Amph ~The Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini~ Discussing its literary merits

Discussion in 'Community' started by Coruscant, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. jedichef1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2004
    star 5
    I am about half way through as well, it is better than Eldest but...

    I dont think anything has really happened yet I am just about to start what I hope is a more interesting chapter though.
  2. Admiral_Stone Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2008
    star 1
    Done:)

    It felt alot better than Eldest (less pov switching, but 2 chapters from a certain pov realy made me cringe[face_worried]) It was a good story line, but it seemed to be more of a wrapping up of all the loose ends from Eldest more than its own story (the Title page has it as Brisingr or The seven promises of Eragon shadeslayer and Saphira [brightscales]) It really was several shorter stories loosely conjoined into one larger one, causing it, imo, to make the other stories fell weaker.

    But I enjoyed it, and it contained, imo, the best fight scene of the whole series in it Helgrind:cool: :D
  3. CC-2054 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2008
    The POV that made you "cringe" I assume was Saphiras?

    I actually liked all the books, even though they are complete ripoffs of every thing. Brisingr was my favorite, though the last 100 pages were awful. Arya Shadeslayer? Are you kidding me?
  4. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Arya received the same title as Eragon? Oh boy. :rolleyes:

  5. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
  6. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Can you outline the "familiar" parts?
  7. Zebra3 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2004
    star 5
    Eragon was the only one who actually called Arya "Shadeslayer." It seemed to me he was just sort of joking around about actually calling her that.

    I would also agree with the opinion that this book was really more about wrapping up the loose ends of Eldest. Although, I DID like this book better. I think that's mostly because we got a lot less of Eragon mooning over Arya. And, yes, I liked the scenes in Helgrind.

    What I really did like was finally getting to actually hear something from Galbatorix, even if he was just possessing Murtagh and speaking through him at the time. Ah, poor Murtagh :( I hope he finds some sort of redemption/revenge for his situation.

    Also, Brom was actually Eragon's father? I like it. That certainly is a different direction to take the characters. I can't say I'm really surprised, however. I sort of guessed it when that creepy bird thing spoke to Eragon in Eldest.

    But I think my favorite scene was when Saphira attacked the Menoa tree to get her attention. Then she fairly soundly whips Saphira and Eragon's butts :)
  8. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Brom was Eragon's father? He sure kept his trap shut about that. he was the only character that I actually liked.
  9. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Yeah, he did... Though I'm not surprised by this revelation, I kind of like it. Now, my question is (maybe those who have read Brisingr can tell me if it's answered in the book or not :p ), is Murtagh still Morzan's son so he and Eragon are half-brothers? Or is Brom the father of both of them?

    My guess is that they're half-brothers, though I would like an answer. ;) If it's been revealed, that is.

    Oh, and another question. One of the Brisingr spoilers said that Eragon would meet a God. I'm curious as to how this happened and which God this was. And which character was pregnant? Katrina?


    I'm trying to satisfy my curiosity. :p I probably will end up reading it at some point, but I have no time for much extra curricular reading and I would rather save that for books that I absolutely want to read immediately. ;)

  10. Zebra3 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2004
    star 5
    Eragon and Murtagh are indeed half-brothers. The chapter where Saphira gives Eragon the memory of Brom talking to him as his father was quite touching.

    Also, the god thing. Eragon doesn't actually meet a god. What happened was, during Orik's coronation one of the priests prayed to the god (I forget his name right now) asking him (in the ancient language) to come and give his blessing and crown Orik as king of the Dwarves. Then Eragon is surprised that a very, very, strong presence shows up and does just that. Whatever the thing was that showed up sort of freaks Eragon out and he shields his mind from it. He and Orik have a conversation about it later and there is some ambiguity as to whether it was actually a god or not. It could be a god, or it could be a very strong spirit, or it could be just the god's manifestation on the world. Orik doesn't know and says something like "It's the closest we'll ever know to a god" or something close to that.

    Edit:
    And Katrina was the one who was pregnant.
  11. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Thanks! That satisfies my curiosity for now. :)
  12. SaintTames Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2008
    star 1
    It's sitting on the hold shelf at my library right now. I'm gonna go pick it up tomorrow and then let the readage begin.

    I can't wait to see how right I was. :p

    Tames Was Here
  13. SlyShy Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Hey everyone, new user here. I'm happy to see how many critics there are here. Clearly a crowd with discerning taste. As far as Brisingr goes, I've posted a Brisingr Review on my site you may be interested in viewing. I'm a bit disappointed that no professional critics have written reviews yet.
  14. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Welcome to the JC, SlyShy! I'm Nat :)

    I love your review!! Amazing :D
  15. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Awesome review, SlyShy. :D

    If I may quote...

    It's funny, since I never really gave much thought as to why, exactly, I disliked Eldest more than Eragon (haven't read Brisingr). This is certainly it. I might dislike the Star Wars plot of Eragon, but at least it was something my mind could cope with and say, "Yes, there is a plot to this!" Eldest... not so much. [face_plain]

    [face_thinking]
  16. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I almost quoted that. I agree, and it's nice to know why I liked Eragon more :p
  17. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    The only thing I admired about Eragon when I read it was Paoloni's ability to carry the plot as long as he did. He's far too young to be writing this story, and you can argue until you're blue in the face that young people have written good novels. But IMHO he never should have published the first one to begin with. He should have left it in a drawer, gathering dust for ten years and then returned to it after writing more and more for ten years and realised what an obvious work of fan fiction it was.

    I would LOVE to be his English teacher, sit him down one recess and tell him that while he does have talent as a writer, he just needs to grow as one.

    Great review, slyshy, and it has convinced me to miss this book.
  18. Coruscant Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 7
    Thanks for your review, SlyShy. :)

    I had been waiting to read something like that, and I too am disappointed that there have been no professional reviews, technically speaking. IMO, your review was perfectly professional. I definitely won't be buying Brisingr now, which is too bad, because I had hoped Paolini would improve as a writer. I mean, he has to know his writing isn't very good, but hey, what he's been producing has made him lots of money. So he probably figures, "Whatever works!"

    A dirty shame.

    edit: I hope you stick around, Sly!
  19. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    You should know as well as I do Corry that the best writers often don't make much of money and it's often the bad ones who do make a lot of money. Look at Dan Brown. And befire you mention it, JK Rowling is an exception.
  20. Chancellor_Ewok Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    Picked it up last week at Costco. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, as I am currently working my way through Eldest.

    I don't believe that Christopher Paolini is a bad writer and I don't believe the books are badly written, either. I agree that he will be a better writer 10 or 15 years from now than he is today, but that will come from experience. He started writting Inheritence when he was 15 and I think its obvious that he's spent a long time thinking about the story.

    To me, that's most obvious when reading the segments about the Dwarves. I thought it interesting that one of the first things that happened when Eragon and Saphira arrived at Farthen Dur with a meeting with King Hrothgar, as well as an explantion of how Dwarven politics works. In addition, I appreciate the fact that Paolini was smart enough to realize that a Dragon Rider would have effects on the relationship between the Varden and the Dwarf clans as well as changing the Vardens' own internal dynamics. I also liked the way that Brom and Eragon tracked the Raz'ac, which was by looking at Imperial shipping records and tracking the shipment Seithr oil. That was very perceptive thinking for a teenager and not something I would have expected.

    As for the charge that Paolini is ripping off Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, its true that certain passages in Eragon bear a striking similarity to certains scenes in Star Wars and that the overall structure of the books is inspired by Lord of the Rings, but considering the fact that LOTR is one of the founding works of the modern fantasy movement and one of Paolini's favorite books, its not surprising that he should use it as a model for The Inheritence Cycle.

    As a novelist who as chosen to start his career writing LOTR-style high fantasy, I think Paolini has done really a good job so far.
  21. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Just because he spent a long time thinking about the story doesn't mean that he will improve as a writer. He's a good storyteller, but a lousy writer.

    The story itself is not bad, and at times shows some flairs of originality. The problem is that his writing gets in the way of the story as often as it helps it.

    He can still improve. It's easier to become a better writer than it is to become a better storyteller, but he needs to recognize that he needs to improve first. I haven't really seen that from him so far.

    Kimball Kinnison
  22. Chancellor_Ewok Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    First of all, I don't feel like his writing gets in the way of the story and yes, some authors are good at writing about an idea or telling a story, but not very good at building characters, setting etc.

    As for whether or not, he can improve, I see the point that you are making, but I feel I should point out that Brisingr is only Paolini's third novel. It takes a long time to see noticable improvement as a writer. That debate is best save for when Paolini has nine or ten books under his belt. Personally, I am not expecting Brisingr to be noticably better that Eragon or Eldest. Just so long as its not noticably worse I'll be happy.
  23. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    But at the same time, he's been writing for years. And we should have to put up with bad quality published books while a writer spends ten books learning how to write well. That's just not the way it's done.

    QFT.
  24. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Thanks KK, I have been saying this from the very beginning.
  25. Chancellor_Ewok Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    That's my point, though. Paolini will only improve by writing constantly. Given that he's only 24 and has only written three books, I we're asking alot for him to demonstrate dramatic improvement in his writing ability. Very few people are naturally gifted authors and most authors improve by honing the mechanics of their craft. I don't think that Christopher Paolini has written enough for us to be able to say whether or not that he has begun to hone his craft yet. Hence, my comment that this is a debate that is best saved until Paolini actually has a significant body of work to examine.