Friday, November 7, 2008

Brisingr, or The Seven Promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular

Well, I did it. I finished Brisingr.
All I can really say is that I am in awe at Paolini's success at writing three books of such enormous size. I don't care what anybody says: yes, some of the plot elements are similar to Star Wars, and yes, there are ways in which the book could be better edited.
But so what?
Brisingr was a joy to read. He has a pretty solid plot, and pretty good characters, and pretty original ideas. All in all, Brisingr was incredible for somebody so young. No matter which way you look at it, Paolini is incredibly talented. Just think what amazing books he is going to write in the future! He made a few mistakes, but all writers do. Even J.K. Rowling has flaws, although hers are few.
However, I don't want to talk about Paolini's faults. He has a lot of talent, and I'm not interested in wasting my energy on criticism on the things he did wrong when they didn't really bother me. I love details. Details are great. Details give me a vivid picture of what I'm trying to see.
I didn't really bother reading the first chapter very closely, because it wasn't all that interesting to me. The second chapter was very interesting, and I read that in a book store. So finally, when I got the book from the library, and I began reading, it took me a day or two to realize how much I was enjoying it. Reading Brisingr was an ordeal, because its so long! But I love long books, so that's okay.
I don't like Roran's plot. I just don't like Roran. Maybe I'm not supposed to like him, but there is this arrogance and almost ridiculous air about him that just...I don't know. I just don't like Roran and Katrina. I'm partial to Eragon. I think that Paolini does a good job with the subtle romance between Eragon and Arya, which is still very undeveloped, but I like that. I loved the chapter when Eragon and Arya were around the campfire, and I also loved the scene where Eragon and Saphira were reunited. I felt their joy when they ran to each other and embraced! I realized how much pain they suffered being apart. Another highlight of the book was Saphira's perspective for the first time! She cracks me up, because she is soooo vain. I suppose I might be vain if I were a dragon, but Saphira is almost as bad as the beauty queen at school. I think that's part of her personality though. Saphira is so proud and even full or herself that I wonder if there might be something that's going to happen to her in book four? Just a thought. I can just see her downfall. Maybe she'll lose a leg like Glaedr, or just made me wonder when I was reading her chapters. I did enjoy the Roran chapter where he had to fight the Urgal. That was pretty cool.
And then....Spoilers again, I warn you......

The whole Star Wars plot thing is washed away! Morzan is NOT Eragon's father, Murtagh is only his half brother. I was so excited to find out. Mikaela spoiled it for me, but it was still fun to read it. I like Brom. I like Brom a lot. Jeremy Irons did an excellent job portraying him, I thought, and that was the best part of the movie...which was kind of sorry compared to the book. The book was really ten times better than the movie, but anyway....

Brom is Eragon's Father!!!! I was so excited! I always hoped that Eragon would eventually think of Brom as his dad, not Garrow (come on. Nobody likes Uncle Garrow.) and the chapter where Saphira shares the memory where Brom talks to Eragon as a father was really cool and neat. That was awesome.

The chapter where Eragon and....Rhunon forge the sword Brisingr was really amazing. I read with a hunger, and I am awed at how well Paolini describes the importance of a good weapon, of a sword, of the romance of it! Eragon named the sword Brisingr, which is the first magic word he uttered, the first magic word he heard uttered. Brisingr! The chapter Mind over Metal was probably just about my favorite.

The rest of the book was very good, and Paolini reveals how Galbatorix has risen to such great power, and also how Murtagh and Thorn are so powerful, but I'm not going to talk about it here. Despite the many faults of the Inheritance Cycle, Paolini gave me several hours of delight as I read about Eragon and Saphira's adventures in Book Three, and if I enjoyed it even for a moment (which I did) and if I am eager to find out what happens (which I am) then Paolini has done is job as a fiction writer. And he did his job very well. Brisingr was a joy to read, and it inspired me to add a layer to my book which I think is going to make it better and more enjoyable to write. So, Mr. Paolini, thanks for that. Haha, that would be awesome if he posted a comment. Authors do that a lot on my blog, seems like. I hope that someday I can complete a novel with as much depth behind its world as the Inheritance Cycle.
Finish it Mike! It was worth it. And those of you who haven't started the Inheritance Cycle, I think you should give Eragon, the first book, a try. I own the first book, and I want to add Eldest and Brisingr to my collection. I think they're worth the time it takes to read them.
As another thought, an afterthought, a post review thought, I think I've decided that I like the idea of Arya and Eragon being together. I hope they'll make it work for Eragon's sake! :D
Oh yeah, I enjoyed and appreciated Brisingr so much, it's November Book of the Month.