured, but he was there. Plus you got to see more of his character. He is such a good guy and I am glad the reader gets to see it. There are things that I wish, but I can’t say them without giving away part of the ending.

Glaedr reminds me a lot of Saphira in some sense, and not the good ones. He has some deluded vision of self importance. It is understandable that he should feel immense sorrow at what happens at the end of ‘Brisingr’, but you really get to see a not pleasant side of him. The other side of that is that he is so old that he deserves respect simply because of his age. He was around at the time of the destruction of the Riders and had to sit by the sidelines as Galbatorix hunted down the remaining riders and nearly destroyed all the dragons. He has gone through much so you can only understand his pain.

The werecats were really cool. They can shape shift, have some magic capabilities, look down upon domesticated cats, and are ferocious fighters. They are a very unique and original species.

There is nothing much else to write about with the other characters. Angela is a mystery (as she is throughout the entire series), Roran advances in the military ranks, Katrina is very much pregnant, Arya is ever distant, all the leaders, Orik, Islanzadí, Orrin, Nar Garzhvog and Nasuada, all lead their respective armies, and all the other characters we’ve met have no remarkable changes.

As with the last one, the writing improved tremendously as well. Very little unnecessary complex or elaborate verbiage was used. My main concern with the writing was that there was quite a bit of filler material. Sure it is nice to read about Roran’s mission to Aroughs, but is it necessary? I felt the series as a whole could have been written tighter and have lost a bunch of the filler material. Then it would have reached the three books it was originally intended to have. Otherwise I felt it was put together very well.

Overall, this book is fantastic. If you’ve read the first three, then obviously you need to read this. If you’ve not read any of them or only a couple, continue or start. You will really enjoy this series. It is an engaging story, with thankfully a very small romantic element and characters you can relate to grow to love. I look forward to the rumoured book 5 (which i just read about). If you wish to buy the book, click on the link in the first paragraph or I’ll add it below. Enjoy 😉

http://www.amazon.com/Inheritance-The-Cycle-Christopher-Paolini/dp/037584631X

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