Title: Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle #4)
Author: Christopher Paolini
Rating: 5 stars!
Summary: Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?
It took me a whole year to get to this, sitting dauntingly on my shelf. But I did it! Only took about a month, and I read a couple of other books between breaks. 900 pages is pretty long, even by my standards. I wasn't originally going to write a review for this, so I'll just share a few things about it, so maybe you'll eventually get to reading it as well. ;)
It'd been probably a few years since I had finished Brisingr, so I had to ask my brother (who'd read the series as well as listened to it, probably thirty times) to refresh me on what I needed to know. Thankfully it was easy to get back into after that. There is a written prologue that recaps the last three books, but it looked really boring...but you should probably read that if it's been a while.
In these past few years, I've read a dozen or so fantasy books written by women, mostly, and this is really the only thing that bugged me about the book: I could tell a guy wrote it. I usually stay pretty neutral on this observation, because many times it's hard to tell. But (besides where in the end it got better) Roran's macho-man attitude, really not a fan of. I don't remember if I ever really loved his character, but mostly in here he's kind of annoying like that. Like, really, do you need to yell loudly to exclaim your blood-lust and how awesome you think you are? All right, I'm done complaining about that.
Eragon grew up more in Inheritance, than in the previous three books combined. At first he acted a little too much like his arrogant human stance, wanting to be a great warrior and beat the elves, just because. But then as the story goes on certain...things...happen which I'll not give away, but on many levels I am really happy to see how he matured and came to some self-realization.
The pacing throughout this huge book is overall pretty steady going. The beginning immediately welcomes you back to the world of Alagaësia, but parts of the middle dragged, mostly Roran's pov chapters. It was just so much. I did enjoy Nasuada's chapters a lot, because she get seperated from the Varden for a while. That was actually quite fascinating. And a certain part in the middle sped up a lot, was a trip to a certain island...hm. Can't remember it though, I just remember it was good. And toward the climaxe and after, events moved pretty fast.
I had been skimming reviews of Inheritance a couple months ago, and couldn't help but notice how SO many people were angry/saddened by two things: the battle with Galbatorix, and the ending of the series. I have to say, I really liked both. Sure, I would have wanted things to turn out slightly differently...but it's not my book, or world, is it? So the battle with Galbatorix is probably one of my favorite parts. Actually I'll extend that to the whole battle of Uru'baen. From this point onward, I read the book twice as fast. The face-off with Galbatorix is really creative, and though there isn't as much fighting as I'd expected (though I didn't know how in the world they'd try to usurp him,) I'm really happy with how it played out.
Now, "the ending" took up the last 150 pages or so. If you've read tLotR trilogy, you'll know what I mean. There are many matters to clean up and fix, as well as people to find, onces battles are over...no matter what the outcome. And for a while, I became sad with decisions some of the characters made. Not to be very vague or anything, but I don't want to give away who ends up surviving. But by the very end, it's sort of bittersweet, and as sad as I am to finish following the adventures of Eragon and Saphira, I will keep an eye out in the future for more stories set in Alagaësia. It's a very unique and beautifully crafted world, and I'm crossing my fingers this will not be the last we see of it.
Post script: As an unschooler, I think that it's so awesome the author was homeschooled, and wrote this series as such a young age. :)