First Lines: Inheritance

Inheritance, or The Vault of Souls is the fourth and final brick volume in Christopher Paolini’s Inhertiance-cycle. The cycle started out as a trilogy in 2002 with Eragon, which, as it’s sequel Eldest, were good enough. Sure, they’re derivative and mediocre fantasy genre pieces, but Paolini was 15 when he started writing in 1998, so that can be forgiven. What I’m less willing to forgive, is what happened next. While writing the third book, he concluded that he needed another book to wrap it all up. And his publisher agreed. That third book became Brisingr, and it bored the hell out of me.

So, Book Four, Inhertiance. What an epic waste of dead trees. As I feared, there was a whole lot of nothing much going on, leading up to the battle to end all battles, the one that would settle the fate of Middle Earth Alagaësia once and for all. And after they finally manage to overthrow Darth Vader Evil King Galbatorix with a lame Jedi-mindtrick überawesome magic, there’s an overlong cleansing of The Shire the realm sequence, during which Eragon and his dragon have a Frodo-like revelation gain a deep, profound insight that they have to sail away from The Gray Havens leave Alagaësia. And he doesn’t even get the girl.

No, it’s safe to say that it probably would’ve been better for the series if there were only three books. Two, even. The final two books are too long, and contain too many story lines and scenes that go totally nowhere. For example, most of the battles (don’t get me started on the amount of violence and blood and gore) could have taken place off stage. Just focus on Dragon Rider Boy and his dragon, and what they have to do to kill the king. Yeah, sure, those chapters about his cousin going all the way to this remote city to capture it establish him as this awesome warrior that is, like, totally awesome, but get. to. the. freaking. point. Also, watch your language:

High above gleamed a lone wandering star, a furtive spark in the brightening blue mantle, where the sun’s growing radiance had obscured all of the other nighttime jewels.

While I don’t usually object to flowery language, page after page of this inconsequential drivel is a bit too much. Even for me. Paolini has said he might write some prequels and related novels, but I’ll think I’ll pass.

Book read
Christopher Paolini — Inheritance, or The Vault of Souls (Inheritance, Book Four)
First line
The dragon Saphira roared, and the soldiers before her quailed.