There was a long wait after the third book Brisingr, but finally the fourth and final book “Inheritance” is here and I have also finished reading it. This was one of those books that once started needs to be finished quickly. Christopher Paolini has finally managed to bring back the interest in the story that he had lost in the third book. This is the book of war between Varden and Empire and their eventual victory. In such a book, we all know that good will always win over the bad and therefore the end of the book is already known but the suspense is in knowing how it happens. I also think that he stretched the book unnecessarily after the killing of Galbatorix.
The book has its share of twists and turns. There are small wars where once again Roran proves his mettle. Eragon and Saphira along with Elves provide magic and all other races of the Alagaesia come together in their fight against the Empire of Galbatorix. The main twist is about Eragon finding about protected Eldunari of many dragons as well as unhatched eggs that were kept in safekeeping when it was certain that they were not able to fight Galbatorix. Now the power of these lost dragons adds to the power of Eragon and using that they are finally able to kill Galbatorix. There is an interesting twist of Murtagh falling in love with Nasuada and finally helping Eragon against Galbatorix.
The most interesting part for me in the book was about “true names”. It is a great concept and I think has a lot of philosophical value as well besides being the magical concept in the book. It says that people have to struggle hard and do lot of soul-searching to find out their true name that completely describes them. But once they learn it, they benefit from knowing about their true nature. Also, if you share your true name with another person then you are almost handing over your life to them. I believe that the concept is true in our day-to-day life as well. The biggest struggle that all of us face is knowing about self and being truthful about it. Maybe, that is the secret of biggest sages throughout the history that they learnt truth about themselves or in other words they learnt their “true name”.
I finished reading the last book in Inheritance cycle but before writing about that I wanted to write about “Brisingr” as well that is third book in the series. I feel that the author Christopher Paolini faltered most in this book. I would have liked him to finish the series in this book but he seemed to have stretched the story to its limits by adding more confusion and more characters.
In some sense Brisingr is about the preparation of war with Galbatorix by Varden. It is this book when Eragon’s brother Roran proves himself as strong fighter and leader. Eragon manages to get his sword Brisingr. There are lots of plots and sub-plots involving many characters and I have almost forgotten about most of them. Some of the fights are important where Eragon, Saphira and Arya or Roran fight together as one unit and in later book this understanding comes out to be really useful for them.
One of the interesting concepts worth mentioning in the book is about Eldunari that is heart of hearts of a dragon. Eldunari contains all the energy of the dragon and it can remain alive outside dragon’s body and continues to function even after dragon is dead. Eragon gets to know that Galbatorix has collected many Eldunari from the dragons that he had killed and that is his main source of immense power. Eragon and Saphira’s teacher dragon Glaedr gives away his Eldunari to Eragon to help him in his fight against Galbatorix. But Glaedr and his rider dies at the hand of Murtagh.
Brisingr ends with Varden army invading the empire for the final fight.
I had written about “Eragon” in the beginning when I had started this Blog but then I could not get to “Eldest”. I have read the third book “Brisinger” as well but I will write about that some other time. The author Christopher Paolini was supposed to write it as three book series but he did not finish it in three books and there will be fourth and hopefully final book. Eldest picks up the story from where Eragon ended.
I liked the initial parts of Eldest where Eragon and his dragon Saphira travel along with Arya to the place where Elves live for Eragon to get trained. The training is meant for both Eragon and Saphira. Eragon is trained by dragon rider and Saphira is trained by dragon. I liked the way author has shown love of Saphira for the dragon and how she is rejected. At the same time Eragon’s love is also rejected by Arya. The relationship of Eragon and Saphira continue to become stronger and better. After training, the story moves to battle between Varden and Empire and becomes more complicated.
During his training Eragon is asked to concentrate on his surroundings so that he can understand the life that exists around him and be able to listen to all the material and non-material things around him. I really liked this description and how the world becomes a different place for him once he had trained himself to sharpen his senses. There are many other sub-plots that continue in the book and they have their own merits but somehow I did not find them to be very interesting. The first book was really nice but I have been loosing interest in the subsequent series.
I was wondering why some characters and their names in the books become so famous and why some of them are completely forgotten even though the book itself may be quite famous. In some cases the title of the book itself makes the name of the character very famous like Harry Potter or Eragon but in other cases it is the strength of the character that makes it famous like Howard Roark in Fountainhead. But there are other books where you will find it very difficult to remember the name of the character. As an example, I do not remember the name of main character in Five Point Someone or Love Story. I guess it has also to do with the narrative style of the story as well. If the story is written in first person the name is used less often making it less memorable.
Is it necessary for the name of the character to reflect the nature? I guess not. I wonder how J. K. Rowling decided on Harry or Hermione or Ron. She has given lot of thought while deciding names of spells but she seemed to have picked up really common names for her main characters. Even the Bella of Twilight is a very common name. On the other hand, some books come up with very uncommon names like Eragon. Something that you have never heard of. If the name is so common, do we still start relating that name with the type of character if that character becomes famous. Will we think of very intelligent and sharp girl if we meet some real life Hermione?
There is another aspect of naming that I have found very amusing. When books are translated from other languages to English, the native names are still taken in and then it becomes difficult to remember those names like it happened with me while reading War and Peace. I guess many non-Indians will find difficult to remember names if they were to read Mahabharata in English.
I guess the naming of characters is a complicated process in the minds of author and mostly they also do not realize how it can turn around depending upon the success of that book.
I have heard about comparisons being made between Eragon and Harry Potter or Eragon and Lord of the Rings, but I would like to not go into those. I was primarily attracted to Eragon since I was reading a lot about this in media. The book is responsible for making dragons most loved mythical animals. To me it was a love story between Saphira and Eragon. A love that was based on strength and care about each other.
The most important aspect that I liked was the concept of creation and storage of energy which is then used to create magic. The idea almost look plausible at times. It is as though Paolini has figured out some advanced form of energy creation and storage and then he is just converting that energy for either material transformation, communication or transportation.
Saphira is not a slave to her master. She is a friend to Eragon, she is also a master and servant at the same time. She loves Eragon but can get angry as well. They both learn from each other and both get hurt together. Even though there is another love angle of Eragon with Arya, I did not find it as interesting. Arya by definition is too mature for him.
Sometimes, I have felt that he made the story too long and brought in too many characters and then found it difficult to manage them. After sometime I got lost. I have read the other books as well and there were some interesting concepts there but I will write about them later.