When he began to write the "Inheritance" series, Christopher Paolini had planned on writing a trilogy. However, he found it too difficult to share his story about Eragon, the last true Dragon Rider, his fierce dragon and companion Saphira and their journey to save the land of Alagaesia in only three books. This is how "Inheritance," the fourth and final book in this amazing series, was born.
In this exciting novel, the adventures of Eragon and Saphira continue as they battle their way to complete what was destined of them: to face Galbatorix, the cruel, all-powerful ruler of Alagaesia, and his ancient dragon Shruikan. However, things are never as easy or as simple as first planned, something Eragon and Saphira are forced to accept as they and the Varden, the massive multispecies rebellion against Galbatorix's reign, fight their way to the feet of the overlord himself. They must battle their own inner enemies of doubt and fear as well as the overwhelming masses of armies Galbatorix has set in their way. Eragon's uncertainty of their ultimate victory becomes more and more apparent as he and the Varden close in on Galbatorix's throne. He finds himself searching for other forms of help in some of the strangest people and places.
While the main story is about Eragon and Saphira's adventures and turmoil, Paolini also shares Roran's experiences and battles just as in his previous books. Even though Roran is not magically gifted or cursed with a great destiny like his Dragon Rider cousin, Eragon, his encounters with Galbatorix's men almost bring a sense of reality, creating an anchor of a more realistic life in order to help the audience relate to this book full of magic, myths and legends.
Also among the fighting and adventures, love is a key point throughout all of the books. It has been unquestionably obvious that Eragon has felt a connection to the elf princess and skilled warrior, Arya, from the very start of their journeys together. As the series comes to an end, Paolini finally shares Arya's thoughts to Eragon's feelings for her and what her reaction would be. Most "Inheritance" series fans have been debating this from the first book and will finally find their answer among the pages of this thriller.
Even though the most prominent conflict in this book is Eragon and Saphira's inevitable battle with Galbatorix and Shruikan, I absolutely love how Paolini shows the effects and consequences of this battle that affects the very structure of Alagaesia and future generations to come. He emphasizes the point that war has consequences, both good and bad. Paolini draws the conclusion in such a way that it does not follow the typical "fairy-tale ending," something that could be both applauded and possibly slightly risque.
In all, while I believe the series should go on, I have enjoyed the experience and adventure of living in a wonderfully mystical world and am grateful Paolini gave the series such an incredible ending.
Rachel Wieclaw is a sophomore at North Tonawanda High School.
By Christopher Paolini
Knopf Books for Young Readers
880 pages; $27.99