So today I have finished reading the Eragon books. I might be two years late, but I've finally finished Heritage. This last book pretty much took me half a year (mostly because I was lazy), so I guess you can understand that finishing a series has a big impact on me. So I figured I'd write something along the lines of a review, or at least my opinions, of the "Heritage series", written by Christopher Paolini.
Do realize that I've forgot most of the story, but fair enough. This journal is without spoilers and FAR TOO FREAKING LONG XD
The Heritage series was supposed to take three books, though because the author felt it didn't leave enough space to end the series as he wanted, he decided to make that four. Even this last book didn't seem to be enough, as it is practically twice as big as any other book in the series. When reading the final piece, you do see that he has trouble making an end to it.
The "falling action" (the part of the story that comes after the climax in which loose ends are tied up) is the longest I've ever seen in any book. I am not unhappy with it either, as every line of it was a good read, though I can't say it didn't drag on too much.
But what am I doing? I should start at the beginning of the story! Eragon, the first book in the series, features a boy who gets his own dragon, which he calls Saphira. To sum it up: Eragon's guardian gets killed and he starts hunting the killers with a guy called Brom. He ends up going to many different cities and places, including cities of dwarfs and elves.
The story has a lot of absolutely amazing details to it, including a map of the world in which it all happens, languages of the different species and a huge history of the world. There is far too much to it to get into in just one journal, and for the reader's sake I'll do my best not to do that.
The first thing people would notice is that it's a rather standard Heroes Journey overall, heavily influenced by Middle Earth, featured in the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. You got the basic elves, dwarfs and orc-like creatures and the story starts out like how an average RPG would. Even the dragon-human-bond doesn't seem to be too ground-breaking, but it definitely is one of the things that keeps the story fresh.
The other aspect that keeps the story fresh is how practical and realistic the author wrote the story. Almost always, the things that happen in the story are possible (in the rules of the world, of course) Paolini seems to take pleasure in describing both huge battles and small cuts in a way that they are just as important, and makes sure not to forget details like that a small cut on someone's skin could get infected. The story even stay true to the rules of physics, despite the fact that magic is involved.
Magic is the third and final aspect that keeps the books fresh. In the world of Alagaësia, magic is invoked through the "Old Language," or the language of the elves. Words have power, and in the Old Language, one cannot lie. When you say "jierda" (break) in the Old Language, that what you focused on shall break, unless if your body doesn't have the energy to break it.
The mean character of the series is a great character and despite his flaws, he is usually enjoyable to read about. Nevertheless, Paolini doesn't ignore his others characters, proven by how he has given every character a decent ending in Heritage. The side characters are almost all just so great. Reading the story of Roran was probably my favorite part of the entire series, and characters such as the (somewhat stereotypical, yet completely original) which Angela and the unusual child Elva is absolutely amazing. The side-characters are great.
One other thing I love about the series is how it is bound by physics as we know it. Without wanting to spoil anything, atomic bombs and the fact that the world is round have a very interesting role in the final book. Isn't that just amazing, in a work of pure fantasy?
The last thing I would want to say about this series is that it often seems to attempt to bring up ethical and religious questions, though these aspects were usually brought up in a very hidden manner. I guess for the book's sake, that's a good thing, as you wouldn't want it to get in the way of the story, and since I seemed to agree with the author's point of view, I didn't see much issue with it. I am mostly just happy that it featured important questions like it did.
Overall, Eragon is refreshing while keeping true to its genre. It are the unusual scenes, ideas and concepts that make the story so much fun to read. Tactical and strategic battles that got an extra dimension because of the use of magic and different races, torture scenes, war-time meetings between kings and queens, fights using all kinds of weapons, these books have everything a fan of fantasy could wish for, perhaps too much of it even.
Is it perfect? Definitely not. Do I recommend it? Definitely. Get ready for a loooong read, though, as Paolini just doesn't know when to stop. Much like me, it seems.
Listening to: Underclass Hero - Sum 41
Reading: Well, you know...
Watching: Kyoukai no Kanata
Playing: Chrono Trigger