Tuesday, January 13, 2009


by Christopher Paolini

from amazon.com:
Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength—as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices— choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice. Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

I've been really copping out on summary's lately, haven't I? Oh well.

I had read some pretty bad reviews of this book before I started reading it, so I wasn't too sure going in how it would go. I think starting with such low expectations probably helped the cause.

I think I liked the book overall. It was too long, and there are several new loose ends he brought in. If he doesn't clear them up by the end of book for (the final book), I will think this book was about twice as long as it needed to be. Otherwise, it's probably only a couple hundred pages too long.

I didn't like:
  • How much time Eragon spends in the beginning pondering about being a vegetarian and how killing any creature would make him so sick. I am happy to know that he changed his habits, but it got a bit preachy. This doesn't hold as true for his guilt about killing people, though I thought that got a little tired after a while as well.
  • how violent the book is. Lots of blood and gore.
  • the chapters from Saphira's perspective. I really liked her in the previous two books, but I found her obnoxious when she was the narrator.
  • the length. It really did need to be edited better. I read the author's note at the end about how much longer it was originally. I can't imagine!
  • that Eragon continued to make oaths to everyone. Even when it got him in trouble, and even when they were more hassle than anything else. It drove me crazy that he hasn't learned or grown from his previous mistakes!
I liked:
  • that it felt like this one had a solid ending. Yes, the story is not complete, but I don't feel like I'm hanging.
  • that the female characters are mostly strong - you don't necessarily see that a lot in the fantasy I've read.
  • that we learned more about Brom's past (though, I didn't like several of the details at all).
  • Eragon's new sword.
I guess I disliked more than I liked, but I still enjoyed the story overall. If you're a fan of the Inheritance series I would probably recommend it. If not, I would probably avoid it. It is in many ways the same as the first two.

3 out of 5 stars.


Kirsten said...

Does the book get any better after the first chapter? I read the first chapter and was rather turned off - the whole drinking blood thing and all. It felt like the author was going for shock value or mad or something. So far, I haven't picked it back up and I'm tempted to just sell my set. Is it worth continuing?

KT said...

There were a couple of other fairly disturbing scenes - Nasuada cuts herself nearly to the point of death to prove a point. I thought several times throughout that the author must be trying to prove something with some of the shocking things included.

If you don't mind leaving the series unread (I tend to hate that), then I would go ahead and skip it. There really is a lot better stuff out there.

Laura H said...

KT dont hate me but I stopped Inkheart. I was on the 3 or 4th CD and NOTHING had happened. I felt like you did with this book, that it was too long. I liked her writing and the reader but it was too bloody descriptive. It become a chore for me to put it on.
I can see it's on your favorite list, I hope you still respect me in the morning?????

KT said...

Laura - your comment made me laugh. Of course I won't hate you! Inkheart is actually my mom's least favorite (I'm not sure she'd go so far as to say hate) of Funkes books, and I still like her :) Sorry you didn't like it. Have you read anything interesting lately?

Laura H said...

Yeah some good stuff

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- Really like this one!!!!

A crooked kind of perfect by Linda Urban (this one started out slow but got good)

Diary of a wimpy kid-So funny

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins-currently reading

Currently listening- A Nothern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

So far 2009 has been good to me.

Jeane said...

It was a struggle just for me to finish his first book. I was hoping that perhaps by the end of the series he would have matured into a better writer, but none of the reviews have convinced me of such.

KT said...

Jeane - I do think his writing has improved since the first book, but it's still not great. The biggest problem is that his books are just too long! Even great writers need to know when to stop, and he's not exactly great.

Kim said...

My husband really liked Brsinger and I believe he even said it was the best of the three. That doesn't mean that I will love it but I will definitely get to it eventually. I hope that I remember enough of the first two that I won't be completely lost. Would that be a problem, do you think?

KT said...

Kim - I can see why your husband thought it was the best written in the series. Paolini's writing has improved overall.

I didn't re-read the first two, but I did skim over the summary of Eldest on Wikipedia. The beginning of Brisingr has a short(ish) summary of the first two books and that was enough for me. I will have to re-read all three before the final book comes out though.