Author: Christopher Paolini
Release Date: September 20, 2008
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Genre: Teen, Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.
First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength—as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices— choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.
Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?
I’ve read and enjoyed the first two books in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, though I wasn’t dying to read the third book, Brisingr, when it came out last year. Still, I knew I wanted to read it, so I made sure to buy it for my e-book reader before leaving for Oxford.
First, the good: Paolini continues the tradition he began in Eragon and Eldest with an intricate storyline and well-developed characters. Most of the people in the book are ones we’ve met before, so they are already well-established, for the most part. It’s nice to revisit more of these characters, and Paolini did a great job in building suspense. Eragon himself is older and wiser in this novel – he makes fewer rash decisions, and you can really see how much he has grown up. Paolini also revealed just enough information in this book to make it satisfying, but there are enough questions left to fill up a fourth and final book. Additionally, I appreciated how Paolini actually departed from the cliché fantasy stories a bit in this novel.
Now, the not so good: parts of Brisingr is told from the point of view of Roran, Eragon’s cousin. While he is an interesting character, the book really lost my interest at those parts and I ended up skimming heavily in sections. Additionally, Paolini seemed to embellish in descriptions a little too much – it got trying after awhile. Also, there are those clichés I mention, though they are less employed in this novel than they are in the first two books in the series.
On the whole, I really enjoyed reading Brisingr. It was a nice escape, and Paolini has definitely whetted my appetite for the final novel in the Inheritance Cycle.