Chapter 26 – Discovery
Well this is a tedious chapter. Even the first sentence here is grammatically hopeless.
“The next three days passed quickly for Eragon, if not for the rest of the Varden, who remained mired in lethargy.” What is that? Double appositive phrase? Does it mean “The next three days passed quickly for Eragon, who remained mired in lethargy.” That doesn’t make any sense! I think “The next three days passed quickly for Eragon, [but] not for the rest of the Varden, who remained mired in lethargy.” Makes more sense, but the later parts are still pointless. And for that matter, why even mention how anyone experienced those days if nothing happened?
They say the siege continued. Wait what siege? I make this point because sieging and proper military matters are always glossed over. Thorn moved and that was a big deal… the leaders have no idea what to do…
Anyways, Eragon is now equal to the elves. What? A few days training and he’s made up for that several hundred year gap of practice >_> really? This is what makes the training montages extremely stupid. Eragon is amazing at everything. -->But then he’s not good enough anymore. -->But then he’s better than perfect a week later. Why bother with this loop every book? The answer is simple actually: DRAMA! “What if Eragon isn’t good enough?! Oh no!” This is a cheap tactic and poorly executed when he’s already pushing Super Saiyan power levels.
I mean the book is even kind enough to point how ridiculous this is. “He made what would have been considered exemplary progress under normal circumstances, but given the situation, both he and Glaedr were frustrated with the pace of his learning.” You’re not becoming beyond perfect in a beyond perfect enough speed! Even Rocky would find this outlandish.
Tangent time! Eragon wants to summon/create an object out of nothing using magic. Why? Just cuz. It doesn’t have any use later in the plot, but we get a few pages wasted here to show off how awesome Eragon is. No one is tired of that, I’m sure.
Glaedr even asks him “Why?” and “Again: Why?” to this tangent. Do we have to go through on this wankery? Apparently Eragon equates having this skill with being able to defeat Galbatorix. And that makes no sense. At all.
Glaedr tells Eragon the attempt might kill him. Eragon says he knows this. So… he’s want to attempt this thing which could kill him and thus ruin everything… for no good reason whatsoever. Haven’t we been attempting to build drama by pointing out how much energy Eragon is using without resting? Well he’s the one wasting his own energy for stupid reasons! We can’t sympathize with that any more than a guy repeatedly tackling cacti.
Saphira butts in and thinks this is a bad idea, but Eragon is determined. (read: reckless) Glaedr thinks he can help if things go wrong and I forget, how did the whole, “spells you can’t do, kill you.” thing get hand-waved?
After Saphira and Eragon insult each other some more, Eargon decides to recreate his ring. After a big paragraph describing the ring… he changes his mind. *sigh* Instead he chooses now his sword… Wait. He didn’t want to try the ring because it was enchanted… just like the sword he is now choosing. They say he knows the sword well because he helped make it… but I mean he can’t even control the magic bursts when he says the swords name. This can’t go well.
We get more babble on whether the name OF the sword or the proper name FOR a sword should be used. Glaedr says it makes no difference, except it does. Moving on!
He uses the spell which makes an illusion of the sword appear floating in the air nearby. This takes several paragraphs. Then it’s done. Yeah.
Following that there is a weak joke I didn’t even think was a joke when I read it at first.
“If he were to poke Sapira, he guessed she would be so startled, she would twist herself in circles.”
“And if I were to poke you, nothing would be left, but a smear.”
Wait a minute… did Saphira just respond the narration? If that was meant to be a thought of Eragon's why is it so clunky? I double checked. I copied the punctuation as written; the first sentence there is a mess.
Glaedr praises Eragon. Eragon feels awesome to himself and illogically thinks “He had proven without a doubt that there was at least one thing in Alagaesia that he could do as well as anyone possibly could.” Can I just use the abbreviation? T.D.M.A.S.
Roran returns, stirring the Varden from their torpor. Vocab bonus! Eragon feels relieved even though he was snooping on Roran the whole time. Then this, “Roran was the only family he had left--Murtagh did not count, as far as Eragon was concerned--and Eragon could not bear the thought of losing him.” (Is that a misWay to interject that bitterness in there. Just like when Eragon learned of his supposed heritage he shrugs off Murtagh being evil. Not to mention “That doesn’t count.” is a weak argument even from children. We have learned Paolini is very close with his family and it makes me wonder if he would act this way toward a disowned sibling.
Roran apparently looks like he has aged 5 years, cuz that can happen. It’s supposed to be dramatic I guess. This is that cheesy "Look how worn out and messy they are! They must have fought hard!" except Roran only looks so tired because he rode day and night for no good reason. Somewhere in here there is a throw-away line pointing out one less man returned… and that’s it. Carn? Who’s Carn?
Roran turns in the quest to Nasuada. This means he levels up. (gets promoted) I thought he already got promoted earlier. Is this just making it official? Roran has no reaction. K.
Eragon and Roran meet Katrina who eagerly greets her crazy husband. “She greeted Roran with such an obvious display of emotion that Eragon averted his eyes, embarrassed.” Really? Unless this is meant to say they go past first base in public (which is a different issue), Eragon is childishly uncomfortable with emotion. Hugging? Ewwww… OR he can’t comprehend it.
He dines with them, then leaves. There is another awkward line about “Katrina wished to have [Roran] for herself.” Maybe she just wants to lecture him about his suicidal tendencies.
After leaving, Jeod shows up with a contrivance to move the plot along. Turns out there are underground tunnels leading into the city…. I’m out of rage by this point… Heaven forbid Paolini have to write a proper siege. Seriously, there are 3 major cities taken in this book (4 if you count the first chapter) and ALL OF THEM are defeated by a small group sneaking in, letting the larger force in, and defeating the King/Leader person. This could be justified by saying the inferior numbers of the Varden demand such. But you can’t start a war in the hopes each city has a ridiculously unguarded weak point you can exploit! (The capital was a bit more interesting, but again the “siege” was irrelevant. The Magic Spear was something of an exploit in that instance.) Starving and/or poisoning isn’t considered when it should be. Since Galbatorix apparently has no desire to make any offensive moves, (which could obliterate the Varden on a whim) they have all the time in the world.
So if you want to write a war in your fantasy novel, don’t just copy Peter Jackson’s movie version of Helm’s Deep 4 times.