Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Save yourself time and read the plot summary on Wikipedia
on 27 January 2012
Dreadful. As the fourth of a series, of course, nobody will be reading this who hasn't put the time and effort into the other three. And that's the reason most will plough on to the end. But it's hard work. Fact is, if they weren't so keen to rake in the cash, the editors would have seen that books three and four really only merited one novel, and would have forced Paolini to edit heavily. What's here is far too long and tedious; I found myself speed reading just to get through to key plot points. About three quarters of the way through things do start to get more interesting. There was great potential when Paolini threw in some conversations that had us thinking that Galbatorix might not be all evil, but rather than developing the complexity he took us back to a simple world of black and white hats. It was perhaps my misfortune to re-read the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy just before digging into this novel, and it suffered badly by comparison. With Tolkien fresh in my mind it was obvious how derivative Paolini is, in so many cases just borrowing and adapting plot but with writing that can't compare. A real shame. The first novel was a fine start; it's a shame Paolini couldn't keep it up.