I received Inheritance by Christopher Paolini for Christmas this year, per request, from my aunt. Even though I stopped loving the series after reading the second book, I still wanted the final installment for several reasons–I own the other three books, I do have some regard for the characters, and I absolutely must find out how it all ends. And even though I’m only a few pages him, I’ve been making notes of my thoughts on the story.
(Warning: I have no qualms about spoiling anything in this book. Unless you’ve already read the book, don’t plan to, or don’t care about spoilers, stop reading.)
So far, I’m not impressed.
The story opens with a gory, bloody, and descriptive battle scene, where Eragon heartlessly kills dozens of Red-Coat soldiers without a single bit of remorse. This disturbs me. First of all, as a visual reader, I don’t want to read about all those awful battles in details. Also, it detracts from the story– if the point of the story is to show that Galbatorix is more powerful than Eragon, then showing these horrible wins defeats that purpose. If, however, the point of these battles is to show how Eragon can totally defeat the enemy’s armies, then the plot is irrelevant.
He has his all-powerful elvish bodyguard and an immense supply of magic from which he can draw at any time. That seems too Mary-Sueish for me. No obstacles, no challenges, no heart-rendering conflict. I find myself not caring about the main characters because the author seems too unwilling to drastically torture any of them. The stakes don’t climb–only ten or so chapters in (maybe more, I haven’t got the book with me) do Thorn and Murtagh show up, and I quake. But only a bit.
As a side note, I’ve never understood why Murtagh and Thorn could defeat Eragon and Sapphira so easily. It’s… Sapphira is a DRAGON. She’s larger and more mature than Thorn,andshe should win. Maybe that’s a mystery to be revealed sometime later in the book.
Back to this book… As I read, possible themes grow fuzzier and fuzzier. Love? Probably not. Forgiveness? I doubt it. Peace? Joy? Happiness? Ha. The only thing I see is the Sacrifice of Innocence for a Greater Cause. That could be a theme, and from the way Inheritance is headed, I feel sorrow for the characters of this Hope-forsaken world.