“Blood from the fight on the Burning PLains still encrusted the once-shining corselet, and the combination of dried gore, sweat, and neglect had allowed blotches of rust to creep across the rings. The mail was, however, free of tears, as Eragon had repaired them before they had departed for the Empire.” (p. 36)

He has time to repair his armor, but not to wash or scrub it? Both sorts of maintenence are important in keeping armor. There is more description of the two putting on armor. Except Roran isn’t really described, because it is always “Roran oufitted himself in a similar manner”. Unlike when George RR Martin writes about equipping armor, this doesn’t feel quite as authentic. The kinds of armor they are wearing doesn’t provide enough pretection to be worth the trouble.

Eragon, Roran, and Saphira discover the illusionary entrance to the Helgrind.

“With a surge of her mighty thews, she abandoned the spur and fling the rest of her body after her head.” (p. 40)

Well, this passage is pretty infamous to other people who have read the excerpt. If you Google “mighty thews” among the other bad stories that come up are The Eye of Argon.

Long fight scene, in which nothing is described. Refer to this article.

“Raising his right hand above his head, Eragon cried, “Brisingr!“ and threw a roaring fireball toward the Ra’zac.” (p. 43)

So, I heard Dungeons & Dragons: 4th Edition is pretty indifferent. Anyone care to voice an opinion?

“The Lethrblaka blood… was metallic blue-green, not unlike the verdigris that forms on aged copper.” (p. 44) (Emphasis mine)

I hadn’t commented on this before, but Paolini is still suffering from thesaurus syndrome, and has the habit of using unnecessary large words. Also, you’ll notice “partake” and related conjugations is a favorite thing of his now.

“The Ra’zac struck again and again, but each time their weapons glanced off Roran’s amor or missed his face and limbs by a hairs-breadth, no matter how fast they swung their blades.” (p. 45)

Again, not so much a fight scene but a narrative of a fight scene. The difference is immense. I would also like to remark that blows do not simply “glance” off armor, as much as D&D loves to suggest it. You will still feel the impact of the blow through the armor. Imagine you are wrapped in a tin can, and someone is beating against it. You can bet your life that you will feel the impacts inside the cans.

“Eragon smiled. The cocoon of charms he had spun around Roran had dones its job.” (p. 45)

Oh never mind. Eragon just cast a lot of combat buffs.

“Out of the corner of one eye, Eragon wtched as a humpbacked figure leapt toward him, extending its leaf-bladed sword so as to impale him. The world seemed to contract around the thin, narrow point; the tip glittered like a shard of crystal, each scrath a thread of quicksilver in the bright light of dawn.” (p. 46)

Wow, just wow. You should never interrupt the flow of an action scene to supply bad metaphors. In fact, you should never interrupt the flow of an action scene, period. Of course, in this scene the flow was never really established.

“chitinous appendage” (p. 46)

Thesaurus strikes again.

“He feinted, beat the Razac’s blade, and, when the Ra’zac stabbed at his throat, whilred the other half of the staff across his body and deflected the thrust.” (p. 47)

Credit where credit is due. This is a decent descripion. Would probably be more effective as shorter sentences, however. Unfortunately, this is a flash of lucidity, before the rest of the fight devolves into narration once more. Or no, there is more. It’s so strange, the good stuff is embedded in a sea of crap, so the scene doesn’t work very well.

““You’re lucky,” said Eragon. “The sword hit a rib.” Placing one hand on the injury and the other on the twelve diamonds concealed inside the belt of Beloth the Wise strapped around his waist, Eragon drew upon the power he had stored within the gems.” (p. 49)

Belt of Belt the Wise: 21,000gp, +10 to int and wis. I also particularly dislike this part of the magic system. Seemed very random.

Fast forward to the end: They find Katrina and Sloan, after killing a single Ra’zac.

Tagged as:


  1. Someone on 20 September 2008, 09:43 said:

    Well, looks like I get my fifty bucks.

    (I made a bet with a friend that this guy’s writing wouldn’t get any better. By the looks of it, I was absolutely right).

    I love you and will come back here five times a day to check for updates. :D

  2. Eragon'sShrink19 on 20 September 2008, 11:21 said:

    So basically, Chapter 3 is an overlong fight scene and when they eventually get Katrina and Sloan back? Is that all? Did Paolini really have to waste time going to Helgrind to do THAT?

    I can’t wait to read this at my local retail discounter. :D

  3. Art on 20 September 2008, 12:20 said:

    “metallic blue-green, not unlike the verdigris”

    “The metallic blue-green is not unlike the green-grey! Remember this! It might save your life!”

  4. Dragoon on 20 September 2008, 13:09 said:

    “So, I heard Dungeons & Dragons: 4th Edition is pretty indifferent. Anyone care to voice an opinion?”

    Some things get fixed and some things get broken. I think it’s better than 3E and 2E without the nostalgia goggles, but when it comes down to it, I prefer the Star Wars Saga Edition rules.

  5. Syrith on 20 September 2008, 16:40 said:


  6. SlyShy on 20 September 2008, 22:23 said:

    Haha, thanks guys.

    Dragoon, yeah I agree some things got fixed. You know, it’s really hard to die though. 6 healing surges a day, are you serious?

    Someone, I fully support someone besides Random House making money off of Brisingr. :D

  7. Morvius on 20 October 2008, 08:33 said:

    His magic system is so imbalanced. I just started reading Brisingr and Eragon basically healed what ever wounds they had after the fight easily. Then, he uses the power of the ancient language to shut one of the prison cells in god-knows-where so that Katrina cannot be used as a hostage by the Ra’zac.

  8. Snow White Queen on 20 October 2008, 10:07 said:

    what happened to magic completely sapping your strength if you use too much of it?

    obviously, the ‘laws’ of christopher paolini’s world have no effect on the great Gary Stu.

  9. SMARTALIENQT on 24 May 2009, 10:07 said:

    “chitinous appendage” (p. 46)

    I had to look up the word “chitinous”, and this is what I found:

    Chitin, noun: a fibrous substance consisting of polysaccharides and forming the major constituent in the exoskeleton of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi.

    Why doesn’t he just say “hard”? Or “shelled”? Or even “fibrous”??

  10. Katz on 5 December 2009, 21:13 said:

    21,000gp for a net +20? That’s absurd. A +6 enhancement to one ability costs 36,000. A modest estimate is 200,000.

    I’m not much of a fan of 4th edition, but not because of the content. It just bothers me that they made it all closed content (after 3.0 and 3.5 having the SRD be open content) and then split it into as many books as possible, so even once you’ve forked over $100-odd for the core rulebooks, it’s still barely playable.

    Also, you’re cracking me up.