I am a huge fan of the children’s literature coming out these days. Between JK Rowlings, Cornelia Funke, and others, the genre is exciting for kids as well as adults. And one author I am continually surprised with is Christopher Paolini.
If you have not heard Christopher’s story, it is one for the ages. Christopher is a home schooled kid who at 15 decided he was going to write a book. A year later, he had Eragon. He and his parents published it themselves, and Christopher went on the road to promote it. I mean, hey, it’s a perfect teachable moment, so why not. An author picked up a copy of it, loved it, and showed it to his publisher who offered to publish it. And, the rest, as they say, is history.
Christopher had always intended for the book to be the first of a trilogy. He released the second book – Eldest – in 2005. And found while writing what was to be the third and final book that he couldn’t tell the rest of the story in this final book. Instead, he released a third book and changed his trilogy into a series. And, I am glad he did.
Brisingr is his best book yet. Christopher shows how much he has matured as a writer. While he stays true to his style of writing, I found his story flowed along naturally without every lingering too long on any one part of it. In the second book, you get glimpses into what Eragon’s cousin Roran is experiencing given all of the life changes he has also endured. In this book, we follow Roran almost as much as Eragon himself. And Christopher does a great job striking a balance between the stories.
Entering Brisingr, there were a lot of open issues. Who would lead the dwarves? Would the Varden continue to have strength to make progress in their fight? When would the last elf rider and his dragon reveal themselves? Does anyone have any idea where Galbatorix is getting his power? What will happen between Eragon and Arya? How will Eragon respond to finding out who his father is? And where will Eragon find a new sword?
Christopher resolves most of these issues in this book. And, not in a way the feels contrived or rushed. In between, he finds time to describe several battles, move the story and fight forward, and give us a greater glimpse into who the characters are. It is well worth the read. And, if you loved the Lord of the Rings series, you will find this refreshing and worthy of sharing the genre.