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Read a full summary of The Inheritance Games, book #1 in Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s The Inheritance Games series. This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in The Inheritance Games, then you are in the right place!

Jennifer Lynn Barnes

4.6 stars on Amazon
4.17 stars on Goodreads
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The Inheritance Games recaps
#1 The Inheritance Games
#2 The Hawthorne Legacy
#3 The Final Gambit
#4 The Brothers Hawthorne (synopsis)
#5 Games Untold (synopsis)

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

What happened in The Inheritance Games?

Avery lives in Connecticut with her sister Libby after their mother died. Libby’s abusive boyfriend, Drake, moves in, and Avery decides to live in her car for a while. Avery is broke most of the time, but she’s a brilliant student and helps others whenever she can.

Avery is called into the office at school, where a boy named Grayson waits for her. He informs Avery that her presence is required at the reading of his late grandfather, Tobias Hawthorne’s will. Avery has never met the man, but she and Libby travel by private jet to Hawthorne House in Texas.

When Mr. Hawthorne’s attorneys read the will, Avery learns that he left only pocket change to his two daughters (Zara and Skye) and four grandsons (Grayson, Nash, Jameson, and Xander) compared to the 48 billion dollars left to Avery. Not to mention his extensive properties and possessions. The one condition Avery must abide is to live in Hawthorne House for at least one year, and she must not kick any member of the Hawthorne family out.

Tobias’s law firm, led by Alisa, helps Avery during the process, and his old bodyguard, Oren, provides security.

Avery moves in and starts school where the boys attend. While there, a girl named Thea tells Avery to be careful. The last girl (Emily) who lived in that house with those boys died.

Avery and the others think there may be clues in Tobias’s letters to them. Clues and riddles were something Tobias loved. She and Jameson begin searching for clues together, and Grayson warns Avery to be cautious with Jameson.

They discover that Tobias didn’t have a middle name though he signed the will with one, Tattersall, which looks more like tatters all in his signature.

Libby’s boyfriend Drake shows up, bringing the press with him. Avery tells the reporters not to run a story about Drake, or she won’t tell them why Tobias chose her to inherit. She implies that she knows why, though she doesn’t. The press goes crazy speculating what Avery knows.

A copy of Tobias’s will is written in red ink, and Avery takes a look. Through it, she realizes that the grandsons all have middle names that point to a place on the Hawthorn property.

The middle name “Westbrook” leads Avery and Jameson to a bridge over a brook that runs through the grounds. They find a hidden number 8. The name “Blackwood” leads them into the forest, where they find an engraved tree trunk. “Tobias Hawthorne II,” it reads. Tobias Hawthorne II, Toby, was Tobias’s son who died many, many years ago. While there, someone shoots at Avery and Jameson. Scraps of bark scrape Avery up, but otherwise, she’s okay.

Jameson and Avery kiss.

Oren escorts them back to Hawthorne house, but they decide to keep the shooting a secret.

An event has been planned for Avery to attend, so Alisa and Oren take her dress shopping. On their way home, a car crashes into them. Oren used Avery as bait to provide Avery’s enemy another chance. The driver turns out to be Libby’s ex, Drake. They believe it was Drake who shot at them, but who let him onto the property?

Avery solves more clues. She finds a “1” on a Winchester rifle. A “0” visible in the Blackwood forest from a helicopter, and another “1” in a Davenport desk. The numbers make Avery’s birthday, October 18th (10/18). But they also indicate the day of Emily’s death. This upsets Jameson, and he says he doesn’t want to play the game anymore.

It turns out that before her death, Emily was stringing both Jameson and Grayson along. Jameson found out about it and broke up with her. That same night she talked Grayson into taking her cliff diving. Emily died from her preexisting heart condition. Grayson blames himself because he took her on the outing, and Jameson blames himself because he followed them and stood by when she was dying. He did nothing to help her because he thought she was being dramatic as usual.

Avery discovers that Drake was working with Skye, Grayson’s mother. Grayson deals with it by kicking her out of the house.

How did The Inheritance Games end?

Everyone must be present to unlock the final puzzle in the tunnels under the house. Avery is required for facial recognition, and all four boys’ are needed for handprints. They open the box by unscrambling “Avery Kylie Grambs” into “A very risky gamble,” and everyone gets a new envelope from Tobias. It seems Tobias was trying to give the boys a reason to make up after Emily’s death tore them apart.

The contents of Avery’s envelope remind her that she met Tobias once in a restaurant when she was a child. He must have kept up with her because there are many photos of her in the desk in her room.

When Avery sees a photo of Tobias’s late son Toby, she realizes that it is Harry, a homeless man that Avery played chess with in the park. Tobias Hawthorn’s firstborn son is not actually dead.

It turns out that Xander helped the others along with the game at his grandfather’s request. His letter from the man tells him to find Toby.

There you go! That’s what happened in The Inheritance Games. We hope you enjoyed this The Inheritance Games summary with spoilers.

inheritance games summary
the hawthorn legacy
the final gambit
the brothers hawthorne
games untold

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What to read after The Inheritance Games series?

Here are a few suggestions for what to read after the Inheritance Games! Click for more info (paid links): Truly Devious, The List, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The Thursday Murder Club

what to read after the inheritance games

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41 thoughts on “What happened the Inheritance Games? (The Inheritance Games #1)”

  1. Thank you! I was wondering read or not read this book. Sounds like is not a waste of time.

    1. it’s not that good, I wouldn’t recommend reading unless you’re looking to waste your time on a mediocre plot twist

      1. Completely agree.

        I came here to read the plot because I couldn’t keep reading such dribble. Sooo boring.

      2. i know right! ive been trying to get myself to read it but i cant. its so boring, i had to read it for a book club that im in and honestly such a waste of time.

        1. I’m on Neve’s side here the book was amazing it just takes certain people to enjoy the book. The book reveals a lot near the end the book just wants readers to actually take time and soak it in. It takes a big man to finish the book I guess so me and Neve are geniuses.

      1. bro they meant that they meant to buy the first book but accidentally bought the second one instead

  2. I thought it was a really good book! And the ending…. I have no words!

  3. Amazing book! Its so intriguing.
    I read it in school for silent reading, everytime we had to put our books away, i would constantly be reading, i’m not even much of a reader!
    Love the characters, plot, everything about it!

  4. Thank you for the ending. I stopped reading in the middle out of boredom. Glad I didn’t waste my time reading the rest.

    1. It actually was a great book if your not into reading then it’s understandable but pass the middle part is when I feel like the book takes a amazing turn and finding out all the truths behind each character. Some books take a while to build up. Stopping in the middle is the main reason on why certain people got bored it’s because all the stuff pretty much happens after the middle.

    2. you are a waste of time bro, the books are amazing and stop bragging about how you can’t finish a book because that ain’t something to be proud of

    1. we do not care

  5. I enjoyed the book, the ones saying it’s boring probably have a other genre they are interested in. The exposition is quite long, but the end is very enjoyable

  6. such a good book, everyone saying it’s boring is kinda a pathetic looser but oh well, sucks to be you, I loved it and yeah, waiting for the next book!!! :))

    1. sorry this was um by accident I don’t mean to shut anyone up lol, but ahhhh the book is so goooodddd

  7. also which team are ya’ll on? Jameson or Grayson, because I think I’m team Grayson

  8. In the last sentence there is a typo. Instead of Toby they wrote Tody. Just thought to let u guys know. Also I LUVED this book so ya it was THRILLING 🤩

  9. It’s a pretty mediocre book I guess. It’s not great but it’s not bad. I finished reading the book, but I never found myself on the edge of my seat guessing what would happen next. I guess I just prefer books with more action. Overall I’d give it a solid 6/10. NO HATE.

  10. This book wasn’t my favorite, it was really hard to get into, and still was underwhelming. Some of the writing makes me upset, the story progression is slow and leaves high hopes that aren’t matched. I went into reading this with high expectations and was ultimately let down. It just wasn’t the thing for me. I wouldn’t say I recommend it, but I wouldn’t not recommend it either, it was just mediocre. Not quite bad but not good.

    Overall, from my personal preference, the book is a 2.5./5.

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