After the massive, punishing battle against the Warriors of the Empire, Eragon and Saphira are licking their wounds, having barely survived. The Rider and his dragon have an oath to fulfil; they must aid Katrina in escaping the most terrible danger. What follows is an epic journey, quite as action-packed and vividly described as anything in fantasy fiction. As in all the best such literature, the odds are overwhelming, nothing can be taken at face value, and the evil forces ranged against the protagonists are as vile as one could wish.
Christopher Paolini clearly now feels that he has readers securely in his pocket, and is prepared to take his time to achieve some of his best effects -- a tactic that pays dividends. So often with fantasy fiction, outlandish situations are relied upon to carry the action, and there is no shortage of them here. But Paolini is canny enough to realise that the characterisation of an endangered protagonist is crucial to maintain our involvement, and (as in previous books), he always takes care of business in this regard. Don't be put off by the daunting length of this book -- Paolini justifies every word in Brisingr. You'll find yourself reading it as quickly as many a shorter book.