I might have looked calm and serene as I stood in the bookstore gazing at the shelf of Young Adult books, but, the truth was, a mighty debate raged within my head.
“Should I buy it?”
“Should I not?”
“May be I should buy it? No harm in doing that.”
“Oh wait! May be it would be better not to buy it!”
On and on the debate went. I was in such turmoil. After my high expectations of a great adventure were shattered by Eldest, I had firmly decided not to bother reading the remaining books of The Inheritance Cycle. But, as any bibliophile would agree, we book lovers just can’t leave a book series mid-way; we have this intense urge to read every book in a series no matter how poorly it is written. In this case, as you must have guessed, the bibliophile in me won and I ended up buying Brisingr.
Title: Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle- Book 3)
Author: Christopher Paolini
Publisher: Knopf Books
Publishing Date: 20th September, 2008
Genres: High Epic Fantasy, Young Adult
From Goodreads: Oaths sworn… loyalties tested… forces collide.
It’s been only months since Eragon first uttered “brisingr”, an ancient language term for fire. Since then, he’s not only learned to create magic with words — he’s been challenged to his very core. Following the colossal battle against the Empires warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still, there is more adventure 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 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 will 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?
To describe Brisingr in one sentence: It is better than Eldest, but, not as good as Eragon. This book has got a good plot, which looks like will lead readers to an engaging final book. Paolini has developed the characters better in Brisingr, as a result of which they appear more meaningful and are interesting to read. A couple of plot twists can be seen in this book, which are sure to delight readers. Compared to Eldest, a bit more in happening in Brisingr in terms of real adventure and action and thankfully, readers won’t have to sit through lengthy periods of boredom. The bits of the book I liked the best are the rescue of Katrina from the Ra’zac, Eragon’s trip to the Dwarf Kingdom to witness the election of a new King and the creation of Eragon’s sword- Brisingr.
On the downside, there are sections in Brisingr which I felt could have been shortened. For example, the part about Katrina’s father Sloan definitely didn’t need to be that lengthy. Furthermore, there are several pages (hundreds) of conversations and descriptions of places which could have been edited. Descriptions and character interactions which add value to the story or help in plot buildup are always welcome to read. On the contrary, piling on page after page of descriptions which make no sense in the core plot of the story can confuse the reader. There are several bits in the book which seemed so disjoint from the story that they made me say- “Did we actually need to know that?” I also felt Christopher Paolini should have given more importance to the battle between Murtagh and Oromis. It was a vital one, but, as it appears Paolini didn’t deem it that important.
In The Inheritance Cycle, Brisingr comes out as a good book to read. However, on its own, Brisingr is an average book which needs improvement in every aspect of its story. I think I liked Brisingr because I didn’t have much expectation from it and also because I have grown fond of the characters in The Inheritance Cycle, and love High Epic Fantasy. This book is far from a great read, but, for fans of The Inheritance Cycle it can be a good read and for Fantasy fans- a tolerable read. For those who have read the first two books in the series and are wondering if they should read this book, I say- Go for it! You might be a bit disappointed to see that Paolini hasn’t improved much, but, I do feel this book prepares readers for a better story in the final book of The Inheritance Cycle.