I could hardly believe that this was written by the same author who wrote The Godfather. So many two-dimensional characters to keep track of; characters who I frankly didn't care about. The whole thing seemed like a cheap imitation of The Godfather written by some talentless hack.
I started out with Pillars of the Earth, then World Without End. I have listened to both of them twice. I listened to a couple other of his shorter books next, but neither were as good as this one. Once you become familiar with the main characters, the momentum builds to the climax.
I enjoyed the first book, tolerated Eldest, and hate this one. The things that annoyed me in the first book just keep getting worse. Paolini strips the magic out of magic and the mysterious romance out of adventure. He insists on explaining and analyzing everything endlessly. He is unceasingly introspective, and lacks the moral authority to kill his enemies without suffering sleepless nights of recrimination. What a whimp. I seem to be identifying the author with the main character, but I have little doubt that he does himself. The dialog in this book drones on endlessly, interspersed with pointless exposition on minutia that I suppose was intended to add color, but succeeds only in adding bulk. It will leave you praying for some action. Paolini needs to get himself a cheeseburger with everything on it, a girlfriend, and a job digging ditches so he can learn what life is like in the real world. Then he will be able to put some color into his writing.
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