Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

August is "Up to Date"
The titles for August represent a few different things: my new job at a library, the end of summer classes, and the desire to be 'up-to-date' on my favorite series. I obviously have a fantasy leaning, but then again, fantasy easily lends itself to series. The selections are more varied in their reading level. Artemis and Charlie Bone are written for a middle school/early teen reader, while Inkdeath (at nearly 700 pgs) and Brisingr (at nearly 800 pgs) are for teens or seriously devoted readers.

**WARNING: these contains spoilers for those new to the series, so be forewarned of that.**

The Inheritance series began as the novel of an 18 year old, was self-published by his parents, and then picked up by a major publisher, only to become a NY Times Bestseller. What a cool story. An even cooler story? Eragon and Saphira's discovery of each other--Rider and Dragon, the only ones not under the King's control--and their quest to overthrow King Galbatorix with the help of the Varden, the elves, the dwarfs, and even Urgals! Written in the classic fantasy style of Tolkien, Paolini captures the adventure, the emotion, and the magic of a boy and his dragon.

Brisingr (as any following this series know) is the ancient word for fire. Eragon has met and faced many trials before this book begins. He has lost many people who were dear to him, and has been transformed into a half-human/half-elf. With his increased abilities, and the teachings of his elf master Oromis, he walks a dangerous and frequently difficult path, trying to act in the best interest of all of Alagaesia. His cousin Roran has joined up with the Varden, and together they are learning that strategy is often more important than ability.

Politics factor heavily into this book, as Eragon learns an adult lesson. He must deal with the promises he made to so many people and groups, many with differing opinions on what he should do. Nasuada has taken over the Varden, and must deal with her own issues of loyalty and leadership. His ultimate fealty to the Varden is sometimes at odds with his devotion to the elves, and his brotherhood with the dwarfs. He frequently feels the need to be in three places at once, and learns the peril of trying to prioritize other people's lives. While he prepares to again face his brother Murtagh, and his new dragon, Thorn, he must also increase his spell casting abilities. Since Murtagh stole Zar'roc, he is also in search of a new weapon that will be worthy.

Galbatorix has new, horrifying tricks of magic up his sleeve, not for the faint of heart. Oromis has the key to the secret of his parentage. Running out of time before a key battle, Eragon must visit once more with the elves in the hopes of learning the secret to Galbatorix's vast supply of magic, and perhaps the answer to his defeat. Will he make it?

"He smiled. You're right, though. I should have discussed my plan with you. I'm sorry. From now on, I promise I will consult with you before I do anything you don't expect. Is that acceptable?
Only if it involves weapons, magic, kings, or family members, she said.
Or flowers.
Or flowers, she agreed. I don't need to know if you decide to eat some bread and cheese in the middle of the night," (Paolini pg. 220, 2008).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR series) by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron

Paolini, Christopher. (2008). Brisingr. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, NY.

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