Atra Esterni Ono Thelduin*

Well, I did it.  I read Inheritance.  It took me FOREVER, but it happened.  The Cycle is over.

Now I can get back to LOTR…by the time this whole shenanigans is over I will be fully versed in the fantasy genre.

It was a good book.  I don’t really have much to say without giving away spoilers.  And spoilers are no fun, are they?  No.  Exactly.

This book was…satisfying.  It was everything I hoped the climax of the Cycle would be, and a lot of things I never imagined for this series.  It was funny at parts (those parts mostly involving a certain herbalist) and sad at others.  The ending was more bittersweet than I had thought it would be.  But I suppose it was inevitable.

One exciting bit about this week was that I got to go to a signing for the book.  Christopher Paolini was really fun to listen to- his discussion and question-answering ranging in topic from Viking mead halls to a certain time-traveling physician- but he also gave some great advice about writing.  I had an awesome time.

Now, I would wax poetic about how this is the end of an era, and it’s sad, and how my life is changed forever (which is technically true, if you think about it, in the most basic sense- before I hadn’t read this series, and now I have), but I already did enough of that last week and way back when in July (albeit with a different series).  So now I’ll just tip my proverbial hat to the series and the man who wrote it, for being my first introduction to real fantasy, and also to this book, for being a very fitting ending.

Oh, and if you’re reading/have read the book?  I’m guessing you still want to know more about Angela.  My advice: look in the Acknowledgments.  I think you’ll find an answer.

If any of you lovely readers want to discuss the book, I’m always open to talking about it in the comments of this post.  There might be spoilers.  You have been warned.

Also.  Sorry there’s only one visual today.  I figured that was already covered last week, as much as it could be with this topic.

That being said, isn’t that picture ADORABLE?  In a dragon-y way, of course.

Happy reading!

*Yes, I do see the irony in giving a greeting as the title of a post in which I say farewell to the series.  But I like that title.  So we’re running with it.  Besides, made-up languages are much more fun.

UPDATE: Some of you are asking for the writing advice Mr. Paolini gave, which I admit would be an excellent addition to this post.  Basically, he broke it down into five parts:

  • Read everything.  That means EVERYTHING.  Even things you don’t think you would like.
  • Write persistently.  That means every day, including Christmas.  Also birthdays.
  • Learn as much about the language as you can.  Editing is important here.  It was mentioned that more can be learned from the editing than from the writing itself.
  • Write what you want to write.  You have to like what you’re doing.
  • Try to have fun.

Of Eragon and Endings

Today’s post is dedicated to the final book in the Inheritance Cycle.  Guess what it’s called.

Inheritance.

A quick word about my Halloween costume first: the post about that is in the works, but I’m afraid it’s not the incredible spectacle I was hoping for.  Therefore, let me just say I was Katniss Everdeen during the 74th Hunger Games.  And it was GLORIOUS.  And if you, dear readers, really want to see it, let me know and I’ll put up that post.

My experience with the Cycle started back in private school.  I want to say third grade, but it could have been anywhere around there.  It was at my school’s book fair that I first saw Eragon: a paperback book with such a pretty blue cover, and with a dragon on it, no less.  The pages were deliberately made to be jagged and uneven, which was strange.  It was a thick book, too.  But it was the dragon that transfixed me.

I kept going back to that book, and so eventually I bought it.

At first it was slow, and I almost put the book down within the first two chapters.  But then Saphira’s egg hatched and I remember reading it in a rush, caught up by the story.  I remember reading it over and over again, and it quickly climbed the ranks of my favorite novels.

I remember when Eldest came out.  I did not buy it right away, so I managed to snag a limited edition, with extra artwork and a complete list of everything in the series thus far.  I remember loving the forest of Du Weldenvarden, as well as the POV shift to Roran.  I remember eagerly searching the Internet for signs of when the third- and final- book would come out.

I remember the release of the movie, and how intensely excited I was.  I remember loving it, only to re-watch it a few years later and finally notice how horribly the producers had mangled the plot, ruining any hope of a sequel (why, oh why, does Brom tell him straight out that he’s a Rider??).

I remember my shock and elation at the news that the trilogy was now a four-book cycle.  I remember waiting for the name of the book to come out: Brisingr.  I remember going to Borders (may it rest in peace) the day it came out.  I remember the cashier remarking that everyone was buying Brisingr that day.

I remember finishing the book one day in school, looking at the back page, and feeling my anticipation for the final volume rise.  I remember the long, dull years we waited for news, any news at all, of the fourth book, and having it not be forthcoming.  I remember two companion books, one by Paolini and one by a fan, that came out during this time.  I remember my frustration that Brisingr should be in paperback, and all these extra things be created, and still the fourth book be far off on the horizon.

Then I remember the news via a Barnes & Noble email that the fourth book would be coming in November.  To me, this marked the beginning of the culmination of something I had been following for much of my life.

And so now we come to this.  With the release only a few days away, it feels strange to me that this should be ending.  It is much like this summer and the release of the final Harry Potter movie.  In fact, the feeling is more so, for I have been following the Cycle longer than I have Harry Potter.

At last all the fandom’s theorizing and speculating (of which I’ve done my fair share) will come to an end, and we will know the answers to all those question that have yet to be addressed.  There will be no more eagerly waiting for news, no more years between books, and we’ll finally know what in Alagaesia the Rock of Kuthian is.

As the Cycle comes to a close, we should applaud Christopher Paolini for his work, and for having such a stunning start to what I am sure will be a spectacular career.  No matter what happens in this final book, the series has come immensely far, and I will always consider it one of my favorites.

Happy reading.

Yes, I Know I Have No Life

How do I know this?  Because the most stressful thing in my life right now is the amount of books I need to read.

Yeah.  It’s ridiculous, I know.

Not *that* kind of Riddikulus.

Anyway, that’s why I don’t have time for a super long post today.  You see, I’m determined to get The Fellowship of the Ring* finished today, and I still have about 150 small-type pages to go.  Thank goodness for three-day weekends.  This book is going to keep me busy at least for the rest of today, and then I have homework and my post for Teens Can Write, Too! that’s due on the 18th…

Like I said, stressful.  But I think I can manage.

I'm not blonde, but...you get the point.

Why am I rushing myself to get this book read?  Well, for one, I’ve been on it for about a week now and made little progress.  And two, Inheritance comes out November 8th (!), which means I’m going to have to reread those books before that.  And I can’t do that because I’m reading this trilogy first.

Being a book nerd is so hard sometimes.

Okay, I just need to calm down.  Open the book, log off of Panem October, and get this song out of my head.

I can do this.

Happy reading (I hope)!

 

*My thoughts on the book so far?  Quite good, for my first real immersion into epic fantasy, but a little too much description for my taste.

Earthquakes and Experience

A short while ago, an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale rocked the state of Virginia and could be felt 200 miles away.  Being on the East Coast, I’m one of those who felt it- not that I realized it at the time.  This is a traumatic experience for most of us living here, as earthquakes, to us, are things to be heard about, things that happen in far-off places like Japan and California.  Not here, certainly.  They are never here.

Today, though, that belief was squished between tectonic plates.  Although it was not at all prominent enough to cause damage in my area, this event got me thinking about how much our personal experiences shape our writing.  In an earlier post I mentioned that what happens in our own lives, what we know, does not necessarily have to dictate what we can write about.  I still hold to that theory.  However, when describing something that occurs in real life, I believe that firsthand knowledge can go a long way towards making scenes and settings believable.

For example, I live in an area that usually is safe from natural disasters, except perhaps the occasional storm.  Therefore, putting disasters into my writing would not be very plausible, as I have no idea how it feels to be in one.  Now, of course, I could MAYBE write about earthquakes, but as I was not in the middle of it that’s still unlikely.

It’s not completely required to have this firsthand knowledge, but I think it just helps everything a lot more than if you were never in a certain setting or event.  This is why even fantasy writers put so much of their own lives into creating their worlds.  Christopher Paolini based his Alagaesian mountain landscapes off of his home state of Montana.  Suzanne Collins could write so fluently about war because of her family’s dealings in the military, and she was brought up discussing the effects of it.  It’s no surprise that the authors who do pull from their own lives tend to write more vivid and “real” worlds, at least in my opinion.

Very Alagaesia-ish. Which I guess is the point.

That’s it, I suppose.  My advice to you is try writing your settings based on places you’ve been personally, or things you’ve witnessed.  Maybe you’ll like how it turns out.

My heart and prayers go out to everyone in the middle of that earthquake.  I hope they’re all okay.

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

Lionsgate has announced that the first teaser trailer for The Hunger Games will be shown during the VMA’s this SUNDAY!  It’s our first look at actual footage, guys!  And it’s arriving a whole lot sooner than I expected.  I can feel my fangirl anticipation growing.  More on this will DEFINITELY be coming later!

And I thought the STILLS were exciting.

Happy reading!