A strong entry with some pacing problems and a somewhat weak third act. Wherein “Eldest” had issues where the b-plot was more interesting than the central story, “Brisingr” doesn’t seem to have as focused a plot on either side. It feels like a series of vignettes at times and it hurts the overall pacing of the book. The ebb and flow of the action in Eragon’s storyline makes for some frustrating reading. Paolini has a handle on description and makes for some wildly evocative reading but this series seems to fall into the high-fantasy trappings that most series of this nature do as they progress. Much like Robert Jordan and his work on the “Wheel of Time” series, Paolini gets caught up in his own world and the pacing suffers because of it.
The character beats and the story is engaging but the flow is uneven and the book suffers because of it. If you’re able to stay engaged through it all however the series is worth it, as it is still some of the most pure high-fantasy I’ve read in some time and the worldbuilding on display surprises me a little more in each installment.