Brisingr is the third installment of the Inheritance Cycle of books. As the second-to-last book in the series, Brisingr has a more serious and pressing storyline than the first two books. With back-to-back battles and characters forming alliances with each other, this story has a non-stop fast pace that will leave readers wanting more. As such, it’s the perfect introduction to the last book in the series.
In Eldest, Eragon and Saphira learn magic and battle techniques from a wise old elf and his dragon. Roran, Eragon’s cousin, rallies the villagers of Carvahall to fight against the evil king, and the Varden fight against the Empire to recapture a small piece of land. All three factions meet up in the end during a fearsome battle, where Eragon learns more about his family and his past. It is with these realizations in his mind that Brisingr begins.
The Brisingr audiobook begins only a few days after the events of Eldest end. After all of the battles and destruction, Eragon and his friends work to set things right and repair some of the destruction before they continue to fight the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon then finds out about the Eldunari, which is the heart of hearts of the dragons.
Each dragon has an Eldunari within herself, and she can give it up at will or be forced to part with it. Whoever possesses the Eldunari also possesses the strength of that dragon. Eragon learns that Galbatorix is on a quest to gather all the Eldunari he can find so that he can be invincible. He must be stopped before it is too late.
There are very few new characters in Brisingr. Instead, the author focuses on developing the existing characters more. However, one new villain is created near the end of the book. His name is Varaug, and he is a Shade. Since Varaug was created by magic, Eragon must use magic to defeat him.
Setting & Plot
The plot in Brisingr is much faster paced than it was in Eragon and Eldest. The seemingly endless battles test the strength and resolve of the characters. The evil workings of King Galbatorix behind the scenes only give the battles a graver feeling. Eragon and his friends know that they must get to the king before he has obtained all of the Eldunari and has become unstoppable.
Much of the setting of Brisingr is the same as it was in the previous two books. Many of the same lands are revisited. However, there is one new land introduced.
Surda is a small country within Alagaesia. Though its population is small, the king is fighting to absorb Surda into his empire. Eragon, along with the Varden and the other rebels, must fight to protect Surda. Brisingr is the first book in the series that touches briefly on all of the different lands in Alagaesia, including the mountains, desert, forests, and everything in between.
The theme in Brisingr is slightly different than the themes in Eragon and Eldest. This book emphasizes hard work and perseverance. Each of the characters is bombarded with threats and decisions to make. They must never give up and keep on fighting through it all if they ever hope to defeat the king. Young people can learn from the characters about how to stick to their values, no matter what happens.
Gerard Doyle narrates the Brisingr audiobook, just as he did for the first two books. Doyle is a master at annunciating his words clearly, so the listener is sure to not miss anything. He puts a feeling into the words he reads that adds depth to the story and characters, and his intricate tone inflections never leave the listener guessing as to the meaning of the words.
Brisingr is fast paced and exciting, more so than the previous books in the series. Since the previous books introduced the characters so well, Brisingr has more room for action sequences and deep and revealing dialogues. It perfectly sets the stage for the final book in the series, and it makes the ramifications of each character’s choices clear. If you’re looking for a story with non-stop action and heroic rescues, Brisingr is the audiobook for you.