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Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle) Hardcover – 21 Jun 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books; 1st Edition 2nd Printing edition (21 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385607911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385607919
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 5.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini -- of which Brisingr is the latest -- shows every sign of becoming one of the most exuberant and entertaining fiction sequences in modern writing, with a scope and ambition that genuinely takes the breath away. This is a fantasy world which is cleverly designed to appeal to the widest possible range of readership; the inevitable echoes of JRR Tolkien are transformed into something rich and strange here, and the events of the earlier books are being drawn together in the later developments with masterly assurance.

After the massive, punishing battle against the Warriors of the Empire, Eragon and Saphira are licking their wounds, having barely survived. The Rider and his dragon have an oath to fulfil; they must aid Katrina in escaping the most terrible danger. What follows is an epic journey, quite as action-packed and vividly described as anything in fantasy fiction. As in all the best such literature, the odds are overwhelming, nothing can be taken at face value, and the evil forces ranged against the protagonists are as vile as one could wish.

Christopher Paolini clearly now feels that he has readers securely in his pocket, and is prepared to take his time to achieve some of his best effects -- a tactic that pays dividends. So often with fantasy fiction, outlandish situations are relied upon to carry the action, and there is no shortage of them here. But Paolini is canny enough to realise that the characterisation of an endangered protagonist is crucial to maintain our involvement, and (as in previous books), he always takes care of business in this regard. Don't be put off by the daunting length of this book -- Paolini justifies every word in Brisingr. You'll find yourself reading it as quickly as many a shorter book. --Barry Forshaw


"A compelling and action-filled adventure . . . a galloping good example of its genre" (Daily Telegraph)

"This book is an achievement. Readers will be transported" (The Sunday Times)

"Paolini writes like someone gripped by his own story" (Guardian)

"A stirring fantasy of epic proportions" (The Bookseller)

"Bound for the bestsellers" (Publishing News) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: 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.
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