Sunday, November 27, 2011
by Christopher Paolini
Inheritance Cycle, book four
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost? (description from Amazon.com)
It's going to be hard to write a decent review of this book without being spoilery, but I'm going to try.
As with Paolini's second and third book, there were moments that I felt dragged a little. It's hard not to have that happen, though, when you are writing a book about such an epic journey to the destruction and recreation of a kingdom. Even Tolkein's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy had moments that felt too long.
However, aside from some slight draggishness in certain parts, I thought Paolini did an excellent job ending this series. There were no easy outs. It was a very difficult and illuminating journey. Many of the characters suffered and learned new things about themselves and where they stand in regards to the other Alagaesians. Though my heart ached in spots, this was a very realistic ending.
While parts made me tear up, and I somehow wished that the ending could have been changed just a little (even as I fully acknowledged that this ending was right), other parts made my heart sing. For every shred of doubt and darkness in this book, there is a shining beacon of hope. It is very well balanced.
When I finished, I was satisfied. Though there are a few more things I would like to learn....I have my suspicions about a few things, too (like who Angela the herbalist may really be...), and thankfully Paolini says in his author's note that though there will not be any more books featuring this specific cast of main characters, he plans to someday revisit Alagaesia and perhaps shine some light on those questions unanswered. YAY!
Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile