This is a huge volume for the final book in the series - a whopping 849 pages. There was a lot that needed to be resolved in the story, and many of the earlier plot holes were closed here, while others were still left to the reader's imagination.
I really enjoy Christopher Paolini's writing, he has a way of making even the mundane seem interesting. I found myself ear-marking many pages for future reference both for the story itself, and for passages that might inspire my own writing, particularly spot-on descriptions like this one for example, "When the sun touched the earth, it spread out along the horizon, like a giant yolk oozing free of its skin." I just love that image!
To get the full enjoyment & understanding of the story, you must read the previous books. I don't think the reading experience would be the same without the foundation of the previous books.
Highly recommended for fans of the series! Now, if the movie studios would give the movie another chance, because Eragon (the movie) did not do the story justice (just my opinion).
What did I learn as a writer from this book? Taking the time to world-build is critical -- setting & descriptions are invaluable in placing a reader in the middle of the story; without them, it would be hard to maintain a reader through such an immense story such as this.