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Reviews Comments: A good series that is often unfairly criticized. Inheritance Cycle whole series review by AHEM 13133

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.


  • 8th Jul 10
I disgree personally, but you know what? I enjoyed it when I was 10 and I missed the plot holes and Star Wars parallels (not the Lord of the Rings ones though). So feel free enjoy it. I just disagree with a lot.
  • Autarch
  • 7th Aug 10
I really think you haven't read any of the things it's compared to and have never taken a course on writing and what makes good writing.

What the above guy said, though.
  • Dragonexx
  • 12th Sep 10
Finally a review that gives an honest look at the series. While the series does have it's flaws there not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. This series may not be the "book that redefines the genre" But neither is it the "The most horrible abomination ever written".

It's just what it is. A fantasy series with it's good and bad points.
  • Vilui
  • 16th Nov 10
I, for one, don't claim that the series is plagiarised; but I do claim that it's so heavily derivative of a fairly small number of sources that the end result is too predictable to enjoy, for me at any rate. There are no plot twists or surprises; it did not engage me intellectually or keep me guessing. Nor did the characters have enough depth to make me come to see them as real and care about what happens to them, which is the main thing I look for in a work of fiction.
  • Selryam
  • 18th Nov 10
All of the above.

I first read it when it came out and therefore had no outward influences telling me what to think. I was pretty young, and I liked fantasy, so I liked Eragon. But looking at the series now, it's really very bland. The technical aspects of the writing certainly never struck out as notably good in my mind, but more importantly, the characters are generally irritating and unlikable. That in conjunction with how derivative the plotlines are made for a reading experience that just wasn't very captivating. I'm not going to say "it sucks for being very derivative" - it's just that being very derivative means it lacks novelty in my mind, and is therefore a little boring.

And Paolini focuses on the external action a lot - the characters are for the most part defined by what they do, not by what they think. Sure, a lot of characters, Eragon included, say a lot of thoughts about things like justice and race and religion and the technicalities of magic and whatever else in the world. But it never feels personal to the characters; it's just Paolini speaking through them.

If the plotlines are boring and the characters don't make up for it, then that's why this series stinks in so many minds. Hate Dumb is only the most vocal part of those who dislike a series; I think most are turned off by the meh-level writing rather than the fact that Paolini draws heavily from existing fantasies.
  • Ninjat126
  • 14th Feb 11
I'd agree. It's heavily influenced by Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but if I wrote a book as a young teenager it wouldn't be super original either. It's a hit because it's familiar, simple to pick up but has a bit of illusory depth and a bit of real depth to keep you interested. That said, some of the plot twists were just stupid and ludicrous, or just plain predictable.
  • Scardoll
  • 15th Feb 11
Eldest and Brisingr were not written by the author when he was a young teenager.

So that excuse doesn't really hold much water.

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