Before I started this, I knew that a trilogy was three but I really didn't know that four books made for a cycle. Seems confusing and not very cyclical. I would have called it a series but I'm not a literary expert. I am, however, a great lover of all things fiction. Probably two years ago, I started reading all the books on my bookcases starting with A-- books are alphabetized by author and then title unless found in a series (or any selection of books where they should be read in a specific order). Not perfect but it works for me. I ran into a copy of Eragon by Christopher Paolini before Christmas. The note inside stated that I purchased this book for myself sometime while in college. I graduated in 2009 so it's been on the shelf for a while. Finding the first book in a series (read: cycle) meant that the others had to be ordered from the library -- a few quick moves on the laptop and that was set into motion. 2,835 pages and a month later, I can say that I'm finally finished. Nearly died of exhaustion and excessive eye rolling but I'm finished.
Before I get too far into this, I must say that I love the reviewers of Goodreads. I have a terrible habit of reading reviews (often with spoilers) before even opening a book. I regularly find myself laughing because so many of these reviews could be written by me. They get me. Conveniently, there are rarely surprises. I hate surprises.
I read all of the books of this cycle in order and while I know that the books are more or less a fan fiction of Lord of the Rings, I found myself plowing through all four without giving up-- the same can't be said for LOTR. I can't say that it was my favorite but it certainly wasn't the worst. Eragon was likeable enough as were most of the other characters. His feats and journey were exaggerated but it is fiction and loosely LOTR. The author (who was only 16 when the first book was published) spent entirely too much time admiring his own writing. However, he was 16. At 16, I think we all rather enjoyed ourselves and thought we were quite special-- I can imagine a book deal would go to one's head.
Do I recommend this? Yes and no. It's not for the faint of heart, but it is for the fantasy readers. I suggest, read at your own risk. If, at 50 pages you can take it, discard. Otherwise, plow on but if you're like me you're in for a really long plow through session.
Excuse me while I go rest my eyeballs now.