Murtagh: The World of Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle)
Murtagh is an outcast prince grappling with his very troubled past. The land is newly freed from its tyrannical king, but Murtagh discovers undercurrents of sedition and an evil that could destroy the entire realm, or perhaps the world. While this plot seems to trace a familiar outline, it has lovely episodic twists, exciting pacing, and unique, multidimensional characters that are a delightful surprise.
Murtagh, while displaying superiority in intellect, fighting ability, and magical acumen, nevertheless is no typical “Chosen One”; nor is his dragon a perfectly realized ideal. Both of them grow and learn over the course of the book; solutions don’t always work; they make foolish and costly mistakes. In other words, they are easy to relate to. In the end and overall, they are striving to do good in the world, and are admirable for it.
This is exceedingly refreshing in a world—ours—full of morally questionable relativism and stories of nihilism and despair. A redemptive ending after a thrilling final conflict leave you fully satisfied, even with open questions that hint at forthcoming adventures. I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in a long time; I hope there are many more to come.
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