Book review: 'Inheritance' is sophisticated but overly long

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 26 2011 4:00 p.m. MST

"INHERITANCE," by Christopher Paolini, Knopf Books for Young Readers, $27.99, 849 pages (f)(ages 12 and up)

As the final book in the Eragon series, “Inheritance” is a sophisticated novel that explores powerful themes in an entertaining and breathtaking way.

The book begins with a recap of what has happened in the previous books. The readers are reminded of Eragon’s plight from small farm boy to Dragon Rider. They are also reminded of the Varden and their quest to overthrow the evil king Galbatorix.

Many epic battles have been fought in the series, and “Inheritance” is no stranger to conflict. In the book, Eragon and Saphira lead their army in many confrontations against Galbatorix and his evil forces. Major characters face many close encounters with the enemy.

Eragon and Saphira have come far in their training. But the questions remains if it be enough to restore justice to Alagaesia.

“Inheritance” is proof that Paolini has developed as a writer. The plot of the book seems to draw heavily off of “The Lord of The Rings.” Unlike Tolkien, Paolini has been able to create the fantastical world of Alagaesia with simple and striking language.

Fans of the books will be content with how Paolini says goodbye to popular characters like Roran, Elva, Blodhgarm and Saphira. Though not ideal, female fans will particularly be happy with Arya’s ending.

Paolini does not expound on the character of Angela. She is an interesting and humorous person. Yet hard-core readers of the series will be disappointed in not knowing much about her.

Though the ending of this beloved series is satisfying, Paolini takes his time getting there. Though a talented writer, Paolini still has a problem with jargon. Chapters of the book, which deal primarily with Eragon’s education, are drawn out with long and boring details. It's quicker to skim over these sections to get to more action-packed parts of the book.

Fans of the series will need to read “Inheritance” so they can have a sense of closure to a truly great series.

IF YOU GO ...

What: Christopher Paolini book signing

When: Thursday, Dec. 1, noon

Where: Costco, 648 E. 800 South, Orem

Also ...

When: Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Also ...

When: Friday, Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Provo City Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: www.provolibrary.com

Notes: Tickets required

Shelby Scoffield is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a graduate student at California State University, Stanislaus.

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