A good series that is often unfairly criticized.
The Inheritance Cycle is not an original series by any means, but neither is it plagiarized. The majority of people who claim such are mostly rage-fueled Hate Dumb
members who use the term "plagiarism" like a banhammer without really understanding its meaning. The series is indeed somewhat derivative of several other works, but it is by no means just a copy.
However, every person has a different level of tolerance for this sort of thing. Before you read this book, you need to make a decision to yourself; are you okay with the idea that Paolini was heavy inspired by other sources? If you go into this series going by the words of the hatedom, that these are plagiarized and poorly written works by an imcompetant author, than you'll reap what you sow, and you won't enjoy the series for anything other than Snark Bait
. Likewise, if you absolutely cannot stand it when a series you read has elements that are obviously similar to others, than this series will not be for you. It's a hit or miss deal, really, because if it exceeds your comfort level in this regard, you most likely won't enjoy it.
However, if you don't hate the series for this one point, it's actually not a bad novel at all. The flaws in the writing are, again, overblown by people who hate the novels for what they see as plagiarism and are looking to bash it in any way they can. The prose writing is more than competant, there are a lot of interesting characters, and every book is consistently entertaining. Most of the "problems" in the writing are largely a matter of taste, like whether Paolini makes the books too long or uses too much description. It's not a poorly written sereis by any means, definitely professional enough to be a published work, and I'd probably give it a 7 or 8 out of ten in terms of technical writing. If you want to see bad writing, go read Twilight, the Fifth Sorceress, or most fanfiction. If you pay attention to his interviews and such, you'll also note that Paolini is a notable aversion to Protection From Editors
. The writing also improves with each book.
All in all, an enjoyable series that is sometimes unfairly based, well above the writing level of genuinely "bad" works, and a good read if it doesn't exceed your comfort level for "borrowing" from other works.