Brsinger – Christopher Paolini

Delightful! Although I find rather disturbing the amount of parallels I continue to spy between the Inheritance cycle and the original Star Wars trilogy (at least plot wise)…especially during the recap of the first two books at the beginning.

Part the First:

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

Farm boy’s boring life explosively interrupted by exciting worldly politics; Story about an ancient race of peacekeepers with magical powers that died out due to betrayal leading to the current oppressive regime; Farm boy’s surrogate parent(s) killed and farm boy runs from danger with the town’s storyteller; Storyteller reveals he is one of the surviving peacekeepers and begins to train farm boy in their ancient ways; Storyteller is killed by primary henchman of the evil leader; Cocksure stranger aids the farm boy in his quest to join the rebellion, but wants nothing to do with the rebellion himself; Farm boy and stranger rescue princess from primary henchman’s headquarters; Farm boy and stranger escort princess to rebellion headquarters; Farm boy helps rebellion win against a massive army.

Part the Second:

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

Farm boy receives vision instructing him to travel a great distance to continue his training with the last surviving peacekeeper; Farm boy gets permission from the rebellion to continue his training and travels a great distance; Farm boy begins training; Great magic occurs, proving the importance of training to the farm boy; Farm boy leaves prematurely in order to aid his friends in a battle, promising to return; Battle is joined, but the empire has a new advantage/primary henchman: farm boy’s blood relative!!!

Part the Third:

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

Farm boy helps his friend rescue a damsel in distress; Farm boy temporarily leaves the rebellion to finish his training and learns a great secret that will aid him in defeating the empire; Farm boy learns the truth about his lineage from a vision of the storyteller; Farm boy returns to battle and helps the rebellion triumph…but the empire is still in control.

There were a couple of points in the book were I actually jumped ahead by a couple of chapters to resume what *I* thought was a more interesting part of the story: Roran’s military adventures. The dwarven politics was probably the driest part of the book (albeit interesting…just a little dry) and some of Paolini’s cliffhanger choices seemed a little intolerable to me. But it all worked out alright.

I am also very much a fan of Paolini’s skill at turning phrases…

“[Roran discussing Eragon’s feelings for Arya] ‘Be honest. You dote upon her words as if each one were a diamond, and your gaze lingers upon her as if you were starving and she a grand feast arrayed an inch beyond your reach'” (page 25).

“[Sloan the butcher cursing at Eragon] ‘You’re nothing but the yellow-bellied offspring of a canker-ridden bunter. You’re a bastard you are, and an unlicked cub; a dung-splattered, tallow-faced rock-gnasher; a puking villain and a noxious toad; the runy, mewling spawn of a greasy sow. I wouldn’t give you my last crust if you were starving, or a drop of water if you were burning, or a beggar’s grave if you were dead. You have pus for marrow and fungus for brains, and you’re a scug-backed cheek-biter!'” (page 90).

“Fadawar’s men were garbed in the same fashion, although less opulently. The gold they wore served to proclaim not only their wealth but also the status and deeds of each individual and the skill of their tribe’s far-famed craftsmen. As either nomads or city dwellers, the dark-skinned peoples of Alagaësia had long been renowned for the quality of their jewelry, which at its best rivaled that of the dwarves” (page 98). Is Paolini making some commentary on rappers and “bling” via allusion?

“‘As soon as our child is born, you will go to Aberon, not Dauth; it is less likely to be attacked. And if Aberon becomes too dangerous, then you will go to the Beor Mountains and live with the dwarves. And if Galbatorix strikes at the dwarves, then you will go to the elves in Du Weldenvarden.’ ‘And if Galbatorix attacks Du Weldenvarden, I will fly to the moon and raise our child among the spirits who inhabit the heavens.’ ‘And they will bow down to you and make you their queen, as you deserve'” (page 356). Ah romance.

“…the prowess of a dragon and Rider is measure not only by how well they work together but also by how well they can function when apart. We are both mature enough to operate independently of each other, Eragon, however much we may dislike the prospect” (page 365).

“[Nar Garzhvog describes some of the Urgal traditions] ‘We take logs, and we carve them with faces of the animals of the mountains, and these we bury upright by our houses so they will frighten away the spirits of the wild. Sometimes the poles almost seem to be alive. When you walk into one of our villages, you can feel the eyes of all the carved animals watching you…By the doorway of each hut, we hang the namna. It is a strip of cloth as wide as my outstretched hand. The namna are brightly colored, and the patterns on them depict the history of the family that lives in that hut. Only the oldest and most skilled weavers are allowed to add to a namna or to reweave one if it becomes damaged…During the months of winter, those who have mates work with them on their hearth rug. It takes at least five years to finish such a rug, so by the time it is done, you know whether you have made a good choice of mate'” (page 391). I am fascinated with Paolini’s design of the Urgals. They are essentially traditional orcs in design, but their culture is far less bloodthirsty than traditional orcs. Very Native American and *I* think very cool.

“[Roran taunts soldiers to bait his trap] ‘Ho there, you cowering carrion dogs! See how only eleven of us bar your way. Win past us, and you win your freedom. Try your hand if you have the guts. What? You hesitate? Where is your manhood, you deformed maggots, you bilious, swine-faced murderers? Your fathers were dribbling half-wits who should have been drowned at birth! Aye, and your mothers were poxy trollops and the consorts of Urgals! … Cowards you are, every last one of you, you verminous river rats! If it will give you spine, then know this: Roran Stronghammer is my name, and Eragon Shadeslayer is my cousin! Kill me, and that foul king of yours will reward you with an earldom, or more. But you will have to kill me with a blade; your crowssbows are no use against me. Come now, you slugs; you leeches; you starving, white-bellied ticks! Come and best me if you can!'” (page 518).

“It occurred to Eragon that although the dwarves were the shortest of the races, they built the biggest structures in Alagaësia, which seemed odd to him. Perhaps, he thought, by making such enormous objects, they do not feel so small themselves. He almost mentioned his theory to Orik but at the last moment decided that it might offend him, so he held his tongue” (page 545). BWAHA!

“A strange sense of unease troubled Eragon. He had often longed to be treated as more of an adult, but nevertheless, he did not feel ready to take Oromis’s place. It seemed wrong to even contemplate the notion. For the first time, Eragon understood that he would eventually become part of the older generation, and that when he did, he would have no mentor to rely upon for guidance” (page 692).

“…pouring cauldrons of boiling oil between the merlons of parapet…” (page 702). Expanding my medieval dictionary! Merlon (n) : any of the projections between the embrasures of a battlement.

Leave a Reply