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Reviews Comments: Series is good, fans and anti-fans alike are idiots Inheritance Cycle whole series review by Temporary 13

This series really isn't anywhere near as bad as it is often made out to be. The hatred directed at it is more the result of a trend, if anything else. People with a lowered tolerance for the common archetypes of fantasy are angry with the author for taking too much inspiration from their favorite series, and use that as an excuse to criticize every point that can be criticized and be much harsher than they would be to other series.

Is it derivative? It's traditional fantasy, in every sense of the word, and is built out of the tropes of the genre played straight. I really can't say it any clearer than that. It's probably at the same level of what you'd expect from "The Sword of Shannara" or "The Belgariad." It is not copied word for word, even if it is formed from the same skeleton as these other works.

The criticism that the Inheritance Cycle draws is mostly due to either bitterness excerberating criticism and accentuation of the negative, or people jumping on the Hate Dumb bandwagon and letting others' opinions think for them. Most of the fans are hardly any better, being convinced that Paolini is Tolkien and swallowing every aspect of the story completely.

Is it perfect? No, there are actual problems here, but more in the spirit of small annoyances that could have been fixed with another draft. Eragon and Saphira are boring and unlikeable protagonists, but Murtagh, Roran, Arya, Katrna, and several others are all interesting characters. It's interesting to read a fantasy series that is based in a mountainous Norse-based landscape, not a temperature European one, and the Hate Dumb complaints about geography fails are ridiculous.

Paolini has talent as an author and could create some really good literature once he moves away from the hyper-traditional High Fantasy and writes some other things; it's too bad idiots keep fudging and misinterpreting his quotes in order to tell other people that he compared himself to Tolkien, downtalked J.K. Rowling, or other bull.

My best advice is to read this series on its own merits and don't let others tell you what you should think about it, probably including myself. If you don't like first book, then put it down and move on to something else. If you enjoy it, as many people do, then good for you.


  • TheEmeraldDragon
  • 23rd Jun 11
Wow, umm, over generalize much? Saying it is only bitterness that creates the hate while ignoring dozens of pages of well thought out literary critics, shows a great deal of ignorance. Following it by saying, in the same paragraph no less, that the book has 'small annoyances' that could easily be fixed with 'another draft' and that the 'protaganists are boring' doesn't help your case. Boring protaganists is no a small annoyance nor can it be esily fixed in any manner.
  • Scardoll
  • 24th Jun 11
Eragon and Saphira are boring and unlikeable protagonists

"Small annoyances"?
  • Temporary13
  • 28th Jun 11
I acknowledged some of the problems I saw, and how major or minor I saw them. If you think I'm wrong, then it is only because you consider the same problems to be of a different magnitude.

I can understand those who don't like the series, or at least those who stop reading because they are mature enough to realize that it simply isn't their thing and not worth reading or hating, but I'm not impressed with the Hate Dumb, or their "well thought out" criticism.

I wrote this review to give my opinion, and I've given it. If you disagree, fine. Everyone has a different opinion, and if you believe this is a terrible series so strongly that you feel you must argue with me to prove your point because I happen to not share your opinion, then I'm not going to try to convince you. I'm not Paolini's personal protector, and Jesus if I'm going to waste my time defending him from every person who happens to have a different opinion than mine.
  • spambot
  • 29th Jun 11
The annoyances really are small. I remember enjoying the first book when it came out, despite how corny parts were. None of the oft-repeated critiques are story-breaking; they're just kind of there.

What is disappointing about the series is that the hatedom seems to have gotten to Paolini, whose last two books have gone off the track trying way too hard to be original. He's spent so much time adding tacked-on "original" fantasy elements that it seems he's forgotten about the main arc.
  • TheEmeraldDragon
  • 30th Jun 11
Your opinions are your own and there is nothing wrong with that, however, your eview is flawed. You can't call the fact that the protagonists are boring a small annoyance, and be surprised when this raises a few eyebrows.
  • eveil
  • 1st Jul 11
Sometimes, people pay more attention to side characters over the main characters.
  • Ckuckoo
  • 14th Jul 11
^^If the reviewer doesn't read the series for the main characters, and believes it has other virtues that outweigh that flaw, of course s/he can call it a small annoyance.
  • DarthGangsta
  • 30th Aug 11
I thought the book was terrific when I was in fifth grade.However, I eventually realized that the whole thing was basically stolen. The first two books are too similar in plot to Star Wars to be enjoyable anymore (As an aside, Farthen Dur sounds an awful lot like Yavin Four to me). I just didn't bother with Brisingr. I know that it is difficult to write something original, because pretty much all of the good stories have been told before. It's an author's job to repackage the old stories in a new, interesting way. I believe that Paolini failed in that quite miserably. I started hating Paolini long before I even knew that there was any kind of trend. Oh, and I think he did downtalk JK Rowling. Just read his review of Half-Blood Prince for Entertainment Weekly. Maybe he didn't mean to, but it at least seemed that way to me. I think a lot of writers hate him because of the fact that he got his first work picked up by a major publisher so quickly. So, some people do hate it out of bitterness, and that bitterness is understandable.
  • murex
  • 19th Sep 11
This review pretty much sums up how I feel about this series. The worst thing about The Inheritance Cycle is that both the fandom and hatedom make me want to tear my hair out. On the fandom side, Christopher Paolini is an asshole who thinks he's the next Shakespeare, and the whole "he wrote it at 15 OMG OMG" stuff is pretty annoying. On the hatedom side...just look at the Headscratchers page, okay? The series itself is a rather trashy jumble of poorly executed good ideas, and yes, the side characters are much more likeable than Eragon himself (I personally like Saphira).

Tl;dr: If you must read The Inheritance Cycle, don't discuss it on the internet
  • Desertopa
  • 1st Oct 11
The Inheritance series frustrates me, because I suspect that Paolini really does have substantial talent as an author. For all that detractors like to harp on the fact that he didn't really write the whole book at the age of seventeen, the first book was, in fact, pretty impressive for someone his age. Sure, it was highly derivative, but most beginning authors who try for something really original right off the bat end up with lousy results. Most beginning authors period end up with lousy results. From a financial standpoint, Paolini's publishers did the right thing; the series made them a boatload of money after all. But from an artistic standpoint, I really wish they had instead told him "very good for a first effort, keep trying!"

When it comes down to it, the Inheritance series is not that bad, by the standards of Sword and Sorcery fiction. The trouble is that the Sword and Sorcery genre has very low standards. Eragon was hugely successful because it attracted a large audience which wasn't already following standard Sword and Sorcery, but not because it stood out for exceptional quality.

Because he's already achieved financial success and a solid fanbase, Paolini no longer has much incentive to address or even recognize his flaws as a writer. Everything came too early for him, and I think his potential as an author, which was probably substantial, is likely to be wasted.

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