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My husband and I had the privilege of attending Paolini’s book tour in San Francisco, where we met the author and got our copies signed. This personal experience enriched the narrative, allowing us to delve deeper into Murtagh's complex character.
Unlike the previous books, "Murtagh" explores the aftermath of King Galbatorix's fall. Once seen as an ally then a foe, Murtagh's story is one of redemption and self-discovery. He and Thorn, previously subjugated to commit heinous acts under the king's influence, are now free but not forgiven by the people of Alagaesia. Their journey through the wild lands, haunted by past tortures and misconceptions, forms the crux of this narrative.
Paolini masterfully uses flashbacks to reveal the extent of Murtagh and Thorn's suffering, offering new perspectives on events from the earlier books. These glimpses into their past paint a picture of a character forced into impossible choices, often picking the lesser of two evils.
The plot thickens with Murtagh's quest to expose a magical cult threatening the new kingdom. His actions, driven by a desire to assist Queen Nasuada and protect Alagaesia, are misunderstood by many who see him as a villain. This misperception adds a layer of tragedy to Murtagh's character, as he and Thorn grapple with PTSD and strive to aid a kingdom that views them with suspicion.
Paolini’s writing in "Murtagh" is calculated and emotive. He delves into themes of redemption, the burdens of past actions, and the struggle for acceptance in a world quick to judge. This narrative shift provides a fresh and compelling perspective, making "Murtagh" a must-read for fans of the Inheritance Cycle and a testament to the complexities of character development in fantasy literature.
BIO-Sonja Howard is a passionate educator specializing in English Language Arts for 9th and 10th graders. She is obtaining a doctoral degree in literacy education with a focus on novel study and English curriculum from UNLV. With her expertise, Sonja aims to instill a love for literature in her students, making a positive impact on their educational journey.