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Inheritance


The future is bleak. Most of my friends are away at their final year internships, and the precious few of us left on campus have been having a hard time keeping from wasting away. Boredom can drive you insane, add the pressure of the end sems to the equation and well, life is hell. Typically, around this time of the year I contemplate suicide (alright no, I’m a narcissist, but I sincerely hope that someone nukes the academic block). However this time around I see hope in the wintery November.

The memory is vague, but I guess I was introduced to the Inheritance Cycle when I was in my 9th. My dad had just flown in from Banglore and with him came my copy of Eragon. And here I’m now, three books and eight years later, waiting for the last book of the cycle, Inheritance.

Well dragons, magic and elves (not the ugly Harry Potter ones, actual elves) most sane kids would find any book with the combo interesting. The insane ones settle for shiny vampires( hint: Twilight). So it’s no surprise that I got hooked to the series. The concept of Dragon Riders was in itself very attractive. Added to this were a host of intriguing characters and a beautifully sculpted plot, naïve at times but beautiful all the same. To top it all, Christopher Paolini was just 18 when the first book was published. Well, I don’t know about you but I sure was impressed. My taste of literature has changed over these years, a lot has been pruned away leaving behind what I like to think of as a taste for fine, meaningful literature (you could call me a arrogant bastard). In this process of refinement a lot of books that I used to like, or maybe even cherished, in the past have been shelved permanently.  Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr, however, still hold my interest. 

In every genre of literature a particular book functions as a yard stick against which all others works are measured. My yard stick in fantasy-fiction is “The Lord of The Rings” and measured against it, Paolini’s Inheritance cycle did surprising well. LOTR is a masterpiece. Tolkien created a whole alternate universe, crafted a century’s worth of history, and traced the path of several races through the sands of time. This was just his creative brilliance, the only reason all this found its way onto paper was because Tolkien was a true master of English with an extraordinary attention to detail. No book I have read so far quiet matches the description of events, emotions and places that I have seen in LOTR. Paolini’s work doesn’t compare to the brilliance of LOTR, but his work is one that shows much promise. His writing style, though still amateur in comparison, has a lot in common with Tolkien’s own style. And though Alagaesia’s history is rather sparse in comparison to Middle Earth’s, it’s still enough to tingle your interest.

The Inheritance may be seen as a tale about Eragon, his struggle to rid Alagaesia of the tyrant king and resurrect the order of Dragon Riders but ample space has been give to other characters. Nasuada and Roran are characters of immense strength, characters that deserve their own space away from the overwhelming shadow of Eragon and Saphira. It’s beautiful how Paolini has developed these characters away from the central character, giving them the space they deserve and adding an extra dimension to the tale. The way he keeps switches between Eragon’s and their tales may be irritating but I believe that it makes for a better read, sans the initial irritation. 

At the end of the third book Brisingr, Eragon is left without a guide and teacher, with both Oromis and Brom dead.  There is nowhere the young man can look for guidance. However the revelation about the Eldunari is a glimmer of hope in these dark times. It will be interesting to see how the Eldunari and the power of the dragons trapped with them mold the course of events in Algaesia. I also have a gut feel that Roran will be the next rider, which should be rather interesting, a man of Roran’s character in possession with the power of the riders will be a force to reckon with.  I also sincerely hope to see more of Murtagh this time around, it’s a pity that a character like him hasn’t found much place since the first book. Also I’m extremely interested to see what fate has in-store for him, is his future as dark as his past or is there still hope…

True the books have been predictable to a certain extent, but you have to agree that Paolini has been able to catch us by surprise more than once. I hope that Inheritance will turn out to be a masterpiece, better than any of the first three, it’s the only way to say farewell to an amazing tale. 

Atra esterní ono thelduin. Mor'ranr lífa unin hjarta onr. Un du evarínya ono varda.    

Book 4, Inheritance, releases worldwide on November 5.

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Vakul Mohanty
A metal-head who's wants to do pursue a Ph.D Currently studying Biology & Comp Sc. at BITS,Pilani - Hyderabad Campus, his life-long ambition is to become a professor and wear shorts to work.


 

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