Brisingr

By Christopher Paolini

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008

Genres: Fantasy, adventure

Series: Inheritance; 3

ISBN: 9780375826726

Intended audience: Young adult, adult

Number of pages: 763

Setting: Alagaësia

Time period: [medieval]

Plot summary: Following a brief synopsis of Eragon and  Eldest, Brisingr picks up where Eldest left off.   Eragon and Saphira first must fulfill their promise to Roran to help him save Katrina.  Then it’s back to fulfilling obligations to the Varden and trying to defeat the evil empire.  However, Eragon and Saphira also must find the time to meet with their mentors, or they have no hope of defeating Galbatorix.  Eragon is also in need of a Rider’s Sword since Murtagh claimed Zar’roc on the Burning Plains.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Most of the story is very fast paced, however, there are some slower moving episodes interspersed throughout the book.

Characterization: As in Eldest, most of the story is told in third person from Eragon’s perspective; other character perspectives include Saphira’s, Nasuada’s, and Roran’s.  Readers continue to learn more about the primary characters in this story.

Frame: The frame is set early on in the story when Eragon punishes a person for his crimes.  Eragon and his allies continuously strive to fight evil without succumbing to it.

Story line: The third installment of an exciting coming of age story about friendship, loyalty, trust, and self-discovery in the magical and war-torn realm of Alagaësia.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Dragons — Juvenile fiction.

Magic — Juvenile fiction.

And buried in the MARC display:

650  1 Fantasy.

650  1 Dragons|vFiction.

650  1 Magic|vFiction.

650  1 Youth’s writings.

Similar authors:

From NoveList’s featured article “Here be Dragons” by Tara Bannon:

Dragon flight by Anne McCaffrey – first in the Dragonriders of Pern series

Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik – first in the Temeraire series

Dragon’s Keep by Janet Lee Carey

Personal notes: Lots of valid criticism of this story can be found in the reviews on Amazon.  While I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first two, I still enjoyed it.  Yes, it is violent, but I’m not sure I would consider it more violent than the first two – there were some gruesome scenes in the first book.  Readers do have to deal with more killing in this book (as well as idiot captains and subversive dwarves) – the rebel movement is now a full fledged war.  Some of the pacing did feel off to me – (like when Eragon has to go deal with dwarf politics after the action packed beginning) – but the story still held my interest.  I think this book may have had a rough start from the get go with readers in that the third book was originally supposed to be the last.  Obviously, things didn’t turn out that way and I think some readers may feel let down because they feel that the story is too long.  I’m going to withhold judgment on the length of the story until after the final installment….  And it doesn’t bother me that we haven’t seen Galbatorix yet.  Lots of evil villains don’t show their faces until the final scenes (if then…  Sauron never showed his face in The Lord of the Rings…)

Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – female warrior, female leader

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