Brisingr is a high fantasy novel and the third book in the Inheritance Cycle, written by Christopher Paolini, and released on September 20, 2008. The book details the start of the war between the Varden and the Empire, the continuing training of Eragon as a Dragon Rider, and the election of the new dwarf king.
Originally, this was going to be the last book of the series, but as Paolini kept writing, he found that the plot was too complex to fit into one book so he slit the series into four, thus creating the Inheritance Cycle.
The book begins four days after the last book.
Eragon, Roran, and Saphira, from a safe distance are watching priests from Dras-Leona, do a ritual at Helgrind which involves sacrificing slaves. Later, Eragon tries to teach Roran how to use magic, but fails. However, he is able to teach him how to shield his mind, which he does by projecting an image of Katrina. Eragon then precedes to heal Roran's wound that he got from the Ra'zac in the last book, as he fears that that might be a handicap that could get him killed.
As they are preparing to attack Helgrind, Eragon senses a flower in the rock that shouldn't be able to grow, and thus comes to the conclusion that much of Helgrind is an illusion. The three then journey to Helgrind, where they are attacked by the Lethrblaka and the Ra'zac. Eragon finds out that for some reason he can't touch the Ra'zac's mind, which is why they were able to ambush them. Eventually, the Lethrblaka and the Ra'zac are defeated, with Saphira chasing after the former. After a while of searching, Eragon finds where Katrina is being held. The two of them are then ambushed by the two Ra'zac, and Roran kills one of them, and Eragon's face is burnt by seithr oil when an arrow grazes his face, which he then heals. After discovering the cells, Roran rushes to Katrina while Eragon looks in the other cells. He finds Sloan in one of them, and finds that his eyes have been pecked out. Eragon is unsure of what to do with Sloan, whether to kill him there or to let him go, and knows that either decision will cause trouble between Roran and Katrina. Eragon hears that Roran needs help opening the door, so Eragon puts a sleeping spell on Sloan, goes to Roran, opens to door, and says that he found Sloan with his neck broken, which Katrina believes. Saphira then contacts Eragon, saying that she has slain the Lethrblaka, but was spotted by fishers on the lake by Dras-Leona, and Imperial soldiers should be heading towards Helgrind.
Eragon heads Roran, Katrina, and Saphira off, and heads back into the mountain before Saphira is able to stop him. In the mountain, Eragon meets the remaining Ra'zac. The Ra'zac tries to strike a deal with Eragon, saying that if Eragon tells tales about the Ra'zac, then he will tell him information about Galbatorix. The Ra'zac says that Galbatorix is trying to find the name, but doesn't specify what name he is trying to find. Eragon refuses to accept the deal, which makes the Ra'zac attack him, which makes Eragon kill him. Eragon escapes with Sloan and barely avoids the soldiers. After a while, and after he has eaten, he wakes up Sloan. Eragon starts to run over Sloan's motivations and life, which ends up with him whispering a trio of three words which turn out to be Sloan's true name. He is shocked by this, and not knowing what to do, he uses magic to contact Queen Islanzadí (who is right now on the outskirts of Du Weldenvarden with her army laying siege to Ceunon). After getting her advice on the subject, Eragon uses Sloan's true name to make him go to the elves to stay there.
Meanwhile, at the Varden, Nasuada and the leader of the black-skinned people Fadawar, go at each other in the Trial of the Long Knives, where the leader of each group mutilate their arms (six cuts per arm), and the last one standing wins. But, if the winner uses magic to heal the wounds, then he loses. Nasuada wins the competition.
Roran, Katrina, and Saphira arrive at the camp, and after questioning them, Arya decides to go after Eragon. Meanwhile, Eragon runs into an eccentric man named Tenga, who lives in an old elven building, is able to use magic, and owns books and compendiums (scrolls written in the ancient language) on just about everything. During his encounter, he keeps on raving about to his 'question,' which he never reveals what it is.
When passing through Eastcroft, Eragon runs across Arya, who has disguised herself as a human and is being harassed by farmers. They talk briefly, then sneak out of the city in the dead of night. They come across a group of soldiers and are forced to kill them. Eragon during the fight punches a soldier in the chest and badly damages his hand. Afterwards, Arya heals Eragon's hand with magic while Eragon ponders how to avoid such injuries in the future. He uses magic to enlarge his callouses on his knuckles, inspired by the dwarven 'fists of steel.' When Arya tells Eragon to use the energy from Brom's ring Aren, Eragon finds a massive pool of energy within it, which Arya urges him to save for an important time. As they make camp for the night, Arya opens up to Eragon about her imprisonment and how it felt to kill. He sings a flower for her. Arya makes a small grass boat, enchanted to float through the air forever using the power of plants around it. All of a sudden, spirits come to the camp, where they give Eragon a euphoric experience, after they had learn that Eragon had freed the spirits that had possessed Eragon. After the spirits leave, they notice that the flower that Eragon had made had been turned into gold and was still alive.
While Roran is training, Nasuada comes and asks if he wants to go under the commands of another man so that he can advance in the ranks quicker. Roran asks her if that could wait until Eragon returns so the marriage between him and Katrina can commence as early as possible. Nasuada accepts. The twelve elves that Queen Islanzadí sent to protect Eragon arrive at the camp. They are led by Blödhgarm, an elf who used magic to change his appearance to have the fur of a panther, the eyes of an eagle, and the fangs of a wolf, which he believes to be the definition of beauty. He also emits a strong and seductive smell that only females can smell. Nasuade asks Captain Garven, one of her nighthawks (bodyguards), to enter Blödhgarm's mind to make sure they're not human spies of Galbatorix. Garven does so, and although he doesn't go insane like some other humans do, he is clearly effected by doing so.
Eragon and Aya return to the camp, much to the relief of the Varden. The next day, Eragon finds Angela giving fortunes to two women. After they leave, Eragon talks with Angela and discovers that Tenga was her former master who always had a question to ask.
Eragon goes to Nasuada's tent to try and heal Elva of the curse. He uses a very complex spell that takes a great deal of time to say. After the spell is done, it turns out that Elva isn't cured of her ability to shield people's misfortune, but she discovers that now she has the ability to chose whether she can help them or not. Elva then announces to everyone present that she will use her abilities however she wants, whether it is to take down the Empire or get what she wants. She stops Eragon from casting another spell that would harm her, and then leaves.
The next day, Eragon uses magic to get gold from out of the ground, then makes three golden balls out of it. The first one goes to the tanner Gedric, to whom he admits and apologizes that he stole the leather from to make Saphira's saddle. He then goes to Jeod and gives him a golden ball, who tells Eragon about Galbatorix's spy network the Black Hand, Eragon's mother Selena, and the time he and Brom went to search for Morzan and the dragon eggs. He gives a copy of Domia abr Wyrda to Eragon. Eragon then gives a golden ball to Jeod's wife Helen, who says that she will make a commercial empire with it. Eragon promises Jeod that he can fly Saphira.
Eragon goes to the weapons master Fredric for a new sword. Fredric goes through various swords with Eragon before he realizes that he had fought edge-to-edge with Zar'roc, something which would ruin an ordinary sword. Fredric recommends a mace, which Eragon dismisses because he wouldn't have killed Durza with a mace. Fredric then recommends a falchion, which can withstand big impacts and block with the sides more easily than a traditional blade. Eragon agrees, though he still misses Zar'roc, and decides to reinforce the weapon with magic.
On the day of Roran and Katrina's wedding, 300 Imperial troops, led by Murtagh and Thorn attack the camp. While locked in aerial combat with Murtagh, Eargon learns that Murtagh's strength and speed have exceeded his own, but is able to drive him away with the help of Arya and the other thirteen elves. Eragon passes out briefly after the battle. He is then called back to the camp as something has gone wrong during the battle. It turns out that the soldiers can't feel pain, leading them to able to continue to fight despite horrific wounds, and that only decapitation can stop them. The soldiers also utter out a shrieking, maniacal laugh as they are being wounded.
Roran and Katrina are married a few hours after the battle. Nasuada gives gold to Katrina as a dowry. Eragon gives Roran the horse Snowfire as a gift. He also gives Roran and Katrina enchanted rings that they can use to find each other and contact Eragon and Saphira if they need help.
Eragon then goes to a healer where he meets a man who was damaged during the battle and has somehow gained the ability see energy as light.
After the wedding, Nasuada orders Eragon to go attend the election of the new dwarf king. He is reluctant at first to leave, but decides to go on the condition that Saphira join him on the coronation day, and that they can go directly to Ellesméra to complete their training afterwards. Eragon is accompanied by Garzhvog until Bregan Hold, where at that point Garzhvog turns back to the Varden.
Meanwhile, Roran is placed under the command of Martland Redbeard, and meets the spellcaster Carn. Roran's first mission under Redbeard is to attack a supplies convoy for the Empire, where he impressed Redbeard with has tactics. During this time, his friendship with Carn is strengthened.
At Bregan Hold, Eragon is reunited with Orik, who is now the grimstborith (clan chief) of Dûrgrimst Ingeitum. He also meets Orik's newly wed wife Hvedra, who welcomes Eragon as her kin.
Orik invites Eragon on a trip to the Forest of Stones, which is a fossilized forest. There, Orik asks Eragon for his support as king. Eragon then explains what Nasuada asked him to do, which angers Orik. After much discussion, they descend the mountain and enter Farther Dûr.
On his second mission, Roran fights an army that can feel no pain. Detecting no magicains in the enemy's army, Martland splits his army into three groups: one led by Roran, one by Martland, and another led by Martland's right-hand man Ulhart. The three groups stage an ambush from three sides. Eventually, the Varden army has to retreat into water to slow down the enemy, where the Empire army is defeated. During the battle, Martland's right hand was chopped off from an enemy soldier that was presumably dead, and refuses to accept treatment.
At Farthen Dûr, Orik has four bodyguards protect Eragon. In his quarters, an assassination attempt is done by Az Sweldn rak Anhûin, a clan that hates Dragon Riders, and one of Eragon's bodyguards die as a result of it. Angered by this, Orik convinces the other clan chiefs to banish Az Sweldn rak Anhûin from their lands. Eragon then summons Saphira to Tronjheim. The dwarves precede to vote for a new king, and it becomes obvious that Orik and a grimstborith named Nado will be the most likely candidates. At the end, Orik is voted to be the forty third king of the dwarves, and his first order as king is to prepare the dwarves for war against the Empire.
Saphira arrives before the coronation. The coronation happens. During the coronation, a dwarf named Gannel asks the dwarf god Gûntera to come and express his approval of Orik. At first, nothing seems to happen. Then a form that seems to be Gûntera appears and questions Orik three times in Dwarvish, and when Orik answers, Gûntera approves of Orik's kinghood, and putting Orik's head between two fingers, makes the crown appear. Gûntera then disappears, and Orik is officially the king. As they go out of the room, Eragon questions Saphira on her thought on the god, and Saphira is very skeptical. After the rest of the rituals, they head over to where the Isidar Mithrim has been shattered, though all the pieces have been put into place. There, Saphira is able to restore the Isidar Mithrim, much to the delight of the dwarves. Afterwards, druing the feast celebrating Orik's coronation, Eragon asks him about Gûntera, whether he was real or not. Orik points to the crown, and tells Eragon of the heretic kings, dwarf kings whom Gûntera did not approve of and whose reign was filled with disasters. Eragon and Saphira then fly to Ellesméra.
Meanwhile, Roran has disobeyed his superiors in order to destroy enemy soldiers. And as punishment, Nasuada orders him to be whipped. After a magician heals him, Nasuada orders him on another mission. During that mission, Roran fights an insubordinate Urgal using Urgal customs (with bare hands and no armor) to gain leadership of the group. Roran wins.
Eragon and Saphira reach Du Weldenvarden where they contact Oromis, who tells them to come to Ellesméra to complete their training. Upon arrival, Eragon inquires about his father. Glaedr reveals that Brom is his actual father and that Murtagh is only his half-brother. Then Saphira shows a memory of Brom to Eragon. Oromis then shows a fairth (a picture created through magical means) of Selena, whom Eragon regards as beautiful.
After telling Oromis about Solembum's words regarding the Menoa Tree, Eragon goes around her roots looking for any metal that can be used for creating a sword. He goes to the elf smith Rhunön to ask if she can make a new sword. She refuses and tells her that she had made Riders' swords out of a meteoric metal called brightsteel. Eragon then goes back to the Menoa Tree and tries to wake her up. Annoyed from being ignored, Saphira attacks the tree to try and wake it up. After battering with the tree, she locates brightsteel among her roots, which she informs Eragon about, who then brings it to Rhunön.
In order to bypass her oath, Rhunön takes control of Eragon's body and makes a new sword. The sword is blue like Saphira, and Eragon names it 'Brisingr.' As soon as he says the sword's name, the sword bursts into flames until he releases the magical energy. Eragon shows the sword to Oromis, who thinks that it is Rhunön finest sword yet. He then instructs Eragon how to teleport items with magic.
Eragon then asks Oromis how Galbatorix has become so powerful. Glaedr responds by saying that every dragon has a heart of hearts, or Eldunarí. If they want, dragons can spit out their Eldunarí out of their body and transport their souls into it upon death. When that happens, the only way to release a dragon from its Eldunarí is to smash it. Galbatorix has become powerful by seizing all of the slain dragons' Eldunarís. Glaedr then gives Eragon his Eldunarí. Before leaving for Feinster, Eragon visits Sloan, who has arrived in Ellesméra.
Eragon reaches Feinster as it is being besieged by the Varden. In the city, three magicians create a new shade called Varaug. After Eragon, Arya, and Saphira kill the magicians, they kill the shade by Eragon attacking his mind while Arya stabs him through the heart.
Eragon senses through Glaedr's Eldunarí that he and Oromis are in Gil'ead, fighting Murtagh and Thorn. Galbatorix takes control of Murtagh's body and is able to kill Oromis. Thorn then bites Glaedr's neck, killing him, though Glaedr transports his soul into his Eldunarí.
Eragon tells Arya of his parentage, the deaths of Oromis and Glaedr, and the Eldunarí. Nasuada makes plans to march to Belatona, Dra-Leona, and then finally to Urû'baen.
The book ends by saying that the story will continue and end in Inheritance.