Sunday, November 20, 2011

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Knopf, 880 pages

"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 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? This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle that the world has waited for."

*deep breath* Inheritance is... epic. It's almost everything I could have hoped for in the conclusion to this series. Christopher Paolini, I give you a round of applause and commend you for the series you have created. Coming up with an idea such as this at the mere age of fifteen is astounding. It is an inspiration for young aspiring writers out in the world. The world building is insane and extremely complex, almost comparable to that of J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien, and that is about the highest complement I could give an author. Needless to say, The Inheritance Cycle is one of my favorite series of all time. As in, next to The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter Series. If you have ever thought of giving this series a chance, DO IT! You will not regret doing so. (Note: If you have not read Inheritance yet, do not continue reading. There are no blatant spoilers, but there are spoilers none the less.)

Yes, it took Christopher Paolini forever to finish this book. Yes, there are questions left unanswered in the end. Yes, you will be critical of every aspect of the book. Yes, the ending could quite possibly leave you with a gaping hole in your heart. And yes, you will put aside all of your negative feelings about the ending of the book and simply take a step back and think, "Wow."

Coming back to this series reminded me of how much I absolutely love it. It is high epic fantasy, and I absolutely love the charcters! I have enjoyed watching Eragon grow older and become more wise through his experiences. It is amazing to look back to Eragon and see him as a farm boy, and then look to Inheritance and see him as a full-fledged Dragon Rider. The entire series is about overcoming unimaginable odds, and I will be forever drawn to and inspired by these books. I am enamored by Saphira, Glaedr, Thorn, and Firnen (I know, not surprising. All dragons seem to have that effect on people. :) ). I feel for Murtagh. I am proud of Nasuada. I am intrigued by Angela. I have a strong desire to cuddle Solembaum in his cat form. I loathe what Galbatorix has done to dragons. And finally, I have been inspired by both Arya and Eragon throughout the past eight years.

I know that almost everyone I have talked to has complained about the ending to this series. Sure, things are left unanswered, and sure, some things may be a little depressing to end on. Nevertheless, I personally can't envision a better way to end the series. If you have read the series, we know that some things were simply inevitable... we knew that a certain ending was coming, even if it is difficult to stomach. What was the point of pretending otherwise? The only thing that could have made it better was to make an epilogue of some sort, but if what Christopher Paolini has mentioned is true, there may be some future books set in Alagaesia where we may indirectly learn more about everyone's fate at the end of Inheritance through new characters.

Eight years of Eragon and Saphira's story have come to an end... an impressive one, if I do say so myself. Sure, the ending does in fact sadden me from being so attached to all of the characters, but the larger problems that arise toward the end of Inheritance could only be solved in one way. The ending leaves hope. It may appear final, but I highly doubt that some aspects are. I have learned that many things that appear final in Paolini's books turn out to be quite the opposite at times. I also highly doubt that we have seen the end of the characters that we all love and cherish, and in part because of that, and because of the ending, I am content. Also sad, but really, what does a person expect when a beloved book series comes to an end? Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!

(Why do Harry Potter and The Inheritance Cycle all have to end in one year?!? :'( Too depressing... )

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