Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
The much-anticipated third book in Paolini's Inheritance Cycle continues to rely heavily on classic fantasy tropes. The novel launches with magician and Dragon Rider Eragon, his cousin Roran and the dragon Saphira on a quest to rescue Roran's betrothed. The cousins soon split up, and Roran undergoes his own series of heroic tests, culminating in a well-choreographed and intense fight against an Urgal (a ram-human hybrid). Eragon, at the same time, encounters treacherous dwarves, undergoes even more training with the elf Oromis and gains a magical sword suitable for a Dragon Rider. The silly revelations about Eragon's background in the previous book, Eldest, are given a new spin near the end, but the change is neither unexpected nor interesting. Predictably, the book concludes with even more character deaths and another battle, but those expecting a resolution will have to wait until the next novel. The cliched journey may appeal to younger readers of genre fiction. Older teens, even those who might have first cut their teeth on Paolini's writing years ago, are less likely to be impressed. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Christopher Paolini's saga of good vs. evil in the world of humans, elves, dragons, and other magical creatures continues in this installment (Knopf, 2008) which spends a great deal of time giving background information about earlier connections and obligations on the part of Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, as they battle Galvatorix and his minions. Eragon's efforts to martial allies and find himself a suitable weapon are paralleled with the story of his cousin, Roran, who is also dedicated to the cause, but whose life is equally complicated because of a love interest and his desire to go back to living a "normal" life. Both heroes grow in their understanding of themselves and others as they assume additional leadership roles. The story includes horrific battles, a wedding, a king's coronation, and many major losses. Saphira's point of view adds additional dimension to the tale. Gerard Doyle ably voices the emotions of the characters and expertly moves between young and old, male and female, human and animal. The pronunciation of strange place and character names just rolls off his tongue. There is a lot of talking in this book, which slows down the pace. An interview with the author and his editor concludes the audiobook.-Edith Ching, Washington Latin Public Charter School, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In most respects, this third chapter in Paolini's Inheritance Cycle feels like the calm before the storm; the majority of the more than 700 pages are dominated by storytelling, plotting, and preparations for battle. If there is a complaint from readers, it will be that Paolini revels too much in long conversations between his characters while action takes a backseat, but fans of the genre will bask in his generosity: the arcana of dwarf election rules, the manhood customs of the Kull, and the finer points on forging a Dragon Rider's sword are all part of what makes the world of Alagaësia so encompassing. The plot picks up as Eragon assists his cousin Roran in rescuing his beloved from the Ra'zac, but ultimately the story settles on the Varden's preparations for advancing upon the evil Galbatorix, their attempts to obtain the help of the dwarves, and the continued magic training of Eragon and the dragon Saphira. Most of the combat and it's brutal, gory stuff belongs to Roran as he becomes a legendary warrior; Eragon's struggles are more cerebral and involve magic, a difficult thing to dramatize but something Paolini pulls off admirably. In fact, clarity is the author's best asset: few could make such a Tolkienesque universe so manageable. Anyone who couldn't wait for this volume will be just as excited when the upcoming fourth and final chapter appears.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2008 Booklist
Horn Book Review
(Middle School) Eragon the Dragon Rider and his dragon Saphira continue their quest to defeat the tyrant magician Galbatorix, who enslaved a human empire and threatens the elf and dwarf sovereignties of Alagaesia. So entranced is author Paolini with his creation, however, that Book Three spilled into two volumes, this first of which is episodic rather than plot-driven: a daring rescue of his cousin Roran's betrothed; a skirmish against Galbatorix's dragon-rider team Murtagh (Eragon's half-brother) and Thorn; ally Orik's ascension to the kingship of the dwarves; and the forging of Eragon's new sword Brisingr. At the end, Eragon bids farewell to his mentor and mentor dragon, who have joined the resistance. Ironically, the author's self-indulgence may also be his saving grace: if the book's 700-plus pages are packed with extraneous scenes and dialogue, Paolini's enthusiasm and transparent love of his own story keep the proceedings from bogging down completely, and readers who share his delight will enjoy the full-sense immersion in his world. Even they might cavil at the lightweight climax, but Paolini promises that the fourth and final projected volume is "going to be the most exciting installment in the series" -- hopeful words indeed. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.