Thursday, August 8, 2019


Brisingr book cover.png

*spoilers for prior books*

Author Christopher Paolini dedicates the penultimate entry of his Inheritance Cycle to his family, not to mention the “bright lights of a new generation.” The series began with protagonist Eragon finding a blue stone in a range of mountains called the Spine that turned out to be a dragon egg, hatching an azure dragon he names Saphira. He consequentially becomes a Dragon Rider, part of an ancient order decimated by the mad King Galbatorix after Urgals killed his original dragon and he usurped another. The first entry concludes with a battle during which Eragon kills the Shade Durza, and is told telepathically to train in the elven capital of Ellesméra.

Eldest picks up three days after its predecessor, opening with the murder by Urgals of Ajihad, leader of the insurgent Varden, and the capture of Eragon’s friend Murtagh, with Nasuada becoming the new leader of the rebel organization. Eragon and Saphira leave for Ellesméra to train with the Cripple Who Is Whole, and in the meantime, the Empire seeks his cousin Roran, who is on his own adventures, and is betrayed by the butcher Sloan, who doesn’t want him marrying his daughter Katrina. The second entry concludes with a battle on the Burning Plains, where Eragon discovers his former friend Murtagh turned treason with the red dragon Thorn, and reveals that they share the same mother.

The third entry opens with Eragon and his cousin Roran near a monster’s hideout, with the former yearning for a new sword, his brother Murtagh having taken Zar’roc as his rightful inheritance as he is the older son of Morzan. The Dragon Rider ultimately does get his chance to help forge a new weapon, with the author crediting a Japanese swordmaking book with the detailed process. Roran and Katrina prepare to wed, Eragon’s heritage is confirmed, and a major battle concludes the tertiary installment, which like its predecessor is somewhat derivative of other works such as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, but is an enjoyable read nonetheless.

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