Mr. Paolini published his first fantasy novel, Eragon, in 2002 with the help of his parents' company- Paolini International, LLC. Soon, the novel was picked up by Knopf and the book entered a second edition in August 2003. Two years later, the sequel, Eldest, was released to the masses. Paolini became a NYT bestseller at the age of 19. He has been hyped as a child prodigy due to graduating high school at the age of 15. However, he was homeschooled and graduated through a correspondence course. Mr. Paolini has received a great fanbase, as evidence by the citadel of Inheritance's presence on the internet- [link=http://www.shurtugal.com]Shurtugal.com[/link]. However, there has also been a flipside of more critical and disapproving readers of the series, shown by [link=http://www.anti-shurtugal.com]Anti-Shurtugal.com[/link]. [hr] My experience with the series... Many enjoyed Eragon, among them my ~70-year old uncle who has read novels and especially fantasy and science fiction all his life. He got me to read the novel and so I read the beginning describing Eragon's upbringing and daily lifestyle. I was dismayed. At my uncle's questioning, I had said there was something greatly lacking about what I had read of the book so far. I went on to say that it felt shallow and uninspired. My one line review for the book (when I did finish) was, "What you read is what you get." I meant this to say that there was nothing behind those words on the page, there was no depth, nothing to be explored. In retrospect, I found the most inspired element of the book to be the minor character Angela and her werecat. Nonetheless, when the second book was published, I purchased it immediately. I never finished it (but plan to return to it over the course of this thread). My uncle, however, did finish it. And in the process, the Inheritance series lost another fan. He was displeased and disappointed with Mr. Paolini. With Eldest, the series lost many fans but still gained some new. You either love it or hate it, it is beginning to appear. In this thread, I wish to discuss Inheritance's literary merits with the insightful members of the JC- fans and bashers alike. My three main gripes with Mr. Paolini and his series are as follows: Writing Being the son of well-connected parents in the business of publishing, Mr. Paolini could not have undergone the full extent of the journey necessary for a writer to hone his or her skills- a journey which usually goes beyond the teen years. I believe that had Mr. Paolini not had the parents he did, he would've experienced that same insecurity and humility which could only lead to far more healthier results at the end of the path (publication). Characterization The character of Eragon is a disaster, written as a channel for Gary Stu wish fulfillment. Additionally, the relationship between Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, is a missed opportunity. While Paolini writes that the dragon and his rider are equals, too often it seems like Saphira takes a subservient position to her rider for the sake of plot. Inspiration Inheritance is perhaps the most uninspired storytelling franchise out there. It is nowhere near the levels of LotR, Narnia, HP, SW, etc... Instead, it imitates and copies the aforementioned works, especially SW and LotR. Mr. Paolini has stated that he merely wanted to write a story following the traditional Hero Journey, and that's alright. He has succeeded in doing that. However, he has accomplished it through imitation and copying. He is by no means original in how he reinvents the journey. The journey and its steps do not have to be original, but serve as a framework around which its elements are reinvented to give a new spin to an ages-old story. It's not the what, it's the how that bugs me.