This is the second time I have read Brisingr (this time in preparation for Inheritance, released Nov 9) and I found my response to it this time quite interesting after having read so much more since the first read. All of the books I have read this year have been quite long and what I consider more of an 'adult' read (Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Jean M. Auel) and it strikes me now how much simpler the Inheritance series are in comparison. I guess the series is considered more of a 'teen-fiction', or at least that's the basket I would put it in.
While I still enjoyed the book immensely and couldn't put the book down this morning until I finished it, at times the simplicity of the story became a little annoying. Eragon is a strange character and one I found hard to reconcile with. This is further compounded for me after reading about Kvothe in the KingKiller series who is so gifted and extraordinarily powerful. In comparison Eragon should be as such, but instead is a little bit immature and daft. To be honest, while this very well may be in the spirit of good writing (Eragon is still only very young and inexperienced and his flaws show as much), he does make a lot of mistakes.
Also in comparison, I kind of felt that not much actually happens in the book. There's a battle, a short trip to Farthen Dur, another trip to Ellesmera and then another quick battle (punctuated by some other chapters from the POV of other characters) and then the end. I don't think this detracts, after all a quick read is a good read (I totally just stole that saying from a completely different context).
Speaking of Patrick Rothfuss' series ... I found a lot of similarities in Brisingr and am wondering if he was a fan too. Elements such as the use of true names are quite common in fantasy so this can be excused, but at one point the narrative mentions a 'Tinker' which I didn't know was common and Eragon suggests that he calls his sword Kingkiller. Hmmm ...
I still cried at the end of the book this time around, as I remember doing this first time. When a book can do that, it really is quite amazing. Here I am, all fine, then there is this one line that is so heart-wrenching and so saddening that I literally sobbed involuntarily and then had a few tears. Hats off to you Christopher Paolini.
So now I am hotly anticipating Inheritance and the end of the series. I am a little annoyed I read Brisingr so fast, as I wanted it to line up with the release date. Ho hum. So in the two weeks I have I think I will read Elantris and/or Across the Wall. I've decided to not start any more series until I have bought all of them/all of them have been released. This re-reading business is too time consuming. Plus not to mention all the series I have started and not finished!
On a final note ... I noticed that Brisingr has a very flexible cover and spine! While I lamented every inevitable spine-crease during The Wise Man's Fear, after two reads, Brisingr has not one crease ANYWHERE and it has been bashed around a bit and constantly laid open on tables. Why don't they make all books like this?