The Inheritance Series (formerly known as the Inheritance Trilogy, also entitled the Inheritance Cycle) is a four-piece book series by author Christopher Paolini. It consists of Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and an unnamed fourth novel. Brisingr, the newest edition to the series, was released on September 20, 2008. The Inheritance Series was originally intended to be a trilogy, but as Paolini was writing his last book, Brisingr, the book began to get so long that he split Brisingr into two books. The release date, title, or anything about the fourth book is unknown. The Inheritance Series is about a young farm boy, Eragon, who finds a dragon egg, that hatches into his dragon, Saphira. The story takes place in the land of Alagaësia, and medieval land much like a less complicated version of Middle-Earth. The first book Eragon was originally published by the Paolini publishing Ltd. (PPL) in 2002 and again re-published by Alfred Knopf in 2003. After Eragon came Eldest which was published in 2005 by Alfred Knopf. The third book Brisingr was published in 2008.
Dragons in this series appear to be European Dragons. In this series these dragons seem to be somewhat near extinction being that there are only 3 left (and 1 egg). Dragons can only be hatched when their rider (either human or elf) is with the egg, these riders are chosen by the baby dragon inside. Although not all dragons have a rider these dragons are wild. Dragons can communicate telepathically with their riders and other beings, although communication with their riders is more comfortable and easier due to some people believing that telepathy is an invasion of their privacy. Human riders develop telepathy skills while elves seem to have it naturally. Dragons also have a huge amount of magic which they cannot control consciously and is mainly used when the dragon is feeling a strong emotion. Dragons can separate their soul which takes the form of a small hard diamond like rock called the Eldunarí. This rock allows anyone who is magic capable and is touching the Eldunarí to communicate with the dragon and use his/her magic. Dragons separating the Eldunarí from their body stops their souls from perishing when they die. Dragons who are born with riders will die if their rider is killed (however their souls might be intact if they separated their Eldunarí). If a dragon dies it's rider will survive but having the connection between their two souls ripped will cause the rider to lose many of his magical powers.