This is the latest in the Inheritance Cycle, after Eragon and Eldest. Originally the series was intended to be a trilogy, but Paolini announced about a year ago that he was making two books out of the last one. I figured that meant it was because he had gotten kind of long-winded in his writing, and that this third book would only be half a story. In the end, I was half right. He wasn't long-winded. There was enough action to keep things moving and make it interesting. In fact, I would have been more satisfied if he had put a little more into things the way they are. I thought the Raz'aac encounter was a little anticlimactic, and I expected more to happen with Arya when the two of them were together sneaking around the empire. Eragon meets an eccentric wizard who, I thought, would have figured much more into the story, and then that scene was gone and he never really came up again. I think there were storylines left undeveloped that could have made it lots cooler. Instead the book seemed like he was just tying up loose ends from the previous books in preparation for book four. And it kind of ends in the middle of the story. It looks like Paolini added some action and intensity to what would have just been one of the battles along the way to the final action, in order to give himself a place to stop for this book. SO I'm still hanging on waiting for the last book which hopefully will wrap things up in a satisfying way.
BUT for those Star Wars fans out there, Luke and Leah rescued Han and defeated Jabba the Hut, and Luke returned to Yoda for his final instruction. The rebels have gathered and are poised to discuss their plans to attack the death star.
So yeah, he's still sticking pretty closely to the archetype of the epic storyline, never quite breaking away from that.
All that disappointing stuff aside, it is still quite entertaining, with a fantasy world that I enjoy escaping to and characters who I enjoy, and I'm going to buy the audiobook soon and add it to my collection. I'm holding out for book 4 which, I think, should be awesome, so long as Paolini doesn't take any more shortcuts.