YA Spotlight: Murtagh

Thirteen years after his last proper novel in the Inheritance Cycle, Christopher Paolini has at long last released the next entry in his world: Murtagh

Beware, mild spoilers below!





The novel takes place some months after the end of Inheritance, and is exclusively told from the point of view of the titular character, Murtagh Morzanson and his dragon Thorn. Recently released from enslavement under Galbatorix, the pair are trying to eke out survival for themselves and find a place of their own in the world.

Murtagh of course has three primary motivations: to prove he is every bit as capable (if not more so) than his younger brother, to protect Nasuada, and to find out where they fit in.

The first third of the book concerns Murtagh investigating a plot seeking to end Nasuada's rule of the Empire. Nasuada, former leader of the Varden, met Murtagh during his brief stay there during the events of Eragon. Despite his intervening capture and enslavement, they remained close, and it was this relationship that helped Murtagh overcome his own bonds. Though hated by the common people, Murtagh wants to prove himself, while also protecting her, and going places and fighting enemies she is unaware of.

A particular chapter of this book was previously highlighted in Paolini's somewhat less recent book, The Fork, The Witch, and the Wyrm. While not a strict sequel, the book included three anthology stories set in the same world, one of which included a peek at Murtagh's 'current events', from the point of view of a girl he met during his travels. Here, readers are treated to the same scene, now from our protagonist's point of view.

The rest of the book is a fun read, with Murtagh looking into the source of the conspiracy that threatens Nasuada. Readers can rest assured there will be no more spoilers moving forward! On that note, there's plenty of mystique and excitement to be had. While the book looks rather dense at a glance, due to its hefty weight, the novel reads rather briskly, and it is made quite clear that Paolini has honed his craft in the intervening years.

If one can find any fault in the book, it is perhaps that it is too focused. Murtagh is less the start of a new adventure, and more like an intermission between episodes. The novel style of having, essentially, a single point of view and protagonist the entire time helps the story remain focused, almost to a fault. While the previous books rotated between characters, scenes, and locations, the entirety of Murtagh follows a monotonous timeline with few deviations or skips. This may become somewhat plodding for some readers, particularly those accustomed to jumping between the point-of-views of Eragon, Nasuada, and Roran in previous books.

All that said, Murtagh is a great read, and absolutely not something to be passed up, especially by fans of Paolini.

Looking for more works by Paolini? Look no further!





The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm

To Sleep in A Sea of Stars

Happy reading!