Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

The Varden are slowly conquering their way across Alagaesia, taking Galbatorix’ cities one by one. But even if his hold on Alagaesia is loosening, his lieutenants are many and his power undiminished. Soon, Eragon will have to face the dark lord himself – but does the young dragon rider stand a chance against the ancient king on his own?


By the point I reached Inheritance, the only reason I was still reading was because it felt like Paolini would somehow have beaten me if I didn’t finish the Inheritance Cycle… again. 

Inheritance feels somewhat disconnected from the previous books in the Cycle, mostly because the story seems to have rounded a corner – the Varden are now winning, Murthagh is no longer interesting enough as an antagonist, and Eragon can’t claim to be inexperienced. However, the previous books have failed to lay the groundwork for the climactic events of the final installment. 

As a result, Inheritance has a wandering plot that feels like Paolini was groping in the dark as to how he should end the whole thing, trying to fit in pieces of story he wanted to include without knowing how to bring them together properly. It feels a bit like a D&D campaign where the players have run away with the story and the DM is just along for the ride. The results are sometimes jarring. New antagonists are introduced and dealt with in a short space. Loose ends from the previous books are tied up neatly but unsatisfactorily, making the reader feel like the ending was overhauled compared to Paolini’s original intention. There is another sub plot in Dras Leona where Eragon nearly meets his maker fighting previously unmentioned enemies, making you question whether anyone in their right mind would let him anywhere close to Galbatorix. Eragon travels to Vroengard for the second half of the prophecy, but the whole thing seems shoehorned in to make it remotely believable that Eragon would stand a sliver of chance in the final confrontation. The final confrontation, when it comes, has such a ‘gotcha!’ as its resolution that I genuinely wanted to throw things in frustration. 

The final installment of the Inheritance Cycle makes the whole series worse, for it doesn’t deliver on either the buildup or the set up of the previous books. Having finally powered my way through the whole thing, it is frustrating to look back at Eragon, which I didn’t think was awful, and think back to when I enjoyed it, knowing now that none of it would lead anywhere. 

There is a lot of generic high fantasy out there, and the Inheritance Cycle is not near the top. Even if you started Eragon way back when and never finished – keep it that way. There is no satisfaction to be had in Inheritance.

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