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  • gilwilson 3:10 AM on May 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , brisingr, , , eldest, , , , inheritance,   

    Brisingr (Inheritance, Book 3) by Christopher Paolini 

    Brisingr (Inheritance, Book 3)
    by Christopher Paolini
    read by Gerard Doyle
    Produced by Listening Library, 2008

    Well I thought I was finishing the last of the Christopher Paolini “Inheritance” series featuring, Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular (Brightscales), but no, there seems to be another in the works.  This is completely fine by me, because reading or listening to this series has been a lot of fun.  I still find it amazing that Paolini started writing this series while in his teens.  The language used in these books is every bit as much an equivalent to any of Tolkien’s works, or any other fantasy novel.  In fact just like many fantasy writers Paolini, took the time to create a couple of languages to make the Dwarves and Elves speak in an more realistic manner.

    The “Inheritance” series follows the life of Eragon, a dragon rider, and Saphira, his dragon, as they grow together learning what it means to be a dragon rider, while at the same time fighting the evil King Galbatorix, who wants to be the only rider and ruler of the world.   In this book especially Eragon and Saphira learn what it means to be loyal, and to keep your promises.  In fact, the subtitle of this book was going to be, “The Seven Promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular.”

    The reader, Gerard Doyle, does a superb job reading this book and letting the listener know the difference between different characters talking or thinking as well as voicing the dragons.  I have to admit that I felt sorry for the abuse to Doyle’s throat when he voiced the dragons but I sure he can recover in time for the next book.  Doyle also provides the interesting pronunciation for the Elvish and Dwarvish language.  So if you read the book and wondered just how you could pronounce some of those words, get the audio book.

    Brisingr focuses on the story of Eragon and his dragon Saphira  as they continue their quest to overthrow the corrupt ruler of the Empire, Galbatorix. Eragon is one of the last remaining Dragon Riders, a group that governed and protected the land of Alagaësia. Brisingr  begins just 4 days after the preceding novel “Eldest” concludes, finding Eragon, newly reunited with his cousin, Roran, just outside of  Helgrind, the sanctuary of the Ra’zac. There they rescue Roran’s fiance, Katrina, who was being held prisoner, and kill one of the Ra’zac. Saphira, Roran, and Katrina return to the Varden, while Eragon stays behind to kill the remaining Ra’zac and to deal with Katrina’s traitorous father. Once he returns to the Varden, Eragon discovers that Katrina is pregnant with Roran’s child and a wedding is arranged, which Eragon is to conduct. Just before it begins, a small force of enchanted troops, that feel no pain, attack alongside Murtagh and his dragon, Thorn. Elven spell-casters aid Eragon and Saphira and cause Murtagh and Thorn to flee, winning the battle. After the fight, Roran marries Katrina. The leader of the Varden, Nasuada, then orders Eragon to attend the election of the new dwarf king in the Beor Mountains. Once among the dwarves, Eragon is the target of a failed assassination, found to be the work of the dwarf clan Az Sweldn rak Anhûin, whom the dwarf Orik then forces into exile. Having earned the sympathies of the dwarves, Orik is elected the new king.

    After Orik’s coronation, Eragon and Saphira return to the elven capital Ellesméra to train. There, the elf Oromis and his dragon Glaedr reveal that Eragon’s deceased mentor, Brom, is Eragon’s father. Glaedr also reveals the source of Galbatorix’s power: Eldunarí, or heart of hearts. While not a dragon’s actual heart, an Eldunarí allows the holder to communicate with or draw energy from the dragon it belongs to, even if the dragon is deceased. Galbatorix spent years collecting Eldunarya, and forcing the deceased dragons to channel their energy to him through their Eldunarí thus the reason Galbatorix is so powerful. After training, Eragon visits an Elven blacksmith, Rhunön, who helps Eragon forge a Rider sword. Before Eragon and Saphira depart to the Varden, Oromis says that the time has come for him and Glaedr to openly oppose the Empire in combat alongside the queen of the elves, Islanzadí. Thus, Glaedr gives his Eldunarí to Eragon and Saphira before they part.

    Meanwhile, Roran is sent on various missions as part of the military force of the Varden. One of the targets is a convoy of supply wagons guarded by enchanted soldiers. The unit suffers extreme casualties, and the commander is replaced after losing his hand. During a mission to take back a Surdan city, plans made by the new commander almost cause the operation to fail, but Roran gives new orders. Despite saving the mission, Roran is charged with insubordination and is flogged as a punishment. After the public whipping, Nasuada promotes Roran to commander and sends his unit on a mission. He leaves in command of a group of both men and Urgals to enforce the idea of men and Urgals working together. When his squad returns to the Varden, they join the siege of Feinster, a city in the Empire.

    The battle ensues and as I said in the beginning what I thought was the final book is not, and Paolini leaves the final battle between the Varden and the Empire, and, of course, between Galbatorix and Eragon for the next book.

    In this audio book is a bonus interview between Paolini and his editor, in which he reveals that this book was originally planned as the final but that the adventures just could not all be told in one volume.  Hopefully we’ll have the next book soon.

  • gilwilson 1:49 AM on February 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , eldest, , , , , , saphira   

    “Eldest” Inheritance, Book Two by Christopher Paolini 

    Inheritance, Book Two
    by Christopher Paolini
    Published 2005 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

    Christopher Paolini continues to amaze me.  After reading “Eragon,” the first book in what is book one of the Inheritance series (three books have been written and it is rumored there is a fourth book on the way.), I was totally sucked in to the fantasy world where dragons, elves, dwarves and magicians exist and an evil king has tried to destroy all Dragon Riders.  Now with book two I just couldn’t hardly put the book down.  When finishing the first book I looked up information on the author and found out the book was written when he was only 15 years old. An amazing feat in and of itself, but to be able to create this fantasy world with many depths that’s a serious job for any author,no matter what the age.  This second book was published when the author was in his early 20s so now that he’s got his style and his world created the books can only get better, as this one does.

    In book one, “Eragon,” the reader was taken on a quest in which Eragon and his Dragon, Saphira, learned of the reason behind their bonding and the development of their skills as Eragon sought revenge on the Ra’zac for the killing of his uncle.  He eventually was taken to the Varden, both to save Arya (the elf that sent the dragon’s egg to Eragon,  and to escape King Galbatorix’s wrath. Along the way Eragon learns his travelling companion, Brom, is a former rider.  They also are rescued at one point by Murtagh who joins them on their trip to the Varden, although he says he cannot complet they journey to Farthen Dûr, the home of the Varden. When they arrive in Farthen Dûr, Eragon is led to the leader of the Varden, Ajihad. Ajihad imprisons Murtagh after finding out that he is the son of Morzan, Galbatorix’s right hand man.

    “Eldest”  begins three days after the events of the preceding novel, “Eragon,” in the dwarf city of Tronjheim, inside of a hollowed mountain of Farthen Dûr. Farthen Dûr is in the southeastern part of Alagaësia, the continent in Paolini’s world where all this action takes place.  Eragon must complete his mission and be trained as a dragon rider, to do so he must journey to Ellesméra, the elven capital city located in the forest Du Weldenvarden, on the northern portion of Alagaësia. Before he leaves,Eragon must attend the funeral for the fallen leader of the Varden,  Ajihad. Ajihad is ambushed and killed, with Murtagh while Ajihad’s other guards are assumed dead. At his funeral, Ajihad’s daughter Nasuada is elected to command the Varden. Eragon travels to Ellesméra where he meets Oromis and his dragon Glaedr, the only dragon and Rider secretly alive besides the Eragon and Saphira and Galbatorix. Oromis and Glaedr, however, are both crippled, and so cannot fight Galbatorix and must hide instead to avoid Galbatorix hunting them down. Eragon and Saphira are taught the use of logic, magic theory, scholarship, and combat, among other things.

    Back in Farthen Dûr, Nasuada chooses to move the Varden from Tronjheim to Surda, to mount an attack on the Empire. The Varden suffers financial troubles, so Nasuada decides to fund the Varden and the war with Lace.  The lace is magically produced and they can sell it cheap. One night when Nasuada is in her room, Elva saves her from an assassination attempt. Elva is the child which Eragon and Saphira blessed, the problem is that this was before Eragon was adept at the ancient language used in magic and accidentally curses her to BE a shield rather than TO BE shielded. Elva locates the assailant, who is killed after unwillingly surrendering information to Varden magicians about a subversive group based in Surda called the Black Hand, who is plotting to kill Nasuada. Nasuada later attends a meeting with key figures in Surda’s government to discuss a potential upcoming battle against the Empire. They learn that the conflict is coming sooner than they initially suspected, and mobilize forces to attack, as well as sending for help from the dwarves.

    Eragon continues his training, but is discouraged when the scar on his back, caused by the Shade he killed, causes him to have seizures. At the ancient elven ceremony, the Agaetí Blödhren, Eragon is altered by a spectral dragon. The changes alter his senses, and enhance his abilities, as well as healing all of his wounds. Reinvigorated, Eragon continues training until he learns that the Empire will soon attack the Varden in Surda. He leaves without completing his training, to aid the Varden in battle, much like Luke Skywalker left Yoda before his training was finished.  I just found this a very neat similarity.

    Meanwhile, Roran, Eragon’s cousin, is hunted by the Ra’zac in Carvahall. He eventually persuades the entire village to attack the Ra’zac in the night, and succeeds in driving them off. After more conflicts with the village, the Ra’zac manage to kidnap Katrina, Roran’s fiancée. Roran then stirs the village to mobilize, departing on a journey to join the Varden in Surda. He leads them to Narda, and then by sea to Teirm. In Teirm, they meet Jeod, who helps them pirate a new vessel from Teirm. Pursued by sloops from the Empire, the vessel manages to escape through a whirlpool, and eventually makes it to Surda, arriving just as the Battle of the Burning Plains is about to begin between Surda and its allies, and the Empire.

    When conflict begins, Eragon is able to repel the opposing army using magic. Eventually, a Dragon Rider appears in favor of the Empire. The hostile Dragon Rider kills the dwarf king Hrothgar, and soon begins to fight with Eragon. The Dragon Rider is soon unmasked by Eragon and is revealed to be Murtagh. Murtagh tells Eragon that he was kidnapped and forced into loyalty by Galbatorix after a dragon hatched for him. Murtagh outmatches Eragon, but shows mercy due to their old friendship. Before leaving, Murtagh reveals that Eragon is his brother, and takes Eragon’s sword as well. Ultimately, Galbatorix’s army is forced to retreat after the arrival of the dwarves and the departure of Murtagh and Thorn. In the end, Eragon and Roran decide that they will seek out Katrina together.

    Lots of adventure, lots of excitement all very well portrayed and with some magical storytelling that will suck you into this alternate world.

    • theothergardener 2:01 AM on February 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      “Eragon” still sits on my “waiting to be read” pile. The movie impressed me, although fans seemed upset with it. I liked the simplicity, the clean lines, so to speak, of the story.


    • Spring 3:50 AM on February 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The Eragon books are amazing. In Brisingr Eragon gets his own sword and names it [Brisingr] and Brisingr catches fire every time he says it although he didn’t cast magic.


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