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Could have been so much more
on 10 November 2011
After having enjoyed the first two books I expected much of the same pace and style of writing in the third book. It was nothing of the sort, I gave it 3 stars because while I didnt dislike the book it was just 300 pages too long. I spend 50 pages reading about the most predictable election of a king in history, totally un-necessary and a annoying result of the multiple side plots that are introduced, resolved and then for some explicapable reason added too. However the worst part was when Eragon met Jeod and we had to wait with Eragon while his wife poured some tea, why would anyone want to read about someone making a cup of tea, when I could have got up and done it myself signifcantly quicker. Possibly the worst padding was the time spent discussing Eragon travelling around the country, finding food, being tired of travelling, Saphira being tired of travelling, the aches, pains blah, blah, blah. Finally on the negative side was the continual morale ramblings of Eragon and then Roran which had no place in the book, if you are going to get all morale about it dont then go and kill countless people who you freely admit are press ganged into the army, have no will to fight and in one case are actively begging for there life to be spared.
However it isnt all bad there are the odd moments of comedy, I was almost in tears of laughter when Roran killed 193 people with nothing more than home and wife in his heart, utterly ludicrous, he has no super strength, stamina or other powers. Since he states that most of them where killed by archer fire it means the guys stood behind him had nothing much to do but count. Which they did. True comedy, after which I put the book down and it took me a good while to convince myself that it was worth picking up again as I rarely dont finish a book. After reading the back I feel Paolini spent too much time reading about how the Japanese made swords and less time reading about the realities of medieval melee combat and human endurance.
All this aside there was some light at the end of the tunnel, the end of the book was significantly better than the beginning and middle. Alot of the unnecessary language was gone, the story gained momentum again and I enjoyed the book and remembered why I started reading it in the first place. This is the only reason I gave it three stars because in the end I did finish the book and partially forgave the issues mainly by ignoring they even happened. Much of the book felt like admin and even though I didnt realise it was meant to be a trilogy it clearly felt like a filler to pad out the series. If written well then a book of the same length could have finished the series and it would have been so much better for it, sadly we got waffle followed by a decent salvage.
I realise that I have mainly highlighted the negative here but there were times inbetween the tedium that where occasionally worth waiting for. I will read the final book although if it is anything like this book by page 200 I may just go on wikipedia and read the plot summary to get it over with.