Thoughts on Paolini

Post by Ashley

Phew! What day is it?

I have just now officially come back to life as we know it—year 2008—not a dragon, elf, or magical sword in sight. Where have I been for the past few days? Buried deep in the latest installment of Christopher Paolini’s “Inheritance” trilogy-that’s-now-a-quadrology. I know, I’m a little late on the draw. The book’s been out for a few months, but such is its popularity that my name just came up on the library’s reserve list for Brisingr a few days ago. So tonight I finished reading. My assessment: Good. Yep. Just good.

My quarrels with the book are these: Sometimes the writing is too self-conscious. You know, when you’re reading a book and you’re suddenly picturing how the author came up with that particular turn of phrase to describe that scene instead of living in the scene itself? That’s self-conscious writing. It’s a semi-jarring experience that authors should avoid submitting their readers to.

Quarrel number two: way too much violence. But that’s just my opinion. And it’s the opinion of a girl who, when she saw the first Lord of the Rings, thought she was physically going to die, right there in her theater seat, it was so scary. But still, all the mention of “gore” and “grey matter” and “smearing/dripping/spurting/squirting/drenching/etc. blood” and “smashing/crushing/etc. bones” and all the limb severing was a little more than I could stomach. I mostly let my eyes drift over those parts, of which there were many. This is definitely not a book I’d recommend to anyone under the age of fifteen or so. In my case, under the age of twenty-four.

Quarrel number three: If I was really in love with this series, I probably would’ve lapped up all the extra detail and all the extensive information about, well, everything. But since I just like the series, it felt a tiny bit excessive to me. The first thirty-plus pages of the book (I lost count at thirty) were just a conversation between Eragon and his cousin Roran. No action, just talking. As an editor, I can tell you that I’ve been trained to hack and slash when authors do that. But since he’s an established author and it’s an established and well-loved and much-anticipated series, he definitely has the freedom to do some rule bending, no doubt about it.

Aside from that, and if you’re still even reading my own TMI post, it was a good, enjoyable, fantasy-thriller book. I’m excited to see how it ends, but I guess I’ll just put that one on the back burner, since I and all the other “Inheritance” fans probably have a couple-year wait ahead of us.

Laura's review here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I didn't see Laura had already reviewed it. I totally agree with her assessment. Too much detail, and what the heck happened to Arya?? She was the best part!! Oh well ...


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