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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Malcolm Gladwell

Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle, Book 4)

Inheritance - Christopher Paolini This book was AMAZING. On Wikipedia, I read that this book was written to explain several events in Brisingr, but as I read it, I found that this book did not just explain Brisingr, but it was a huge continuation of the story. I only allowed myself to finish reading after I made it to the second round of the GISA Spelling Bee (that's ridiculously stupid...).

Synopsis: (note: some of this may be from Brisingr. In my mind, the series all kind of melds together.) In Inheritance, Eragon Shadeslayer and Sapphira Brightscales march with the Varden to Ûru-baen, and find themselves confronted with all sorts of problems. They have to deal with Elva's uncooperativenes; Arya's rejection of poor Eragon's advances; Roran's stubbornness and his pregnant wife; Horst's wife, Elain, who is pregnant as well; keeping the Varden's troops united and strong even when facing Shruikan... and that's not to mention protecting Nasuada from enemy attacks/assassinations/kidnappings (which they failed), reviving Glaedr from his dream-like state of depression and mourning, and finding a way to keep Galbatorix. Oh, and making sure the Varden had enough food to sustain their population and keeping all the nobles and leaders of significance, such as King Orrin of Surda, knurl Orik of Fârthen Dür, and Queen Islánzadi of Ellésmera happy and placated. Can they defeat Galbatorix? When all seems lost and it appears that even Murtagh is a stronger Rider and better swordsman than Eragon, can they still overcome? Or will Nasuada and Eragon and even Arya become numb mind-slaves to Galbatorix? Is their last hope... a false one?


{Over mostly Inheritance but also over the Inheritance Cycle}

What I really like:
I really enjoyed Paolini's style of writing and how the many details of this complicated, layered plot fit together so well. I also thought he executed character development and maturity quite well. Eragon went from a simple farm-boy with no other goal besides proving for his Uncle and brother to an accomplished Rider, with many faults he works to overcome. I love how Paolini cleverly repeats themes, such as "Understanding breeds empathy," (which was used to defeat Galbatorix) and uses suspense to keep you guessing to the end. Originally, I thought the relative who would betray Eragon would be through his foster family in his dwarf clan. The titles of the books in the Inheritance Cycle all reflect important plot twists in each book. The last quarter of Inheritance (the book, not the series) wrapped up the story perfectly.

What made me sad:
1) Arya's rejection of Eragon. It just broke my heart, especially now that she's an immortal Rider too.
2) Eragon would never return to Aglëasea. All the few friends he made outside of Carvahall are now scattered, and he should not lay eyes on them again unless they venture out to visit him (a formidable prospect, no doubt). That darned prophecy... I blame Solembum.
3) His age. At first Eragon's youth is greatly emphasized throughout, but in the ending conflict (which I loved, but Arya maybe should have been a little more traumatized from becoming a Dragonkiller --> to queen of the elves and Du Weldenvarden --> to becoming a Rider... or maybe vice versa for the last two items) Galbatorix maybe should have emphasized on Eragon's age (since he defeated Vrael and all the other Riders of old who were seriously, old) and left Eragon doubting himself a little more.
4) Angela's secret. Was never explained... I feel like Paolini hinted that she was the soothsayer that once lived in the chamber that became Nasuada's prison, but he didn't really confirm it. It's like he got so wrapped up in the rest of the plot and tying up so many loose ends... and yeah. Like he kind of forgot about the poor herbalist and her werecat. Oh, I'm not implying Solembum belongs to anyone...
5) Who was that mysterious woman? And the girl with her? And then later on the boy as well? What was their purpose? What were they doing?
6) Who will head the magician-police-force now that Eragon has left? YOU CAN'T JUST LEAVE IT ALL TO NASUADA TO SOMEHOW FIGURE OUT. SHE'S GOT A KINGDOM (that she just raided) TO REBUILD, PEOPLE.

What I would change:
1) I would've added a bit more about Galbatorix's spies within the Varden. I was so sure Jormunder or maybe Angela or even Elva was heading the Black Hand, feeding the Varden's information to the enemy. Also, Eragon's false information spreading didn't seem to have much of an affect on the battle. Just sayin'.
2) I think Murtagh and Thorn should eventually return from the north after a few years and come back and marry Nasuada. <3 It would be so sweet, and would show the difference all these events had on the rider. And then Paolini could write another book on Murtagh and Thorn's adventures in the north. Or, Murtagh could eventually take his place as a proper Rider and go join Eragon to raise and mentor dragons and their Riders. <br/>3) I think Ismira should play a bigger role. And Hope as well. I know we already got past the whole bless-the-child-Artgetlam-thing with Elva, but still.
4) I think that although Eragon and Sapphira have both matured, their connection should have grown too. It didn't really change much past the first book...
5) Sapphira and Arya's dragon, whose name I have forgotten, should have had a dragon egg from all their *cough naughty cough* activities. I mean, we need to emphasize on the consequences of looovvveee.
7) I would also add a bit more about what happened to all the elves after the battle... and a bit more about their complicated politics. The grass boat was a nice touch, though. Very cute and reminds the reader of past books.
8) Brisingr's fire (by that I meant the sword spontaneously combusting) should have played a bigger role, besides just being for show. I mean, come on, we even have a whole book named after it...

Something random I noticed:
The fat werecat who sat next to Nasuada in the end seemed a bit like a fat Yellowfang in my mind. (Warriors by Erin Hunter reference there... XD)
There was something else random I noticed, that I wanted to comment on, but now I've forgotten it... oh dear, I'm getting old.

My rating:
110/100 stars ^___^ It would be 150, but there was simply some loose ends still. And lots of stuff I would change (^see above).

I started this book... Friday? Or maybe Thursday of last week. (February 2nd-3rd, 2012) Finished yesterday evening. (February 9th, 2012)