“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 chance.
The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to imagine. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?”
And so the cycle ends with Inheritance.
I’ve been looking forward to see how Christopher Paolini would finish his series. My main complaint with the Inheritance Cycle has always been the fact that it read too much like The Lord of the Rings. And the last book doesn’t deviate much from its, I’m assuming, inspiration.
Paolini devotes around ninety percent of the book to the build-up and the actual battle against Galbatorix. And though there were still parts where nothing seemed to happen, I was happy with the pacing Paolini employed for the final book.
Reading Brisingr, the third book, I’ve always wondered why Paolini thought it would be sound to write one more book. To extend the trilogy into a “cycle.” Well, Inheritance proved that there is still much of the story to be told here. And going through the answers and the resolutions, i now agree that the author really did need to split the final arc into two books.
The moving force behind Inheritance, in my opinion, was what was foretold of Eragon in the first book–and the advice given by Solembum, the werecat, to Eragon before he really began his journey. Though, would you really call it an advice when the werecat had no clue what he was saying?
Anyway. The first part of the advice came to pass in the third book. The second part, the one that dealt with the Vault of Souls takes up much of Eragon’s attention in the first half of Inheritance. Truth be told, I’ve already forgotten about this part of the advice. Though, soon as it was brought up again, I made a guess as to what was inside the Vault of Souls. And I was right. I just wish there was more to finding the location of the Vault, and not just… Well, not just the device the author used in the story.
The second half of the book deviates more from the format of The Lord of the Rings. Whereas Tolkien dealt with the victories of war, Paolini focused more on the crushing defeat–which was more realistic, I have to admit. Galbatorix has been around for a hundred years (or was it more?), it wouldn’t make sense for him not to have amassed enough manpower to defeat the smaller force of the Varden. Also, the Varden has been battle-weary since the third book. Galbatorix’s men are more fresh, having been lying in wait inside the capital city. This was one of the things I really liked about Inheritance. It’s logic.
What I didn’t like so much was how Galbatorix was defeated. Well, sure, I couldn’t see any other way for it to end. And it wasn’t as if the kill was a deus ex machina. (That was reserved for how Eragon discovers where the Vault of Souls is.) But, I was expecting something more.
Still, I highly enjoyed reading the book. It took up a lot of my time away from work, which was bad. But I really wanted to find out how it all ends. And I have to say, it was not disappointing. Not at all.
I also really liked how Paolini went on to tackle the ramifications of the war in the remaining ten percent of the book. Picking the successor, and dealing with the fall out. These are things that usually get looked over for a more romantic ending. So I was happy that Inheritance ends on a happier note, but not with a happily-ever-after.