Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brisingr Review

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be done with Brisingr. For those of you that don't know, this book is the third book in the Inheritance Cycle, which begins with Eragon and Eldest. These books are written by Christopher Paolini, and these are his first major works. I read Eragon years ago when it first came out. I was a younger lad then with a different outlook on books, particularly the fantasy genre. Needless to say, I enjoyed the first book, and I was immensely satisfied with the sequel, too. Brisingr was to be the conclusion of the series, but the story grew too large and Paolini needed to add a fourth book to tell his tale, which, at the time, was fine by me. If you haven't read these books, particularly Brisingr, then be warned that there may be plot revealing statements below.


This book starts on the heels of Eldest. Eragon is learning to live with his family problems--Morzan, Murtagh--and also grappling with his role as Alagaesia's savior. In this book, Eragon and Roran must save Katrina from the vile Ra'zac, Eragon must travel to Farthen Dur to secure the Dwarve's position with the Varden, he must travel back to Ellesmera to learn more from Oromis & Glaedr, he must find a true Rider's sword. The novel also focuses on Roran Stronghammer, Eragon's cousin and friend, and his travels with the Varden.

There are points in the story that I really enjoyed. For example, I love the close relationship Eragon and Saphira share, and it makes me wish I could have that sort of close contact with someone or something. I liked the mini quest of searching for a Rider's sword, particularly under the Menoa tree. I like the nuances of the languages spoken in the land, but sometimes I feel they're a bit ridiculous.

A couple years ago I thought the Ancient Language mechanics to invoke magic was unique, but now I think it is a very complicated, complex, and messy system.

Honestly, the only reason I read this book was because I was (and still am) a little interested as to how Galbatorix will die and his reign end. He will most definitely die, of that I have no doubts. The story is too "young adult" and light for there to be a plot-twist where Galbatorix wins. I also hold the belief of starting a book means finishing a book, and in this case, starting a series means finishing a series.


Overall, I give Brisingr a 2.5/5.0, or a 50% positive review. The story did not have enough Realism for my liking. After reading Pat Rothfuss' brilliant work, The Name of the Wind, and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books, I enjoy the realistic approach to fantasy as opposed to the cliche fantasy. Don't misunderstand the previous statement: I enjoy some of the atypical books in the fantasy realm, but others are too akin to each other for my liking. I appreciate uniqueness and creativity, which Brisingr employs, but not enough for my satisfaction.

1 comment:

Sailor Matt said...

OK, I didn't read the spoilers section (thanks for the warnings, by the way), but I did need to chime in on the rest of your post. I own all the books, but have only read Eragon at this point.

Eragon, although an impressive piece for such a young writer, is nothing but a book of cliches. The blatant ripoff from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings really grates on me. The book is purely plot-driven and the characters are too cookie-cutter to have any depth.

That being said, I'd give anything to have written a multimillion dollar first novel. At that point, the criticism doesn't matter much, does it?