THOSE of you who got through the more than 2,000 pages that comprise Christopher Paolini's (pictured) Inheritance Cycle would have come to the end of Brisingr, the third instalment, only to realise that the trilogy isn't a trilogy as originally announced, that there is more to come, and that there is yet another agonising wait for the end.
Well, if you've been waiting impatiently for Inheritance, the fourth book to hit bookshelves, and if your expectations were as high as mine, I'm afraid you might be as sorely disappointed as I was after reading it.
While Inheritance does somewhat tie up the storyline's loose ends, there are still some big, gaping holes in the plot. And there are unanswered questions that will bug you long after you've finished the book.
Also, I found Inheritance decidedly predictable. Sure, there are the occasional surprises, but in the end, the narrative clearly signalled the finish. It is an ending that leaves much to be desired and I simply felt dissatisfied, cheated, and maybe even a little angry. I can honestly say that I thought that there would be another book coming as the ending seemed like yet another cliffhanger.
Spoiler alert! If you don't want to know the fate of the dragons, skip the next paragraph!
While we all know that happily-ever-afters do not happen in all stories, it wouldn't hurt for authors to indulge their readers once in a while especially at the supposed end of such a long series. Not everything ends well for Eragon and Saphira, but are readers supposed to be okay with that? I think that's just nonsense.
Inheritance seems to be written as though paving the way for other books, as the story does not have the note of finality necessary to end a series such as this. While Paolini has said that he intends to write other books set in Alagaesia, they will centre on different characters, it seems. This just makes me feel like it is merely a ploy to make his fans keep buying his books. Books should be bought because one genuinely enjoys an author's work and not because one is still desperately seeking answers and closure to a completely different series.
Plot-wise, I feel that Inheritance didn't live up to its potential, as it could have been a whole lot more intricate. Some incidents seemed rather pointless and were not woven into the big picture as they should have been.
The world of Alagaesia had the potential of knocking the world of Twilight off its No.1 perch though it definitely would never have reached Harry Potter proportions but with the series having concluded, I have to say that even Twilight and its sparkly vampires had a better story flow.
While character development was attempted, most characters ended up feeling slightly two-dimensional to me. And there were far too many points of view. You see things from Eragon's perspective, Roran's perspective as well as Nasuada's. While I understand the need for it, things just got a little too jumpy.
The onslaught of information became a little too much at times and I found myself having to think back and try to figure out the relevance of it all, if there was even any to be found.
If I were to rate the four books from best to worst, I would do so in the order they were written, ie, with Eragon being the best, followed by Eldest, Brisingr, and then Inheritance. Paolini started off strong, with lots of promise, but ended up disappointing.
Those who read the first three books of the Inheritance series will read Inheritance, of course, if only to find out Alagaesia's fate. But sadly, I have to say that what had begun as a potentially brilliant idea was, in the end, executed in a way that fell short of what such an original plot deserved.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
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