It has been nine years since Christopher Paolini first introduced us to the world of Eragon, and three years since Brisingr was published, so fans were justifiably excited for the publication of Inheritance, the last book in the Inheritance Cycle. While those who have been devoted to the series won’t be disappointed by Inheritance, I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece either. Paolini manages to conclude the series fittingly, but the book is plagued with many problems.
Those expecting a great work of literature should look elsewhere—Inheritance still has plenty of the clumsy writing that has plagued the series, and Paolini continues his obsession with modifying words. That’s not to say that the book is poorly written; Paolini has flashes of brilliance and plenty of well-written prose exists in the book.
Most people, though, will be reading Inheritance for the plot. In this regard the book is also a mixed bag. Paolini has a talent for creating particularly exciting battle sequences and he does a really good job of ratcheting up the tension in the later part of the story. But Paolini’s propensity to waste pages upon pages on information that just is not very important to the plot is evident in this book. It really bogs the reader down and hurts the flow of the story.
The most important question on everyone’s mind is how Paolini concludes the novel, and I don’t think the climactic battle scene will disappoint readers. Eragon’s fight with Galbatorix is well written and the conclusion of this battle is immensely satisfying and fitting. The sequence that leads up to the battle, however, unfortunately seems a bit rushed, and this does cheapen the result a little bit. What is definitely not rushed is the denouement after the climactic battle. Paolini spends about 100 pages after the climax wrapping up loose ends, and it seems very clumsy and unnecessary. All in all, in Inheritance Paolini once again does a great job of sucking the reader into the world of Alageasia, but overly cluttered writing and an obsession with details hold Inheritance back from being the epic novel it could be.