Picking up where Eldest left off, Christopher Paolini transports the reader back to Alegaesia and Eragon, Saphira, and Roran as their journey continues. As exciting as that sounds, the overall story sadly plummets, which is not to say that there aren’t some redeeming qualities, because there are.
However, they are few and far between. Following their foray with the repulsive Ra’zac within The Gates of Death, they go their separate ways, once again. From there, Eragon embarks on a brief sub-plot. Paolini does keep it interesting, unexpected even, but it only seems to detract from the story.
Shortly thereafter, we’re reintroduced to Nasuada, a character whom I believe be of the most vital to the Cycle. For the sake of all that’s right and just, she willingly endures considerably more than any woman (or human being, for that matter) should ever have to, and she does it with a sense of pride. Through the Trial of the Long Knives, Nasuada’s character earnestly begins to come into her own. Her former arrogance seems to have diminished, while retaining the same coldness that helps define her.
At this time, I grew to respect and like her a bit more.
I found the chapter entitled, Intersecting Sagas, particularly interesting, due to the insights gained. Yet, you’re left wondering what hold-up is, and impatient for something-anything-more exciting; something beyond the norm.
I mean, is is really necessary to know Eragon’s every waking moment?
Later on, our Dragon Rider is sent on another mission, venturing back to Farthen Dur, where he must be an influential party in the upcoming Dwarvish election.
I appreciate the fact that politics are utilized in this installment, as well. But at the same time, it’s like, “Enough is enough already, get on with it!” Admittedly, it is done well, to the point of fascination, so part of me wanted more. Ambiguous, I know..
While in Farthen Dur, Eragon meets a woman named Glumra. She’s a great character, one I’d like to see more of, actually. Through her, Paolini presents a recurring theme: religion.
Several chapters further, Roran pays the penultimate price for insubordination, a gut-wrenching experience that made me cringe the entire time. Ultimately, he is changed by it. Will he ever be the same again?
Further yet, Eragon and Saphira travel north, to Du Weldenvarden, home of Oromis and Glaedr. Their stay is all too brief, though wholly necessary, IMO. I LOVED seeing the silver-haired elf again, and that alone is one of my most treasured aspects of the novel.
While they’re there, several mind-blowing revelations are disclosed. I don’t say that lightly, either, they are MAJOR!
Also, it’s always a pleasure to see the Menoa tree again.
And the two chapters seen from Saphira’s perspective are just amazing. The words used to describe how she sees her surroundings are very neat, indeed. I wish there had been more of them!
All too late, it’s around this point that Brisingr really takes off. In the end, an epic battle ensures, albeit not without unforeseen casulties and sorrow.
The war again the Empire and Galbatorix is full-swing now. How will it all end? After such a disappointment, I sure hope for a big payoff in the form of Inheritance.