These points are the ones Paolini could have done away with in Brisingr. They add little to nothing to the story, frustrating readers, even fans of the series. Presenting…

Furry Elves

The furry elves are the ones who finally show up to protect Eragon. You’d think that being the most powerful creatures in the world, you could travel long distances over shorter amounts of time, but that is another argument for another day. The furry elf shows up with his troupe, and all the women start fainting.

I read Brisingr when I still somewhat liked the Inheritance Cycle, and even then I failed to see the point of the elves being appealing to women. You might have thought Islanzadi would have foreseen the implications of sending him, but apparently not. Maybe he was the strongest spellcaster they could find in time. The point being, the whole ‘musk’ of the elves does nothing to the story. It’s filler. Maybe Paolini doesn’t understand the concept that a shorter book is better than a longer one. Well, he doesn’t. He himself has said that he likes longer books, but this artificial lengthening is sickening.

Dwarven Politics

Alright. Politics can be boring. Rituals can be dragged on forever. This does not mean they have to. It would be interesting to see how the dwarves elect their new king, and to see who would be bestowed the title. We aren’t surprised who becomes king, but I don’t think Paolini meant it to be a plot twist anyways. Now, in the first part of Eragon’s stay in Tronjheim, we are told how the dwarves elect their king. Fine. But then we have to sit through several grueling chapters of them actually doing it. The entire section could have been done in one chapter. Eragon walks in, they explain things, he sits through it for a little bit so we are shown instead of told, then Eragon gets attacked, and blam! We find out who is king. A small visit to the grieving mother instead of a chapter.

Sword-making

This section I was a little eager going into. It would be cool, Eragon finally gets his own sword, and blah blah blah. But, we still get dragged down with huge sections of precisely how the metal is worked, where it is folded, the list goes on. Instead of all the time devoted to his sword, a few paragraphs is all that was needed.

Also, when Eragon says ‘Brisingr’, his sword lights up. Now, under normal circumstances, this is really cool. But, with all the other pressing problems found in Brisingr and Inheritance, it’s not needed. Paolini himself mentions he only put it in because his father thought it was cool, and he agreed with him. But now that he put it in, he threw on a rather sloppily constructed solution as to why the sword does that, and it detracts from it as a whole. If Eragon had said ‘Brisingr’, casting magic to light up the sword on fire, same effect, and nothing would have changed. But now Paolini has added another quirk to his already flawed magic system, and another trait to Eragon’s growing Stu list.

Roran’s Wedding

Roran’s wedding also had the potential to be interesting. Paolini really could have shown how different his humans are from everyone else, which were defined by living in Alagaesia. All we got was a thankfully short, boring ritual. And Paolini claiming to have started the tradition using rings in Alagaesia. It seems his characters do nothing for themselves.

Tenga

Many, many people have wondered what the purpose of Tenga is. At first glance, it seems like the worst non sequitur of all time. Later we find out that Angela knows who he is. There is speculation that this is the ‘god’ Eragon meets. This has potential to be right, but Eragon also meets a god during Orik’s crowning ceremony. Now, clearly Paolini is setting up something for the fourth book, but he has done it so sloppily and obvious, everyone can see through it. It will ruin a surprise later in the fourth book. Paolini should have introduced Tenga in the first Eragon, or in the beginning of the fourth book. Otherwise, it has no discernible meaning for this book, and thus, detracts from it.

Walking… walking… walking…

A large amount of time is spent walking. Eragon walks back from Helgrind, then walks to Tronjheim, and so on. When the reader gets to these dreadfully slow sections of the book, one thing becomes apparent almost immediately. Paolini doesn’t care. He wants to get to the action as quickly as possible. He still writes in his infamous purple prose, but in a rush. He’ll then come back in and add pointless bits of action. A random slaughter of Imperial soldiers, a story told by an Urgal, whatever. These bits of info add nothing at all to the story, so why are they even there? I’d like to know too. If I may be forward enough to tell Paolini what he should have done, take out all the unnecessary traveling sections. Just make a paragraph or two so some time passes, and then get on with your story.

These are things I think could have been shorter or done away with entirely. If you have another, let me know and I’ll add it in.

Comment

  1. Artimaeus on 22 November 2008, 16:09 said:

    Tenga was that old hermit that Eragon stumbled across between Helgrind and Surdra, right? I remember when I first read that. I was expecting the hermit to reveal something profound or mysterious (I mean, if someone has several forbidden books that he’s devoted the better part of his life to studying, I figure he should have something to say for himself). But what does he do? He goes on an incoherent, eccentric rant, and Eragon runs away. It was one of the biggest “….wait, what?” moments I’ve ever had while reading a book.

  2. Homer on 22 November 2008, 21:10 said:

    I agree with your comments on the pointless walking sections, Roran’s wedding to Katrina, and the musk of Bloedgard, but I thoroughly enjoyed the sections of Dwarven politics and sword making. The politics of Dwarves interested me to no end, and I am interested that because of the Dwarves long life, “elections” can continue for centuries. I do agree that he jumped into the attack to fast, and I would have liked to have gone with Orik and his spellcasters while the tracked down the assassins. The sword making is one of my favorite parts, and it is ingenious to have the master sword maker (cannot remember her name at the moment) control Eragon. Also I loved the “bright steel” part, it revealed to me the answer of the mystery of the weapon beneath the Menoa Tree. I loved the Menoa Tree’s retaliation on Saphira, it showed he that even she is weak compared to the forces of nature. About Tenga, and the comment about Paolini setting up for the fourth book, I would have thought that would be obvious because of the message gave to Eragon by the werecat, when he tells him to go to the Rock of Kuthian and speak his name to open the Vault of Souls. Even Saphira and Arya say that they have heard the name Kuthian somewhere.

    I know I ramble and change topics a lot, but I hope you enjoy my comments.

  3. Rand on 22 November 2008, 21:41 said:

    My only theory for the sword-making bit is Paolini is trying to show off how much research he did (cut and pastes from Wikipedia for an hour max) for his novel.

  4. Virgil on 22 November 2008, 22:54 said:

    Hey Homer,

    Thanks for your insight. Out of all of them, the sword making and Dwarves were the most interesting. You’re welcome to stay and get on the forums.

  5. Artimaeus on 23 November 2008, 00:19 said:

    I think that the sword choosing section deserves some mention. You know, the part where Eragon visits the Varden’s armory and roots around for a weapon for an entire chapter.

    And there was the section where Eragon goes around with the lumps of gold, paying back the random debts he owed to the citizens of Carvahall. Is it really that important that Eragon pay for the leather he stole two books back and everyone has since forgotten about? And must he proclaim before his adoring fans that “I, Eragon Shadeslayer, always pay back my debts.”?

  6. Virgil on 23 November 2008, 00:21 said:

    Yes, those were unnecessary. All of it screamed Stu. Why does Eragon have to be the perfect person, it’s annoying as hell.

  7. Hedwig Widrig on 23 November 2008, 00:26 said:

    Oh the debt paying, I had forgotten about that (read: I had banished that from my memory)!

    “Hey Jeod, do you remember the last time we met, how you asked offhandedly to hear the story of my travels with Brom? Well, since I’m an honest sort, I’m going to fulfill that right now by sitting you down at a possibly inconvenient and certainly not appropriate time to spend HOURS retelling the entire story. Because I haven’t retold enough stories, and my readers really need to be reminded of everything I did in Book 1. Your patience is required.”

  8. Addie on 23 November 2008, 01:04 said:

    I think it was supposed to be a character-building moment. But yes, it could have been done better.

    Anyway:

    1. Furry Elves: I think Paolini was trying to enrich the world by showing some of the odd things that magic can do. I actually didn’t think it felt so out of place; such transformations were mentioned in Ellesmera, and wouldn’t it figure that a master spellcaster, of all elves, would use such techniques? However, Paolini could have presented it more concisely.

    2. Dwarven Politics: The dwarves’ politics dragged on for pages and pages and pages. However, I’m thinking this was actually by design. Paolini might have been intentionally showing the tedium of politics.

    3. Sword-making: Fair point.

    4. Roran’s Wedding: Already discussed someplace but I can’t remember where; anyway, fair point. It could have been made much more interesting and moving.

    5. Tenga: You’re right, probably going to tie into something in the fourth book. As for how well his introduction was done, or where it should have been placed … open for debate, I guess. I think it would probably have felt random no matter what book it was in.

    6. Walking: “Paolini doesn’t care. He wants to get to the action as quickly as possible.” I don’t really think so, actually. If that were so, wouldn’t he cut down on the non-action passages (like walking)? There are a lot of parts in the book where the author seems quite content to take it slow.
    “A random slaughter of imperial soldiers”: There was actually a reason for this: it was used to illustrate a moral point. Eragon’s slaughter of a young soldier begging for mercy is (intentionally) placed in direct contrast to his refusing to kill Sloan. The moral question of this scene is voiced by Arya: “How is it that you could kill that man, yet you could not bring yourself to lay a hand on Sloan?” The answer: “He was a threat. Sloan wasn’t.” It is all supposed to show that you should kill only when necessary. Oh, and also, it gives Eragon and Arya more opportunity to compare beliefs.
    “A story told by an Urgal”: My guess is that Paolini wanted to explore a traditional folk tale, while at the same time giving more insight into the Urgals’ culture, thus emphasizing that they are not beasts but beings worthy of rights and respect, like other races.

  9. Virgil on 23 November 2008, 01:32 said:

    On the soldier killings, it didn’t affect him for long, it seems. Sociopath Eragon forgot about it quickly. And I don’t mind seeing into Urgal culture, but we already know they are less monsters when Eragon goes through their mind. And the story wasn’t amazingly original.

  10. Addie on 23 November 2008, 01:41 said:

    No, it wasn’t, was it? I’m sure I’ve heard it someplace. Maybe Greek mythology … ?

  11. Virgil on 23 November 2008, 01:54 said:

    I only read it once, and quite quickly at that. It had some resemblances to the Wife of Bath’s Tale from Canterbury Tales, but it wasn’t a copy of it.

  12. Morvius on 23 November 2008, 06:18 said:

    The Dwarven Politics was fine I guess…but it showed Eragon’s stupidity (as if CP hasn’t shown enough). First was when he suggested a coup and found the suggestion perfectly fine (seriously…an idiot would know that it would embroil the clans in a civil war and thus the Varden will lost their support)

    Then…the way they proved the identity of the Assassins. Why would the clan be so incredibly stupid as to send assassins carrying a sort of symbol of their clan? (Some item made of an ore only that clan could mine). Are the dwarves really that stupid? Seriously…it is like sending an assassin after soemone and asking him to hold your ID card.

    I agree with Addie on point 6 in that CP was trying to achieve that. But ultimately the way he wrote it, and what he had previously written contradicts everything and thus it does not really achieve the purpose. It instead feels unnatural.

  13. Kevin on 30 November 2008, 00:13 said:

    Saying CP was trying to suggest tedium by boring his readers with pages of politics might be a bit of a stretch. Of all the visceral feelings you want your readers to feel, boredom is probably the last one.

  14. Virgil on 30 November 2008, 00:30 said:

    Tedium was attempted, boredom was achieved. Everyone got the impression of tedium in the first few paragraphs, but his trudging along eventually bored us.

  15. George on 14 December 2008, 15:04 said:

    You guys are so unfair to Paolini! Let me ask you this! Have you ever written a book? If so…I wanna read it and then make a website about how horrible it is!

    PS. JERKS

  16. Virgil on 14 December 2008, 16:19 said:

    Well, if you check our overflowing NaNo sections and critiques, we have written books. But are we that unfair?

    You don’t have to have made a movie to see how bad it is, or cooked food to tell you it sucks. We have every right to criticize Paolini how fairly or unfairly we choose, mostly because he skipped the toils and sacrifices of real writers, his parents owning a publishing company.

    PS.IGNORAMUS

  17. Search on 1 February 2009, 15:50 said:

    I concur with George, you are so immersed in criticizing that you forgot that the soul purpose of writing a book is to transmit their thoughts and imagination to someone, obviously this purpose was correctly guided at you, even though you hate it, you read it, you contributed to the 550, 000 first day sales, and you took your time to resume the chapters that you did not like and comment on comments. Which I think might have taken you about 2 hours of your time. So stop wasting time and stop buying the books that you hate, and when that happens I’ll believe every word you say on your page.

  18. SlyShy on 1 February 2009, 16:02 said:

    When we criticize books like Inheritance, we serve the far loftier goal of furthering the literature—not bashing some god awful book. The fact that people hold these books in high regard is what motivates us. There are far worse books, they just happen to be forgotten, like they deserve to be. I’ve spent at least 450 hours of my time working on this site, and it was well worth it. It’s not a waste of time if we get something out of it.

  19. Cory on 1 February 2009, 16:43 said:

    Personally the dwarven politics interested me, but poitics in general interest me. Eragon gets on my nerves a lot… A LOT like the killing of the soldier. Which wasn’t all that necissary since they were almost to the freaking Varden anyway, and its not like Galbatorix had no freaking clue they might be going back to the Varden. Anyway, the swordmaking interested me as well cause I like swords and would love to actually make one some day. Though I thought the Brisingr thing for the sword was actually rather lame (it might have been cool elsewhere… like in a completely different series).
    One thing… and this may just be me… that got on my nerves was Eragon referring to himself as shsadeslayer and then everyone else doing it all the time too. COME UP WITH A NEW FREAKING TITLE. GD! Though, it does show that he hasn’t done anything near as notable to the people in say… a book close to two? (forget which book it happened in)

  20. Kitty on 1 February 2009, 17:27 said:

    So stop wasting time and stop buying the books that you hate, and when that happens I’ll believe every word you say on your page.

    BA HA HA

    OH LORD

    You made my day.

  21. Virgil on 1 February 2009, 18:00 said:

    So stop wasting time and stop buying the books that you hate, and when that happens I’ll believe every word you say on your page.

    So.. when I stop buying bad books, then I write about how bad they are.. then you’ll believe me? You sir, are and idiot.

  22. Ty on 1 February 2009, 19:23 said:

    To those people who say that criticizing Paolini is unfair, I just want to ask, do you think that having any opinion at all is unfair? There are entire sections of newspapers and other professional publications devoted to reviewing and criticizing, or commending, books (among other things). The purpose of the critic in society is to give a certain — and potentially skewed — point of view to the potential reader so that the reader has a resource to draw from in selecting a product or believing in a viewpoint. Readers have the choice of trusting or not trusting in a critic’s judgment.

    Obviously some people’s opinions are more intrinsically valuable than others; I’d personally rather hear a book about President Obama’s economic policy reviewed by an individual who is knowledgeable about economics than a review by just anyone. But we all have the right to read and comment on that book, whether or not we are economists.

    By saying that Paolini’s books are bad, no one is preventing you from reading them, or even enjoying them. If you think that people should not share their opinions, good or bad, then you’re basically saying that nothing should be written at all. And I hardly think that’s a valid point of view.

  23. Kitty on 1 February 2009, 19:27 said:

    I encourage you to read Inheritance for yourself…but here on this site are the reasons we read it and didn’t like it.

    We’re not complaining about books we didn’t read here.

  24. Thorn on 14 March 2009, 08:35 said:

    yall suck
    Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr r cool.
    all of u r just jeleaous

  25. Frederecksen on 14 March 2009, 13:49 said:

    Thorn,
    Why would I be “jeleaous” of Paolini? Is it because he has fanboys that use the letters “r” and “u” instead or “are” or “you?” Is it because he got a book published by my parent’s publishing group, and not by hard work? Or is it because he can spend a page and a half with purple prose attacks?
    None of us are jealous of Paolini, and jealousy certainly isn’t the reason this site exists. It exists so we can help other authors, and maybe even Paolini or Meyer if we’re lucky, improve in quality as writers.
    Also, none of us suck. We’re all very charming and intelligent people here.

  26. Puppet on 14 March 2009, 15:18 said:

    Lol, I told Thorn to come here. And yes why would we be jealous of CP? I wouldn’t want Eragon as a main character.
    Plus I wouldn’t want my story to be like Star Wars either.

  27. Snow White Queen on 14 March 2009, 15:42 said:

    Kind of sad that the best book was the first one. Why would I be jealous of someone who’s quality of work has been DECREASING, not INCREASING? (Just going from Eragon to Eldest here…) I would like to be the kind of author whose work is constantly growing and maturing.

  28. Danielle on 29 May 2009, 11:48 said:

    I haven’t read Brisingr, but from what I’ve heard (furry elves? more Stuish magic? passages about politics that make people want to claw their own eyes out?) I think Paolini never really knew what he was doing in the first place. Like you said, if he really wanted to bring in all these “plot twists” in Book Four, he should’ve set them up in Eragon and Eldest. As it stands, it looks like he’s just making things up as he goes along.

  29. Steph the Phantasmagorical on 29 May 2009, 23:36 said:

    I don’t really mind what happens. I’m not really into whether or not the events are a plot or just an unconnected series of events; I’m just along for the ride. I thought the furry elf was pretty cool, actually.

    …you can tell I don’t care about the imminent death of literature :P

  30. Virgil on 30 May 2009, 00:12 said:

    … imminent death!

  31. Steph the Phantasmagorical on 30 May 2009, 03:29 said:

    well, according to some people…

  32. Aldrea945 on 21 November 2009, 22:44 said:

    “So stop wasting time and stop buying the books that you hate, and when that happens I’ll believe every word you say on your page.”

    Doesn’t it make more sense to let others buy the books and NOT waste time telling others to stop voicing their opinions about what they believe?

    Honestly, and with no offence meant to those who are are on constantly, I get the same crap from my (UBER-CHRISTIAN) Grandmother because I have no true religion. It’s annoying and disrespectful to the people who you are speaking with. Let us have our opinion in peace, because we let you have yours.

  33. Danielle on 22 November 2009, 18:52 said:

    While I’m still not quite sure what your opinion is, I’m all for letting you have and express it.

  34. Steph (what is left) on 23 November 2009, 21:34 said:

    Yes, please. Your grandmother shouldn’t bother you like that, but you don’t have to insinuate that her Christianity is what’s making her act like that.

    I’m sorry, and I don’t want to start a flame war or anything here, but I really did find that offensive.

  35. fffan on 30 March 2010, 02:03 said:

    To all the people who come here and think that the impishidea staff don’t have the right to critisize books: what makes you think you have the right to critisize their articles?

  36. Puppet on 30 March 2010, 11:44 said:

    Exactly, fffan.^^

    See, the problem with the “Why don’t you write a book before you criticize Paolini” argument is because a double sided coin. If the fans tried to write a book they might realize what a terrible series the Inheritance Cycle is.
    Also, they can’t even use the “Write a book” argument, because most of the users on II have, with National Novel Writing Month. Unfortunately for us, our parents don’t happen to own a publishing company.