Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

In this disappointing third book of the Inheritance Cycle, after losing his fight and the sword Za’roc to his brother Murtagh, Eragon and his dragon Saphira must now begin to fulfill their promises. Having sworn to help Roran, rescue his betrothed from Galbatorix’s keep, Eragon and his cousin, Roran, set off on this dangerous mission against the advice of his friends. On their return to the Varden the cousins soon find that their duties keep them apart. Roran, having led his own people must now prove to Nasuada, the leader of the Varden, that he can be trusted and is sent out on raids under various captains.

Eragon’s oaths are beginning to conflict. Having lost to his brother, Eragon knows he must keep his promise to his elven teacher to return and learn as much as he can. Saphira has made promises to the Dwarves too. Eragon is forced to make a choice. But how can he leave when the Varden desperately need him to fight against Galbatorix’s army? And how can he fight when he no longer has a weapon?

Again Paolini leans too heavily on other fantasy plots but this time without a spark of his own originality to keep a book of length interesting. Eragon has not grown in character and Roran’s increasing feats of arms are ridiculous. Nothing of note really happens until the last chapters, leaving the readers wondering why they bothered picking up the book and not just waiting for the synopsis in the final book. Let us hope Paolini redeems himself with his final book in this series.