Updated: Jan 13
I have consolidated all of my individual reviews for this series into one blog page. Below are my rankings for all four books and a snipped of my own thoughts for each book in this series. I would say this is a 5 star series.
(5/5) I read this book two or three times over ten years ago. I wanted to read it again from a analytical writer’s perspective. As before, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I think the most impressive thing about this series is that it was written (at the time) by a teenager, who privately published it before it ever got picked up by a large publishing agency. That alone is admirable.
In the world of Alagaesia, after the dragons and their riders are destroyed by an evil dictator, a boy nearing manhood finds a dragon egg. This dragon egg hatches and he becomes the world’s only known dragon rider. The empire is in turmoil and Eragon is sucked into the politics of rebelling factions. After his dragon hatches, word of his existence circulates, leaving him in danger. Everyone wants to use Eragon as a weapon in the fight to come. The entire book is an adventure. Eragon must navigate the unknown, learn to control his magic, and learn to live in a world he never imagined for himself. Moreover, he must decide which side he fights for.
The story structure is great. It has a definite beginning and ending, and Eragon’s character arc is believable. The plot offers closure yet remains open enough to lead the reader into the next book. The writing is rather simple, and the reading level isn’t high. But that’s okay with me because it makes for a quick read. Plus, I always find beauty in simplicity.
I’m really excited to dive into the next installment. This story is a must for any who love dragons, magic, and fantasy.
(5/5) I gave this book 5 stars because I felt that the plot, writing, story core, character arcs, and everything else that makes a good story was all done fantastically.
I enjoyed Eldest more than I enjoyed Eragon (book 1). This book picked up right where Eragon left off, following Eragon’s journey, as well as his cousin Roran’s, and a little of Nasuada’s. The bulk of this story covered the Varden’s resistance against Galbatorix, and their preparation for impending war. It was most heavily centered around Eragon himself, who journeyed to the elves to begin his training as a rider.
I adored the detail Paolini awarded the elven culture especially, but also the dwarves. Every aspect, from the elves’ magic, to their beliefs, practices, and social norms was fleshed out. I know some reviewers complained about this, that it was too hum-drum and boring—too much detail. In my opinion, this was the best part of the book. It allowed me to really immerse myself into the fantasy world Paolini created. It made everything feel real. That alone was a huge inspiration for me. Too often authors skim over these details, leaving q book wonting. This was not the case.
I think one of my favorite aspects of this book was the way Eragon was trained, and the personal transformation he took during his training. Paolini really got my (and other readers’) hopes up, tricking us to believe that Eragon was ready to take on the world when he finished his training. The end of the book sees Eragon flying from the elves home down to where the big battle is about to happen between the Varden and Empire. The whole time I found myself believing that Eragon would go and kick some ass! I believed that he was going to be triumphant, that he had become so powerful, nothing could beat him.
I was wrong.
Paolini did a great job tricking the reader (me) at the end. I thought this was brilliant; if Eragon would have lived up to my expectations and made an easy win of the battle, I would have gotten bored. Not only that, no one loves a perfect character. Instead of kicking ass, Eragon failed in his final face-off. I won’t give any greater detail than that, as it would be as spoiler. He obviously didn’t die though, since there are two more books ;)
I loved this book more than the first, and I’m super excited to dive into the third installment!
(5/5) Once again, another great book in the series. I think I liked this one the best so far. If I recall, the final (4th one) was disappointing. In this third installment, we dive deeper into the world Paolini has created. I love the way he has fleshed out so many little mundane aspects of the cultures he has created. I think the only negative I have found in this whole series is the language he created doesn’t entirely make sense to me. Certain words didn’t seem to be very culture specific with the “ancient language”. I suppose I was spoiled with Tolkien’s LOTR work.
Overall, I couldn’t put this book down, even though it was my second or third time reading it. I absolutely lose myself each time I read the story.
(5/5) As I write this, my eyes are still swollen from crying. The forth installment of the Inheritance cycle is a bittersweet end to an epic tale. Here we reach the climax in the fight against Galbatorix, and a heart pounding climax it was. This book was beautifully written, and it tied together so many loose ends. I especially loved the way the magic structure was completed so elegantly.
Paolini’s writing, simple but adequate, was a joy to read. As I look back over the four book series, I realize how much I grew to love all the characters, and how much I am going to miss them. While the ending was beautifully done, my heart ached for some of the paths the characters were set to take after the book concluded.
I’m not sure whether or not I will read Paolini’s “The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm” because I loved the series so much I’m afraid that this book might ruin it. Yet, I want to spend more time with the characters, so I’m tempted. Perhaps I’ll leave it for a later date when I’m missing them.