Oaths sworn…Loyalties tested…Forces Collide— Brisingr
Oaths Sworn… loyalties tested… forces collide..
Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.
First is Eragon's oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran's beloved, Katrina, to whom Roran is engaged, from the evil clutches of the Ra'zac. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength - as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices - choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.
Rich with a thoughtful examination of Eragon's maturing psyche, "Brisingr" explores how Eragon must come to terms with his role as a leader and the moral obligations that weigh heavily upon his young shoulders as a Dragon Rider.
Brisingr starts four days after the Battle of The Burning Plains, as Roran, Eragon and Saphira watch as a group of worshipers of Helgrind with missing body parts perform ceremonies on slaves. Eragon desires to free the slaves but realizes the foolishness of the idea. Later Roran asks Eragon if he could teach him to use magic, and Eragon gives him a pebble and teaches him the words "Stenr Risa!", meaning "Stone, rise!", and warns him to be careful should he succeed. Eragon teaches Roran to shield his mind and is amazed by just how strong his love for Katrina is. Eragon then proceeds to heal Roran's shoulder, though it drains his strength more, especially just a few days after the Battle of the Burning Plains, because he figures Roran may be killed as a result of his handicap.
As they prepared to attack Helgrind, Eragon reaches out with his mind, and touches a flower in the rock, which should not have been able to grow. He comes to the conclusion that much of Helgrind is in fact an illusion. The three of them journey to Helgrind, where they are attacked by Lethrblaka and Ra'zac. Eragon realizes that for some reason, he can not sense the Ra'zac's minds, which is why they were so easily ambushed. The Lethrblaka and Ra'zac are defeated with Saphira chasing the former. After a while of searching, Eragon finds where Katrina is held, and they are ambushed by the two Ra'zac again. The result ends with Roran killing one of them and Eragon's face being burnt with Seithr Oil from where the Ra'zac grazes him with an arrow, which is subsequently healed. After discovering the cells, Roran rushes to free Katrina while Eragon decides to look in the other cells, where he finds Sloan, the butcher from Carvahall who is the father of Katrina, with his eyes pecked out. Eragon does not know what to do, he feels that he should not kill Sloan in cold blood, and realizes that if Sloan is killed, or let go, it will cause permanent tension between Roran and Katrina. Eragon hears Roran coming down the hall saying he has found Katrina and required help to remove the door. He then puts Sloan to sleep with a spell and tells Roran that he is dead with his neck broken, which Katrina stoically accepts. Saphira contacts Eragon, informing him the last Lethrblaka is dead, but that their battle was seen by fishermen fleeing to Dras-Leona, and by now, Imperial troops are likely on their way to Helgrind.
Eragon sends Roran and Katrina off on Saphira and goes back into Helgrind before Saphira could stop him. He meets the remaining Ra'zac and it attempts to strike a deal with Eragon. The Ra'zac begs Eragon to tell tales of it and its race as the monsters of legend, in exchange for information on Galbatorix. The creature then cryptically claims Galbatorix is close to finding the name but did not specify as to what. Without further information, Eragon refuses the deal, prompting the Ra'zac to attack him in fury, and Eragon ultimately kills the creature with his staff. Eragon escapes with Sloan, and barely avoids a contingent of soldiers. After some time, he realizes that he must eat, and hunts some rabbits and lizards, he eats the rabbit and half a lizard before waking Sloan up and giving the rest to him. During this time, Eragon decides to begin eating meat again after enjoying the meal, and forms the idea that moderation is more logical than zealotry. Running over Sloan's life and motives in his mind, Eragon whispers a trio of words that he thought embodies Sloan, and he realizes with Sloan's reaction after a few attempts, that they are, in fact, Sloan's true name. He is shocked and doesn't know what to do, so he contacts Islanzadí (who is on the outskirts of Du Weldenvarden with her army laying siege to Ceunon). After getting her advice on the situation, Eragon sends Sloan on his way to the elves using the binding magic of his true name. He ponders the idea of the elves restoring Sloan's eyes, but doesn't tell him, lest Sloan beg the elves and receive them out of pity rather than changing his character.
Trial of the Long Knives
Nasuada is compelled to suffer the Trial of the Long Knives against Fadawar, who is the leader of the dark skinned people, to maintain leadership of the Varden and the Wandering Tribes. Elva (the witch child) foresees that Nasuada will lose but is she is forced to help others, Elva tells Nasuada what she needs to hear to win. It is a competition where both competitors cut slits on their arms from the elbow down, until one of the 'competitors' decides that he/she cannot take another cut again. There is a maximum of six cuts per arm, to prevent permanent damage. Hardening your arm makes the pain and damage worse, so relaxing it is the best choice (other than not competing at all). Nasuada manages to win, after recklessly making two cuts in a row. After the Trial of Long Knives, both competitors are prohibited from healing their arms with magic in order to feel the full force of the pain. Although this is rather slanted as if the winner healed his/her arm, he/she would forfeit the match. Angela says: "Only men would think of cutting themselves to determine who the pack leader is, idiots.", leaving her opinion of the contest in no doubt.
Roran, Katrina and Saphira arrive at the camp, and after a brief questioning, Arya decides to go and bring Eragon back to the Varden herself. In the meantime, Eragon runs into an eccentric man named Tenga. Tenga lives in an old elven building, is able to use magic, and owns books and compendiums on just about everything, including the Ancient Language. During the encounter, he raves about finding the answer to his "question", which he never reveals.
Passing through Eastcroft, Eragon happens to pass upon Arya, who has disguised herself as a human and is being harassed by farmers. They talk briefly, then sneak out of town in the dead of night. Outside the city, they run into a group of soldiers and are forced to kill them. Eragon punches a soldier in the chest during the battle, and badly damages his hand. After the ordeal, Arya heals Eragon's hand as he ponders how to avoid such injuries in the future. He uses magic to form large callouses on his knuckles, inspired by the memory of dwarven "fists of steel". When Arya tells Eragon to use Aren, Brom's old ring, to recover his strength, he discovers a massive pool of energy within it. Arya advises Eragon to save it for a more important time. As they make camp for the night, Eragon and Arya talk about her imprisonment, and how it felt to kill. He sings a flower for her, and she makes a small boat made of grass, enchanted to fly through the sky forever by feeding on the energy of plants below it. Spirits suddenly appear in the camp and, upon learning that Eragon set free the spirits within Durza, give him a euphoric experience. After they leave, the two notice that the lily Eragon made had been turned to gold and gems and was alive amazingly.
While Roran is in training, Nasuada asks him if he wants to be assigned under another man, saying he should do so in order to advance in the ranks. Roran asks Nasuada if the mission could wait until after Eragon comes back so that the marriage between him and Katrina could commence as early as possible, so Katrina could keep her honor. Nasuada understands the implied meaning and reluctantly agrees. The twelve elves Islanzadí sent to aid and protect Eragon arrive at the camp, much to Nasuada's relief. The leader of the group, Blödhgarm, son of Ildrid the Beautiful, has the fur of a panther, the eyes of an eagle, and the fangs of a wolf: what he believes to be the definition of beauty. He also has a very strong and seductive smell that only affects females, though Blödhgarm never takes advantage of the effects of its influence. Nasuada asks Captain Garven, one of her Nighthawks, to enter Blödhgarm's and the other elves' minds to ensure that they are not human spies of Galbatorix. Though Garven doesn't lose his mind, as some who enter the minds of elves do, he is visibly affected by the ordeal.
The curse lifted
Arya and Eragon soon arrive back to the camp, much to Nasuada's and the army's relief. The next day, he sees Angela casting her dragon knuckles to give two women their fortunes. One is handsome with scars on her wrists, as if from shackles, and the other a teenage girl with the forearms of a swordsman. After they leave, he speaks to Angela and discovers that Tenga was Angela's master, and that he always had a new question to answer. Eragon goes to Nasuada's tent to lift the curse on Elva. Using a long, complex counter spell that took a great deal of time to create, he initially thinks he failed. However, Elva realizes shortly that she can now choose to ignore the pain of others if she pleases, though she still retains the ability to sense them. Elva tells those present that she will use her powers for whatever she pleases from now on, including taking down the Empire and getting whatever she desired. She stops Eragon from casting another spell that would harm her, and leaves the pavilion. Eragon is disappointed, her adoptive mother is hurt and dismayed, Angela is infuriated, and Nasuada is stunned.
Gifts of gold
The next day, Eragon uses a spell to draw gold from the earth, which any spell caster should be able to do. He forms the gold into three hazelnut-sized spheres, then heads into camp. First, he goes to Gedric, (the tanner he stole the leather from when he left Carvahall) admits to and apologizes for taking his hides, gives him the first ball of gold, and tells him that the leather was used to make Saphira's saddle, to Gedric's delight. He then pays a visit to Jeod, who is looking for another tunnel or passage like the one he found in Gil'ead. Jeod explains to him the Black Hand, Eragon's mother Selena, and the time that he and Brom spent looking for Morzan and the eggs. He gives Eragon a copy of the Domia abr Wyrda, which Eragon highly values, thinking to himself "I own a book". Lastly, Eragon gives one of the orbs of gold to Jeod's wife, Helen, who vows to use it to build a commercial empire. Eragon promises Jeod that he can ride Saphira.
I Need a Sword!
Eragon goes to Fredric, the weapons master, to get himself a new sword. Fredric goes through a variety of blades before realizing that Eragon has fought edge-to-edge with Zar'roc, something that would ruin an ordinary sword. He first recommends a mace, to which Eragon replies "It's a metal club." He says that it didn't feel right to him, and he couldn't have killed Durza with a mace. Finally, he suggests a falchion, which can stand up to big impacts and block with the side more easily than a traditional blade. Eragon reluctantly agrees, missing Zar'roc, though he reinforces the weapon with magic.
On the day of Roran and Katrina's wedding, 300 of Galbatorix's soldiers, led by Murtagh and Thorn, attack the camp. While engaging in an aerial battle, Eragon is stunned when Murtagh's physical strength and speed exceeded his own, but is eventually able to drive him away with the aid of Arya and the other twelve elves. Eragon passes out briefly after the battle, but is called back to the Varden's camp to help - something has gone wrong in their battle. It is soon revealed that the soldiers feel no pain from their injuries, allowing them to fight on despite horrific wounds (only decapitation can stop them). This ability allows them to slaughter many of the Varden's warriors, sowing confusion among their ranks. The soldiers also utter a shrieking, maniacal laughter as they fight and are wounded, further demoralizing their foes and frightening the larger number of warriors in the Varden.
Roran and Katrina are married only a few hours after the battle. Nasuada provides a substantial amount of gold for Katrina's dowry, since she has nothing else. Eragon gives Roran Snowfire as a wedding gift. He also presents both Roran and Katrina with enchanted rings he made from the last gold sphere that allows them locate each other at any time and alert Eragon and Saphira if ever they need his help. After he goes to a healer, he meets a man who was hurt in the battle where Murtagh first fought Eragon. He somehow gained the ability to see energy as light, as he could see that Eragon has a great deal of energy, the energy of the diamonds in the Belt of Beloth the Wise, and the enormous store of energy inside of Aren (the ring Eragon inherited from Brom). He claims Murtagh 'was lit by others', as though other lights, of such power and fury, are behind Murtagh's strength.
After the wedding, Nasuada orders Eragon to attend the election of the new Dwarf King. He is reluctant at first to leave, but agrees under the condition that Saphira join him during the coronation and then they can leave to Ellesméra afterward to complete their training. Eragon is accompanied by Garzhvog for part of the way. Just before arriving at Bregan Hold, Garzhvog returns to the Varden.
Meanwhile, Roran is placed under the command of Martland Redbeard and meets the spellcaster Carn. Roran's first mission under Martland is to raid a supply convoy. With his hammer and shield in hand, Roran charges in on Snowfire and impresses Redbeard with his tactics. Along the way Roran slays four soldiers by himself. His friendship with Carn is strengthened in this struggle and Martland praises Roran for his courage.
Upon arrival at Bregan Hold, Eragon is immediately reunited with Orik, grimstborith of the Dûrgrimst Ingeitum. He is shocked to see that Orik now has a wife, Hvedra, and, like Orik, she welcomes Eragon as her kin.
A Forest of Stone
Eragon is then invited by Orik on a trip to the Forest of Stone. It is here that Orik asks Eragon for his support during the election of a new Dwarf King. Eragon then explains what Nasuada has asked of him, much to the anger of Orik. Orik then forwards his idea to Eragon as a means to gain his support. After much discussion, they begin to descend the mountain and walk through the underground tunnels to Farthen Dûr.
The Men Who Feel No Pain
On his second mission, Roran is forced to fight against an army of men who feel no pain. Detecting no magicians among their enemy, Martland's company is split into three groups, one led by Roran, another by Martland himself, and the last by Ulhart, Martland's right-hand man. The three groups stage an ambush from three sides. The battle is long and weary. Eventually, the three groups have to retreat to water in order to slow down the enemy. It is there that the remaining soldiers from the Empire are wiped out. During the battle, Martland's right hand is chopped off by a soldier presumed dead. Martland refuses to accept treatment and proceeds to take the raided supplies back to the Varden.
At Farthen Dûr, Eragon is assigned four bodyguards by Orik. In his quarters, an assassination is attempted on Eragon by Az Sweldn rak Anhûin clan and one of his bodyguards is killed. Angered by this, Orik convinces the other Dwarf clans to banish Az Sweldn rak Anhûin from their lands. Eragon then summons Saphira to Tronjheim. The Dwarves then proceed to vote for a new king. It immediately becomes obvious that Orik and Grimstborith Nado will be the more likely candidates.
The New Dwarf King
Orik… forty-third king of all knurla above and below!— Gannel
At the end of the day Orik is crowned the forty-third Dwarf King and his first order as king is to prepare the dwarves for battle against the Empire. Saphira arrives before the coronation and repaires the Isidar Mithrim during the coronation. Eragon and Saphira then fly for Ellesméra. Meanwhile, Roran, who had disobeyed his superiors orders to ensure the survival of his fellow soldiers, is punished by Nasuada for insubordination. She gives him fifty lashes and then has magicians heal him. Then Nasuada sends him on another mission, leading men and Urgals to prove to the Varden that the Urgals are not traitorous. Roran fights an Urgal according to Urgal customs, (with bare hands and no armour) to claim leadership of the battalion. Both survive, but Roran wins the fight and leadership of the battalion along with the Urgals newfound respect.
His True Father
Eragon and Saphira reach the edge of Du Weldenvarden where they contact Oromis. Oromis tells them to come to Ellesméra to complete their training. Upon arrival in Ellesméra, Eragon inquires about his father. Glaedr tells him that his father in fact is Brom and that Murtagh is only his half-brother. This is also one of the things that Brom told Saphira while Eragon was injured near Teirm. Eragon is delighted and Saphira shows him a memory of Brom talking to Eragon as his father. Oromis shows him a fairth of Selena, his mother, whom Eragon describes as very beautiful.
A Rider's Sword
After telling Oromis about Solembum's words about the Menoa Tree, Eragon digs around the roots to find a weapon of any kind. He begs Rhunön to make a new sword. She refuses and tells him that the Rider's swords are made out of a meteoric metal that she calls brightsteel. Eragon goes back to the Menoa Tree again, and tries to wake her up to solicit her help. Saphira attacks the tree to wake it up, and because she doesn't like being ignored. After bartering with the tree, she locates a large chunk of brightsteel under her roots, and informs Eragon of it. Eragon brings the brightsteel to Rhunön.
Rhunön takes control of Eragon, who in turn makes a brilliantly blue sword which he names Brisingr. The sword bursts into flames whenever Eragon says "Fire" in the ancient language. Oromis inspects the sword and declares it Rhunön's finest yet. Oromis then instructs Eragon on how to teleport items with magic.
Secret of Eldunarí Revealed
Eragon then asks Oromis how Galbatorix obtained his power. Glaedr replies that every dragon has a heart of hearts called an Eldunarí. If they want, they can transfer their soul to their Eldunarí. Galbatorix has taken all of the known Eldunarí and usurped their power. Glaedr gives Eragon his Eldunarí. Before leaving for Feinster, Eragon visits Sloan, who has arrived in Ellesméra.
Siege of Feinster and Gil'ead
Eragon reaches Feinster while the city is under siege. In the city, a Shade named Varaug is summoned by three magicians which Eragon, Arya, and Saphira kill. Eragon then helps Arya vanquish Varaug by battling his mind while she stabs him through the heart. Eragon discovers that Varaug is much more powerful than Durza. Through Glaedr's Eldunarí, he senses that Oromis and Glaedr are in Gil'ead, fighting Thorn and Murtagh. Galbatorix takes control of Murtagh who rends Oromis from hip bone to shoulder, killing him. Thorn then bites Glaedr on the back of his head, killing him as well. Eragon tells Arya and Nasuada about his parentage, the deaths of Oromis and Glaedr, and the Eldunarí. Nasuada makes plans to march to Belatona, Dras-Leona, and finally Urû'baen.
List of english book editions can be found here
Publishers in other countries
- Australia: Alfred A. Knopf
- Bulgaria: Hermes Books
- Brazil: Editora Rocco
- Canada: Alfred A. Knopf
- China: Mica Publishio
- Czech Republic: Fragment Publishing House
- Denmark: Sesam
- Finland: Tammi
- France: Bayard Jeunesse
- Germany: Random House/Blanvalet (Bertelsmann)
- Holland: Publisher M
- Indonesia: Gramedia Pustaka Utama
- Italy: Fabbri Editors & Mondolibri
- Japan: Random House Japan
- Korea: Kutwang Books
- Latin America: Roca Editorial
- New Zealand: Corgi/Random House
- Norway: Cappelen Damm
- Poland: Mag Publishing House
- Portugal: Gailivro
- Romania: Rao International Publishing Company
- Russia: Росмэн Издат
- Spain: Roca Editorial
- Sweden: Bonnier Carlsen
- Taiwan and Hong Kong: Linking Publishing
- Thailand: Amarin
- United Kingdom: Doubleday
- United States: Alfred A. Knopf
- Serbia: Čarobna knjiga
* Indicates new character
A list of chapters with their respective point of view.
Inside the book
Brisingr contains a dedication from Christopher Paolini to his family, friends, publishers, editors and fans.
David Durham of the Washington Post praises Paolini for his streamlined prose, but says the novel drags a lot in the middle. He says Paolini shows greater maturity during some of the quiet moments of the novel, although he notes these parts could bore younger readers. Durham finds that Paolini's new characters are original, and that he adds depth to characters from the previous novels. In contrast, Sheena McFarland of the The Salt Lake Tribune says Paolini "hasn't learned how to create characters that readers can relate to," although she praises him for strong female characters in the book such as Arya and Nasuada. McFarland calls the last 50 pages "riveting", but says they are a "paltry reward for trudging through the 700 preceding pages".
|This section describes content from a deleted scene or scenes. It may include material that is not considered canon.|
The Deluxe Edition of Brisingr features at the end two scenes deleted from the main text of the book. The first scene would have taken place during the chapter "Intersecting Sagas" and concerns Eragon's healing of a cancerous growth in the wife of one of the Varden's archers, an event mentioned only in passing in the final version of the text. The original version of the scene was lengthy, comprising just a little over nine pages.
The second deleted scene is brief, an additional story told by Nar Garzhvog in the chapter "Over Hill and Mountain" following the story of Maghara and Rahna. In this story, Ahno the Trickster found himself hungry, so he set out to kill a deer, but the deer eluded him. He decided to change his skin for that of a deer and join the herd. Though he had intended only to keep this form until his strength returned, but instead he began to act as a deer and forgot his true form, eventually mating with does and having children. He lived this way for three years until his father, Svarvok, sent eagles to look for him. The eagles told Ahno that his father wished to see him, but he no longer understood the speech of the Ugralgra. Thus, Svarvok went to confront his son, who told him that he enjoyed living like a deer and he thought he would stay that way. Svarvok grew angry and sent a pack of wolves to chase after Ahno until he tired of running and changed back into his true form. Svarvok asked him what he learned from this and Ahno laughed and answered that it was better to be a wolf than a deer. He then changed his form into that a wolf and joined the wolf pack. "And how Svarvok dealt with his son then is another story entirely." He and Eragon agree that it is "a good story."
The cover of the book resembles the golden dragon Glaedr.
There is a continuity error in the book. When Eragon and Roran suit up to exact revenge on the Ra'zac, the book says that Eragon's new elven arrows had gray-goose feathers, whereas in Eldest, when Queen Islanzadí gave him his new bow and quiver, the arrows had swan feathers.
- Book 4 Suspected Outcomes
- Timeline of Brisingr
- Criticism of the Inheritance Cycle
- Alagaesia.com, the official book site
- Randomhouse.com - Publishing site
- Shurtugal.com - Fan site USA
- Eragons.com - Fan site Spain
- Eragon.atw.hu - Fan site Hungary
- Eragon Italia - Fan site Italy
- Eragon.com.ua - Fan site Ukraine
- Sheena McFarland (October 4, 2008). Books: 'Brisingr' bores with its meandering. Salt Lake Tribune. Accessed 2008-10-10.