A QUICK REHASH OF EVENTS (hopefully not too spoilery):
❊ In Eragon, after a dragon hatches from what our titular hero had thought was a stone, his life is turned upside down as he becomes a Dragon Rider and the last hope for the country of Alagaesia in overthrowing the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, must travel across Alagaesia to join up with the rebel forces of the Varden, on his way he learns the magic that is part of being a Rider, and fights the evil forces of the king. Upon reaching the Varden, Eragon and Saphira are pitched into a final battle with Galbatorix’s army.
❊ Following the battle, in Eldest Eragon and Saphira make their way to the elven stronghold of Du Weldenvarden, where they must complete their training as dragon and rider. Meanwhile, the Varden are making their way to Surda – a country south of the Empire, that is independent from Galbatorix – in anticipation of another strike against them by Galabatorix. We are introduced to some new characters as well as seeing the development of some relatively minor characters from Eragon. This book also ends in a pretty epic battle, and sets things up in an interesting way for Brisingr, as Eragon learns new information about his own past.
❊ In Brisingr, Eragon’s mission against Galbatorix has become much more personal, thus adding to the already monumental problem of how to overpower the king. Compounding this is the demand upon him to remain impartial to all, as is expected of a Rider, which causes his loyalties and friendships to be tested. There’s also a lot more of an inner struggle to be seen in Eragon this time around, as he attempts to come to terms with the knowledge about his past, brought to light in the final pages of Eldest. Then there’s another big battle.
Which brings me to Inheritance. I’m not going to fill you in on what happens in this one, except to say that IT’S EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE HOPED FOR IN AN ENDING TO A SERIES. From the opening pages to the final ones, there is never any definite way of knowing how things would end – if Eragon does beat Glabatorix, how is he going to do it? Will he need to kill someone he doesn’t really want to kill? If he does win, what will he do then? SO MANY QUESTIONS and none of them are answered until roughly the final quarter of the book. There was zero predictability, which I loved. It was back to the decent pace I enjoyed in Eldest, and everything that was in the book genuinely needed to be there. Ends were tied up, events came full circle, and I sort of got the ending I wanted for my favourite character from the first book.
I found it to be a somewhat bittersweet ending, and I can see why people probably either loved it or hated it. But I think that’s probably the case with any book series. When you invest so much time and emotion into a story, you want a good ending. I was a bit ‘meh’ about the conclusion at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised it couldn’t have ended in any other way. I’m actually pretty sad I’ve finished the series. Sure I didn’t have a ‘Harry Potter’ level of attachment to the books, but it’s still difficult getting to the end of any series, knowing that once you’re done, you’re done. It was sad knowing that all that time spent covering my face with the books on public transport has been leading up to the events captured in only a couple of hundred of pages. But all things, whether good, bad, or mediocre, must come to an end.
WHO YOU’LL LOVE – I don’t want to say too much in case I give away spoilers, but my main man Murtagh had a much bigger role in this book and I was so happy about that. I like my characters complex and filled with turmoil – and he’s just that.
WHO SHOULD READ IT – Did you read the first three books? Yes? Then you should probably read this one too.
FAVOURITE QUOTE – “…he wondered if it was perhaps better to remain in one place and learn all you could about it rather than to constantly roam across the land. Was a broad but shallow education superior to one that was narrow but deep?”