Yeah, I’ve recently come to conclusion that Inheritance Cycle sucks about as much as the title of this post. So quite a lot.
The last book of the series recently came out this month—and about time too, as we’ve only been waiting three years for the damn thing—and I have been planning to do a review of the series for a while now. So now that it’s out, I might as well get started.
Spoilers and a trigger warning for rape after the jump.
No series has ever left me so ambivalent. I love this series, I really do. I would go so far as to say that it’s one of my favorite series ever. And this just makes me so confused, because every time I read anything in the books it pisses me right the hell off. Like, you could find essays and various blog posts all over the internet on why The Inheritance Cycle is trite, and despite the fact that I agree with just about every possible reason people have to hate the books, I still love them. I don’t know why. I loathe Eragon, Arya, and Saphira; I think they’re pretentious assholes. I think Orik is bland. Nasuada is shoved up on a pedestal she doesn’t deserve to be on, because she sucks as a leader. I feel the same way about her as I do most politicians: pretty speech giver, but completely full of shit. The elves, for being the supposed perfect race, are riddled with flaws that aren’t meant to be there, I have no idea what Paolini wants me to take as the religion of the world, the dwarves exist for the sake of existing, and the overall message seems to be something along the lines of “evil is evil and good is good, just because Paolini says so.”
Then again, maybe the only reason I like this series is because I’m a whore for anything Star Wars. That’s probably it, now that I think about it. And that’s probably why my favorite character would be Morzan, the Darth Vader of the series. Morzan’s dead by the time the books start, but hey, after those shitty prequels George Lucas gave us, I’ll take Darth Vader wherever I can get him.
Now, there are some things I like about the series, or more accurately, things I convinced myself it’s okay to like, because, on occasion, Paolini messes up his own story, and we get the occasional character development. And I know it’s a mess up, because after spending four books with Eragon and seeing what Paolini considers good writing and characterization, the only time he ever seems to excel is when he’s not focusing on Eragon and giving little tidbits here and there to help expand the world or just be straight-up filler, failing to realize that he managed to be interesting for once.
Like, when Jörmundur jokes that his uncle is an elf in Brisingr, Nasuada replies, “Isn’t he?” and Jörmundur remains silent. Like, we have this whole love relation thing between Eragon and Arya, so is there a possibility of a half-elf-half-human? Paolini said there is in an interview, but he doesn’t do anything with it in the story.
Paolini’s ability to tell and not show is only rivaled by SMeyer’s. The audience is told things, but something else completely different happens, such as Eragon being presented as a hero, even though his actions are that of an antihero’s, which wasn’t intended, so in the end, Eragon comes across as a sociopath we’re supposed to agree with and support. And that’s probably why he’s a Gary Stu. Antiheroes are fun, but we’re not supposed to agree with their methods, because the ends don’t justify the means for most people, but that’s not the mindset of Eragon and the rest of the supposed good guys.
My rage for Inheritance Cycle starts the same place my rage for Twilight starts. With a little more time and planning, just a little more thought here and there, it could be a good series. Maybe not great, but good. Instead, it’s just a cheap knockoff of Star Wars and everything else Paolini stole from.
I personally don’t say Paolini plagiarized, per se. So many stories have been told, so many movies made, so many books written, that it’s going to be impossible to do something completely original. Someone else would have thought of it already. But most authors take the time to make their story unique. They have to, or else they get accused of plagiarizing. For me, plagiarizing means taking something word for word, which Paolini didn’t do. He did, however, steal the entire plot of Star Wars, among other things, and just put it into a medieval setting without bothering to put a different or interesting spin into it. Like, I understand—Paolini practically said in an interview that Star Wars influenced him—wanting to pay homage to a preexisting story he likes, but come on! If you’re going to take the skeletal structure of Star Wars, the rest of the world needs to be fleshed out differently. If it hadn’t so blatantly been, “Use the Force—I mean, use Saphira—Eragon” I most certainly wouldn’t care as much, and I’d definitely hate myself less for falling in love with such a terrible story.
I admit that I don’t know much about the other works Paolini took from, besides Lord of the Rings, so I’m going to quickly mention some important plot points for you guys, and I want you to guess which story they’re from: Star Wars or Inheritance Cycle.
- A princess gets captured by the right-hand man of an evil ruler, and the right hand man intercepted her because she has something of value to the ruler.
- The princess manages to send the something of value away before minion man can grab it.
- She tries to send it to an old man that used to belong to an order of special people that got betrayed by their own and wiped out years ago.
- She fucks up, and instead the important something ends up in the hands of a poor farm boy.
- Evil minions come to collect, burn the farm down, and kill (a) close relative(s) of the farm boy.
- Poor farm boy goes on a mission to save everyone from the evil ruler with the help of the old man.
- Old man is murdered by evil minion(s).
- Farm boy and friend save the princess and join the rebels.
- They win a battle, but not the war.
- Farm boy goes and trains under another, yet more powerful special person in hiding who survived the destruction of the order.
- Awful family reveal! Oh No!
Can you tell which one yet? Can you? No, you can’t? Well then, here’s something else that happens that’ll maybe help you figure out which story I’m talking about.
- Evil ruler is betrayed by his right-hand man in the end.
Do you see what I’m getting at here? And none of these similarities would have bothered me had Paolini put a different spin on the story. Instead he dumbed it down, slapped on some purple prose, and called it literature.
And I should point out, that yes, while I do love this series, I couldn’t bring myself to finish Brisingr. I read the first half, couldn’t take it anymore, and skipped to the end to read when Yoda—I mean Oromis, except I don’t—dies. In fact, after Murtagh runs away in Inheritance I didn’t even bother reading the last forty some pages. There was no point really, since a prophecy in Eragon pretty much tells us how the books end. That, and the fact that everything, and I do mean everything, is completely predictable, even when Paolini does something different than Star Wars. His story is so linier, that there’s no way something else could have happened.
Like the big Eldunari in the Vault of Souls reveal. It was predictable. The only thing I didn’t see coming was all the eggs. The predictability in the series is so intense that Paolini constantly contradicts his own world in order to do it, such as with the religion issue or how magic works.
Or even the whole, Brom being Eragon’s dad instead of Morzan, which while I believe Paolini tried to hint at from the first book, it came across more like, “Oh, sorry about that, Eragon. False alarm. Don’t worry, no character development for you.”
Probably the most telling of bad writing is the relationship between Eragon and Saphira. They’re supposed to be life partners, but instead Saphira comes across more as a slave with little to no personality who adds nothing besides sparkling a lot. We barely see Thorn, Murtagh’s dragon, but at least they seem as though they have the connection Paolini wanted Eragon and Saphira to have, though it’s probably a mistake on Paolini’s part that theirs comes across stronger. I want to say it’s because Murtagh and Thorn only have each other, whereas Saphira and Eragon have Roran, Arya, and a number of other people, but that would probably be giving the series too much credit.
I’m not even going to bother checking Wikipedia to see who the green egg’s going to hatch for, because I know it’s Arya. I knew it was her since Eldest—wait, I’m sorry, I mean since Eragon had that dream within the first half of the first book. Paolini said it was going to be someone we wouldn’t expect, and I guess he didn’t bother reading all the fan theories that said it would be her. More people theorized it would be her than they did anyone else, so when he said it was going to be someone we wouldn’t expect, I figured he was trying to trick us into thinking it’d be Arya, and instead make it Nasuada, or King Orrin, or someone else. But, no, that clearly isn’t the case.
And quite frankly, I don’t really care enough to look up why Eragon’s going to be leaving Alagaësia forever, because I don’t really care about Eragon as a character. Maybe if he had a different author, or had Paolini waited until he was better at writing before starting the story, I would, but not the way he’s currently written.
As I said earlier, Eragon is supposed to be the hero, the young boy who gets handed a big responsibility and is morally good, and that’s just not the story. He’s supposed to be innocent and naïve, but he comes across as either stupid, or cruel, or some combination of the two every other page.
For example, in the first book, Eragon threatens to torture a guard to death, then gets pissy at Murtagh for killing a man who tried to sell them into slavery, then accuses Murtagh of empathy issues, because he killed someone who attacked them maliciously, compared to threatening someone for doing his job. Fast forward to Brisingr when Eragon kills a solider who’s begging for his life—an unarmed solider, I should add—because it would be “dangerous” to let him live, because the solider would go tell someone who could tell the king where Eragon and Arya are. Never mind the fact that they’re in the middle of nowhere, headed back for the Varden, whose location the king already knows, and would surely have reached their destination long before the solider made it back to civilization to tell anyone anything. That, and the fact that it’s established in Eragon that it’s possible to remove information from someone’s mind when Ajihad tries to tell Murtagh why he has to keep him prisoner.
Granted, that’s mind rape, and I do mean rape, but since in Paolini Land anything done by Eragon is automatically considered morally right, the scene becomes even more jarring. And the mind rape is another problem I have with the series. The good guys say over and over again that it’s wrong, and then they do it all the time.
Speaking of the mind rape and Eragon’s shitty characterization, he’s also a bad hero because he has a habit of turning other people’s problems into his own. Again, it’s his lack of empathy. Like, when Murtagh gets mind raped by the king and then forced to swear allegiance and is magically bound into slavery, Eragon’s reaction is along the lines of, “Murtagh’s evil, because he serves the king who is evil, and woe is me because Roran is my brother and not Murtagh.”
I understand the possibility of killing Murtagh. Yes, his situation sucks, but he’s now the enemy and we might not be able to save him, which is awful. What I don’t understand is why being forced to do bad things against his will makes him evil. He’s Eragon’s brother, and he’s in pain, and Eragon just don’t care because he’s too busy bitching about how bad his own life is, with no regard to what his brother’s going through. It’s just a “change your true name—so change the very essence of yourself—or you didn’t try and are therefore evil.”
Fuck you, Eragon.
I don’t know why Eragon and the Varden are considered the heroes, because they never do anything heroic. I mean, Eragon goes into battle and takes pleasure in the soldiers he kills. And I don’t know why Galbatorix and the Emipre are evil, because he’s never really shown to be evil. Why is he evil? Well, he taxes people. And that’s about it. Sure, he destroyed the Dragon Riders, but why were they good? Because they just were. The world is based around everything Eragon does being automatically good and everyone who disagrees with him or who works for the Empire being automatically bad.
The Empire’s stability is only threatened by the Varden, a terrorist group, but Galbatorix is still evil for trying to protect his lands and going to war with them. There are some things here and there to show his evilness, but they come across as more “See! He truly is evil! We must destroy him!” than as anything having to do with character development.
Paolini has a very black and white world, and that’s honestly why there is little to no character development on either side. It’s also probably why Murtagh’s the most interesting character, because he’s kind of gray. He doesn’t like the king, but he sees that the system works, so he doesn’t like the Varden for threatening it.
And any glance of characterization for either side seems to be a complete accident on Paolini’s part. Let’s take Morzan, for example. Morzan is Murtagh’s father, and being a completely clichéd evil villain who works for Galbatorix, he used to abuse his son and at one point threw a sword at his back when he was three. Whenever people who knew Morzan talk about him, we learn that he’s a flat, cruel bastard who’s evil for the sake of being evil. And this is clearly what Paolini intended.
However, contradicting what Paolini wants us to believe about him, if we take into account that the series is called Inheritance Cycle, because it’s about the younger generation inheriting the roles of their parents, we get something completely different about Morzan. Murtagh doesn’t serve the king willingly, and on occasion, Paolini heavily implies that Morzan was in the same situation. Such as these lines here:
“You underestimate Galbatorix, Eragon,” growled Murtagh. “He has been creating name-slaves for over a hundred years, ever since he recruited our father.” (Brisingr, pg. 321)
“Your father, Morzan, was far more powerful than either of you, and even he could not withstand my might.”
—Galbatorix (Inheritance, pg. 666)
This, however, is not expanded on, because Paolini didn’t intend for it to happen. It’s just one of those interesting tidbits, but it has nothing to do with how special Eragon is, so Paolini ignores it. Yes, if this were true, Morzan would still be a bastard—he threw a sword a child—but he would have so much more depth. And it would even raise questions like, was the Banishing of the Names morally acceptable—no, not in any situation, because it just makes the Rider’s dragons seem like assholes who epically mind raped their enemies—to include Morzan’s dragon. What if this was true and they had found out after his dragon’s name had been banished?
For all we know Morzan was in the same situation as Murtagh is and just wasn’t as vocal about it.
It would make the backstory so much more interesting, and then Murtagh would really be in the same role as his father. That’s what this series is about. It’s almost as though Paolini thinks that evil and goodness are genetic.
If Paolini had just fixed his characters and made them more like real people, the story would be infinitely better. And if he removed all the purple prose, if would be at least a couple hundred pages shorter.
For the record, the purple prose is why I couldn’t get through Brisingr. I remember I actually had a list of words that I either didn’t know, or that were uncommon and used in place of a better word so Paolini could show off his vocabulary, or that were misused, or a combination therein. When I made it to my stopping point, the list was over ten pages long in Word, one and a half spaced, font size twelve. Like, in Eragon, I could ignore it. In Eldest it was completely unnecessary and annoying. Then, in Brisingr I couldn’t figure out anything that was happening because every other sentence drowned me in its purpleness. Then again, Brisingr had no plot to speak of, so I didn’t really miss much. Not to mention, that by the time Brisingr came out, the way the characters spoke to each other made no sense. It was a completely different style than the first book, and not the way Eragon should be speaking, not the way half the characters should be speaking considering the amount of not-education they had growing up. I understand they live in a different world, so their speech and thought patterns will be different from ours, but we still need to understand them.
Like this sentence in the first chapter of Brisingr:
Each carried a rectangular metal frame subdivided by twelve horizontal crossbars from which hung iron bells the size of winter rutabagas. (pg. 2)
What the hell is a rutabaga?! Is this supposed to mean anything to me? And even looking up what a rutabaga is—it’s a turnip, I think—it still makes no sense, because turnips come in all sizes. That, and I shouldn’t have to look up the definition of a word every other page to understand the meaning of a sentence. Paolini spends so much time describing useless things, failing to realize that he’s calling attention to them and that therefore I can’t ignore it because it might be important.
I have actually started reading Brisingr in Japanese because the English version is too much for me. Certainly, not the best book to practice with, and I need a Kanzi dictionary to get through it, but at the very least, the Japanese version tends to cut out half the useless descriptions. That’s probably because Japanese has about one-fourth the amount of words English does, so most of what Paolini wrote is completely impossible to say in Japanese, for which I’m grateful.
Take this, for example, from pg. 3 of Brisingr.
Which roughly means:
“Hee!” Roran groaned quietly. “Disgusting. I’m going to vomit. Those religious fanatics are cannibalistic?!”
Compared to the English version:
“Gar!” said Roran in an undertone. “You failed to mention that those errant flesh-mongers, those gore-bellied, boggle-minded idiot worshipers were cannibals.”
I find it really sad that it’s easier for me to read this book in a language I barely speak. I also love how the Japanese had to add the “Disgusting. I’m going to vomit” part into the story in order to keep it about the same length, because of how impossible the rest of the sentence is for them to say. And they had to do this for the whole book…
I’m done reviewing this, and I’ve only barely touched on a few of the things I wanted to talk about. If you want to know the story, here’s a fun sporking page I found for it.
And in case you’re interested, here’s a fanfic I’m writing about Morzan. Fanfiction is not my forte, at least not when writing it, and I’m certain Rin and I will get around to reviewing it in our Fanfiction Follies eventually. Maybe someday. No promises.
Go read the cycle better, at least trying to see it – even before start reading – for what it really is to Star Wars: a totally different series. Right now, after reading your thesis (this post is surely long as one), you only look prejudiced to me.
Um… I’m not sure how to respond to this. “Go read the cycle [sic] better”? Pray tell, how am I supposed to read it better? I have read the series. In fact, I read it with an open mind. I’ve read it in English and Japanese, and soon I’ll be reading it in Spanish. And I started on page one, in case you’re concerned. How am I prejudiced? Really, I would like to know. I pretty much say that it’s one of my favorite series ever, so how is me not liking it prejudiced? If anything, I should be praising the series, but I’m not, because I thought long and hard about it and realized that it’s not a good series. But I still love it.
As for it not being Star Wars, please give me some reasons why it’s not Star Wars. And no, there being dragons and magic doesn’t count.
bro it is similar to star wars
1. when he jumps of saphira he says catch me, just like anakin says to obi one before jumping out of the speeder
2. he admits its like star wars as he took his inspiration from their
3. he isnt biased one bit, just says the truth
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I agree, the series sucked and was very plagiarized from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and the original Mario video game. Waste of time and money, which I will never get back.
Your just a dirty ass licker you untalented son of a bitch you couldn’t rate a book if your life depended on it go fucl your self
I’m actually having trouble typing my reply, because I’m too busy laughing my ass off. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m glad that my review bothered you enough to leave an atrociously written comment telling me I can’t rate a book. Seriously, this made my day.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go “fucl” myself “as if my life depended on it.”
Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning
this review is good, but you have to understand that the author is a 16yo so you get what you pay for
The author WAS a 16 year old. He’s 28 NOW.
I always hear Paolini’s age as a defense brought up for the series, but I’ve never considered that an excuse for any of Inheritance Cycle’s faults. While he may have been a teenager when he first started writing, the later books also read as though they were written by a teenager. Sure, there are some areas that Paolini improved in, but in others he got much, much worse. Furthermore, despite age, it’s still a published novel, and so I felt the need to hold it up to the same standard as other novels.
Despite everything I found wrong in it, I still do maintain that it’s an enjoyable series.
Anyway, thanks for all the comments!
ETHAN YOU JUST SAID WHAT I AM THINKING
Loved your review. 100% accurate. i love the series as well but the forth book killed it for me. it was so bad that CP felt as though he needed to explain himself even when it was unnecessary.
I recently completed reading Inheritance. In French, however, since I live in Morocco.
Anyway, I’ve found your article by mere chance today, and I’m still amazed by how your thoughts concerning the cycle are exactly the same as mine. It made me pleased (and I laughed a lot, too) to read this, thank you.
And I especially agree with you on the inconsistency of the language used by a simple farm boy not even knowing how to read and write. Very few people noticed that according to what I have read on the net. And regarding the lot of details, descriptions and words used by Paolini … Well, believe me, it’s much worse in the French translation of the book. In Inheritance for example there is a whole line only to describe the chest hair of Roran (Whom I hate with the utmost hatred, even more than I despise Eragon, by the way) ._.
Finally, I thank you again for this article, which allowed me to bring some order in my thoughts. But I still wonder why this saga is one of my favorites, though x’D
(And sorry for the English mistakes that I must have committed. In Morocco, English is not an second language :s)
Hey, thanks for commenting. I’m glad you liked my review and I appreciate your thoughts on it. This story is my favorite as well, and I don’t know why either, because it’s just so bad. I’m trying to think of whether or not Roran’s chest hair is described in the English version, and I can’t remember, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I personally don’t hate Roran as much as Eragon, but there were times when I couldn’t stand him either.
Anyway, thanks again for sharing your thoughts. And I’m also sorry if I made any grammatical mistakes responding to you, because my cat was trying to eat my fingers as I typed this. 🙂
I just finished the Inheritance Cycle last night for a book project and all I can say is holy shit, I practically agree with the majority of what you said in your review. Stupid me tried to last minute read the last 400 pages of the novel in two days, and I got to say that it would have been way easier and a heck of a lot more interesting if the book wasn’t diluted with those extra 500 pages of needless words/descriptions/shit. I mean CP tacked on a resolution of 100 pages at the very end and I feel it was just to spite us readers. Finally, my last complaint was how Arya just flew off in the end. Seriously WTF.
Surprisingly, the Inheritance Cycle is one of my favorite series, asides from The Legends of Drizzt series and the numerous Star Wars novels (mainly the Darth Bane trilogy)
I know. Despite everything, I still love it. I know I didn’t mention it in the review, but I think my favorite part at the end is when the
Death StarCastle Uru’baen explodes. I personally could not take the last hundred or so pages. The resolution started and I couldn’t bring myself to care–probably because I think on some level I wanted Galbatorix to win. I also heard that only about forty or so of those pages were actual resolution.
Ok im going to have to correct some parts of your review, the bits that i don’t correct are fine and well reasoned
The relationship between eragon and saphira does suck however if you lose one you lose half of yourself but all it basicly is is saphira telling eragon what a dick he is by putting himself in danger and nearly getting himself killed. i will show you how many times he has nearly died compared to saphira. I left out all the time saphira burned him as he deserved it for being a dick.
Stages of saphira hatching
1. gets out of egg and thinks “yes im free”
2. moves and looks up “don’t you dare touch me asshole”
3. gets bonded
4. thinks “fuck, i want to go back in my egg”
5. cry’s at being bonded to the most retarded person in the world
Now on to eragons+saphiras mistakes
1. in eragon insults loads of urgals and pushes them into the air which does fuck all meaning saphira had to defend him while he fainted and woke up a few days latter [brom and saphira told him what a retard he was]
2. In eragon he turns sand into water and nearly dies [smart move, your not Moses or Jesus dude leave it to the pro’s]
3. also in eragon he gets captured and imprisoned by durza, [saphira and Murtagh has to rescue him which results in her being harmed, nice move again]
4. In eldest he pisses off everyone which results him getting a death threat by some dwarfs
5. Also in eldest he gets poisoned by oromis 3 times as he couldn’t find the poison and decided to go ahead and drink it [smart move even though he nearly died]
6. He got his ass kicked by Murtagh in a duel and saphira got rapped by thorn, also he jumps off her and wants her to catch him (bit like starwars when anikin jumps off the speeder onto the other one) when she catches him thorn attacks her and nearly kills her apart from the fact galbatorix doesn’t want them dead [Nice move again]
7. in Brisinger he nearly died by making 3 pure gold orbs
8. he hunts downthe rar-zac with a wooden staff not a sword [great choice of weapons sir, and he thinks he can defeat them with magic. YOUR NOT GANDALF PUT YOUR STAFF AWAY]
9. probably loads more but i cant be assed to say them all
1. saved eragons life but got garrow killed by the rar-zac, eragon bitches a lot and Saphira didn’t eat him, so big mistake on the dinner part
2. smashes the big dwarf diamond and pisses them off [to be fair she did repair it so it kind of balances out]
3. pisses of Glaedr by wanting to be his mate, ends up attacking him [not the best choice as he is much larger then her, still it better then eragons failed love life]
4. doesnt kill eragon [very big mistake]
2.Galbatorix [empire] isnt evil, he just wants to unite all the land and stop people with magic abusing their power, varden [republic] want all the power and kill loads of people to get it. Just like star wars the republic wins against the Confederacy of Independent Systems [btw the Confederacy of Independent Systems are the good guys, they just wanted to be free but the republic said fuck you, we want this power and you dont get a say in this, a bit like eragon me think]
3. The sad part is arya gets the dragon to hatch which means that eragon and she can be together, load of fucked up bullshit in my view. Let Nasuada get a new dragon so she can go off with Murtagh and give someone else the position of leader, also Murtagh and Nasuada have personal experiences (e.g being jailed, slaved and falling in love with each other) and help each other out making them closer where eragon just like arya as she is fit
4. the Banishing of the Names, 13 dragons were removed of their names which killed their riders in turn, only galbatroix dragons name were not removed as he was that cool and they liked his ideas. This also made all the dragons not able to describe themself, e.g. its like marrying someone you love and then suddenly they don’t know what they are anymore or know you (it pretty much kills u)
The main flaws in the series are as follows
1. most are uneducated- e.g. eragon cant read but he can learn the words of the ancient language (how the fuck, they would be random shapes meaning you cant read them)
2. Nasuada is a good leader despite what she gets from her father, e.g. tons of dead troops after the battle, no money, no food, nothing. Builds it up into a nice little army with everything it needs
3. Thorn and Murtagh are good people/dragon but stuck in slavery and this is worse on thorn i give you why
1. thorn hatches
2. bonds with Murtagh
3. “not so bad, he’s cool but i feel sorry for saphira getting the short straw”
4. Galbatorix enters the room and binds them as slaves ruining everyone’s day but his
5. thorn is pissed off and wrecks Galbatorix throne room
6. Galbatorix kills loads of his servants when he finds thorn dropping on his throne which gets everyone in trouble especially thorn
7. Galbatorix spends the next month house/palace training Thorn (Galbatorix-“Now thorn when you need to go, go their” *points to large dragon litter tray* Thorn- thinks ‘The fuck is this dude smoking, i need to get some of that shit, it will make my time here go faster’]
[shame he didn’t put this in, would have been a laugh]
Apart from this your review is true but the series is still good
It is one of my favourites series
(10/10 review but 10/10 series)
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Resurrecting a hilarious thread. Flamey, nearly died laughing at your antics of Thorn dropping a load on Galbatoric’s throne; woke my sleeping wife! Now onto the review. I completely agree and it pained me to wait for so long to read books that only left me disappointed and confused. I WAS a fan, but Inheritance was just garbage, and I too knew the whole cycle before it was even written. I would rewrite the book in my own way, rather Paolini’s words but with a proper twist. I always liked Murtagh and Durza, but hated Eragon, who reminded me of Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman. He had the stupidest plans, nearly got killed it seemed each chapter, and was clearly the worst possible choice for his position. As stated before, I would have made myself different, more Quagmirish, but backed it up with killer instinct like RIDDICK CROSSED WITH BOBA FETT!!!! Eragon was such a whuss, and in some instances, I even acted out what I would do, were I in his place. He utterly failed to woo Arya, and it would have been nice to see him get in with some other girl to piss Arya off into getting with him, then he would have had two women who would do ANYTHING to keep him. I will now retire from my boring, uninteresting speech.
Eragon and saphira are two halfs that make a whole. Murtagh and thorn are brought together by pain and hate. They forged there partnership on different grounds so obviously there relationship will be different than eragon and saphiras. That said. As for the series being predictable. Any story on this planet is predictable. The point isn’t to try and predict every move but simply enjoy the story. I feel sorry for all of you who feel the need to judge a wonderfull story such as eragons. Or any story. Instead of having your imagination take hold as you read you think analytically and that’s a shame. Eragon will remain as one of my favorate series . I only wish you could have enjoyed it like me and many others have…( side note I’ve been a die hard star wars fan since birth ,movies and books read every one to date and infill I read this post the similarity of the two never occured to me. That’s what thinking critically does to you). Peace out
Well, as I’ve said earlier, and even in the post, I did enjoy the series. It’s my favorite series ever. I love this idea people have where they assume that you cannot enjoy something, or use your imagination, if you’re simultaneously being critical of it.
Additionally, thinking critically is not a bad thing. While I’m happy that you can read the books without the critical process, you do not have to feel bad for me because I chose to be critical. I don’t have to be critical of the series, but thinking about Eragon on a critical level is something I enjoy doing. The first time I read the books, I was just in it for the ride and went along with the story, like you. It was the second and third times through that I started thinking more critically about the books. The conclusion I came to is that, regardless of how enjoyable I found them and regardless of how much I still love them, they are not good books. If you disagree, that is your opinion.
The other comment you left calling me a “critical prick” has not been approved because we now have a comment policy. You may notice other comments on here call me worse things, but those were left before the policy was made, and therefore I never deleted them. I will, however, address some of the points that you made in the other comment.
“See. I do not agree with you.”
That’s fine. Life would be pretty boring if everyone agreed with me.
“So what if he as a kid loved the star wars series and turned it into something of his own. That is called writing. Name me one story that was written that you cannot find another plot that is exactly the same or close to. You cannot because everything is out there.”
It’s also called plagiarism. The problem isn’t that the series is similar to Star Wars; it’s that it’s too similar. As you said, and as I believe I said in the post, there are so many stories out there, that they all just start to follow the same structures after a while. As an author, Christopher Paolini still needed to make his story unique, even if it still had the same basic structure. Saying “oh, it’s been done before” and using that as an excuse is poor writing and taking the easy way out. He still needs to make his story stand out, and he doesn’t. It’s not impossible to have a unique story; it’s simply harder—and considering how easy it is for people to write books nowadays, it’s also essential.
“Eragon is not a terrible person as you say. He is alone in the world surrounded by people who expect him to be a hero. Do you know how you would react to that? I think not.”
I don’t think I would respond by becoming a murderer, stalker, and rapist.
In Brightest Day: Eragon (Again)
The Morality and Commonplace of Mind Rape
“The relationship between eragon and saphira is not one of master and slave. If you would have taken the time to fully read every word in each book instead of being a critical prick you would realize he depends upon her and think of saphira as his other half .”
I also love this idea people have that, because I’m critical, I read the books incorrectly somehow. Everything in my post, and other posts, are my opinions on the series. Literature doesn’t have to be interpreted the same way by everyone. Once again, if you like the series, you are more than welcome. No one is stopping you. At the same time, however, I’m still allowed to be critical of the series and state my opinions as well.
Anyway, thank you for commenting.
Well if you hate it so much you don’t have to be so mean about it, some people actually like the books. It seems like you’re saying I’m wrong to like them, that I’m stupid for liking them. And in fairness he was so young when writing them. I’m not saying it isn’t good to be critical, it is, but you’re rather too judgmental. Why must everyone always focus on flaws?
Here’s a direct quote from my post:
“I love this series, I really do. I would go so far as to say that it’s one of my favorite series ever.”
No, I don’t hate the series. And I don’t think it’s stupid for someone to like it. So please don’t put words into my mouth and call me mean.
Additionally, while Paolini’s writing ability is impressive for his age, that doesn’t make him good. Nor does it exempt him from criticism.
Nobody is saying anybody is stupid for liking this book series. No where in this review does she imply or outright say that. A person has the right to express their opinion, even if it’s mean as you put it, if the work makes them feel that way.
It’s not about being right or wrong.It’s exploring the reasons why a particular piece of work was good or bad to ever experiences it. That is a subjective exerpeince, but that doesn’ mean that your wrong for enjoying the Inheritance Cycle. That doesn’t mean there all opinions are equal either. An opinion has more wieght and persuasion behind them if they use solid reasons and agruements. MadamAce has done a fantastic job of supporting her opinion using examples from the book.
If you think MadameAce is somehow wrong in tihs review, then agrue against it with valid points. The arguements you use fail to address anything that MadamAce wrote of. Rather, they are poorly-thoughtout and overused defenses by fans. Even so much so,that a user by the name of swankivy created a bingo sheet because of it.
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review is straight forward and true; i mean come on, its pratically a cliche beginning in the first book, poor hero goes on a journey with power and ends up hero, i was kinda hoping that they eragon would die [i love the serious though] that would have made it a whole lot better, something that is not used alot: like a heros death, i would have liked to see that, and maybe a twist that somehow araya and eragon banged and she got pregnant with his kid and the kid would change the whole thing if you write it in a good and crazy way
I actually really liked that Arya and Eragon never ended up as a couple. I thought it was one of the series’ stronger points. 🙂 But thanks for commenting!
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Hey, Sorry for “Necroing” this blog post but I enjoyed it and wanted to put a response in.
This series has been on my mind since I finished Inheritance a few years ago. I liked Eregon, it was rough at certain parts but the fantasy was there and that’s all I cared about at the time, but it was the first book in a series so showing promise is good enough in my opinion to warrant being excited for the next installment. Eldest is in my opinion the best book of the series. It’s just way more fleshed out and complete than Eregon without falling into the issues that Brisngr and Inheritance suffered from. I will say this about eldest though, the parts where Eregon was training with the elves dragged on hard, mostly for me because I can’t stand the elves in this book series. Every single one of them pisses me off with the exception of maybe the smith (I can’t seem to remember her name) who was passable but not great.
So here I am just having finished Eldest and was generally happy with it when I heard Brinsgr was about to released. I went out and bought it the day it was released and holy crap was I disappointed. Brisngr was such a bloated boring turd compared to Eregon and Eldest (which was not short to begin with) that I could barely finish it. I gave it a pass however because any author can have a pass on a weak book in their series, it doesn’t instantly make the series as a whole not worth of continuing, and Swepisode 1&2 situation if you don’t mind the comparison to Star Wars. Now that I had finished Brisngr I felt burned but was (tentatively) looking forward to Inheritance, surely CP would make a better book the next time. Well it came out and I bought it and….well I was wrong he did not learn anything. In my opinion Inheritance was the absolute worst book In the series; it was somehow more bloated than Brinsgr with the added terribleness of the horrendous ending. Like seriously I can tolerate a lot of ways of ending a story but the whole beating the villain at their moment of ultimate triumph irks me, on top of that he essentially killed him by making him feel bad about what he had done added a level of cheesiness that just made me angry. Not to mention the predictableness of the last 100 pages was paramount. Seriously I guessed everything that was going to happen at the beginning of the chapters when I saw the character names come up.
Anyways those are my feelings on the books themselves, but I also want to reply to some specific things you said.
“ loathe Eragon, Arya, and Saphira; I think they’re pretentious assholes. I think Orik is bland. Nasuada is shoved up on a pedestal she doesn’t deserve to be on, because she sucks as a leader”
I agree that Eragon, Arya, and Saphira are absolutely pretentious assholes. But above that they are self-righteous especially Eregon. By the End of Brisngr I was so sick of the three of them that I was just reading the Roran Sections and then going back to read their sections. Like all the shit Eregon does to Sloan is so over the top of what he has the right to do, don’t get me wrong I think Sloan was also a PoS but it was outrageous how full of himself he was when he did it. There is more moments like this then I really care to remember through the series mixed between the three of them. As for Orik, yea he was kind of bland. I feel like his only purpose in the story was for Eregon to observe something about the dwarves and for him to exposition off some fact of dwarven culture in response. I don’t really have anything to say about Nasuada, she was a terrible leader and that’s really it.
“The elves, for being the supposed perfect race, are riddled with flaws that aren’t meant to be there,
I said this earlier but good god did I hate the elves. They were all just so annoying and superior, and above all else OP. Seriously every time there was a section about the elves I groaned. I remember every time one of them gave a “we are immortal and know better than you” line to override someone’s idea I had to take a deep breath. Really I just couldn’t stand them, they are possibly one of the worst takes on elves I have ever read in a book or seen in a video game.
“Eragon comes across as a sociopath we’re supposed to agree with and support. And that’s probably why he’s a Gary Stu. “
I agree with this One hundred percent, seriously like during his and murtagh’s duel at the end of Eldest when he tells him to kill himself so that he can win against the empire it was like what? Seriously?
“Like the big Eldunari in the Vault of Souls reveal. It was predictable. The only thing I didn’t see coming was all the eggs. The predictability in the series is so intense that Paolini constantly contradicts his own world in order to do it, such as with the religion issue or how magic works.”
I think the eggs thing really took one of the only things that the Inheritance series still had going for it that deep into the 4th book. It was interesting to think that killing of any dragons could in the long run destroy their race. Well it turns out that did not matter at all and was completely fabricated. As for the religion issue this bothered me as well, mostly because I felt like it was tacked with no real thought. Like he was writing late while high and was just coming up with new ideas on the spot without thinking about how they worked within his established story (this links to how much I disliked the elves). And the Magic system had so many lapses in rules throughout the books it was nuts. That being said I just did not like the magic rules in the universe to start with.
“I don’t know why Eragon and the Varden are considered the heroes, because they never do anything heroic. I mean, Eragon goes into battle and takes pleasure in the soldiers he kills. And I don’t know why Galbatorix and the Emipre are evil, because he’s never really shown to be evil. Why is he evil? Well, he taxes people. And that’s about it. Sure, he destroyed the Dragon Riders, but why were they good? Because they just were. The world is based around everything Eragon does being automatically good and everyone who disagrees with him or who works for the Empire being automatically bad.”
I would say behind my loathing of the elves this was the thing that drove me the absolute craziest. Like seriously until the event of Eregon what was the empire doing that was so atrocious? Their cities seemed to be well taken care of, there was no roving packs of human marauders. The Urgals were causing trouble but only on the edges of society where the empire was weak I just don’t get it. As for the riders nothing they did ever really showed them to be good, they just happened to be an organization. Honestly reading the backstory on them during the books they really did not seem to do anything at all, besides you know…ride dragons. Normally I don’t mind black and white morality in Fiction but not when it is this arbitrary and nonsensical.
“The Empire’s stability is only threatened by the Varden, a terrorist group, but Galbatorix is still evil for trying to protect his lands and going to war with them. There are some things here and there to show his evilness, but they come across as more “See! He truly is evil! We must destroy him!” than as anything having to do with character development.”
I don’t have much to add here but I just want to say agreed. The Vardens actions got way more people killed than Galbatorix did in this series.
“What the hell is a rutabaga?! Is this supposed to mean anything to me? And even looking up what a rutabaga is—it’s a turnip, I think—it still makes no sense, because turnips come in all sizes. That, and I shouldn’t have to look up the definition of a word every other page to understand the meaning of a sentence. Paolini spends so much time describing useless things, failing to realize that he’s calling attention to them and that therefore I can’t ignore it because it might be important.”
I absolutely agree with this point, a lot of authors and internet writers (is there a difference? I don’t know but it feels right to separate them) who think that requiring someone to have both a dictionary and thesaurus on hand to understand what the hell the just wrote makes them clever or a good writer… it doesn’t. Why say Facetious when you sarcastic is a word far more people recognize the meaning for, it’s just a poor decision (I know these words technically have slightly different meanings but most people i know who say both use them interchangeably). Just a side note I don’t think rutabagas are that uncommon >.> ( i still agree with the Idea you are expressing!)
I guess in the end after Inheritance i just couldn’t deal with this book series anymore and it dropped the whole series firmly into my “dislike” zone. i understand why people still enjoy them, and i won’t rag on anyone for it but for me the last two books were just way too horrible.
Anyways sorry if my words are a little garbled I always have trouble putting my thought coherently onto paper… or pixels I guess in this case.
I see your reasoning in the context of the book, and I respect your opinion, but for me, I had never even considered the Inheritance Cycle as a knock off of the Star Wars Trilogy until I had read it on the Internet. To me these books will always be a favourite of mine. I think sometimes people need to stop comparing things to each other. To be honest, the Inheritance Cycle will never be the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars in terms of fame, writing skills and popularity, but I still think it is a great book series, and considering the dude writing it at the time was 15, I think he did a bang up job.
I read this article with an open mind, which was pretty difficult considering that I have read the complete cycle 18 times and counting and I have loved it all the more each time. In the article you said, you skipped much of Brisingr, this was your first mistake. The second was saying that Paolini character development of Eragon sucked. You pointed out some great things where Eragon was a hypocrite. I totally agree with that. But if Eragon were perfect the story would suck. Paolini allowed Eragon to have flaws like each and every one of us do. If you look at many stories today authors tend to make characters god-like in a way that makes them seem like they are perfect when really they are not. You went on to say that you thought the books were a knock off of Star-Wars. I just want to say that if you read the books more carefully then you will see that they are totally different from Star Wars. They do have similarities but to be perfectly honest how many other stories do the exact same thing. Have you read any if Nicolas Sparks books? They are very cliché with the same play every time and do you age any idea how amazing his writing is? I am not making excuses for him by comparing his work to that of other cliché authors but it is hard to write a Plot line that is completely original. Paolini gives so much flair to his writing, he gave a seemingly simple plot many sub-plots and sub-sub-plots. Read carefully and you will also notice these things.
Look at Eragon’s character in the first part of Eragon and then in the last part of Inheritance. He grew as a person so much because of the mistakes he made. You criticize Paolini for giving Eragon the human characteristics such as making mistakes, but then you say that you wish he made them more human-like. Wtf!
Also, when you said, and I quote “Nasuada is shoved up on a pedestal she doesn’t deserve to be on, because she sucks as a leader. I feel the same way about her as I do most politicians: pretty speech giver, but completely full of shit.” I don’t know what basis you have to support this claim. I think she is very ingenious, making silk to gain money for the war, I don’t think many young leaders would have thought about that.
Lastly, I believe that Paolini shows his skilled writing abilities especially when he writes about Angela, whom you failed to touch on in your review. She is very mysterious and I think Paolini shows his utmost writing abilities when he writes about her. While little is known about her, I, personally, became attached to her. To make a character interesting and relatable while making her so mysterious is an amazing accomplishment.
I don’t know how you can complain, if that is even the word for it, about the books so much and yet criticize each detail. It makes no sense to me. If you like the book, have an open mind and simply read and enjoy. If not then don’t hate on the excellence Paolini has to offer until you can write something of greater quality than the cycle.
Oh, and if you can’t understand the vocabulary Paolini uses then go back to reading Nancy Drew books because I am only 14 and I can understand it perfectly.
I have to say that I love comments like this one. Ones that attempt to tell me why my opinion is wrong before giving me a thinly veiled insult, as if it is somehow your job to defend Paolini’s writings. If you like his books, good for you. I like them too. If you can read them without being critical, also good for you. I, on the other hand, like being critical, and that does not make my reading experience any less meaningful or enjoyable than yours. Additionally, if I am not allowed to “hate on” the series until I write my own book, then you shouldn’t be allowed to “love” the series until you write your own book. But every time someone attempts to tell me to keep my opinion to myself on this matter, they neglect to mention that part.
As for the matter of the Paolini’s writing:
“I am only 14 and I can understand it perfectly.”
Congratulations. I’m happy for you.
“Read carefully and you will also notice these things.”
By this point in time, I have read Brisingr. I have read the other books numerous times as well. I have written multiple essays on these books. I have read what other people’s opinions are. My stance on the matter is still the same. Just because I ended up with a different opinion than you doesn’t mean that I didn’t read the books carefully.
As for the characters:
While I will give you that Eragon is most certainly a different character in the first book compared to the last, and that he did undergo character development, it wasn’t good development. My argument is not that Eragon shouldn’t have flaws—he has a great deal of them—it’s that those flaws are not meant to be flaws. Eragon is a sociopath when he is supposed to be a hero. I’m not saying that he should be perfect in his heroism, but the fact that he murders people and treats them as less then himself and is never called out on it, except by the people we’re supposed to hate, is what I consider poor writing.
I didn’t mention Angela in my review, because this post was long enough. I will say that I do like Angela’s character. I think she’s one of Paolini’s better characters. Regardless, I also think he did a horrible job with her in the last book. Not only does Angela work as a deus ex machina within the series, we are never given any payoff when it comes to her. She’s built up as being mysterious over and over and over again—and then what? What do we learn about her to justify it? There are numerous fan theories that help explain who she is, but those are only theories and are not confirmed within the books. If you like her, that’s fine. That’s your opinion. My opinion is that she’s superfluous because of the lack of payoff.
You are allowed to like the books for all of the reasons you stated in your comment, just as I am allowed to be critical of the series. Despite Paolini’s age, his books are still subject to criticism. If you want to leave further comments disagreeing with me, that is your prerogative, and I will engage in a discussion with you. However, if your comments continue to try to insult me for daring to be critical of something you like, those comments will be deleted.
You are right. It isn’t MY job to defend Paolini’s writing. But then again it isn’t necessarily your job to criticize it either. I choose to defend it because I beleive his writing deserves it and I am sure you criticize for the same reason.
I also never said that I wasn’t critical of his writing. I can give you a perfect example: I don’t like the fact that in Eragon, Paolini made the story very adventurous with still keeping the fantasy element in there. By the end of Inheritance I feel that he decreased the adventure element a lot which I did not like at all.
Next, I also did not tell you to “read more carefully” because your opinions were different than my own. My best friend read the books and hated them but she completely read them. At the time the article was written you had only read part of Brisingr which is why I said what I did, not because I disagree with your opinions.
On the subject of Eragon’s character, I still strongly disagree with you. But there is nothing that you or I can do to change the others mind so I won’t say any more on that.
In regards to Angela, I also disagree with you. I, like most readers would love to know all of her secrets but I am also kind if glad that Paolini left us to our imaginations regarding her. I do not beleive she is used as a deus ex machina at all. But again we will both just have to disagree once again.
Also, it really won’t bother me if you delete my comment. I didn’t write it for others to see but to engage in discussion with you. So as long as you have read it, I don’t care if they are deleted or not.
Lastly, please make sure you know your facts before you make a comment such as ” Additionally, if I am not allowed to “hate on” the series until I write my own book, then you shouldn’t be allowed to “love” the series until you write your own book.” I have written a book, in case you wanted to know. I am in the process of getting it published now. I’ll make sure to let you know when it comes out.
You obviously has no taste. His writing derseves every bit of criticism and scorn it receives.
uh, in regards to Eragon’s personality you are wrong, I think. In Brisingr, after he kills soldiers who tried to “recruit” him and Arya in the empire, he dislikes it, and he has hallucinations of the soldiers’ ghosts afterwards. He certainly does not “murder people and treats them as less then himself”
The whole ‘Brom is really Eragon’s father, not Morzan hooray!’ pissed me off so hard I had to take a break while reading. It’s just… Like you said, it’s like Paolini thinks Good and Bad are genetic. Morzan being Eragon’s father was such a cool revelation and left so much room for development, like, Eragon could have ended up having to deal with the same shit Murtagh goes through – Murtagh was feared because of his relation to Morzan, and not much else until he got Thorn. Eragon could have ended up in a similar situation – struggling to break away from his lineage, in a metaphorical sense. Brom being his real father only makes sense to me in the title of the series – Inheritance. It’s an inheritance cycle, and I guess he gets points for that, but it would have been neater in my opinion if it had been more of a ‘breaking the cycle of evil’ story.
I agree with you on all points, and have a similar look on the series – I LOVE IT. But I despise it as well. It makes me so angry, but I love it so much. It’s so confusing.
You are right. I never thought about it, but the Inheritance Cycle does have a lot of faults. Still, what I just read does not diminish my opinion of the series too much. It is a good series. (By the way when Jormundur says his uncle’s an elf and Nasuada replies “Wasn’t he?”, it was in disdain for her safety because of the trial of the long knives, suggesting that the idea of an elf-human couple is ridiculous. Plus, Nasuada was dazed from blood loss)
Good evening, I must say that, although I’ve only read the first three books in the series, I do agree with the majority of your veiws on said three books. However, I also see fit to respectfulyy disagree with your opinion on the books’ wordiness. Although it IS certainly possible to be too wordy in a description or even a paragraph altogether, I believe that the ability to be descriptive and detailed (even, perhaps, to an excess) is one of the more amazing things of the English language.
As stated, at one point, a description can become too wordy when a more succinct version could be substituted without the story losing something in the process, particularly if the wordy (I apologize for over using the term ‘wordy’) section is rather unimportant, but regardless, every writer has his or her own style and desires for a section of writing. The need to be clear while simultaneously painting a picture in the mind of a reader AND keeping the reader engaged is a difficult task, and it is far too easy to create an exceptionally and unnecessarily detailed portion of a sentence in the quest to make an idea clear in the mind of a reader.
Furthermore, some writers simply prefer to be more detailed in their writings than others, it’s as simple as that.
In summation, I suppose I’m trying to say that, although at times the writing of the series seems to drag on (get it? Drag on –> dragon?), sometimes it is wise to consider for a second that a writer has a write – I mean right – to be as detailed as he or she wishes (even if that right is taken too far) and that it might not be an attempt to impress readers with vocabulary or sentence structure so much as an unsuccessful attempt to be clear. Thank you for taking the time to read this
I note that I failed to expand on the ‘more amazing part of the English lamguage.’ bit: the English language has so many words and phrases that can mean nearly the exact same thing and yet are distinct, and I enjoy English in the sense that it is simply POSSIBLE to be as detailed or wordy as Paolini may be.
Things I found;
*Nasuada is basically a tyrant, trying to control magic yet abusing its power (using it to make fine-lace, causing poverty, manipulating the council and Eragon).
*Elves are dicks, not greater beings and wtf is with fantasy books saying that elves perceive time differently, as they basically live forever, this is trash as they react like normal people in a sense of time (they dont talk as slow as ents) so shouldn’t they have the same sense of time as humans?.
*Because no-one before Eragon has flown a Dragon into the outer-atmosphere before, especially when the Riders were around.
*Books and their self-species-depression (Eragon gladly becomes an elf-hybrid because only stupid people want to become non-human [this is why I hate si-fi gene, someone always becomes a fakin robot, and why I think the Last Dragon Chronicles went to shit “you will go to another world OR GROW WINGS!” screw you book, I like earth and I don’t want to fly!
*Rebellion has a rebellion with its own members.
*No-one has a last name!?!?
*Eragon becomes a vegetarian because he entered the minds of animals, he did the same thing with plants, what will he eat???
Can’t you use magic to destroy galbatrox, OR HIS FAKIN ARMY!!! make the cave roof collapse in on them!!!
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You seem to forget that Eragon’s true name changed from the beginning to the end of the book, and Paolini literally writes that Eragon’s true name was too full of fear and uncertainty for his liking
Heh… Rekindling an old thread…
I believe the Inheritance Cycle is the greatest, and granted I don’t like to read especially if I have to read a book assigned to me in school. I just finished reading the entire cycle for the 3rd time now and I still can’t get enough of it.
Like many others who commented, especially the Inheritance haters, the inexperience of the author does show. There are also layers upon layers of descriptions about everything that is in the book that, despite my absolute love for the series, I too occasionally get bogged down. In regards to the massive amounts of description though, I believe it gives me an understanding that goes with how deeply he is writing. He actually did put a lot into describing the actual depth of Eragon’s and Saphira’s relationship throughout the entirety of the cycle. Many believe that Paolini didn’t put much time into their relationship, but it is in fact the opposite. If a reader were looking for a single sentence or paragraph that summed up how deep their relationship went, they would be sorely disappointed. These books are about growing up and making something of yourself (whether you choose to or not). Eragon’s and Saphira’s relationship grew throughout all of the books and +++++ Spoiler+++++ using Glaedr’s loss when Oromis died +++++ was something that only expands on what we already know about the true relationship between a Rider and his/her dragon.
One thing I that does bother me is how slow Brisingr is. It doesn’t bother me enough to mean anything, but it might be the only thing that I don’t enjoy about the cycle (though it won’t stop me from reading it again).
Does much of the lore in this series sound familiar? Yes, it does… but seriously, there have been SO many versions of elves and dwarves portrayed by thousands of authors and, frankly speaking, these are the elves and dwarves I always think of when I read. Both races are VERY formidable in battle, the elves are typically immortal and wise because of their many years alive, the dwarves are sometimes long-lived and are always master craftsmen and architects. The elves prefer the woods and animals whereas the dwarves prefer the mountains and underground and mining. These similarities between stories can’t really be helped because when a person thinks of an elf or a dwarf, it’s these versions that they see.
Another thing about the series is that Paolini left too many loose ends when he “finished” the cycle. Every time I have reread the books I have always noticed something new and it has always left me wanting more. To my relief and the relief of many other Paolini fans, it has already been confirmed that the cycle might be over, but the story is not. Paolini has already announced that he will return to the world of Alegasia and that he already has more stories plotted out. Honestly, if he wanted to, he could make his own empire out of the books. The main story of Eragon, Arya, and the new dragon riders can be continued. Angela could have her own book that tells of her mysterious past and there could be several books that talk of the past dragon riders. Even Roran could have another book that continues his story with his family.
So many people hate how the characters don’t really “grow” in the cycle. I somewhat feel the same way, but the characters DO grow throughout the cycle, albeit not very much. Eragon does keep making mistakes, but who doesn’t, and he is learning. Arya is a freaking elf who is 100 years old, she isn’t going to do much growing in the 3 or 4 years that this story takes place. We didn’t know much about Roran when he was introduced, besides his infatuation with Katrina, but he was either born with extreme strategy development and common sense or he just kinda picked up on it. Either way, it seems most of the characters grew before the written story took place.
The movie adaptation……… hmmmmm…….. I am a movie guy. As much as a dislike the director and writers for the film, I still like the movie. I watched the movie first actually, and it caught my attention enough to read the books (which I already had at the time, I just wasn’t interested in reading them). The movie in terms of an adaptation was a .00000000001 out of 10. The only thing they got right in the movie was the names of the characters (despite leaving out several important characters), the color of zarroc’s blade, Saphira’s body color, the word for fire “Brisingr”, a healing spell “Waisse heil” (or something like that) and a few names of places. Frankly, if the books didn’t exist, the movie would be great. The movie by itself is still great. But thinking of it as an adaptation is not a smart move for anyone who has read the books. Once again, I’m a movie guy and I have the ability to enjoy a movie despite its flaws.
I think if Paolini had his way, the books would be much much longer and by extension even better. I read these books and it is like I can’t get enough. Paolini’s editor kept making him cut down on his page numbers and with Paolini’s style of writing (at the time) I think that was a mistake.
All in all, the Inheritance Cycle is the best series of books I have ever read (and I am not a fan of reading). I would recommend it to anyone looking for something to read, but I am also aware of the two sides… You either love it or you hate it… there isn’t much middle room… I think I obviously am one who absolutely loves this story…
I just finished the last book last night.
Let me iterate how much I agree with you on how this could be my most favorite series, yet at the same time it left me completely disappointed.
If we overlook many of the inconsistencies you noticed in language, plot, and character development. I had still enjoyed it as one might enjoy delving and feeling a fantasy world can. I truly enjoyed the moments of mystery, Angela, Brom, and particularly enjoyed Roran’s character up until he joined the Varden. The pages leading up to Roran and Eragon’s reunion, as well as the path Roran followed leading to Joed and Angela was really entertaining.
Katrina’s character, out of all the other very interesting women in the story, was deemed fit to live in a tent and do nothing but hug hello and goodbye for the rest of the series.
I can’t deny, however, that I immensely enjoyed reading the books before I went to sleep. I didn’t read the books as they came out, so this might have allowed me to overlook any issues due to the load of information I was receiving. When Galbatorix died, I was ok with having endured countless pages of hammer blows and sword clanking, but to be paraded through the resolve of the story in third-person, flying over lands and removing spells, bland arguments and vague story-telling; it felt as boring as reading about a sales clerk making cold-calls.
Galbatorix was a shadowy figure throughout the books, we never got to see how he lived in his palace, how he treated his close followers, not even how to treated his enemies. He uses images of attacking Urgals on Nasuada despite his ability to show her an extended vision of how her loved ones might get hurt (she has none) or how her life might be different.
One line near the end truly killed it for me: ‘The talked about what has been and what could be.’ This is all we care about, their reactions, amazement, disillusionment. Instead we’re left with a detached view, and a rush to an end that’s not really an end.
And now I hear of book 5. I’m not sure how excited about that I am.
On second thought. I will most likely end up buying and reading that book. A review has to be fair, despite all I said; this book has brought me joy and excitement over several weeks when I really needed something that would help me relax. There are many lessons to learn and sights to behold in this series; it is very good. Upon reading my initial comment, I realized that someone reading it would think I didn’t like the series. That’s not the reality, not only did I finish this 2700 page beast of a story, I did it enthusiastically. Some days would go by at work where I would be thinking of how much I will enjoy reading Eragon for two hours before bed and experiencing life around Alagaesia. The amount of beauty is more than enough to improve your mood and open up your imagination.
I agree with you on basically all of it. Im not sure though if you remember in eldest the part that says that the big evil that galbatorix commited was the killing of all those dragons. That they are basically attached to nature and if they are gone nature and the races will be hurt badly. I woukd guess they are the bees of that world. The rest of your post was spot on. I also love the books even though they piss me off and make no real sence half the time.