Eragon, Roran and Saphira are hiding near Helgrind, a evil looking mountain that hides the Ra’zac, their hated enemies. They are watching a procession of people walking toward Helgrind. As they find out, the people are their to sacrifice to the Ra’zac, whom they consider gods. After a gruesome ceremony, the people leave and Eragon and Roran leave to wait until dawn for their attack on the evil fortress to rescue Katrina, Roran’s betrothed. Morning comes quickly and our two cousins set off on Saphira to find an entrance into the seemingly impenetrable mountain. As it turns out, the dark face of the mountain is a mere illusion. Finding this, the threesome fly inside; it is quiet, but soon the Ra’zac parents, large and ugly winged creatures, attack Saphira together, while their two children attack Eragon and Roran.
After a long fight, they rescue Katrina and Roran and Saphira leave Eragon, unwillingly, to stay and kill the last Ra’zac. He remains for his secret reasons, of course, he kills the Ra’zac and rescues Sloan, the man who betrayed Roran and his entire village to the Ra’zac months before. After learning Sloan’s ‘true’ name and sending him to the elves, Eragon heads back to the Varden on foot. He meets Arya along the way, finding out that she came to find him. Less than a week passes and Eragon and Arya arrive back at the Varden.
They have not too long to recuperate, for not a week passes before Galdaborix sends three hundred soldiers, (who cannot feel pain) to attack the Varden. Along with Thorn and Murtagh. Eragon and Saphira fly out to meet their long time foes in the air, and defeat them with the help of thirteen spell-casters below. Thorn and Murtagh, however defeated, get away. Thus ends the first battle of the book. Nasuada has ever increasing problems with the dwarfs and sends Eragon to encourage the dwarfs to pick a new king, before Galdaborix finds out that Eragon is not in the camp and tries to send Thorn and Murtagh back to attack the Varden.
Positive: Our liking of Eragon increases somewhat in this sequel to the sequel. Though he still could use a bit of help. He is learning to control his temper and tongue, which relieves us greatly. Galdaborix is shown to be even more evil in this book than in the last, and we come to wish him dead and gone long before the end. The author’s writing style is pleasant and detailed, if somewhat long winded. I must admit the book kept my attention most of the time.
Negative: There is a rather gruesome ceremony in the beginning, involving men cutting off their limbs in worship to the Ra’zac, and two slaves are left to be eaten by the Ra’zac. There is a contest between two leaders to see who is braver, which includes cutting ones arms repeatedly (namely eight times) until one of the two gives way and can’t take anymore. Gods are mentioned and one briefly seen. There’s the blood of battles, but not much else. (I think he spends two too many chapters on Roran, Eragon’s cousin.) A man is flogged with fifty lashes.
Overall: The author has a hugely complicated plot, one which is rather creative. I think he has bit too much detail at times. The author is, for the most part, very good at keeping ones attention engaged. I think I have enjoyed the first book best. I mostly enjoyed this book and would recommend it, if the forth makes up for the second and third.