Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

It all began years ago, when Eragon, a young farmer, stumbled across a polished blue stone in the Spine. Upon returning to his house, he realize that the stone was in fact an egg; inside was a baby dragon. Now, many adventures and 3 books later, Eragon has evolved into an accomplished dragon rider who is pledged to the cause of the Varden, and organization dedicated to the overthrow of the tyrannical ruler Galbatorix. Yet, as strong, focused, and determined Eragon has become, he readily acknowledges the monumental task ahead of him is almost impossible. With his hope waning, and his army in shambles, Eragon will have to find the motivation to step out of his comfort zone, and to readily accept everything that the god-like Galbatorix has to throw at him. But will Eragon prevail, or will his whole existence and purpose be squashed under the immense power of his enemies?

Christopher Paolini's powerful conclusion his "Eragon" series dynamically displayed the inner struggles of Eragon as a character, and helped to solidify Eragon as a realistic identity. Eragon's personal battle with love, heartbreak, and hopelessness enables me to understand why he acts and feels like he does, and also gives insight into the author's effectiveness as a writer. Eragon, with his profound love for the character Arya, battles to suppress his feelings of love which, contrary to what Eragon believes, need to be shared. Such inner conflict brings Eragon to life and helps the reader appreciate him as a person, and not as a fictional character. In addition, the feelings of helplessness that Eragon feels concerning the impossibility of his lofty goals and expectations humbles him, and makes him more human than not.

The country of Alagaesia, which serves as the setting for "Inheritance", is perhaps the most elaborate and convincing I have ever encountered. The intricate complexities woven into the background of the many scenes help to not only give the reader an idea of the context of the story, but also help to firmly place the reader inside the book itself. Such an authentic setting only serves to augment the characters and ideas so thoughtfully exhibited in "Inheritance," and enables the reader to examine the deeper themes without having to pause to collect his or her bearings.

Christopher Paolini, author of "Inheritance," successfully conceived a gripping novel that very well can be considered the best of the series. While reading the novel, I was fascinated by the unexpected twists and turns of the plot, and I found myself constantly wondering what would happen next. It is this intense anticipation that leads me to believe that this is, so far, Christopher Paolini's greatest work. The prose of the novel was dynamic, thoroughly explaining many aspects of the story, while also leaving the reader to draw his or her own conclusions for some of the more mysterious ones. Perhaps the only weakness of the book was the numerous loose ends left untied; after the conclusion of the novel I was left wondering about many issues that were not completely addressed and resolved. However, in his acknowledgments, Paolini hints this will not be the last we will hear of Alagaesia, and that hopefully some of the mysteries left unsolved by "Inheritance" will be resolved. On account of the formidable characters and settings in the book, I would most definitely recommend "Inheritance" to others, and found the novel to be very memorable and distinct.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Baltimore, Maryland United States

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