Book Review – Inheritance Saga

I finished reading the Inheritance Saga (well the first three books, as the last one is being written right now, or what we – the fans – hope is the last one), several weeks ago. It didn’t take me quite as long to recover from this book series as the Twilight Saga, as I wasn’t as torn apart by it emotionally.

I think that Christopher Paolini has a fairly unique idea with moderate writing skills. It was interesting to read the series from book one to book three and see him improve as an author as the series progressed. However, the more his writing style improved the less he used action to drive the plot and the pace of the novels felt slower in relation.

The story is about a young boy, Eragon, growing into manhood who finds a Dragon Egg, that hatches for him, whom he bonds with. He becomes the Dragon’s Rider. There is one other Dragon Rider in all the Kingdom – Alagaesia – who is the evil King that destroyed the order of Riders. That is what we are led to believe in book one.

In book two we find out that there is another Dragon Rider who survived the fall, however, he is damaged mentally, and his dragon is damaged physically. He is in hiding in the forest of elves, preserved by magic, waiting to train the newest rider.

The plot centers around Eragon and his relationship with the Varden, the free people who oppose Galbatorix, and how they intend on overthrowing him and leading the land of Alagaesia to freedom from oppression. Eragon stands with the Varden. The elves and the Dwarves are in allegiance with the Varden, as well as the free country of Surda.

It is a classic good verses evil story, with several view points, that or Eragon primarily; Nasuada – leader of the Varden after her father passes away; and Roran – Eragon’s cousin/brother.

Even though the story focuses around Eragon as the last rider, I enjoyed, in the third book, the viewpoint of Roran best. I found his story the most touching and I found him well developed for a secondary character. He could easily steal the show.

Eragon is on a journey of not only trying to overthrow the evil empire, but also of self discovery. He spends a lot of time being juvenile, when he should be wise, but I understand that his youth and his inexperience stand in his way. And that in order to properly develop him and feel for him as a character we must go through these awkward fazes to realize exactly how far he has come.

The Liveship trilogy by Robin Hobb, her character Malta, I could not stand. I found her very selfish and naïve. I struggled to get through her chapters, however, by the end of the trilogy, I thought that she was brilliant, and truly appreciated her journey. I will forever refer to her, when it comes to a character journey that is hard to get through initially, but worth it in the end. And I can only hope, that while Eragon’s journey isn’t quite so hard to read, that I am just as pleased at his ending as I was of hers.

Overall I can understand why this is a young adults book, but it is moderately well written for such. He does not talk down to his readers, but his grasp of conflict and resolution is very basic and straight forward. Besides the characters the author himself has taken an amazing journey of self discovery having started this series when he was only fifteen. It is heartening to see his success, and I would recommend this book series to all lovers as fantasy to read, but to read it with an understanding of were the author is coming from.

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