View the spoiler version

Brisingr, or, The Seven Promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular is the third book in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I would like to note that at his point, he is 25, and not 15, so he will be allowed no exceptions from the Age Card. Nor will he receive any exceptions from the War Veterans Card, since he is not a war veteran. It is interesting to note that this book took three years to publish. So you might expect that, given this amount of time, the book is pretty good.

Your expectations are always wrong, when it comes to the Inheritance Cycle, unless you were expecting an obvious plot twist. But more than that the plot points are predictable, the book suffers from a far larger problem. The plot points are few and far-between. Wikipedia’s plot summary) deems a mere 5 events worthy of summary. Approximately 1 for every 155 pages of this colossal beast. Further, one of them involves the dwarves, who just aren’t very interesting.

Now, the book doesn’t contain a lot of plot, but it sure has a lot of scenes. The problem is, you get the feeling this book was just a collection of scenes cobbled together. For example, Eragon randomly meets a hermit magician in an abandoned keep… and then, nothing. After helping the hermit prepare a meal, and listening to a convoluted rant, Eragon runs away. It leaves the reader wondering what the point was. This is not the only instance of this. There are enough to fill 784 pages. Each page leads you to wonder whether the story will go anywhere.

I only comment on the need of plot, because Paolini’s characters still struggle to be sympathetic. In books by masters, such as Anna Karenina we can tolerate hundreds of pages of characters sitting around and talking. But since the Inheritance Cycle has always been about its Bildungsroman epic fantasy quest, when the book stops supplying this, it stops supplying at all. Perhaps the reason Eragon was the most tolerable book of the three is that it stuck to the formulaic but comfortable Star Wars plot. Eldest and Brisingr lack the eventfulness, and so they fall flat.

Actually, there aren’t even enough random events to fill 784 pages. Paolini’s signature purple prose and poor descriptors fill close to a third of the pages. This was an area I had really expected Paolini to make great headway in. Writing style is something you undoubtedly can improve with time, and Paolini has had ten years to do it. He also has a professional editor to help him. But the writing really hasn’t improved, and the book is still filled with guffaw inducing lines. Paragraph long descriptions of common place things in the environment still fail to breathe life into Paolini’s lifeless Middle Earth. The great novelist Chekhov once said, “In the particular is contained the universal.” Paolini’s descriptions are void of those little details of description that stick with us. Instead he uses his favored vague adjectives and cliches to describe things, sometimes forcing as many as five adjectives into a single terrified sentence, begging for mercy.

In addition, the dialogue is still contrived. Characters make use of such ridiculous anachronisms as “partook” and “forsooth.” Even as a realistic old English dialect, the dialogue falls short, as anyone who has read Shakespeare can probably tell you. This is ignoring the simple fact that the conversations are unrealistic to begin with. In particular, one Urgal is compelled to blurt out his entire life story, as the reader dozes.

Perhaps the reader would doze less if the most potentially exciting scene in the entire series hadn’t happened off screen. Brisingr is crowned by another triumphant anti-climax.

If you were one of the people who gave Paolini the benefit of doubt, and hoped he would improve, I’ll say this: he did improve, but not by much. And considering how bad the initial quality is, a slight improvement still places you in the “Cliche Fantasy Paperback” category. It’s disappointing that after such a long wait, the book just doesn’t deliver.

For a chapter by chapter break down of the failures, check here.


  1. Azzy on 25 September 2008, 20:18 said:


  2. SlyShy on 25 September 2008, 22:09 said:

    You learn something new every day.

    I’d be happy to hear a thought out explanation of why I’m wrong.

  3. zaksisi on 25 September 2008, 23:00 said:

    actually this review is very true because brisingr was a waste of time. it was an epilogue story set as a sequel and repeated itself over and over

  4. SlyShy on 25 September 2008, 23:10 said:

    Appreciate it, Zaksisi.

    By the way, Azzy, you probably meant “You suck, dickhead”. Makes a bit of a difference.

  5. SFC on 27 September 2008, 23:48 said:

    Absolutely right. This book couldn’t have been more boring. He talks about character development in the prologue but all the characters have the same personality. The only horrible issue with this book that you didn’t mention was the fact that every character seems to point out a huge long winded reason for every decision they make; complete with a disclaimer to anyone who’s feelings got hurt. Maybe this book is OK if you fifteen and it’s the third book you ever read. Just awful; so glad I didn’t by it. CP needs to get a life; go out and interact with people and figure some things out before he writes again. And shame on the editors too.

  6. Krystal on 28 September 2008, 10:52 said:

    Thank goodness someone has said it. I finished the book today and i literally threw it across the room in disgust. What a waste of time. I can’t believe i was able to skip up to four pages at a time to discover that all i missed was more useless longwinded prose. There were at least eight chapters where at the end i said “um, could have cut that one out.” As a writer myself i was mortified at his lack of skill, and his editor should be shot.

  7. Speedy Rodriguez on 30 September 2008, 17:31 said:

    Azzy, don’t blow it out of proportion. It is his opinion; it harms no one. Also, learn grammar so that someone will know when you’re insulting them.

    SlyShy, I suppose what you have said holds some truth. Yet, as a 15-year-old boy who has read a diverse collection of books, I still regard his stories as captivating. Indubitably, his verbose sentences lack description, for they are bombarded with the lazy writer’s adjectives, but Paolini still succeeds in having written an exceptionally enticing young adult’s novel.

  8. Anonymos on 1 October 2008, 00:56 said:

    Comment above me used a thesaurus.

  9. SlyShy on 1 October 2008, 01:01 said:

    Dear Rodrigeuz,

    Thanks for taking the time to write. If it’s not too trouble, I would be interested in seeing a list of the “diverse collection of books” you have read. For reference purposes, and such. Thank you, in advance.

  10. anon on 1 October 2008, 04:52 said:

    i disagree with your veiws!! i agree with some of them but mostly disagree! i think that with some of the things that your missing the point! the reason why it has become a quadolgy is because there was to much to put in the third book. the Hermit was reconised later on in the story when eragon mentions him so im feeling that he has more to do with the story. if your going to be a critical about a book go and write your own and let people critise that first before you go and have ago at others.

  11. Virgil on 1 October 2008, 08:03 said:

    Anon, that’s what happens here.

  12. Lord Snow on 1 October 2008, 08:51 said:

    Anon, thank you for posting. But I think that you're missing the point of this site. Sly has actually posted some of his own work here, and I’m sure it has been here before, but you do not need to be a successful novelist to know when something is bad.

  13. SlyShy on 1 October 2008, 11:09 said:

    Hey anon,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It must be hard for you, I can barely comprehend what you are saying. Still, I appreciate the effort, and I hope you stick around and contribute more.

    Can you give some examples of all the things that could fit into four books, but not three? Because it seems to me like a better novelist could have fit it all into two books.

    Thanks for the advice anon. It actually does help to have written your own writing because looking at others’. It helps you appreciate the process and its difficulty, and the nuances of the craft. As it happens, I’ve actually written two novels, and a host of short stories. So by your criterion, I guess I am fit to judge these books?

    Also, I note an interesting logical fallacy that fans always make. They say I am unfit to the judge the book as bad, since I am not a published author yet (or maybe I am, and you don’t know…), but then the fans are always judging the books as good—who are they to say that when they are unpublished?

    If you would like to write an essay on what you consider to be the strong points of Inheritance I would be pleased to post it. I’ve never seen a good article of this sort. So far everyone I’ve offered has baulked at the opportunity. I can’t imagine why.

  14. Sneaky on 1 October 2008, 12:03 said:

    God I have to agree with SlyShy on this one. After waiting for almost three years praying to God that it would be better than Eldest I was extremely dissapointed. I had trouble keeping my eyes open most of the time I was reading it. This book could have been good if Paolini cut out around 300-400 pages.

  15. Virgil on 1 October 2008, 15:45 said:

    The whole series would be terrific if he cut it down to three smaller novels, or two large ones.

  16. cj212121 on 1 October 2008, 19:02 said:

    i am a 14 year old male who has read a relitivley large amount of books for my age spanning authors such as anne rice stephen king p.pullman, rich dad poor dad guy [dont remember], j.k rowling.Tolkien,james Patterson,Robert jordan,dan brown,Mario Puzo and many more. while this book may not be the most profound piece of literature i think it is entertaining enough and is rather capable of grabbing the attention of the reader.i also think that if you are looking for ground breaking writings possibly you should try to look in genres other than “young adult”

  17. Virgil on 1 October 2008, 20:46 said:


    We can all admit the Inheritance series poses some interest. The problem with it though is that it is being hailed as a literary masterpiece written by a fifteen year old. And its not.

  18. SlyShy on 1 October 2008, 23:23 said:

    CJ, in fact I look in other genres for groundbreaking writing. The authors I read are Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Hemingway, Le Guin, Tolstoy, Twain, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Dickens, Austen, Balzac, Calvino, etc.

  19. Artimaeus on 2 October 2008, 16:36 said:

    If there’s any lesson which one can take from this book, it’s that “less is more”. I honestly want to know where Paolini’s editor is. Because this book would be improved dramatically by an intelligent application of white-out.

  20. Taylor on 5 October 2008, 13:08 said:

    I haven’t read the third book yet and am, I have to admit, slightly dissappointed by the reviews and comments posted here. If nothing else I expected Paolini to work on and modify his style of writing from the flat, monotonous tone that he has adopted as his own and which was particularily evident in Eldest. Still, I believe that CJ made a valid point; that being that these books are for KIDS. When kids read a book they are not looking for a magnificent and impressive work rivalling that of the great authors, which SlyShy pompously pointed out (sorry, I don’t mean to offend but you did come across that way). They look for plot, excitement and charatcers that they can recognize and relate to. However unimaginitive Paolini’s use of language is the ideas are there. Perhaps people who cannot bear the flaws should read more profound works. Perhaps those that SlyShy mentioned.

  21. SlyShy on 5 October 2008, 13:54 said:

    It was pompous. :P It was for a purpose though. Most people think of the classics as these dry old tomes, because schools make them seem that way. But give them a try and read them, and you rapidly discover why they are classics. Because they are so well written and vivid.

  22. Solo on 5 October 2008, 22:36 said:

    Why is it that there is an inverse relationship between the devoutness of an Eragon fan and the quality of his posts?

  23. juju on 6 October 2008, 08:31 said:

    I have to agree with most of the posters here. I found myself speed reading through meaningless descriptions hoping to find some action. If I were writing this book I would have had Eragon, Roran, and Arya steal the last egg and take it to the elves. Then the egg would hatch for Arya and Eragon would mentor her. The relationship would be awkward but their love would grow over time as they came to understand each other. Eragon would finally get his sword from under the menoa tree and then he and Arya would lead the varden and co to victory over the bad guys.

  24. Billy bob on 7 October 2008, 12:29 said:

    I thought it was good, I enjoyed reading it, but it honestly was drug out; Chapter six was a waste of time, and no character held diversity. I’ll still finish the series, but I’m very dissapointed. The beggining was good, then it all went downhill. For example, They go from portraying Eragon as a a changed and very mature person in Eldest (the blood oath) to returning him to be immature, and not as wise and powerful as he was before. If I remember correctly, at the end of Eldest he was cool, collective, and always picked the right choice of words, however now…in Brisingr he shows more arrogance and immaturity…bleh I’m repeating myself, oh well.

  25. jonathanDH on 7 October 2008, 16:11 said:

    Why you?

  26. SlyShy on 7 October 2008, 16:22 said:

    Dear Jonathan,

    You’ll have to consider clarifying your question.

  27. SLyShy, on 7 October 2008, 18:52 said:

    JonathonDH, I mean you? ‘why you’ does not make any sence you butthead/.

  28. adfsadfaf on 7 October 2008, 19:44 said:

    you people are mad gay

  29. YoungReader on 7 October 2008, 19:54 said:

    Is it just me or does Paolini’s writing style(the grammatical structures, descriptions, etc.) is becoming(or imitating) more like the style of J.K Rowling?
    I realized this after having read Harry Pottor series again.

    Paolini seems to be trying his best to learn from the successful contemporary writers, but he is obviously not successful in doing so…

    P.S. adfsadfaf, please refrain from making rude comments…

  30. Amelie on 7 October 2008, 20:46 said:

    Yeah, I love how adfsadaf’s post just confirms the immaturity factor of most eragon fans, so astutely pointed out by the epistler. And I’m assuming adfsadaf is an Eragon fan, based on the fact he/she thinks we’re “mad gay” for critiquing the inheritance cycle.

  31. SlyShy on 7 October 2008, 23:32 said:

    Dear asdfadfaf,

    Thank you, I’ve been told I dress well in the past, and have an excellent eye for color. Not to mention that women just faint in my arms.

    No really, please take your juvenile use of ‘gay’ as a derogatory term somewhere else. You are entitled to your own opinion, but this is the 21st century, and people are expected to be tolerant. I won’t be tolerant of juvenile prejudice here.

  32. Cameron on 8 October 2008, 03:05 said:

    i’m seventeen, and I liked the book. I’m also lazy, bored, and up late at night, so I’ll explain why tomorrow.

  33. Aman on 8 October 2008, 05:06 said:

    I think that this book was a letdown because a lot of expected out of this book due to the hype surrounding it, the writer is obviously is trying to develop the plot for the fourth part, but as a matter of fact he keeps on droning about out-of-sort’s passages which don’t excite much. Regardless of the disappointment I got after reading this book, I still eagerly await for the publishing of the next installment and will read the fourth part with a lot of zeal…

  34. GoGreen on 8 October 2008, 05:47 said:

    I agree. This book was a real letdown. Although I love to read, the phrase ‘ploughing through’ most accurately describes trying to read it. Also ,a large amount of this book is a total waste of paper

  35. Gimelbub on 8 October 2008, 13:45 said:

    I’ve read a lot of books in my time, as well as a good number of classics by authors such as Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Shakespeare, and Jules Vern. Taking their books and a few incredibly bad ones into account, I must say that Brisingr is certainly not a masterpiece and was very poorly edited, but it wasn’t as bad as some people say it is. You have to remeber that this book, instead of being the end, is now just leading in to the fourth book.

  36. Billy bob on 8 October 2008, 15:20 said:

    The only problem I have is the extreme details….The scene were Eragon meets that hermit guy who tuaght Angela, was so random that it really made me mad and I had to put the book down. And the sword he gets where he says the name and it becomed inflamed; thats so rpg style and D&D style, that I luaghed until I cried.

    Even so, I must admit that I am a fan of Eragon, simply becuase the plot is so captivating FOR ME. I enjoy it, even If I do skip 1/5 of the chapters in the book. (Like Chapter six, I skipped it after skimming it.)

  37. Young Person who enjoys to read on 8 October 2008, 20:29 said:

    I just finished the book today and i though it was just okay.. but what i really did not like was at the end when Nasuada says what they are going to do in the next book and i felt it was like a spoiler for the fourth book

  38. Spencer9997 on 8 October 2008, 21:29 said:

    I’m halfway through the book and I’ve noticed that CP does have way too much talking by the characters. In real life I have yet to find a SINGLE person who gives such long explanations for a single action. In his book it’s something like this. Mother walks in to find her son brushing his teeth “Why are you brushing your teeth at such a time? Isn’t it a little strange to brush your teeth now when you could do it earlier or later?” She inquired.(Way too long to ask a question) The boy answers, “It keeps my teeth incredibly clean so that they won’t fall out of my mouth when I’m only thirteen. If I were to do it later than it might as well be too late because I can do it now. I could do it earlier, but then if I did that then I couldn’t do it now.” (Takes way too long to answer a question) EXAMPLE: Go to page 261-263. They are getting one point across, but with a few million words.

  39. Snow White Queen on 13 October 2008, 00:58 said:

    actually, to whoever up there was saying that you don’t look at YA novels for groundbreaking books, or something along those lines, there are many very original, creative teen books out there.

    unfortunately, it’s the ones like the clique (oh don’t even get me started on the clique), twilight and inheritance that take center stage. people (especially teens) tend to like a quick, easy, fluffy read, so they don’t have to think about the words on the page-preferably with some nice smokey romance shoved in there for good measure, and really hot guys/girls.

    it’s rather disappointing, isn’t it?

    -a cynical teenager

  40. Derek on 15 October 2008, 12:26 said:

    I think that if you try to look at this book and find all the symbolism or character development, obviously it falls short. I don’t think these books were ever meant to be that, and if they were, they fall incredibly short. The thing is, these books were meant to be enjoyed by teenages, and they could care less about all these things you’re analyzing in this book. Palini is no Shakespeare, or any other type of author would writes novels to be read in English class…he writes books that are meant to be enjoyed by the reader, without all this analysis stuff. And if you enjoy that stuff, then this book isn’t for you-simple as that.

  41. SlyShy on 15 October 2008, 12:47 said:

    Hey Derek,

    Thanks for your feedback. Interestingly, most of the users on this site are teenagers, and do notice the flaws here. We aren’t even looking for symbolism, but you talk about character development like it is an optional thing only to be achieved by the Russian masters—it isn’t. Character development along with plot are the foundations of storytelling. Even a person telling an anecdote about some incident at their high school involving the sex ed teacher and a pig can’t avoid character development. It is fundamental and ingrained. Paolini’s lack of character development then, over the course of such a long series, is shockingly deficient.

  42. Virgil on 15 October 2008, 15:23 said:

    It makes the story feel like a cheap animated thing, with cutouts of the characters going around their meaningless lives. I understand the majority of teenagers don’t care too much about character development, but the idea for the story is to become emotionally involved, so when something shocking happens, you feel it with them. Without the development, the main character could die and no one would care. (If Eragon did die, things might get interesting.)

    Anyways, this lack of development detracts from the story, and stunning, life changing moments have no effect on the reader.

  43. Snow White Queen on 19 October 2008, 00:22 said:

    veering off topic here, but when did saphira get the name ‘bjartskular’?

    perhaps more importantly, how the heck do you SAY that?

  44. Virgil on 19 October 2008, 00:24 said:

    It’s supposed to mean ‘brightscales’, but who honestly cares? More Sue-ism.

    I always pronounced it ‘bee-art-school-are’

  45. Legion on 19 October 2008, 00:28 said:

    @SWQ: It’s pronounced “mar-ree soo”. ;]

  46. Snow White Queen on 19 October 2008, 00:35 said:


    i love how cp thinks that adding more titles to a person’s name automatically makes them better.

  47. Grandeza on 19 October 2008, 14:04 said:

    I didn’t read it yet, but i hope i enjoy it. I enjoyed the others although I do skip pages here and there pretty commonly. I’ll post here again once I’ve read it with my thoughts.

  48. Hook on 21 October 2008, 22:29 said:

    I rather like the book so far. I’m 21, and I find it captivating and only a bit long-winded. There’s a typo in your book review by the way, ShyShy. I think you meant “few and far between,” rather than “view.” It’s annoying when somebody critiques a work of published literature without proofreading their own.

  49. SlyShy on 21 October 2008, 22:34 said:

    Dear Hook,

    Thanks for your correction, it’s been duly corrected.

    Do you care to comment on what specifically captivates you?

  50. sheez on 23 October 2008, 00:56 said:


  51. Legion on 23 October 2008, 01:19 said:

    @Hook: Yea, well. Unlike Mr. Paolini, this site lacks the presence of professional editors to catch and correct things like typos, inconsistencies, flawed logic, deus ex machinas, etc. You look pro though. Maybe you should send the revered author your résumé, eh?

    And I’ll agree with you that the book is captivating. Just like trainwrecks, shark attacks, and the sinking Titanic are captivating. =)

  52. Hedwig Widrig on 23 October 2008, 11:59 said:

    It’s worth pointing out that dear Mr. Paolini has also made his share of mistakes in mechanics, even with an editor. The semicolons, they still bother me. (runs & ducks)

  53. Legion on 23 October 2008, 13:07 said:

    ^ Ahh, ironing is delicious.

  54. Hedwig Widrig on 23 October 2008, 13:49 said:

    Oh. You were being sarcastic.

  55. Legion on 23 October 2008, 14:16 said:

    Lol, yes. I usually am when I encounter someone who can make asinine jabs all day but runs away when invited to have an indepth dicussion. At least people here have the guts to publically assert unpopular opinions and take the heat for it. No matter how much they don’t like what’s being said, if vistors can’t respect that for what it is, then they don’t deserve any in return either.

  56. Hedwig Widrig on 23 October 2008, 14:40 said:

    Hear, hear.
    Precisely why I love this site.

  57. The Word Shaker on 24 October 2008, 10:59 said:

    I’m fifteen, and if the ammount of books I’ve read comes into question during my response, I will inform you ahead of time that they are diverse and multifarious. (No, not thesaurus, SAT word.) I admit I might be young an naive, but isn’t that the audience Paolini targets for this book? I certainly enjoy the intense, unique, essense-capturing descriptions in Tolstoy’s books, but it is not imperative for every book to contain the same magnitude of constant drama and rhetorical perfection as those written by Tolstoy. And no, I haven’t read Anna Karenina, but I have read War and Peace, and I’m using that as my example for Tolstoy’s mastery in prose.

    Brisingr is a young adult novel, meant for the literature-depraved youths of Today, and for something so simplisticly written, I felt enthralled by it’s contents and the images described(however cliche the process was). And so, when push comes to shove, I’m just a kid who wishes she could fly a dragon and use magic and battle my mortal enemy in a fierce swordfight. And Brisingr temporarily satisfies my eternal yearning by giving me an interesting, awe-inspiring world to dream about. Isn’t that the point? Gosh, why are all internet reviews so full of elitist cynism these days? Chill, guys, chill.

  58. Virgil on 24 October 2008, 11:43 said:

    People like you are fine, Word Shaker. They understand that Inheritance is not amazing, but they enjoy it anyway. The people that are problems are those that hail Paolini as a genius, a prodigy, a master writer, when he clearly isn’t. If fans like that didn’t exist and they didn’t pester us, this site would not exist. They themselves created their enemies.

  59. Legion on 24 October 2008, 12:16 said:

    @The World Shaker: I find it interesting that nowhere in your bricks of text do you claim that the Inheritance series is an example of good literature. That’s good because it seems you find yourself, on the whole, in agreement with this site full of elitist cynics.

    Your first paragraph you attempts to convince me that you are well read, well spoken, well educated and very mature despite your young age. Then you throw out “Gosh, why are all internet reviews so full of elitist cynism these days? Chill, guys, chill”, a comment that completely destroys the image of the mature individual you were trying so hard to portray to me earlier.

    If you want to convince me so badly that you are not like the “other masses” unintelligent, immature Inheritance fans, I ask that you exercise some self control and not be condescending towards me because you happen to disagree with my “internet review” of Brisingr (if you even bothered to read mine before you decided to generalize). I am prepared to give you credit and admit that you bring up valid points on the merits of the Inheritance books but it’s only fair that if you ask your opinion to be respected you show some respect towards me too.

  60. Addie on 24 October 2008, 12:37 said:

    Hear, hear on the respect bit. Well said, Legion.

    I would just like to add that I find accusations of “elitism” and “elitist cynicism” rather unfair. We on this site have never tried to be snobbish or elitist or anything of the sort; we are simply describing the books as we see them, forming our own opinions about their quality – merely trying to give what seems to us an accurate representation. Surely we have as much right to do that as any fan? Word Shaker, you have a perfect right to your own opinion, but please don’t accuse others of elitism just because they happen to disagree.

  61. The Word Shaker on 24 October 2008, 13:00 said:


    Thank you.


    I believe I was pretty clear on the fact that Brisingr was good, and as a book, it just so happens to be called ‘literature.’ Therefore, Brisingr was ‘good literature,’ but not masterful enough to be in the field of literature that we all associate that term with. Sorry if I did not get my point across.

    Futhermore, I never claimed to be a ‘mature individual.’ No, I think I was pretty clear about my youth and naivete in my post. I read some of the reponses to this post that seemed to take my side of the Brisingr debate, and the way the author and others who seem to frequent this page were responding to them was uncalled for, and, not to point out your hypocrisy, ‘condescending.’

    However, that was not why I responded, and condescension was definitely not my intent. I was simply hoping to express my reasoning for appreciating Brisingr, and I apologize if I conveyed it immaturely. Hats off to you guys, I have nothing against this site.

  62. Legion on 24 October 2008, 13:42 said:

    Alright, excepting the hypocrisy parting shot which I will leave for SlyShy address if he so chooses, I can actually address your points now that we’re past tossing around childish insults.

    Yes, I believe that Carbon Copy has already pointed out that the Inheritance series does a fine job of getting kids and teens interested in reading books. And I wholeheartedly agree that in of itself is not a bad thing at all. In fact, I also appauld CP for accomplishing what many “better” authors failed to no matter how critically acclaimed thier books were.

    However, that it appeals to young readers who are into dragons and swordfighting and defeating evil single-handedly doesn’t automatically mean it’s good literature. Much of the popularity of sites like or appeals to teens for the same reasons but does that mean the stories “published” there can be considered “good literature”? No. In fact, I think someone as well read as you will agree with me that most of it is absolute crap. Yet many will swear up and down that it’s “good” using the same reasons you cited earlier.

    In this day and age, just because a book is in print on bookstore shelves doesn’t mean that a publishing house chose to print it due to quality. They publish it because it has the potential to sell. Just because it sells doesn’t mean it’s good literature either.

    You said, “Brisingr temporarily satisfies my eternal yearning by giving me an interesting, awe-inspiring world to dream about. Isn’t that the point?” Yes, that would be the point if your opinion was ‘Brisingr was an entertaining read but not a good book.’ But that’s not what you said. You said, “I believe I was pretty clear on the fact that Brisingr was good.”

    It’s not accurate to say that just because a book is appealing and popular (especially to teens with good imaginations) that those are the defining factors make for good literature too.

  63. Carbon Copy on 24 October 2008, 14:28 said:

    I think it is important to remember that Paolini has stated that he strives for the lyrical beauty of othe writers such as Tokien and Seamus Heaney. By saying these things, he is drawing parallels that will make people attempt to compare his work to the work of better writers. Paolini invites the level of criticism he receives.

    I don’t think you can try and compare War and Peace to a novel about dragon riders, but Paolini has attempted to lift the work into the same bracket. The purple prose also suggests he was pitching above the level of your standard Young Adult novel.

    If you are interested in a book about dragons and adventure, then Inheritance may well appeal, but ask yourself: would you have been any less enthralled with the story if it had been written in a less florid and much more readily accessible way? If he had simply told his story “invisibly”, rather than striving for that “lyrical” quality, he could have written some wonderful books. He certainly has the talent to do it.

    Word Shaker – I’m not sure we’ve ever purposefully been condescending on this site. I certainly hope not anyway. We welcome debate and opinions. Wouldn’t life be dull if we all thought the same?

  64. SlyShy on 24 October 2008, 16:03 said:

    Dear Word Shaker,

    If I, or anyone else has been condescending on this site, we apologize. That said, I think the commenters here are just trying to hold discussion logically and politely. Unfortunately that tone can easily be mistaken for condescending, especially if it sounds tinged by sarcasm.

    When I say ‘thank you for your feedback’, I say it with complete sincerity. Thank you for your feedback.

    I read some of the responses to this post that seemed to take my side of the Brisingr debate, and the way the author and others who seem to frequent this page were responding to them was uncalled for, and, not to point out your hypocrisy, ‘condescending.’

    You were probably referring to some of the earlier comments. I admit, those sounded condescending, but I was trying to address their arguments. I might say, “You’ve made a dumb argument”, but I’ll never say “You’re a dumb person”. We all make dumb arguments at one point or another, and I hope pointing out dumb arguments people make isn’t a personal attack or anything. I’m grateful when people point out my mistakes, because it allows an opportunity for improvement.

    Now, the other reason I was so snappy in some of those comments was that I had just spent 3 hours cleaning up the ridiculous amount of spam I was receiving from fans. I deleted no less than 150 offensive comments directed at me or other members of the site, and after dealing with that I was feeling a bit testy. It was stupid of me, I acknowledge. But then, I had to deal with great and insightful comments like, “i hope u chock on ur food and die, u fag”. And also White Power propaganda.

    Anyways, you are much better behaved, and I hope you stick around. This site isn’t really about bashing Inheritance, it’s about writing. And your posts indicate an interest in writing, so I hope you find something of value here. If the information on Inheritance offends you, you could stick to the Writing and Critique sections.

  65. The Word Shaker on 24 October 2008, 18:38 said:


    I have to admit that I wholeheartedly agree with you on the fact that a lot of Brisingr is crap, and that’s more than likely due to the corrupt influence of publication corporations or just Paolini’s greed. But wait, you said, “Yes, that would be the point if your opinion was ‘Brisingr was an entertaining read but not a good book.’” But what if my definition of a ‘good’ book was, in this context, an entertaining read?

    You have summed up my entire point with that single sentence. Brisingr was fun for me, it was a ‘cheap’ read. I don’t look for insightful and extraordinary writing in mainstream teen fantasy, especially when I hated the first two books of Inheritance. In my pleasant surprise at it’s coherency and enjoyment of it’s somewhat suspenseful plot, I found a book that was ‘good,’ albeit only in the sense that it had an interesting story.

    This is also how I disagree with SlyShy, who says, “It’s disappointing that after such a long wait, the book just doesn’t deliver.” It did deliver for me in the sense that it fulfilled and even surpassed my expectations, and gave me some mental-relaxation-time with a good read.


    I wouldn’t even consider not sticking around. Inheritance or no, this site’s criticism of Twilight made my day, and that Fiction and Irony article clarified some things for me.

    I’m sorry that you had to deal with all those spammers, and if it’s any consolation, I found your resulting sarcasm extremely amusing, albeit somewhat offensive to those to whom it was addressed.

  66. Legion on 24 October 2008, 19:19 said:

    Ah, yes. Personal definitions of what qualifies as “a good book” is the essence of everything the book review part of this site is and at the core of every opinion posted by anyone here. If we all agreed that a + b + c makes for a good book while x + y + z doesn’t then we wouldn’t have anything to debate or discuss, agreed?

    I think though that you’ve hit on a very interesting topic that should be taken to the forums for closer examination. You’re right that any person’s opinion of a book is rooted in what their definition ‘good book’ is and it might be interesting to know what everyone’s definitions consist of. So yes, please do stop by the forums. If you don’t, I might just steal this topic for myself. ;]

  67. Addie on 24 October 2008, 19:56 said:

    “A good book.” That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Your analysis always depends on your criteria, and books have much vaguer criteria for “goodness” than, say, math proofs. How do you define a good book? Is a book good if … if it draws you in? If you can’t put it down? If it has a good message? If you care for its characters? If it has many themes? If it has a reputation? If it speaks to the human condition? If it’s unexpected and original? If it makes you love it? If it makes you think? If it entertains? If it strikes some sort of chord? What?

    Legion, I’m sorry if I stole your stolen topic. :) But really, I just couldn’t resist, and since I didn’t this topic in the forums yet, I had to put it here.

  68. Legion on 24 October 2008, 20:04 said:

    Haha, it’s all yours. =P

  69. Mark on 25 October 2008, 16:56 said:


    you have way to much time on your hands

  70. SlyShy on 25 October 2008, 17:02 said:

    Dear Mark,

    How are you enjoying your time on the internet?

  71. sancho, 15 yrs- has read a lot. on 27 October 2008, 09:47 said:

    hi!…Iam about to get Brisingr and upon reading these comments, I have a strange feeling I may not enjoy the book.
    I think that as a child, Paolini was very much influenced by fantasy literature and arts and decided to create a story in awe of epics such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wards.
    From this perspective, the Inheritance cycle can be seen as an excellent attempt to a genre of fantasy reminiscent to Tolkein and others.

    Have you read grendel by john gardener? That, I think, can be considered as a true classic and journey of self-discovery, with its flow and depth of character and its graphic descriptions and vividness.

  72. Legion on 27 October 2008, 12:35 said:

    Well put Sancho. Inheritance, which includes Brisingr, is utterly devoid of any meaningful self-discovery by the characters. Everything just tumbles into thier laps (especially for Eragon) because The Author Says So. Eragon achieves perfection through a deus ex machina in Eldest and has nothing more to attain. In Brisingr, all he does is go around flaunting that perfection and being worshipped by all the other characters for his godliness. It’s shallow, disappointing, and ridiculous.

  73. SlyShy on 27 October 2008, 12:35 said:

    Grendel is indeed a good book.

    Come back and tell us what you think when you’ve read Brisingr, we’d love to know.

  74. Sakaville on 2 November 2008, 06:02 said:

    I guess I’m just commenting on the comments, because I haven’t even read Brisingr yet. I almost think I’d rather just come back to this page every few days and read the comments posted here, because they are extremely entertaining lol. I actually was laughing out loud quite a few times, and I only got down to number 30 or something. (Then I felt bad about writing that so I scrolled back up and read the rest, ha ha.)

    By the way, I completely agree with Virgil. CP is being revered as some sort of literary god, but really, he still has a long, arduous road to trek before he can attain that sort of status. I’m not saying the potential isn’t there; it’s just that his stories are only entertaining. “Only entertaining” isn’t good enough to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Anne Rice or Tolkien or any of those literary greats that everyone already commented about, let alone declared as good as them, or better.

    However, for me, I’m not always out to find a great book that will make me think, or move me, or do whatever a “good book” does. Sometimes I want to read a good book, but other times I just want to be entertained, so I read Inheritance, or something of that same sort of quality, and I’m content.

    Oh yeah, just one more note…sometimes books are better the second time around. Maybe Brisingr will grow on you, especially now that you know it’s only entertaining and not profoundly wonderful. And you can even skip the parts you find useless, because you’ve already read it once. :P But what am I saying; I haven’t even read it myself yet, so maybe I just don’t know how bad it is.

  75. myrrh on 2 November 2008, 20:11 said:

    The only point of having the hermit and Morzan dream scenes that I can think of is hinting at the heart of hearts. But since Murtagh said hearts during their fight (and that was the only mention of hearts that was referred back to), they were completely unnecessary.

    Paolini really needs an original idea for the fourth book if he wants to be any good at all. Eragon is a fantasy rip off Star Wars (and indeed, Eragon has heard the “No, I am your father” plot twist TWICE now). Eldest is straight from Empire Strikes Back, and Brisingr is Harry Potter 6. Heart of Hearts=Horcruxes. Oromis=Dumbledore. I’m sure there’s more parallels, but I’m drawing a blank at the moment.

    Oh, and taking out all the randomness would be nice. Considering more than half the book is “travel from point a to point b but do it quickly because we have to have you at point c really soon” it would be nice to not have to go through the exact same thing time and time again. They traveled, got tired, and rested. Rinse and repeat.

    /poor grammar

  76. CraftyWalrus on 5 November 2008, 15:24 said:

    Please ladies these are but comments, do not be offended or insulted by them and don’t check the grammar on a comment. If you have the time to tell someone to correct their grammar then you have to much time on your hands being wasted.

  77. Antonio on 7 November 2008, 18:07 said:

    Book 1: I liked the first book, because I never knew what to expect as I didn’t know anything about the plot. In my opinion, the excitement was to know what was coming next.

    Book 2: I was very disappointed when I finished reading the book. The book was a constant, every two chapter, shift between Eragon and, Roran sub stories. Roran the leader how drives a village to safety. The book is just a bit frustrating to read. You have the excitement while reading Eragon and his journey to the elfs and the Boring Roran fighting for the first time and beating everyone. Please…would it be hard to introduce a character that would teach something to Roran, just to make a little more realistic?

    Book 3: The increadible Roran continues to destroy. I find it again, sorry if I repeat the idea, a exaggerated how he improves his battle skills so quickly, when he was a farmer from the start! I really find this thought difficult to overcome. In those countless pages, he completely murders the interesting story he had.
    The chapter where he meets a man in the woods or something, what was the purpose of that???
    Did his editors forget to cut that?

    This is just my opinion, I accept if anyone disagrees or insults my grammar or spelling, thank you.

  78. SlyShy on 7 November 2008, 18:29 said:

    You make a good point. Roran becomes incredibly ridiculous by the end of book 3. 193 soldiers with a hammer? Some kind of endurance.

  79. Legion on 7 November 2008, 19:13 said:


    It was already pretty ridiculous that Eragon can go from farmer (who was a pro archer too) to swordmaster in a matter of months, then in the early chapters of Brisingr from swordmaster to staffmaster in a matter of days. But at least Paolini somewhat covered his ass with magical-elf-transformation where Eragon is concerned, I will give him that much.

    What Paolini does with Roran just plain insults the intelligence of his audience.

  80. rob on 8 November 2008, 21:28 said:

    You have one or two things write about waste but its a great book your just missing the true meaning of things and his writing is very good but he does describe a little to much. Overall Bringr was a good addition because it left the fourth book to be all war un less he adds which i think he will who knows maybe there will be a fifth book.

  81. Hedwig Widrig on 8 November 2008, 21:39 said:

    And the grammar fits strike again. Twitch.

  82. Legion on 8 November 2008, 23:28 said:

    @Rob: I’m afraid I found Brisingr neither meaningful nor ringing true of, well, anything at all. Would you care to enlighten me on this elusive “true meaning of things” you speak of?

  83. Virgil on 8 November 2008, 23:45 said:


    How can his writing be ‘very good’ yet still describe too much? It’s either very good, or fairly decent with some problems. How are we missing the true meaning of things? We’ve refuted so many arguments on this page and others, we know them all. They are very few, I might add.

  84. Billy the Kid on 9 November 2008, 00:17 said:

    Forgive me if I’m mistaken but I believe Rob was taking the “He just doesn’t have the style you like.” position.

  85. thatoneguy on 12 November 2008, 00:28 said:

    I completely agree with you. I couldn’t stand to read the book any more after reading a chapter where Eragon fights the hide vender from carvahall to repay him. After about two pages of dialogue of why it was morally right for him to be repaid, Eragon walks away… end chapter. I mean, i love the books and everything, but not enough to care about individual debts of the citizens of carvahall. There are many more examples where the book goes completely nowhere in a thick 25 pages. If Paolini took out all the unnecessary crap from Brisingr, he could of easily made his series into a trilogy, no problem.

  86. brisingr is cool on 13 November 2008, 19:53 said:



  87. Snow White Queen on 13 November 2008, 20:19 said:

    You seem to have left your CapsLock Key on.

    Just for your information…it tends to annoy people.

  88. Delzra on 17 November 2008, 17:19 said:

    I’m new to this site and I must say that having intelligent conversations on books like Brisingr is something that I dedicate ridiculous amounts of time and thought to :-)
    I haven’t read Brisingr yet but considering that I enjoyed the kind of mindless read of the first two and taking into account all of these arguments I’m predicting that Brisingr is going to be an even better mindless read. By mindless I mean that the reader doesn’t have to pay attention to much in the story in order to get through it. I’ve found my thoughts wandering as I read the first two and I was still able to follow what’s going on.
    I think that Paolini just bit off more than he could chew. He is inexperienced as a writer and no matter how old he is, the fact that he hasn’t written anything significant before is reflected in his writing. I don’t think he’s good for his age or level of experience but I don’t really blame him or his editors for the overall “waste of time” this book was. (Still this is from the comments and I don’t know what my take on this book will be so this conclusion is not concrete)
    Also, I don’t expect his writing skills to improve as the series continues. If in Eragon the language was like a reading level 5 then It probably wouldn’t be right if in Brisingr it transformed into level 10. There needs to be some consistency there. I do expect the characters to develop although from everybody’s take that doesn’t seem to happen.
    I think I will still read this and come back and give my opinion of it then.

  89. SlyShy on 17 November 2008, 17:32 said:

    Hey Delzra,

    We’ll be eager to hear back from you. :)

  90. Rand on 17 November 2008, 17:52 said:

    Welcome to the site! Haha, I’m still new myself…
    I haven’t read this yet because there’s a drought of copies in the library.

  91. Redzilla on 19 November 2008, 10:54 said:

    Is it just me or does anybody else think that Roran’s wedding, where we get page after page after page after page of sickeningly pointless and cliched dialogue, was undoubtedly the most monotonous and eye ball scratchingly boring piece of writing in the history of the literary world??!?

  92. Addie on 19 November 2008, 13:35 said:

    Well, he did have to have some sort of wedding ceremony, didn’t he? (How long is a real-life wedding ceremony?)

  93. Legion on 19 November 2008, 15:53 said:

    I agree with Redzilla. It’s not that Roran shouldn’t have a wedding. It’s that it’s completely unecessary to give the readers a play-by-play breakdown of it. Scenes like Roran’s wedding or Eragon’s forging of his new sword among a half dozen others have no significance other than allowing Paolini to continue copypasting fantasy cliche in order to add more pages to his book.

    If the scenes were poetic and well-written enough to be beautiful in of themselves, then that’s a different story. But they’re not. So what readers get is boredom.

  94. Virgil on 19 November 2008, 19:35 said:

    Don’t worry, I’m working on an article on scenes like that from Brisingr.

  95. Will of the Wheel on 2 January 2009, 01:06 said:

    I left a long comment on the other page too. I want to know why so many readers think people from a made-up land, that is based on the time perioud of several hundred of years ago should talk the same way as people today. It is rather stupid to make that kind of comparison.

    I also woud like you to know, I enjoyed the Twilight books too. But what I’m looking for is not a classic, or a great book worthy of Shakespeare (because I do not find shakespeare all that great himself, Whether this makes me unworthy to form an opinion on the merit of a book or not)

    What I want is a book that satisfies me, lets my imagination run, and makes me smile, makes me think. I want something with vision, with wholesomeness. There are many books that have these things. I count Inheritance, Twilight, Harry Potter among them, to mention a few. However there are also many books that do not have these things.

    It is sad that those who did not like Brisingr (not all, but some) are very … wordy in their description of horrible brisingr and mention good points only as slight exceptions to the rule. They seem to have narrow views of what makes a good book, and refuse to accept brisingr for its good points and instead condemn them for the bad ones. In this I am refering to Legion.

    I would also like to point out that a story about a farmer boy who meets a dragon, has to be ready to fight Galbatorix soon, but because he is a farmer and he doesn’t know how to use a sword, he can’t learn to fight in time and so he dies in battle, would be a very depressing book. Do you not see that stories are not told of the ordinary men who live and die ordinary? It is the special stories, the great ones that are written and told! So it has to be that Eragon, a farm boy, learns the sword quickly. It is his destiny!

    It is also saddening that many of you, again you too Legion, tend to lean toward the opinion that the little things in the book do not matter, This reinforces my impression that many people here are simply determined to hate Brisingr and use everything against it. Even the good things. Your criticism of Eragon repaying the tanner, it was important. It indicates how Eragon has, in fact, matured, how he doesn’t want people to treat him different just because he is a Dragon Rider.

    In contrast to the idea the writing skill level should remain consistent, I disagree. I think it gives it depth when the writing style improves with the character. Eragon was a simple minded farmer to begin, and the writing was very simple too. In Brisingr, Eragon was older, smarter, and thought clearer and more like an elf. It fits then that writing, from his point of view (if not in first person) would mature too.

    I also disagree that Roran’s wedding wasn’t important. It was important, very much so, to Eragon. Then it has a place in the book! After all, this is sort of his story!

  96. SubStandardDeviation on 2 January 2009, 22:56 said:

    I want to know why so many readers think people from a made-up land, that is based on the time perioud of several hundred of years ago should talk the same way as people today.
    No one is arguing that the characters should talk the way people do today; in fact, that’s another point against Paolini’s writing when he lapses into American English dialect now and then. What bothers me about Paolini’s Ye Olde Englishe is that 1) it’s inconsistent, as opposed to, say, a particular character’s mannerisms or a regional dialect; 2) it’s used wrong, such as addressing the same person as “you” and “thou” in the same sentence; and 3) because of 1), it fails to add depth to the worldbuilding, making it pointless and tacky.

    I do not find shakespeare all that great himself, Whether this makes me unworthy to form an opinion on the merit of a book or not
    Shakespeare is not the be-all end-all of Good Literature, though I like his work well enough. No one is saying that any reader is “unworthy” to form an opinion on a book; if you like it, fine. If you think it’s “good”, by your own personal definition, fine. What all (good) reviews do is present further information and opinions, against which you will hopefully re-evaluate your own.

    In the same vein, I am not Legion, so I’ll let her address her own criticism. But why is it “sad” that I might have higher standards for what I choose to spend my time and money on? What counts is not a weighing of the good versus the bad points, but the reader’s overall impression. There could be nine wonderful things about a book and one minor problem, but that problem could sour the entire experience for me. (Replace “book” with “video game” and “one minor problem” with “long loading times”, you’ll see what I’m getting at.)

    You say that you like a book that “lets my imagination run, and makes me smile, makes me think.” Inheritance is too padded out with pages upon pages of description of scenery, food, and characters’ appearances to let my imagination run, its attempts at moral lessons are too blatant and clumsily implemented to make me smile, and its cliched, predictable plot does not make me think. Again, this is all my opinion.

    Do you not see that stories are not told of the ordinary men who live and die ordinary?


    (M’apologies for shouting, but it had to be done.)

    Plenty of stories are told about ordinary people – they just tend not to be in SF/F, because writers seem to treat the genre as creative license to give their ridiculously-overpowered self-inserts whatever perks they can’t have in real life. Okay, I’m exaggerating, I’m sure not all writers are like that. The classic Hero’s Journey tends to feature a hero who is larger than life, but that is no excuse for some of the ridiculous leaps of logic that appear in Inheritance, Eragon’s sword training being the premier example. “Because Destiny Says So” doesn’t cut it. Furthermore, consider that the great majority of supporting characters in these stories are the “ordinary people” you so malign. Yet, could the hero’s story be told without them? Look at Sam in Lord of the Rings (which I notice you do not list among your favorites), or Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter. Are they the subject of an ancient prophecy? Is the Big Bad personally out to get them? Are they constantly granted with special possessions and powers? No! Yet I doubt anyone would say that their personal stories, though not as important or interesting as the main character’s, are unworthy of reading about.

    I’d rather read about an ordinary person who struggles, perseveres, and eventually triumphs over adversity (with supernatural aid or no) through his own ability, than a blundering idiot who only succeeds through a series of deus ex machina contrived by the Gods author.

    Now, I haven’t read Brisingr, so I’m in no position to judge if Eragon indeed is “smarter, and thought clearer”, but the fact that every character POV is written the same is still a valid counter-point.

    It was important, very much so, to Eragon. Then it has a place in the book!
    Part of good storytelling is knowing what to leave out, what to briefly mention, and what to dwell at length on, in the interest of a well-paced and compelling narrative. In other words, what scenes the reader will (or can be made to) care about, which is the reason they picked up the book in the first place.

    tl;dr version: I respect your opinion, though I heartily disagree with some of your points. I also am not “determined to hate Brisingr”. (I’m planning to read it someday, in order to form my own judgment, and because I hate leaving series unfinished.) I have much better ways to spend my time, like writing this overly-long rant.

  97. Will of the Wheel on 2 January 2009, 23:11 said:

    Hey, I like long rants (as long as they say something)

    And thanks for that feedback, you’ve given me a LOT to think on.

    As for the “no stories of ordinary people thing.” Well, I phrased that terribly. What I meant was, didn’t it have to happen that way? If he had just died because he couldn’t handle a sword, there would be no story to tell.

    Ron and Hermione were very important to HP so, they are not ordinary.

    Also, LOTR is one of my favorites too. I’m sorry I forgot to mention it.

    I agree with you that the “hero” is usually a larger than life character.

    I would like to make the argument that because of Eragon’s parentage (his father was a rider after all) magic was part of his melding. And so the magic in his blood would be a good reason for these unbelievable achievements of his.

  98. JimmyBruiser on 9 January 2009, 23:29 said:

    I think everything that can be said on this page has been said. Doesn’t everyone have other things to do by now? Just saying.

  99. T.J. on 12 January 2009, 18:28 said:

    Hey, i really liked this book, in fact it was one of my favorite books of all time! Maybe it had a few things that led nowhere, but that’s not the point. I’m willing to bet that he will explain it in the last book. but you have a right to your opinions.

  100. SubStandardDeviation on 16 January 2009, 18:15 said:

    As for the “no stories of ordinary people thing.” Well, I phrased that terribly. What I meant was, didn’t it have to happen that way? If he had just died because he couldn’t handle a sword, there would be no story to tell.

    Actually, thanks to an overactive imagination and too much free time, I can think of three different ways it could go:

    1) He can’t handle a sword and dies. The end. So what does he think of all this? Is he overconfident? Cursing his fate? Does he regret that there couldn’t have been a more peaceful solution? If your characters are sufficiently compelling, your readers are going to stick with them, even through a probably hopeless situation that will most likely end with the “hero’s” death. Plenty of war stories have been told where one or more protagonists pointlessly dies, because he loses his head in a deadly situation or from bad luck or whatever. That doesn’t mean their lives and deaths have no meaning for the reader.

    2) He can’t handle a sword. So train him up! Who’s to say that Brom couldn’t hide Eragon away in the Spine, or something, and train him for several years? Or, worse, what if the Hero simply doesn’t have the natural talent to be good at whatever the plot requires him to do, and he needs to make up for it with extended training time? Yes, I know, Galby’s armies are on the move and whatnot, but if the Varden has managed to survive all this time I don’t see why they can’t be Holding Out For a Hero for awhile longer. Remember, as the author you can make the plot go as fast or slow as you want.

    3) He can’t handle a sword, so he can do something else. Since when did “Dragon Rider” equate to swordfighter? Eragon is already a great archer, so perhaps he could focus on that and rain death from dragonback. Or he might become the world’s best fireball mage, supporting Saphira and his allies from afar. Or he could even be primarily a political figure, using his title as “Dragon Rider” to garner support and funding for the Varden, while the soldiers do the grunt work and the elves research some magic to take down the Big Bad. Who says the Hero needs to do absolutely everything of plot importance? (On the Evil side, we don’t even see Galby leading his own armies.)

    I would like to make the argument that because of Eragon’s parentage (his father was a rider after all) magic was part of his melding. And so the magic in his blood would be a good reason for these unbelievable achievements of his.
    Yes, but where is this actually stated in the books? And it makes Dragon Riding seem hereditary, which is even more elitist.

  101. me on 13 February 2009, 05:15 said:


  102. SlyShy on 13 February 2009, 11:39 said:

    I agree, Brisingr was boring. You had an elegantly succinct way of putting it.

  103. idiots on 27 April 2009, 21:09 said:

    I feel this book was actually rather good, although it did seem to drag in parts.
    SlyShy, you are an idiot.

  104. KF36 on 15 June 2009, 00:14 said:

    I do, for the most part, agree with you SlyShy. This is hard for me to admit primarily because I was a big fan of the inheritance series. I am actually a new college student who loves to write, and I enjoyed the idea of a young successful author. In fact, any tips would be appreciated. With all that to the side, however, I was thoroughly dissapointed with the book.

  105. Julia on 7 September 2009, 21:01 said:

    I think your wrong SlyShy. I, so far like Brisingr, and I love the Inheritance Cycle. (Sorry if my spelling is off I’m only 11)

  106. Shemaf on 18 September 2009, 14:59 said:

    Ok Great…
    i’ve read the comments up there and i must admit i did think that the book was not worthy of the money i spent it for…
    i was really really hyper when i learned when it was about to be released but when i read the book i skipped n skipped n skipped through a lot of pages…
    maybe because those parts were boring, “libog” (confusing), soo out of the blue and makes me mad..
    I want to read more about what the other characters are doing like arya, or someone else important…
    the dwarves were a bore. they took up most of the pages…i skimmed loads of times looking for any excitement n was bitterly dissapointed.
    hope CP will do good on his last book…Its his last chance…He Must Make It Worth Our While!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  107. jared on 20 October 2009, 11:22 said:

    im only 16 but ive read countless books just to kill time in school when instead of taking biology notes i could go to a far away land of however u spell that world of the inheritance series that is the kind of book i like to read a book to get away from the boring and stupid world of school and to distract my mind and i agree to every comment on this page because im in tech class and i read them all. but i have nothing against u guys who bash the book it wouldnt be a book if it didnt have a category of people who disliked it

  108. SlyShy on 20 October 2009, 13:34 said:

    I’m seriously going to have to publish a study titled Liking Inheritance Correlated with Low Grammatical Achievement.

  109. Danielle on 20 October 2009, 16:08 said:

    You could even make it a semi-scientific (read: completely unscientific) study where you quote distinguished professors from prestigious universities! Or community college students….whichever’s easier to find….

    Then again, the evidence kind of speaks for itself.

    Jared, maybe you should stop using Inheritance to avoid taking notes in class. Or even just replace Paolini with somebody smart like Tolkien or Lewis. You’d be surprised how much you learn when, you know, you’re actually LEARNING.

  110. Snow White Queen on 20 October 2009, 22:21 said:

    Hey, I like biology! It gave me plenty of cool ideas for writing when I was taking it.

  111. jared on 21 October 2009, 10:15 said:

    i have already read all the Lord of the ring books so HA!

  112. Danielle on 21 October 2009, 12:30 said:

    Compare LOTR to Inheritance, then. It’s like comparing a mud hut to a mansion, a box of chocolate chip cookies to a four-course meal. And I fail to see how having already read all of the LOTR books counts as a victory against those of us who dislike Inheritance. Care to explain?

  113. swenson on 21 October 2009, 13:30 said:

    Especially considering that many of us have read LotR already. And Children of Hurin. And the Book of Lost Tales. And the Silmarillion. And… (etc.)

  114. Snow White Queen on 21 October 2009, 22:16 said:

    Ah, Swenson has beaten me in Tolkien-obsessiveness.

    (I need to read the Book of Lost Tales, but I’ve read the others.)

  115. Arya on 23 October 2009, 20:28 said:

    I haven’t read any of those.

  116. WTH on 3 May 2010, 11:26 said:

    guys and girls: no offense to any of you, but do you realize that ur wasting ur time on a book that has no relevance to you- if one of u wins ur “ arguments” you will not get paid, nor will chris paolini thank you for your views and give you a share of his salary for helping him. Im pretty sure that you people are not sad, and obviously most of you are educated, judging by the way u write out your arguments. You may think i am a hypocrit on the basis that i am wasting my time on this site aswell, but let me tell you, i sacrificed 5 mins of my awesome life for a reason, and that reason was to shut you all up, and try to make you do something useful with your lives.

  117. Danielle on 3 May 2010, 12:36 said:

    guys and girls: no offense to any of you, but do you realize that ur wasting ur time on a book that has no relevance to you- if one of u wins ur “ arguments” you will not get paid, nor will chris paolini thank you for your views and give you a share of his salary for helping him. Im pretty sure that you people are not sad, and obviously most of you are educated, judging by the way u write out your arguments. You may think i am a hypocrit on the basis that i am wasting my time on this site aswell, but let me tell you, i sacrificed 5 mins of my awesome life for a reason, and that reason was to shut you all up, and try to make you do something useful with your lives.

    And I quote:

    It’s like working out at the gym: It doesn’t really accomplish anything, but it makes you stronger.

    We’re dissecting Paolini’s work because studying what makes bad books bad is like studying what makes good books good. It may not accomplish anything, but it helps us see what works and what doesn’t.

    It’s the same as reading Steinbeck. The guy was an awesome writer, and by studying what he did in detail, you can learn how to emulate certain elements of his writing and become a better writer. Paolini gave us a shining example of what not to do in any work, especially fantasy, and by studying what made his work so bad, we can avoid that and become better writers.

    TL;DR: We want to improve as writers. Plus, making fun of Paolini helps puff up our fragile egos and makes us feel better about our own writing. :P

  118. Puppet on 3 May 2010, 15:48 said:

    guys and girls: no offense to any of you, but do you realize that ur wasting ur time on a book that has no relevance to you- if one of u wins ur “ arguments” you will not get paid, nor will chris paolini thank you for your views and give you a share of his salary for helping him. Im pretty sure that you people are not sad, and obviously most of you are educated, judging by the way u write out your arguments. You may think i am a hypocrit on the basis that i am wasting my time on this site aswell, but let me tell you, i sacrificed 5 mins of my awesome life for a reason, and that reason was to shut you all up, and try to make you do something useful with your lives.

    We aren’t in it for the money. Our goal here is to try to offer advice for those who want to potentially become writers and publish books sometime in their lifetime. We personally don’t find it a waste of time, of course there will always be people who disagree, whether it’s writing or some other activity.

  119. Huey777 on 14 June 2010, 15:22 said:

    you could never write a book like that. If you think that the descriptions aren’t good then you’re very wrong. The description of Ellsmera is really good and I personally dont think you are capable of reading a good book and realizing that it actually takes lots of talent

  120. Puppet on 14 June 2010, 19:30 said:

    If you think that the descriptions aren’t good then you’re very wrong. The description of Ellsmera is really good

    Could you find a quote of the Ellsmera description?

    you could never write a book like that.

    I’ll take that as a compliment. :D

    I personally dont think you are capable of reading a good book and realizing that it actually takes lots of talent

    If it is truly a good book then it would be blatantly obvious that it took a lot of talent. Just one problem, Brisisngr isn’t a good book.

    Also, I honestly can’t take your argument seriously if you can’t even capitalize correctly.

  121. Bookburner666 on 15 June 2010, 22:39 said:

    are you saying that chris paolini is a bad writer? (shocking glance filled with despair)! :O

  122. Puppet on 16 June 2010, 12:13 said:


    Although, I actually have high hopes that he will improve in the future. One mark of a great writer is how much he improves and refines his craft over time.

  123. Bobbykwan on 1 July 2010, 01:17 said:

    I am 17 and I Love these books, there so interesting and bring you into a fantasy. just dont watch the movie(the elves arnt green!!) i still like to think that they are.
    Ps. i hope arya and eragon hook up.

  124. Puppet on 1 July 2010, 15:47 said:

    You do know that we are a anti Inheritance site… right?

  125. SlyShy on 1 July 2010, 16:03 said:

    An. ;)

  126. Puppet on 1 July 2010, 16:21 said:


  127. dragonarya on 1 July 2010, 20:35 said:

    guys and girls: no offense to any of you, but do you realize that ur wasting ur time on a book that has no relevance to you- if one of u wins ur “ arguments” you will not get paid, nor will chris paolini thank you for your views and give you a share of his salary for helping him. Im pretty sure that you people are not sad, and obviously most of you are educated, judging by the way u write out your arguments. You may think i am a hypocrit on the basis that i am wasting my time on this site aswell, but let me tell you, i sacrificed 5 mins of my awesome life for a reason, and that reason was to shut you all up, and try to make you do something useful with your lives.

    Excuse me while I laugh. While most of your argument has already been refuted by my fellow Imps, I just can’t resist pointing out the (what I perceive to be) negative connotations of us being educated. Also, the way you said “awesome life” just makes me giggle. Why do the people who disagree with us always pull out the old ‘argument’ that we should just shut up?
    Sorry, I just find it too amusing.

  128. Namesdon'tindicatethemeasureofmymaturity! on 29 January 2011, 16:54 said:

    I am close to finishing Eldest for the 2nd time. I agree, sometime when reading Paolini’s descriptions I just glaze over. I have read a long list of of fiction books, from J.K. Rowling to whoever wrote The Hobbit. Yeah, sorry for that. Anyway, Paolini’s character development is awry, and it seems to me he foreshadows the future without actually having played it out in his head yet, so when the future actually is at hand, it comes out badly. I liked the books, but I like 98% of the books I read so that’s not saying much. I’m surprised that his describing skills or whatever you call it has not improved despite the hundreds of mind-numbing descriptions in the series. They just don’t flow, it’s like trying to fathom a complicated formula.

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  130. The Word Shaker on 2 April 2021, 23:02 said:

    It’s so fun to find this website again and realize to my horror that I argued pro-Inheritance. Comment #108 still stings, though, SlyShy, since I’m pretty sure my grammar has only gotten worse. XD

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