Brisingr, Christopher Paolini

“Brisingr!” I scream it aloud. Alas, there are no flames that flare about my laptop, my weapon, my sword…. Ok, melodrama aside – let me tell you about yet another young adult series that I find myself knee deep within.

I picked up Eragon a couple of years ago and found myself deep within a mystical land full of Dragons, Elves, Dwarves, Urgals. It was a great read. I found it utterly amazing that a young man, late into his teen years had created this world that I readily fell into. Now, upon completing Christopher Paolini’s latest installment, I am once again surprised – this time to find that Paolini was home-schooled. Home-schooled kids get a bad rap. They should seek out Paolini to be their spokesperson…

So, like I said, Eragon was a great read. We met the main character, for whom the book was named. We watched him connect with his hatchling of a dragon, Saphira. Eragon and Saphira should be noted as a great couple in literature. No, no, no. They were not a “couple” couple. They were two beings sharing their lives in an intimate way. Their minds are connected, they are magical, they are a force to be reckoned with. And a force they become – they join with the Vardon (a mixed group of magical beings and humans out to overthrow Galbatroix – the epitome of evil).

Eldest, the second book of the trilogy, was a good read, dragged a little, but still good. In it we follow as Eragon as he continues to battle Galbatroix and his evil Empire. They are trained by an Elf Dragon Rider who remains hidden among the elves for fear of his demise at the hand of Evil. We watch a new leader rise to lead the Varden after a terrible battle. Eragon learns that blessings may not be blessings if the wording is wrong and inadvertently curses a baby. Eragon’s cousin, meanwhile, has adventures of his own. He too is fighting the Empire. Only Roran has no magic to aid his endeavor. The book comes to a close after a huge battle that allowed us to realize there is another dragon who is now fighting on the side of Evil. And the dragon’s rider? Murtagh, Eragon’s friend who was long thought dead. We find that not only is he alive, he has been sworn into the service of Galbotroix. And, oh yeah, Murtagh and Eragon are brothers! Sons of a dragon rider of old who slaughtered other riders…good riders.

So, I pick up Brisingr thinking that this is the last book of the trilogy. After all, by definition, trilogy is three…once read I have realized that the third book of the trilogy had been found to be so massive they broke it out into two separate books. So the trilogy becomes a fou…quad…um, what is a series of four books? It is called a CYCLE (just learned that).

It was a good read, slow but good. It shows us the progress in Eragon’s growth. We lose some of our friends in this novel, we gain some others. The Urgals are now our friends, having sworn an oath of loyalty to Nasauda, the new ruler of the Varden. Roran proves himself (again, sans magic) as a powerful warrior. And we learn more about Brom and Eragon’s true lineage.

So, if I were to rate this series…I would say that Potter would come first, Twilight second and Eragon third. Is that bad that it comes last? No. It is good, not great. It is worthy of your attention.

HOWEVER – the movie Eragon? Garbage. Pure and utter waste of film. That you could bring Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich to the screen and not be able to COMMAND the story? Shame, shame, shame. The book and those actors all deserve better than what was vomited out of the mind of Stefan Fangmeier. Which explains why we have not seen the screen adaptation of Eldest. True shame to have Malkovich and Irons at your disposal and completely fudge it up like that.

2 replies »

  1. I found Eragon to be a great read – Eldest was ‘good’. I did think that Eldest drug on a bit. But I thought that much of the book was needed for character development. Did you read Brisingr? Did you like it? I think that the fourth book could change my view on the series as a whole.

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