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on 24 November 2011
First of all.. NO SPOILERS!!!

Positives

1) Christopher Paolini has a certain style of writing which is unique.. it is well detailed, enrapturing and flowing.

2)In general I felt this book lived up to standards of the previous books in the series.. better infact. A lot of books do not always tie up all the loose ends. The fact that this book did pleasantly surprised me. A few examples - Sloan in Du Weldenvarden(does he recieve his eyesight?), The Menoa tree (Eragon owed the Menoa tree for taking the brightsteel for his sword Brisingr), Birgit (Roran caused the death of her husband in book one and she wanted revenge - I forgot about this!). This is one of the single most reasons why I am satisfied with the book. You may or may not like the ending but at least it addresses all of the unfinished business.

3) Another satisfactory point addressed in this book is that in general, books tend to end with or shortly after 'the final battle'(whatever the outcome may be). In Inheritance the final battle ends and there are a good few chapters of the aftermath.. what happens, unrest, happiness, businesses etc.

4) I am thoroughly happy with what Eragon and Saphira found in Vroenguard in the Vault of souls (was not expecting that!!! Readers you will know what I am talking about). Also the Eldunari make things more realistic in terms of power to the Varden.

5) The 'final battle' was appropriate.. Galbatorix afterall has serious power for a reason. The way in which Eragon fights back is fitting.

Negatives

1) It can be frustrating when a particular exciting chapter in Eragons life is left dangling with anticipation and is then followed by a chapter in Roran's life. But to be fair, this is because the storyline is so good you just want to find out what happens next. All about the suspense!!! Also, some people may find the lengthy descriptions tedious but I find its the right amount.

2) Romantics - sorry but you will be dissapointed severely in this book. We hear nothing about Arya for 1000s of pages and this outcome was a seriously under... no words to describe. In its own way, it has its own special meaning but if we are being honest I expected more!! Also, nothing blossoms with Nasuada.. COME ON! Personally this was the singlemost negative in this whole book. COME ON!

3) Very final ending is a little sad.

All in all however I have to rate this book 5 stars. It is very good storytelling and more!! Such a justified 'final battle' and the Vault of Souls on Vroenguard was unexpected. Well done Mr. Paolini.
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on 15 November 2011
After the long wait it's finally over!

This book carries straight on from the last and has everything you'd come to expect from the other books in the series. I found myself getting a little bored at times with the constant battle scenes and enjoyed it when the book broke away from them at times. However having said that I still found it really enjoyable and couldn't put it down!

There are a few unexpected twists and turns that I really enjoyed and was pleased he'd included. He also throws in a few really good chapters towards the end where we see a different side to one character in particular. Personally I loved this part of the book and enjoyed finding more about them.

There has been quite a bit of disappointment with the ending so I didn't have great expectations for it, but when I actually read it I enjoyed it. I think he rounded off the story pretty well. How it's left (without giving away anything!) to me seems to end this particular chapter for Alagaesia but leaves a lot of room to pick the story back up or link it in with more stories from this world at a later time. I found some parts of it a bit frustrating, but I hope that it's so he can pick back up on it at some point as there's still a few questions that need answering and I'd love to learn more about certain characters such as Angela!

Overall I really wanted to give it 5 stars but I think it was slightly let down in parts. However it definitely deserves 4 stars and is worth a read! It's also worth sticking with it if you find your concentration wondering at parts, especially if you've enjoyed the others!
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on 4 February 2012
Spoilers! I gave this three out of five stars, though techically it should have four out of five. Eight tenths of it-the first eight tenths-were great, heading well towards a great and happy climax. Though I know it all being happy at the end is a massive cliche, I would have been fine with half the cast dying along with Saphira, resulting in Eragon having massive depression for like ages, if Arya and Eragon had actually got together. Highly anticipating their romance for upwards of three years and it ending with them leaving each other despite obvious deep feelings coming from both sides resulting in telling each other their actual TRUE NAMES; a great show of trust never to be taken lightly; they still decided to separate, he as the Rider leader and she as the elven Queen-unexpected-and as a Rider at the same time, which goes against everything said about the Riders as a peace-keeping, UNBIASED force of justice, was extremely annoyiing for me. Wow, that was a long sentence. But anyway, the ending ruined the entire book for me. It only makes it worse when you read interviews where the author says that he actually wrote most of the book with the direct intention of having them together at the end. That just makes me think even more of what might have been...

Anyway, aside from the lack of romance, there were a few other problems as well. What happened to the belt? Any possible resoloution as to Nausada`s feelings for Murtagh? (Oops I said aside from the lack of romance...) Why do we still have no idea as to what Angela is? These loose ends could seriously do with another book.

Also, there is a severe lack of deaths in the book. I mean, it is a war, going into its final and most bloody stages. Who dies? Carn and Islanzadi. And that`s about it. He also said he had planned to kill Murtagh and Thorn, but "couldn`t bring himself to." That shows a severe lack of mental decisiveness and strength to go back on your decisions so much and to refrain from killing people off because they didn`t deserve it. Stick with your decisions man! Good Greif! Grow up!

But yeah, I even liked the Roran chapters this time around. His line where he said, "I have an important message for you!" to some soldiers before killing them all and saying "Don`t trust strangers" was awesome! It, along with the Angela parts; "cheep cheep," was one of the things that made me laugh in this book. But yeah this time Roran didn`t kill hundreds of soldiers all by himself, though his fight against Barst-which Islanzadi couldn`t win-was sort of unrealistic.

Battle scenes were good, descriptions were vivid, twists were surprising, and torture was unnerving. It was only the ending which killed it for me. I could have given it anything from a one star to a five and justified it to myself, but I think three is the most balanced rating I can give.
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on 16 January 2012
This is the first review I've written on Amazon but having just finished Inheritance, I feel I must put into words my final conclusions of the books. I've loved the series even Brisingr which received so much bad press. Brilliantly written, kept me engaged throughout but slightly disappointing finish. To all who read this review, read the book it's worth it but be prepared to be disappointed in an untidy ending.
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WARNING SPOILERS BELOW!

As the last book in the Inheritance Cycle I'd hoped that all the loose ends which had been presented and hinted at throughout would have been resolved, especially the long and protracted hints of a relationship between Arya and Eragon. This was my major problem with the book, Paolini had spent 3 books keeping a distance between Arya and Eragon, but had then decided to reduce those barriers and started hinting at an increased chemistry between them. All in all the result was that we as the readers who had followed this particular plot throughout, got excited and hopeful that after 3 books of eragon yearning for arya that something might finally come of it! Instead we have arya and eragon destined never to be together, as he is leaving never to return and she is bound by duty to stay and govern her people. I wouldn't have minded so much, but to change tack in the last book when most of us had resigned ourselves to the fact that they wouldn't be together, to get our hopes up and then to dash them with a Lord of the Ringsian exit was not only a quick fix to all Paolini's literary holes he'd dug himself into but was a disappointing finish to what been an epic series. They hadn't kissed, been together and arya was still somewhat distant. So now eragon has gone, at a young age of 20 something, to live on an island with some elves and the dragons destined to be alone having left his heart with arya in du weldenvarden and his family behind in Alagaesia- a harsh ending for a character who went through so much and is supposed to live on for 100s of years practically as a monk! I'd rather have had eragon and arya together for some of the books and then for one or both of them to have died, at least then it would have been a satisfying end to what has become a frustrating and unrewarding romance that never really got started. The loose ends were: what was it the minoa tree had taken from eragon? who really was angela? murtagh and nasuada their chemistry? the spies in the varden who were they? etc. Why spend so many books on building up Eragon and Saphira's strength to then say oops we're too powerful we'd better leave? Murtagh has been denied family and wanted to be brother to eragon but when he has the chance, flies away alone with Thorn into more isolation! The characters towards the end became too self destructive for my liking.

Grumbles aside, i thoroughly enjoyed the book and felt it was well written if over lengthy in the battle scenes and especially roran's narrative. I couldn't put the book down but feel it would have benefited from perhaps having things narrated from arya's point of view or Murtaghs. Galbatorix's downfall was cleverly devised and unpredictable and had an element of poetic justice after invading people's minds he fell victim to his own flaws and horrors he'd created. The series was fantastic and the development of eragon's character was superb.The series took me on a fantastic new journey into a previously untouched genre and gave me much enjoyment leaving me wanting more. It has left me wishing for another book, another adventure in Alagaesia in which the loose ends could be tied up and a more satisfying ending provided. I give this book 4 stars for the enjoyment given, it loses the one star for the weak ending and loose ends.
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on 25 November 2011
A bit like Brisingr, you get the feeling with this book that if someone ripped 200-300 pages out of it and stapled them together you could get a fantastic, exciting story. Sadly, the author has wrapped this up in 500+ pages of irrelevance, almost as if, just like Eragon, we're all a little bit scared of getting to the final battle and want to put it off as long as possible. This is a shame, if you cut out the pointless sub-plots, needless musings and unnecessary clarifications there is a story as good as Eragon or Eldest hidden beneath.

I am surprised by how many people disliked the ending of this book and the climax of the series, for me that was the best bit. The way Eragon finally defeats the King is clever, unexpected and plausible, none of which was expected given the huge difference in their ability levels, time and again alluded to in the books.
Also, although some story arcs are wrapped up with neat little bows, not everything is left so clear cut. Being sickened many authors 'happily ever after' obsession I was delighted Paolini didn't fall into this trap.

If you've read the last three books you should definitely read this, it is it's own sweet form of torture, but like running your first marathon, you'll be happy you put yourself through it.
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on 25 November 2011
Quick review:
Like the three books that preceded it, Inheritance highlights the faults and talents of Christopher Paolini. This book is much like the others. So if you liked them, you'll find lots to like here too. The book ends much as you expect. There aren't too many twists but there are still some tricky situations that the main characters have to solve. The book is long, overly long in places, with too much text given over to battles. There were definitely sections where I skipped to the next chapter to find out what I wanted to know.

Longer review (CONTAINS SPOILERS):
The success of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle no doubt provokes varied feelings for many. On the one hand, having parents for publishers was extremely helpful. On the other hand, being a young man growing into adulthood, and being responsible for a best-selling book can't have been easy. And whatever your feelings, Master Paolini has written four books that many, many people have bought.

Having finished reading this 850 page book yesterday, many thoughts came to mind. Like the other three books, many of Paolini's faults as an author are displayed in this book and are easy to spot. Identifying the areas where Paolini has some skill is more difficult, yet something made me keep reading - and indeed made me buy it in the first place.

His faults like so many faults.
1. Poor characters - very few of his characters are likeable and believable. For example, Roran's transformation from farmboy to tactical genius whose personal body counts during the many battles get into the hundreds is never explained. It just happens. Nasuada fails to evoke sympathy even when she's being tortured. Angela is still incredibly annoying, and ruins the setting's verisimilitude on several occasions. However, as Inheritance is the final book nearly all the characters have become what Paolini wanted them to be.

2. Verbosity - the battle scenes often get into a blow by blow commentary. In Inheritance, I found them boring, and skimmed through them. For example, the fight between Roran and Lord Barst goes on for twenty pages. The battle of Uru Baen goes on for one hundred pages. At the end of this book, Paolini thanks his editor. I strongly suspect he'll be the only one.

3. Purple prose. The words 'like so many' appear often in this book. Usually as metaphor. This may be a difference between the American that the book was written in and the English of this particular reader, but it gets annoying. There was also a scene where Eragon and Saphira are flying over some water (a lake or an arm of the sea) and the description starts of as very evocative but then more and more metaphors are crammed in.

4. Clumsy language. there are numerous examples where the language is just plain odd, or laughable. Again this may be the difference between the American of the author and the English of this reader. Examples are: 'sunlight planking the valley floor' (page 506) I've no idea what is meant by planking. Nasuada gets 'coronated' not 'crowned'. And most funny of all we have 'the wind from Eragon's passage' (page 17). It gets worse, because at the end we have to contend with the wind from Saphira's passage. I'm sure he meant 'passing'.

5. Smart Alec - Paolini can't resist showing off that he watches Dr. Who and finds Monty Python funny. In order to do this he often uses the tedious Angela character as the vehicle for destroying the verisimilitude of his setting. A prime example is when Angela says 'Be seeing you' to Eragon. Had Paolini left it there, the reference would have been understood by others who have seen The Prisoner, but Paolini had to describe Angela doing the precise gesture too. This is plain immaturity.

I could go on, but the fact of the matter is that I've read the book, and kept turning pages at the start. What made me do that.

His talents
1. Nice solutions to tricky problems. Paolini has a nice touch when it comes to finding neat ways out of situations. I particularly like the way Roran conquers Aroughs. The appearance of Umaroth could displease some, but I liked it. It made sense in terms of Eragon's character.
2. Basic plot. The overall plot of the Inheritance Cycle is simple. A tyrant must be overthrown. As the story progresses, it's apparent the tyrant is very powerful and the hero needs to get just as powerful as quick as he can. Simple plots are easy for readers to understand, and that means readers quickly grasp what the book is all about.
3. Eragon and Arya's relationship. I liked the fact that Eragon clearly fancies Arya, but she sees him more as a friend she's fond off. I kept expecting them to get together at the end, and it's good that Paolini doesn't do that.
4. Ability to write a best-selling book series. I can't quite work out how Paolini has done it, but he has written books that have sold very well. He's successful and he has many years ahead of him in which to improve his strengths and dispense with his faults. I don't expect the next thing he turns his hand to to be as successful but then again he could surprise me.

So in conclusion. I don't think Paolini has matured as a writer during this quartet. Some of his bad habits, such as purple prose have receded but there are still many faults to spot. However, he has written a successful, straightforward fantasy. It's a simple, undemanding read, and as a means of relaxation, I enjoyed it.
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on 28 December 2011
I loved this series of books, couldn't put the first 3 down and couldn't wait for this to be released but I was so disappointed. It leaves so much unfinished and the ending is so awful I felt angry reading it! I don't want to give any spoilers so it's hard to describe the issues let's just say this, the ending just feels wrong and the book as a whole doesn't seem to flow very well.
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on 16 June 2012
First let me say that I thought the writing has improved from the earlier volumes. There aren't as many times that I was pulled out of the world due to the use of modern language, or even worse stereotypically fantasy language. It isn't a book full of detail, which is all for the good when one has to use the imagination to fill things in. I did however find the constant use of measurements singularly odd. I can only presume that a foot means a much smaller unit of measurement than in this world.

The story? Well once again there are some good and bad parts. You're left guessing about so much. Occasionally there is a mystery to unravel and the answer lies elsewhere in the books. I adore this sort of plot device but there's never any detail. Several of these occurrences (no spoilers!) were alluded to directly through conversation and answered with the narrative equivalent of "We'll never know", or "I'll tell you when all this is over" (which they don't).

It is genuinely engaging in parts, and you do want to find out more about the world and what happens to the characters. It is just such a shame that when you do it is almost always the most simple explanation.

If you like dragons and conflicted characters in a rich fantasy world setting then read Robin Hobb. Her characters might be frustrating but you get rewarded as you follow them through the adventure. When they strive and succeed you get descriptions of the rewards rather than just "treasure", when they suffer you're told exactly what they feel rather than just "bad".

Maybe it should have been five books. Maybe there's some sort of encyclopedia (hate those!) based on the world coming out. More likely I just think standards of fantasy have outstripped Christopher's interest in the series.

That probably sounded worse than the book actually is. If you have lots of time to spare and you've read the others then give it a go. If you're new to the series then watch the film and imagine your own ending. You'll probably put more detail into it.
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on 27 November 2011
Enjoyed it, a good resolution.
Most points i feel have been made by others. Here's a few thoughts.

***SPOILERS***
I felt the ending with Eragon sailing away was too similar to LOTR. This was just too much considering the other similarities (elves, dwarves, humans and their relationships with each other. And even worse is the urgals who seem to have the same characteristics as orks, though them turning good was a nice plot.)

Unlike many i was glad Arya did not accept Eragon - predictable romances annoy me.

Arya as a dragon rider didn't make sense to me.
I also felt Blohdgarm's character should have been explored more. He is ever present in the plot and has an important role in protecting eragon. Elva claims he is faster than the rest of the group when attacking Urubaen - and he goes with Eragon to protect the Eldunari at the end. I think his involvement in the plot demands greater exploration of his character.

The werecats are a refreshingly original creation. The werecat who sits by Nasuada at the end interested me. Perhaps it was the eldunari's way of keeping an eye on events in Alagaesia - just an idea - why else would the cat be there?

I think Paolini will return to Algaesia - though if he does i hope he thinks of a more original idea. Tolkien used the world of good vs evil with elves, dwarves and epic battles - Paolinis version was different enough to be creditable though i would be dissapointed if his next idea has a similar premise.
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on 26 December 2011
A frustratingly unaccomplished Hero, who fails to overcome the real enemies, whom sooner or probably much later he must surely find a way to best. Christopher Paolini is a great wordsmith, often taking the trouble to prove just how many words he can use when a simple phrase would have been explanation enough. If his brief was to make a a 200 page story stretch out to 500, then he achieved his goal. Please Christopher, get on with making Eragon the Hero he should surely be by this point in your four books. I continue to read out of a sense of duty to the main characters, no longer for the joy of it.
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