I, like many of Christopher's fans eagerly awaited the release of Inheritance (the last installment of the Inheritance Cycle), and after two years of waiting I had thought I'd finally be able to put this tale and it's bright and exciting characters to bed...
I WAS WRONG!
Now, I'm getting ahead of myself here a little, let's start from the beginning.
I was quite pleased with the opening 'rehash of the previous books' given that it'd been so long since the 3rd book, let alone the seven year gap between Eragon and Inheritance!! I read ALOT, but I wasn't about to re-read the entire first three books in the last few weeks just to catch up on all the vital points! Thanks Christopher for that, it was a refreshing, well received and greatly appreciated gift to start me on my Inheritance journey. As I delved further and further into the world of Alagaësia, I felt myself being drawn back into the wonder and thrill and magic and mystery of this incredibly vast and strange world. He quite quickly managed to bring me squarely back in the middle of the mix and I felt like I had returned to one of my favourite places to sit back and watch the story unfold; and unfold, it did! Over the course of the massive 860 pages, Inheritance thrust itself upon my mind and had me racing along to keep up with Eragon and Saphira's bumpy ride.
I felt we saw less of some of the other (IMPORTANT) characters than I would have liked *cough* Murtagh, Angela and Solembum, *cough*. We also had quite a raft of new smaller characters to contend with, they appeared in the story for but a brief minute, then faded away into the background, jostling with the many other bit-part characters that were woven into this tale. There were new parties to Inheritance that I think could have really bolstered the whole experience, if they were just given a bit of room to grow. That being said, I don't think I could have endured all that much more to Inheritance, it was certainly plenty long enough. Some would say perhaps, slightly too long.
Christopher certainly didn't fail to provide us with a fair mix of realistic and somewhat, gory battle scenes (of which, we all expected there to be many!), but he also included some rather touching, softer and more emotional story lines that surprised me with their emotional intensity. I didn't find myself being stared at by random people around me, because I didn't turn into a blubbering mess, but I did find myself sharing some of the range of emotions that Christopher so painstakingly wove into the epic tale of Inheritance.
I REALLY wanted to cry with Eragon and Saphira, and share in their joy and excitement, but alas, Christopher, it just didn't draw me in as much as the first three books did. Perhaps, it's because I'm a little older and don't relate to Eragon and Saphira so much any more? (I doubt that), perhaps it's that I've drawn away from Christopher's style of writing (also unlikely), or perhaps, it's just that I was a little disappointed in the overall ending of this long-awaited cycle?
My money is on Option 3!
I was uncertain about which rating I should give Inheritance (especially since I've not written reviews on the other three books), but I settled on 3.5 stars. It was enjoyable, but also quite an EPIC let down after such a long wait! Sorry Christopher, but it was only OK!