Elevenses: Sun Tea and Christopher Paolini’s “Inheritance”

fullsizeoutput_50c There’s nothing quite like sitting down with a cup of tea and a good book. To me, books and tea just belong together. There’s something so romantic about the pairing — something so cozy, so quietly peaceful, so perfect and right.

In ode to this couplet, I’ve decided to start a new weekly series that will be part tea review and part book review/discussion. I thought it would be kind of fun and unique to structure the posts this way, as well as a great chance for fun themed photos — almost like a mini tea party every week!

fullsizeoutput_501 I’m not usually the biggest fan of black teas when I’m drinking ice tea, but there are always, of course, exceptions.

In the heat of the summer, there’s nothing quite like a cup of ice cold sun tea to cool down with. Being pregnant, I have to watch my caffeine intake — no more than 100 mg a day — but I’ve still been guzzling down a cup a day for the past couple weeks (Note: there’s about 75 mg of caffeine in the average cup of black tea). Recently, I’ve even been cutting it 50/50 with some water just so I can squeeze in more glasses!

There’s just something so refreshing about a cold cup of ice tea. With sun tea, it’s the slightly bitter, yet smooth tones of flavor that I love the most. The fact that it is so easy to make is a definite bonus — though sometimes I get a little impatient sitting around waiting for my tea to steep while it soaks outside in the sun!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately — in part because we are still in a transition period and I don’t have much else to do, but also because this is the first time in what feels like forever that I’ve really had the time to sink myself into a book. It feels good to be reading again. I’ve been doing it in the car, curled up in comfy chairs, and lounging in the shade on the lawn.

Most of my books are boxed up, so I borrowed one from a friend. This week, I read “Inheritance” by Christopher Paolini, the last book in the Inheritance Cycle. I finished the other three books in this series ages ago, so I’m surprised it took me this long to finally pick it up (it’s been out for several years).

Overall, I would rate the book as good, but nothing groundbreaking. I’ve never been a huge fan of Paolini’s writing style — he can get a bit wordy and some of his descriptions don’t quite work for me — but I will say that he has improved a lot as a writer. I think this series is definitely worth picking up, if only for that fact that it has dragons in it. The dragons and story are strikingly original, though a lot of the lore and world bears a stark resemblance to Lord of the Rings. Not that I mind. In fiction it’s almost impossible not to borrow from other stories … I just wish he had borrowed a little less.

All in all, this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, but it was still worth it to pick up — especially if you’ve read the other three and want to know how it all ends.

-SPOILERS AFTER PICTURES-

fullsizeoutput_50d fullsizeoutput_503 fullsizeoutput_508 fullsizeoutput_50e fullsizeoutput_502 fullsizeoutput_50a For those of you who have read the book, I wanted to take a few moments to talk about the end of it. I love having discussions about books, so please feel free to comment in the comment section below about these or any other points you thought were interesting.

I’ll be honest. I was really bummed out by the ending of this book. For one, Eragon spent so long pining after Arya that it was a bit annoying that, after all that, she finally acknowledged that she might be able to care for him as more than a friend … and then he leaves. I never thought they were great together, but seriously? That’s it?

It’s the leaving itself that bothers me more. First of all, I didn’t see it as entirely necessary. Second, he’s a dragon rider. I don’t know why he feels like he can never come back (other than the fact that a prophecy told him he won’t). Why can’t he just hop on his dragon and fly back to visit? Why can’t Arya come visit him? Or meet him halfway? Why can’t he go visit his cousin and his new niece every now and then? I’d understand if he had to make the journey on foot … but with Saphira I can’t imagine it taking more than a month or so.

What do you think? Were there any other parts of the book that confused you, bothered you, or that you really liked? Pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea, and let’s talk about it!

Note: If there are spoilers in your comments, please leave a spoiler warning so we don’t ruin anything for anyone else.

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