Review of the Inheritance Cycle Third Volume – Brisingr

The Inheritance Cycle

The Inheritance Cycle comprises of four books written by Christopher Paolini.  They have been extremely popular with the first book Eragon made into a major motion picture.

The series books include:

  • Eragon – 2002
  • Eldest – 2005
  • Brisingr – 2008
  • Inheritance – 2011

At the time of this writing Paolini has confirmed he will be writing a book 5 in the series but its unclear how it will fit into the overall set of books.

Synopsis of Brisingr

The book starts out with Eragon, Roran, and Saphira trying to rescue Katrina from Helgrind, the lair of the Ra Zac. After they rescue her Eragon, decides to take care of a problem of undisclosed matters and stays behind. After Roran, Katrina, and Saphira get back, they notify the leader of the Varden, Nasuada, and Arya the elf of Eragon’s absence. Arya then sets out and retrieves Eragon before anyone notices his absence.

More Action and Danger Await Eragon

Eragon then goes to Tronjheim, the dwarf capital city to oversee the election of a new king. While there, assassins almost kill Eragon. After the election, Eragon goes to Ellesmera to petition his teacher, The Cripple Who is Whole (read Eldest to discover his name), to learn one piece of magic from him. While there Eragon gets a rider’s sword made for him by Rhunon, one of the most skilled smiths ever to live, out of brightsteel, of kind of meteoric iron. When Eragon returns to the Varden, he finds that they are in the middle of the siege of Feinster. Near the end of the battle Eragon, Saphira, and Arya have to fight a shade, named Varaug, who is even more powerful, Durza who was quite powerful already.

This is a fantastic book for young readers who love action including assassins to shades, ancient spells to hand to hand combat.

More About the Author

Paolini, who started writing these novels when he was just fifteen years old, became a best-selling author when he was only 19 with the success of his first book Eragon. The novel went through its first edition by his family’s own small publishing firm, and came up with a second edition by an established publisher Alfred A. Knopf.

Paolini had originally intended his series to be a trilogy with Brisngr as the last installment (after Eragon and Eldest). However, while he was halfway through with writing Brisngr, he found out the story too long and complex for one book. So he decided to split the story into two books, thus the series becoming Inheritance Cycle. The series has sold about 35 million copies worldwide.

Critical Evaluation

Most critics praised Brisngr, which has much more hints of originality (especially referring to the characters) compared to its predecessors. Moreover, they commend Paolini’s growing maturity as a writer, citing his richer and more solid narrative style. Some critics though bash at the book’s protracted length, and loss of focus halfway through the novel.

Brisingr’s main character Eragon, along with his dragon Saphira, is out to unite the rebel forces as well as in his bid to bring his enemy Galbatroix into destruction. Younger fans in particular will immensely enjoy this book as it is also packed with tight and fierce action scenes.