Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read Eragon years ago; when it first came out I was in high school. I initially picked it up because of its length; it takes a serious beast of a book to last me out more than a few hours. I liked it then, and it has stood up to my one or two re-readings. Eldest and Brisingr, not so much. The writing kept getting more and more florid, the angst seemed less natural and more contrived, and dear, sweet God, the humor was so, so forced.
But the thing I did like about the series, and the reason I have actually sat down and read the dang things all the way through is the imagination and epic scale of the story. I liked the mystery of Angela (and the description of her flanged armor. Cool.), the culture of the different races, even the way the dragons were different or better explored than all of the dragons I'd read before. Paolini may lack the ability to come up with seriously funny dialogue (but to be fair, so do I. It's pretty hard) but he really managed to pull that story together. Even down to the giant man-eating snails. Inheritance really wasn't bad, and for the ending of a long series, and the closing of a story that had woven itself a lot of loose ends to tie together (whatever happened to Folkvir? Did the poor horse just hang out in the forest until Eragon remembered commanding him to stay there?) it did a pretty good job.
In fact, considering I spent the week or so before I read Inheritance re-reading the series just to refresh my memory, it slid pretty seamlessly in place in the narrative. I would have trouble telling you where the book began in the story's timeline, which, on the one hand means it was consistent, but on the other hand means that Paolini's stunted and sometimes downright awkward prose and inconsistently formal-ish and "archaic" dialogue didn't improve at all.
So, in summary (tl;dr): Inheritance tied up the story pretty well, but its strengths didn't outshine the previous books, and its weaknesses didn't diminish. A nice solid read, but nothing amazing.
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Labels: 3 stars, Review