Review: Murtagh

  • Title:
    • Murtagh
  • Author:
    • Christopher Paolini
  • Release:
    • November 7, 2023
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Gerrard Doyle
  • Series:
    • The World of Eragon

This book is a fucking slog to get through. It draaaaaaags ass like nothing I’ve ever listened to or read before. Good god. It’s a poorly paced-filler story that does a novella’s worth of work in a book the size of a dictionary. It seems Paolini wanted to write a tome, but didn’t actually have a story to fill it out with, so it’s stuffed full of plodding details. It’s just awful, it takes fucking forever to do nothing. I expected better for such a famous author with 20+ years of experience.

We had 4 books to get to know Eragon and Saphira, and it felt like he was trying to stuff an entire series’ worth of character growth into a single novel. He failed miserably. It cums off as “A day in the life of Murtagh… and another… and another… and another… The issue is; Murtagh is a whiney bitch who seems a shadow of the person he was in the first 4 books in this series. Despite being a competent magic user in past works, despite having the “name of names”, the name of the ancient language which was used to undo all kinds of spells and charms in the last novel; Murtagh cums off as inept.

In one scene, Murtagh’s dragon Thorn was unable to reach him as he was struggling by a stream to carry water pouches. Is he too stupid to make multiple trips? Is he unable to use magic to move them? It didn’t flash back and explain that Thorn was afraid of confined spaces until half the book later. So I had no idea what the issue even was. He cums off as a whiney, petulant bitch who’s hellbent on doing things alone, and constantly suffers the consequences for having done so. And I presume we’re supposed to be sympathetic, but it’s quite insufferable.

Murtagh (the novel) feels like a series of shitty video game side quests with an under-leveled main character. He’s investigating things he doesn’t understand, and is constantly made aware of how under-prepared he is. Yet, he refuses time and time again to seek out the other power players even to make them aware of the issues.

As a standalone entry into the Inheritance Cycle or “The World of Eragon”, again, it fails miserably. It alternates between being a lore dump with poorly placed flashbacks, seemingly at random and exposition dumping. It’s constantly referring to past characters and events as if you’re supposed to be intimately aware of them, and then condescendingly explaining the mechanics of the magic and races, etc. as if it’s intended for new readers. As I typed this, I just realized that Murtagh underwent that random video game-esque power reset. My guess is he thought if he stripped Murtagh bare, it would be easier for new readers to learn the magic system alongside him.

The solution to this issue is incredibly fucking simple. WRITE MORE STORIES IN THIS FUCKING WORLD!!! (Please don’t though. This book is some kind of shit!) Goddamn. One thing I utterly despise about “trad”-pub authors is their cookie-cutter bullshit. They all seem to create intricate fantasy worlds, and then orbit the entire fucking world around them. They put years between hyped-up, yet disappointing releases. You get this unsavory blend of condescending regurgitation of lore and references to past events new readers wouldn’t understand. It only serves to make the series more inaccessible. Meanwhile, indie authors are releasing short story collections, tie-in novels, and standalone novels with different PoVs; expanding their worlds in the process. And this turd of a book sells millions of copies and gets thousands of 5* reviews and praise not because it’s any good, but because of historical inertia.

I’ve been disillusioned with this series for a few years. After hearing other reviewers talk about this series, and I realized how generic and basic it is. After seeing a meme post comparing Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and a shitty children’s series written by a shit-eating bigot. And I realized that this series fit into the same template. I’ve made a habit of shitting on that turd of a short story collection “The Fork, The Witch, and the Worm”. And Murtagh seems to carry on the trend. It seems when Paolini has to write something original, he lacks the creative skills to do so.

ALLLLSOOOOOO, Before I fucking forget; I am FUCKING SICK AND TIRED of this “Spookily wookily mysteries and cryptic bullshit” for the sake of having unanswered mysteries, ’cause aren’t they exciting!? NO! It’s fucking lazy. Anybody can sit around all fucking day and make up unanswerable questions or lore they never plan to address. That’s not good writing it’s fucking pathetic. This fucking novel left me with more questions and no answers, the difference is; I’m done giving a fuck about the answers to those questions. Done buying into this bullshit series.

Finally; we arrive at the sorry-ass excuse of a narration. Pronunciation-wise; I take issue with anybody who pronounces “apricot” as “apericot”. Where the fuck did you get an e sound from?! He randomly puts emphasis on the ‘wh’ sound, which is distracting and obnoxious. “Hwhen” isn’t a word. He narrates all of the scenes in the same voice he uses for Murtagh, sans the accent. Though I’m not even sure Murtagh had the accent consistently. All of his other character voices are lackluster and lifeless. None of them stand out from each other or have distinct voices. If he put any effort into making them feel like individual people, they’re spread out enough that I couldn’t tell the difference. The only indication that a different person was talking was because he used his “everybody but Murtagh” voice.

Adding to my annoyance with this garbage narration is the EVER-PRESENT background hissing. It sounds like the whizzing of computer fans. Every fucking second. UGH!!!!!!!!!!

I wouldn’t recommend this tome to anybody. If you’re somebody like me, who read the Inheritance Cycle as a kid and have fond memories of it; trust me; leave that shit in the past and find new books to read. ‘Cause you’re going to set yourself up for disappointment, or your blind devotion to a hack writer will show your lack of taste.

Addendum: Giving this fucking turd a second listen to make sure I didn’t miss anything; I noticed a few other things. The first is how fucking inconsistent the writing is. Early on, Murtagh uses magic like it’s nothing. Little to no struggles. He laments being alone, yet remains anti-social. He whines about falsely being branded a traitor, yet never attempts to correct this.

By far, however, the worst example of this SHIT writing is Murtagh himself bitching about the cryptic bullshit and lack of answers. How the fuck does Paolini write this cryptic trash, have his own character bitch about how annoying it is, and then release this garbage with a smile on his face? Fucking asshole, I swear.

I listened to this at 2.55x speed the first time. I tried to give it a second listen at 1.0x speed, to see how the pacing was and this shit is unbearably fucking slow. I had to increase it to 2.0x speed and it still fucking crawls.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reviews © Copyright 2022 Korra Baskerville