brisingr_book_coverI recently finished Brisingr, the third book in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, which includes Eragon and Eldest. To be honest, I thought this was the last book in the series, but it evidently is not. That said, the events of this book are very much setting up what is to come. Reflecting back on what important things occurred, I could only think of a few events or things we learned about Eragon, but they were mostly all discoveries that were left open-ended. That in and of itself isn’t  a bad thing, but reading 700+ pages of setting up future events seems funny to me, in retrospect.

The second book, Eldest, allowed Eragon’s cousin Roran to narrate some chapters, and Paolini continued with Roran’s narration in Brisingr. I’ve read some reviews where reader’s didn’t care for Roran’s narration, but I found I didn’t mind it at all. Mostly he narrated a few short chapters here and there, and the majority of those focused on Roran’s perception of Eragon, with a few battles thrown in for good measure.

Paolini seems to have become less grandiose and verbose, which I greatly appreciated. However, his tendency to over-describe remains. This bothered me a bit, not because Paolini’s descriptions aren’t vivid, but because every-other paragraph seems to be a detailed description of something. I think less descriptions in certain places would make the descriptions of events Paolini wanted to particularly highlight stand out more. I found myself skimming more heavily than usual in many places, and when we got to battle scenes that I would normally want lots of details in, I found myself thinking, “not more descriptions!”

Paolini does remind readers what some specific things are, like an energy restoring drink Eragon’s mentor gave him, which means that skimming some descriptive passages wasn’t a detriment to knowing what was going on, and also reminded me of things that happened in the previous two novels. I also appreciated that this novel didn’t introduce many new characters, but focused more on characters we already knew.

After finishing this novel, I’m ready to read the next installment, and find out what happens next in Eragon’s quest to defeat Gallbatorix! I have a feeling Roran will have a big role to play before the end, and that Paolini has a few more plot twists up his sleeves. While this book wasn’t perfect (to me), it was a solid, enjoyable read.