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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 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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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2008
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2011
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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on 16 March 2014
I love The Inheritance Cycle! I think it's a wondeful series with an exciting plot and lovable characters.
I loved Eragon. Then I read Eldest, and I liked it even more! I was sooooo excited for Brisingr... well... It didn't exactly live up to my expectations I'm afraid :( I kinda liked the main storyline and the way it progressed, but I did have quite a few issues with this book as well. First of all, I felt that it was pretty slow paced. Usually I like slow paced stories with tons of details and emotions. I love seeing details and building a picture in my head and really getting into the mind of the characters... but for some reason, I would have loved if it progressed faster. I felt that there were a lot of parts that could've been left out. It wouldn't really hurt the story. The pacing kinda bored me in a way. A couple of times I put the book down, because it didn't feel like it was going somewhere.
My second issue is pretty much what hit me the most. The violence. In the previous books there was also violence, but in appropriate dozes. I liked the way they used the violence and battles in the previous books. But... It was VERY graphic in Brisingr. It disgusted me a couple of times. One time I got so grossed out, that I had to turn the page and skip that part. That's not something I want to experience while reading :( Maybe this is just me! Maybe you like a bit of violence in books, maybe you can take it. Then that's great, good for you :) You'll probably like this book :) But I have an issue with violence. Not a fan of it. Especially if it's too graphic.
Those were my main issues with this book. But I did like how the story progressed :) It was a good book, but it DID disappoint me on some levels. But this is just my oppinion! Maybe you think completely differently, and that is okay too :) I'm looking so much forward to reading Inheritance. I have a feeling it's going to be a great ending :)
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on 8 February 2015
My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!!!
***I borrowed the Playaway audiobook from my local library

The cover is very majestic and beautiful :)

I read this book back in 2008. I enjoyed this book & loved the story just as much when I listened to the audio version now. I love that it is narrated by the same narrator as the other books. When you get used to a narrator it makes each book seem like an old friend.

Christopher Paolini is an amazing author with the words he uses to weave a fantastic epic story. This whole series is absolutely marvelous, and it will always be one of my favorite series. I highly recommend the audio version for readers who are intimidated by the size of the books because no one should miss out on such a wondrous story.

Eragon & Saphira go through so much in their lives and in this book as much as in each of the other books. The conflict and strife can definitely be felt as you are sucked into the story. All the characters who support Eragon & Saphira are also a part of this story. There is plenty of sadness, but I will not tell you more because I do not want to ruin your journey.

I highly recommend this series to everyone who loves fantastical stories and who already love this series. If you are fond of stories like the Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit series, and Harry Potter, then you will love this series too!!
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on 12 August 2015
I felt that this took things up a notch from the last book in terms of action. There are quite a few set-pieces, and the novel opens with an important and dangerous mission.

It's no doubt subjective, but I was irritated by Nasuada's decision to have Roran flogged (and his acceptance of it). I just thought that was a silly action on all parts. It's hard to believe that morale wouldn't go down when a hero is flogged for saving people's lives and saving a mission from disaster. I won't repeat the small niggles that I covered in my reviews of the previous books.

A bigger issue for me in terms of consistency is that in Book 2 we saw the interesting attitude of elves to eating meat. It made sense for their magic to affect the empathies and psychology of their people. Eragon adopts the view, as we would expect. All logical and believable. Then the strand seems to disappear completely with no explanation! A whole aspect of Eragon's psychology just dropped, after spending many pages building it up in Book 2. Weird and inconsistent.

Why did I 'really like' the book if I had these concerns? Because the story still kept me reading, and I looked forward to going to bed and getting through a few more chapters, which is undoubtedly a good thing.
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on 25 January 2011
Not an indictment on Paolini's series as a whole because Eragon & Eldest were very good indeed. Brisingr however should have been scrapped because it is bad, very bad.

I couldn't bring myself to give it a withering 1 star because there is worse stuff out there - some of the students from my creative writing class emulating Sylvia Plath for instance - but my finger was hovering over it!

The one example I will use is Roran fighting an entire battalion single-handed. It was such errant nonsense I nearly disregarded the series then and sadly it never really picked up enough momentum from that diabolical moment to make me think of this book as anything other than utter rubbish.

Paolini mate, there is no shame in scrapping a book if it doesn't make the grade. I would advise you to re-do this, smaller, and disregard the 1st Brisingr as a moment of madness before you carry on with anything else. Quality or quantity Paolini, quality over quantity.
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on 22 September 2011
1st book. Few chapters in, I'm thinking hmm, change a few names
around and we have LOTR!

Now I don't read fantasy books, I'm a hardcore SF reader - the likes
Of Harry potter and such associated dross leaves me feeling....,well, I'd sooner
sit and watch old people eat !
But I'm not going to sully the mans efforts on this trilogy with my worthless
Critique! ( that's is done way too much already).

But I will say. I loved it. I totally loved it. I can't say why in a nutshell,
but I couldn't put them down. Slow methodical total absorption into them

Yer, ok, I really do want to slap Nasuada into next week, and I want
Eragon to grow a pair of balls and wake up a bit, but...

Bring on part 4, I can't wait.

Written on iPhone, formatting looks a bit pants!
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Brisingr : Eragon Inheritance cycle....This was a real suprise for me even though i had seen the movie i had not thought that this book would have the kind of grip on me that it does !! It was exciting from the first page to the last and kept me thoroughly enthralled throughout. From the moment i started reading it gripped me so hard that i did not want it to let me go and upon finishing the book i fealt almost depondent that there was not more for me to get my teeth into. I cannot believe it still !! I am now desperate for the next book to be finished and published. This will be the most exciting book to come out this year for me.
If you enjoy a truly exciting, dramatic, amazingly outstanding read then the eragon series is for you...ENJOY !!!!
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on 23 August 2009
I loved Eragon and Eldest, so I rushed out to buy Brisingr as soon as it was available. What I didn't expect was the book to not come to a conclusion! Hundreds of pages of war and character ramblings (yes, yes, I'm sure it's SO important to the plot) only to find out that the book didn't even conclue. Yup, the trilogy had become a saga. Outragous!!! It would have been nice to have known what I was getting in to before I opened page one, but it is only mentioned in the last pages. This book rambles on forever and although I still love Chrisopher Paolini, I want to strangle his editor for not keeping the word limit realistic and allowing Paolini to lose the plot.

This was not a nice trick to play :(
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