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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every tale grows in the telling
When reviewing this book one has to consider the intended audience. Fantasy for older audiences tends to focus on characters, relationships and events; fantasy for younger audiences focuses on magic and monsters. Admittedly this is somewhere in-between, but it is certainly closer to the Tolkien's Hobbit than Martin's Song of Ice and Fire.
To review it on its own...
Published on 25 Sep 2008 by Me

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much more
After having enjoyed the first two books I expected much of the same pace and style of writing in the third book. It was nothing of the sort, I gave it 3 stars because while I didnt dislike the book it was just 300 pages too long. I spend 50 pages reading about the most predictable election of a king in history, totally un-necessary and a annoying result of the multiple...
Published on 10 Nov 2011 by Richard Helliwell


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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every tale grows in the telling, 25 Sep 2008
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This review is from: Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle) (Hardcover)
When reviewing this book one has to consider the intended audience. Fantasy for older audiences tends to focus on characters, relationships and events; fantasy for younger audiences focuses on magic and monsters. Admittedly this is somewhere in-between, but it is certainly closer to the Tolkien's Hobbit than Martin's Song of Ice and Fire.
To review it on its own merits I would say that although it might not be innovative and relies heavily on the old staples of fantasy fiction, it is well written. If the author can pull off the next book and finish off his "cycle" convincingly then he will have done better than some of the more established contemporary names whose work never seems to progress, or does not conclude properly.

On individual points:

* Plot
The plot is not as fast-paced as the previous books, but it benefits from this. I think the first two books were like starters and this is more of a main course, and not just because it's a bit longer. Each episode is properly filled out and the characters have to handle the consequences of some of the issues the author set them up with in the first books. Eragon has to trek back and forth across the land sorting out problems and learning his craft - without this the inevitable confrontation with the powerful Galbatorix would be unrealistic.
In Brisingr the enemy is generally a looming menace lurking over the horizon and is not explored fully, but this does not undermine the plot seriously since there are enough tensions among the "allied" forces to keep everyone occupied. There are some major events in this book but it does seem to be setting the stage for the next.

* Characters
Paolini has spent more time with each of the main characters, giving them time to grow on their own. Eragon still gets most of the attention and the author has portrayed his development carefully, exploring the fantasy world he has created and its mechanisms without ever making it seem too contrived.
That the extra size of this book gives more time for the other characters is a bonus. They are much more rounded by the end and this strengthens the story considerably.

* Writing
The author is certainly getting better. However, there are some very random descriptions thrown in from time to time. They conjure up the intended image very well - beautifully in fact - they're just a bit unexpected when they pop up in the middle of some dialogue. He has also managed to get some humorous bits in - the dragons-eye view of the world is often quite funny. The plot threads are particularly well handled and it is easy to see how much effort has gone into tying them together.

Overall I enjoyed this. It is more mature than the previous books and if he can polish it off properly it will make a good series. The obvious concern most people will express is that the story is being protracted - a practice which has created some very disappointing dud-endings from established authors recently. However, I think I spotted a few plot threads for spin-offs and this would be the best way to make use of this fantasy world once Eragon has done the business with Brisingr.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brisingr: Book 3, 17 Sep 2011
This is my first review so hope I'm not boring and hopefully of some small help to you!

Brisingr (admittedly not the easiest name to remember) is Book 3 of a set of 4 books based on a mythological world where dragons, elves, dwarves and men co-exist. Ahhh! I hear you say, this is just a ripoff from Lord of the Rings (LOTR) - right?

Well, the short answer is no.

Yes, there are obvious similiarities with LOTR, but any work in this literary field will always be compared to Tolkien's epic masterpiece, of which I have read time and again.

However, Christopher Paolini's work is a masterpiece in it's own right, and stands up proudly (in my humble opinion) alongside LOTR.

The story is epic, and if you enjoyed the film Eragon, you will be blown away by Book 1 (Eragon) as there are collusal chunks of the book missing from the film, mainly due to the depth of story and the huge variety of characters. If you read the book first then watched the film you'll be forgiven for thinking someone had deleted at least half of the film! That said, I watched the film first and really enjoyed it, which is why I then tried the book. How glad I was that I did!!

Sometimes when an author stretches a story over more than one volume, the story itself is stretched thin. Not the case here, as Mr Paolini just seems to get better and better as he works his way through the series, introducing new characters as you go along. The characters are not always what they appear and you get a sense of complexity about all the characters, big or small. The good guys don't always see eye to eye and you wonder what is lurking below the surface. It is not often an author makes that sort of effort, as most just concentrate on the main character. There are twists and turns galore to keep you on your toes.

Mr Paolini does not spend pages describing something like a sunset, but his literary skills are such that you can picture what is being described in just a few words, and the story flows continously without diverating.

Book 4 (Inheritance) is out in November (I believe) and I'll be getting that strightaway!! Book 2 is called Eldest by the way.

I can't put the book down and if any typo errors in this review it is because I am typing one handed whilst holding the book with my other!

Hope this review helps you and if you do buy the books I hope you enjoy them as much as I am! {:>)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much more, 10 Nov 2011
By 
Richard Helliwell (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
After having enjoyed the first two books I expected much of the same pace and style of writing in the third book. It was nothing of the sort, I gave it 3 stars because while I didnt dislike the book it was just 300 pages too long. I spend 50 pages reading about the most predictable election of a king in history, totally un-necessary and a annoying result of the multiple side plots that are introduced, resolved and then for some explicapable reason added too. However the worst part was when Eragon met Jeod and we had to wait with Eragon while his wife poured some tea, why would anyone want to read about someone making a cup of tea, when I could have got up and done it myself signifcantly quicker. Possibly the worst padding was the time spent discussing Eragon travelling around the country, finding food, being tired of travelling, Saphira being tired of travelling, the aches, pains blah, blah, blah. Finally on the negative side was the continual morale ramblings of Eragon and then Roran which had no place in the book, if you are going to get all morale about it dont then go and kill countless people who you freely admit are press ganged into the army, have no will to fight and in one case are actively begging for there life to be spared.

However it isnt all bad there are the odd moments of comedy, I was almost in tears of laughter when Roran killed 193 people with nothing more than home and wife in his heart, utterly ludicrous, he has no super strength, stamina or other powers. Since he states that most of them where killed by archer fire it means the guys stood behind him had nothing much to do but count. Which they did. True comedy, after which I put the book down and it took me a good while to convince myself that it was worth picking up again as I rarely dont finish a book. After reading the back I feel Paolini spent too much time reading about how the Japanese made swords and less time reading about the realities of medieval melee combat and human endurance.

All this aside there was some light at the end of the tunnel, the end of the book was significantly better than the beginning and middle. Alot of the unnecessary language was gone, the story gained momentum again and I enjoyed the book and remembered why I started reading it in the first place. This is the only reason I gave it three stars because in the end I did finish the book and partially forgave the issues mainly by ignoring they even happened. Much of the book felt like admin and even though I didnt realise it was meant to be a trilogy it clearly felt like a filler to pad out the series. If written well then a book of the same length could have finished the series and it would have been so much better for it, sadly we got waffle followed by a decent salvage.

I realise that I have mainly highlighted the negative here but there were times inbetween the tedium that where occasionally worth waiting for. I will read the final book although if it is anything like this book by page 200 I may just go on wikipedia and read the plot summary to get it over with.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The tale that seems to go on and on...and on....and on?, 24 Nov 2008
This review is from: Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle) (Hardcover)
My initial impressions upon hearing that the previously named Inheritance trilogy had been repackaged as a cycle [collection of 4] was that of cautious optimism. Somewhat optimistically, I was pleased with the extension of what has shown to be a relatively promising fantasy series thus far. Yet I was also wary of, that which a previous reviewer has alluded too, 'cash cow' syndrome.

To put the case bluntly, Paolini stretches the limits of my good graces when it comes to putting up with inane musings in fantasy literature. It is a given that all books based on fictional events and make-believe worlds will have have a certain amount of story setting in order to bring the reader properly into the 'right of things'. You cannot, or at least if you intend for it to read well, simply pop the characters from point A to point B without suitable explanation. This rings a note of particular importance in epic fantasy. Veterans will understand the importance of quests and journeys in character building, yet there is very little of this in Brisingr. A symbolic tree to Paolini is never a tree, instead he produces endless preachy diatribe about how important it is that in *his* book *he* regards it as a tall perennial woody plant; this of course means that everything he writes is remarkably deep and meaningfully...right.

Characters seem remarkably 2-D throughout, Nasuada is a particular dislike of mine - considerably more authoritative and demanding towards and of the protagonist - yet to no particular end. Common sense dictates that what she is doing is idiotic, yet he still rolls over and takes it anyway. Gone is the outspoken and individual character of the first two books, enter generic drone with the morality of a bishop. You may deem this as insignificant, yet it makes the story remarkably hard to read - Arya, written in as the fey elf, now becomes the somewhat pathetically detached and damaged recluse.

The same applies to almost all of the existing and new characters within this chapter of Paolini's work; a complete and rather catastrophic failure to keep the 'readability' element going strong. Some will try to excuse this as 'a filler - holding out until the brilliantly crafted conclusion that nobody will ever expect', yet there is no excuse for this [even if everybody didn't already know that his work is about as unpredictable as a stick]. There should never be a reason for something like this - it is an affront to what could have been a gripping third installment, rather than the rather unreadable thing in front of me. To cap it all off, we see what I can only assume is a new trend [I would hope - I can't seem to find it in the first two, and I don't think I'm going mad] of Paolini's to attempt to write in a style similar to that of a badly produced BBC television series on the medieval period; lots of 'thous' and 'smites'. It is all most disconcerting.

I suppose that telling you to not to buy this would be a waste of time, after all - perhaps we can all hope that the fourth installment will be better - it is difficult to believe dismissive reviews on a book that attempts to follow on from the much better written prequels or indeed on a book that is midway through a rather extensive story. Fans of the series will inevitably buy it, as did I, and draw their own conclusions about it. Yet this is one fan that felt he just had to laugh at the whole thing, whether it is out of indulgent amusement for one who managed to mess up on his latest work, or instead a sense of frustrated disbelief at an author that has let his own reputation instill him with an undeserved confidence in his writing, I do not know.

What I will tell you though is that no matter how many times he attempts to connect the words 'Paolini' and 'As good as the Dragon Series of Pern' in a paragraph, it is all one rather laughable, distressing and strangely disappointing lie.

2/5
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its not that bad., 27 Oct 2009
By 
E. White "em2103" (Dorset) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ok, the other reviews do have some valid points and its not up to the standard of lord of the rings, despite being easier to read, but it does have some good points!! Eragon does seem to have several moral dilemas that aren't really dilemas and the Elves with all their wisdom do seem a bit childish at times but the basic story remains consistent, some parts are a little predictable but how many different directions can you go with a coming of age/adventure/save the world story? Eragon isn't arrogant compared to most teenage boys and he seems a bit overconcerned with what he will becomeif he enjoys war. Considering what his character goes through i think he developes quite well as a character. To me he is actually the best character apart from Nasuada, Nasuada seems quite focused as a character, however, despite also being a young character she doesn't really grow and is slightly two-dimensional but she's at least consistent. When taken in parts this book is easy to rip apart but as a story its quite an enjoyable read who's only major fault is the length. I think this book will be enjoyed differently by different people don't be put off by the reviews especially if you have read the first two books.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable... but hardly original, 5 Oct 2008
This review is from: Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle) (Hardcover)
Better than the previous books in the series, several strands of the previous books are rounded off (concerning the werecat's riddle) there are some decent battles, the pace of the book makes it easy to read and shifts of perspective add interest. I felt satisfied after reading it (good job I had no high expectations!)

However, several great flaws cannot be over-looked. Instead of a decent story it was more like a string of ideological debates and rather pathetic speeches on morality put togeather, forced onto a narrow plot. There is no room for this in fantasy- only the greatest of stories could make such garbage bearable. Unfortunatly that doesn't apply in this case.

Once again, we are forced to bear pale shadows of Tolkien's middle earth- namely Paolini's 'ancient language' and the rather pompous 'on the origin of names' section at the back. We are forced to endure his rip-off versions of evles and dwarfs- of which there are no characters of real depth.

I don't like the characters. I despise Nasuada, a chimpanzee could run an army better and add more wit to proceedings. She is cold hearted and completely lacks any likeable qualities. Eragon has no spine, he more or less lets everyone else make decisions for him and has no individuality whatsoever. He moans about killing people, if he felt that bad, then why battle at all? The Varden do not strike me as a force of good but as another power-hungry organisation after the crown. There is no real distinction between them and the mad-king. Saphira is the only redeemable character- but even then- lacks any depth.

Overall the lead character and plot failed a bit. And whilst on the whole enjoyable, this is nothing original (plenty of stuff filched from star wars). It will probably still recieve a good reception though, despite quality of writing, because of it's use of age-old 'hero' patterns. Hardly 'Lord of the Rings'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Great fabulous, 10 July 2014
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This is a amazing book to read and the detail is great yo can really see saphire and eragon gliding over the hill
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5.0 out of 5 stars A strong continuation of the story, 22 Jun 2014
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Kind of Lord of the Rings without quite so much palaver, this remains a rollicking adventure story with little fear of allowing some teenage awkwardness from the main character to let the reader empathise. Like Rowling, this write has the ability to write for quite an audience range!
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5.0 out of 5 stars books, 10 Jun 2014
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good packaging , delivered on time, condition as expected for a new book, my daughter who is reading the series loved it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 6 Jun 2014
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I have used this for some time now and can only say really happy with the purchase, would highly recommend
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Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle)
Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle) by Christopher Paolini (Hardcover - 21 Jun 2008)
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