4.5 stars out of 5
The Inheritance quartet consists of four books, although it was originally only supposed to be three. Christopher Paolini’s story just kept getting longer. The order is Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance. Each book is covered with art of a different dragon as they are introduced into the storyline. The dragons are Saphira (blue), Thorn (red), Glaedr (Gold), and Firnen (green). But you’ll have to read the books to find out how they enter the story.
The Inheritance series is most definitely a fantasy. There is plenty of adventure and I might even call it an epic as it gets pretty lengthy.
In my Heart of Hearts
This was my favorite series in high school and I was quite obsessed with it. I always made sure to get the new books as soon as they came out and read them as fast as I could. I often reread the previous books to refresh my memory and I am not exaggerating when I say that I read Eragon thirteen times as a youth.
I often looked up fan fiction while waiting for the next book to come out and really got into some of them. When the final book did come out I was even surprised at how accurate one flash fiction writer had gotten to how Paolini ended up finishing the story.
I did age out of the books as I got older but they will always have a special place in my heart of hearts. That’s an Eldunari reference by the way. In fact, even though I don’t read the books all that often anymore, I make up my own fan fiction still. A large part of my daydreams are set in Alagaesia as I imagine becoming a rider myself and helping to build Eragon’s new world. Although I do add in a bit of How to Train Your Dragon since I’m always with a night fury. Dragon’s have different species too and I don’t see why I have to have a firedrake.
Not as Perfect
As I’ve read the books many times and have matured and changed with what pleases me, I have found different things that keep me from loving the books as I once did. My initial problem with the books is the cover art itself. The dragon heads aren’t beautiful in my mind and dragons are supposed to always be stunning.
It is funny though, as a youth, I always thought that Eldest was the slowest of all the books. But rereading it now, I quite like Roran’s side story and learning more about the world. It’s the other books that I find move at a slower pace now. Either that or the battle descriptions take too long to finish. And normally you wouldn’t call books that are filled with battles slow, but I do. That’s not the part of the book that interests me.
Ending the Dream
During the story, there is a bit of romance with Roran and Katrina, then Eragon and Arya. While Roran gets a happy ending of sorts after many trials, Eragon doesn’t really. And it really bothers me because of how many times they almost say yes. I know that the end of a book doesn’t mean it is the end of their story and that something may happen in the future, and so when I daydream about the future of this world I find a way to get them together. I’m okay with how things happened then.
What I’m never sure about is why everyone pins their hopes on Eragon. I know he’s the best they had at that time, but as Paolini reveals the past to us over time it feels more and more like a setup. There were countless other opportunities where strong magic users and dragons could have faced Galbatorix, but they decided to wait and let him grow stronger. And that’s good planning? I just think Paolini could have written those histories better so it didn’t sound so much like everyone was purposely letting him win until Eragon showed up just for literary purposes.
On the Bright Side
And yes, once again I am focusing on what could have been better because these reviews are also critiques for me. If I can write better than my favorite books and authors than I’ll be in pretty good shape.
What the Inheritance series does do right is its fantasy, I guess you could say. The dragons, magic, races, and politics are different enough to be unique and pull you in. There is a bit of craziness to the world, but I don’t mind too much. There are plenty of ups and downs and it feels very realistic. The characters are very well done and I connect with so many of them. The characters are probably the best part of this series.
So with those outstanding remarks, I’ll conclude. If you haven’t read the books, read them. And read them to the end. They aren’t perfect, but I am sure you will find something you like in them. And then you can let your imagination wander forevermore in Alagaesia.
This once planned trilogy is now a quartet by Christopher Paolini. The Inheritance quartet can be bought as a set on Amazon.
Eragon becomes a dragon rider and follows the Razac to avenge his uncle.
Eragon trains in Ellesmera with the elves while Roran resorts to drastic measures to protect his village.
The Varden pushes its way into the Empire taking one city after another, but with heavy loses.
Final preparations are made as the Varden reaches Urubaen and strives to fight Galbatorix. The story will end one way or another.