I had to wait a very long time for the third installment in Christopher Paolini’s “Inheritance Cycle.” So long in fact, I found myself a little hesitant to jump back into the series. I’ve read so many books since “Eragon” and “Eldest” I had no idea where the series left off.
Luckily for readers, Paolini begins “Brisingr” with a synopsis of the two previous novels. Shew!
After reacquainting myself with the land of Alagaesia, a world of dragons, magicians, elves and dwarves, I once again found myself in the middle of an adventure.
Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, are still fighting along with the Varden to defeat the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon faces several challenges. He must try to rescue his cousin Roran’s love, Katrina, from Galbatorix. He must cement the bonds between the Varden rebels, no easy task. He must face his one-time friend Murtagh and his dragon Thor, who now serve Galbatorix. And he must gain the knowledge and power to fight and defeat the king once and for all.
While all the action unfolds, Paolini delves into Eragon’s personal feelings. He is uncomfortable killing anything, yet finds himself with no alternative. He has demands put to him from every direction, but tries to stay true to what he believes is right. And he grieves, he grieves the loss of his uncle, Garrow, and his mentor, Brom, but he cannot pause for tears with new battles and danger looming.
“He longed to toss aside his doubts and fears and to know that, however horrible the world might seem at times, life was not mere confusion. He wished to know for certain that who he was would not end if a sword should shear off his head and that one day he would meet again with Brom, Garrow, and everyone else he had cared for and lost. A desperate yearning for hope and comfort filled him, confused him, left him unsteady upon the face of the earth.”
The strength of “Brisingr” is the side characters. Eragon’s cousin, Roran, emerges as a hero himself and his story is equally as intriguing as Eragon’s. I also liked being reintroduced to the elf Arya and meeting some new characters.
But, and there always is a but, the book is very long. I usually like really long books, but I felt “Brisingr’s” 750 or so pages could have been edited down by at least 200. That said, the book did keep me entertained for a good long time, so I felt I got my money’s worth.
For those who have read “Eragon” and “Eldest,” “Brisingr” won’t disappoint. The series was initially supposed to be a trilogy, but Paolini said he couldn’t wrap up the story in the third book, so there will be a fourth installment. For those who have not read any in the series I would wait until the fourth book comes out to begin. The books would be more enjoyable read close together in a timely fashion rather than waiting and waiting and waiting for the next one to come out.
But for me, I’ll have to wait. In for a penny, in for a pound. I hope the last book will include a synopsis as well.