Book Review: Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance

Posted January 27, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance



Christopher Paolini

fantasy that was published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on November 8, 2011 and has 849 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Fourth and last in the Inheritance Cycle fantasy adventure series for middle-grade readers.

In 2011, Inheritance was nominated for the Premio El Templo de las Mil Puertas Nominee for Mejor novela extranjera perteneciente a saga.

My Take

It’s the usual plot of the cast of thousands of good guys under an incredible strain attempting to save the world from the seemingly too-strong bad guys.

I had expected I would be pulled into this story as I was for the others, but it took awhile. It started off more like a screenplay than a continuing saga. Definitely an interesting inside look at the problems of leading an army. I do like Paolini’s description of a group of dragons as a “thunder” of dragons. Then there’s Angela’s trick of “Cheep, cheep” that she throws at Grimrr Halfpaw. Angela is so-o-o naughty!

I wonder if Paolini had to fulfill a contract for xx number of pages as there were a few chunks of text inserted that seemed to have no purpose other than to take up space. Orik’s dirt ball. Roran’s acceptance of Birgit’s need for revenge are just some of the excess bits.

The torture of persuasion that Galbatorix puts Nasuada through is a scary bit but Paolini doesn’t take it deep enough to be truly frightening. Even Murtagh’s protests are only half-hearted. Bit of a relief actually!

There is an amazing tension Paolini creates throughout the story and it just misses really taking my heart out and twisting it for truly amazing. He keeps letting his characters off easy — although I’m sure Nasuada wouldn’t agree! A negative comment that really isn’t fair as Paolini has created a wonderful story.

What was the point of mentioning Queen Islanzadí’s raven all the time? I kept expecting the bird to do something incredible.

Neat trick with Galbatorix! Very clever. As was Nasuada’s argument with King Orrin. I loved her comment to him about his father…”he would be doing something about it”.

Paolini does a nice job of ending the story, tying up loose ends, and giving everyone both an ending and their own beginning; I did not enjoy how he tied up Eragon and Arya’s story…too sad. Of course, Paolini has left it open for several new series.

The Story

The allies are working their way to Urû’baen laying siege to city after city, determined not to leave an enemy at their backs. Between battles, Eragon and Arya try to reach Glaedr’s Eldunarí, to bring him back from his great depression since he lost his partner.

Joys are tempered with sorrows. The birth of Elain’s daughter could be a disaster but for Eragon. The wall that fell on Roran. The impossible tasks that Nasuada sets before him to conquer cities, even as despair sets heavier and heavier on Roran.

The almost-disaster of Dras-Leona where they encounter the magic of Tosk. As the heroes are cut down one by one. The kidnapping and torture of Nasuada in which she learns that the test of fear she underwent to become their leader was nothing compared to what Galbatorix puts her through. Funnily enough, it’s Murtagh who helps her through. The hope brought by their acquiring the Dauthdaert. The vague message passed on by Solembum, which requires a great leap of faith…and carries the dreams of all.

It’s on Vroengard Island, the home of the Dragon Riders, where Saphira and Eragon discover their true names. A revelation of salvation.

The Characters

Eragon Shadeslayer is a young man thrust into prominence when he nurtured the dragon, Saphira, in Eragon. Now he is an acknowledged leader of men, a Dragon Rider, with Brisingr, a sword forged by an elven craftsmaster. All the world’s hopes are centered upon him and Saphira. Wyrden, Blödhgarm, and Laufin are the guards appointed.

Characters who have been with Saphira and Eragon throughout include Arya is an elf princess and Fírnen is her dragon and Angela the herbalist and her werecat Solembum.

The Allies

Queen Islanzadí of the Elves brings her army to fight. Glaedr is an Eldunarí, all that is left of the dragon and Rider partnership with the elf Oromis, who is one of the few who will remember the Inheritance that includes Umaroth. Cuaroc (I think he’s a metal encasement for an Eldunarí).

The Varden
Jörmundur is their senior commander; Nasuada is their leader. Garven is one of the Nighthawk guard that protects Nasuada.

The Werecats
Grimrr Halfpaw is their king, and he offers his people in alliance against Galbatorix.

The villagers
Roran is Eragon’s cousin. Driven from their mountain village Carvahall by Ra’zac, Roran led the villagers to a dubious safety where his prowess in battle has led his fellows to name him Stronghammer. He’s married to Katrina. Horst was/is the Carvahall’s blacksmith, his sons are Albriech and Baldor. Horst’s wife, Elain, is pregnant and her delivery is fraught. Roran takes a small crew with him to Aroughs: Carn, Mandel, Baldor, Delwin, and Hamund. Good thing as he needs someone to watch his back.

Captain Brigman whom Roran replaces at the impossible siege of Aroughs.

King Orrin of Surda is becoming more and more unhappy with his lesser role in the war, causing Nasuada concern.

The Urgals are…
…an extremely war-like race. Nar Garzhvog is their leader. Most of the other allies consider them monsters, and they were at one time allies of Galbatorix.

The Dwarves
Orik, Eragon’s friend, is now king of the dwarves, and their army is even now marching to join them.

Trianna is a sorceress. Elva is the child cursed by Eragon and who resists providing aid to the allies.

The Enemy

Decades ago, Galbatorix led a rebellion against the Dragon Riders slaying most of them and their dragons. The rest he subverted to his will as he imprisoned any dragon eggs he could find. Now he rules over their world with his mad dragon Shruikan. Lord Barst is his general; one with a fearsome reputation. Murtagh is Eragon’s half-brother, another Dragon Rider, but now he and his dragon Thorn ride for the bad guy Galbatorix. Although, he does show a surprising turn.

The Cover and Title

It’s all green with touches of gold. At first I was whining to myself how wrong it was before I realized it was of Fírnen.

The title is too, too accurate as there is the most incredible cache, an Inheritance to die for bringing hope to all.