Aug. 29th, 2014 04:49 pm
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[personal profile] kippurbird posting in [community profile] kippurcritiquesbadbooks
Short chapter for once!

In this chapter Eragon learns what is probably going to be a Chekov’s skill. It is summoning the “true form of an object”. I’m not really sure why you would need to do this, or what purpose it could have. Especially since, as we see, it takes a lot of energy from a person to do so. Glaedr even says it’s of little practical value.

Apparently the spell is also one of those you do it or you don’t… and if you don’t you die.

Eragon wants to try to do this because he thinks it’ll help him defeat Galbatorix.

I don’t know why.

Eragon doesn’t know why either. Or perhaps Paolini doesn’t. know himself, really. I say this because when Glaedr asks why Eragon wants to know how to do it he responds with:

Unable to explain with words, Eragon poured his jumble of thoughts and feelings into Glaedr’s consciousness. When he finished, Glaedr was silent for a while, digesting the flow of information. Am I right to say, began the dragon, that you equate this with defeating Galbatorix? You believe that if you can do this and live, then you might be able to defeat the king?

We don’t know what these feelings are. We’re just told they’re feelings. What sort of feelings. Worry? Hope? Stomach ache? Why does he think that creating a true form of an object is going to help him defeat Galbatorix? What possible reason?

We’re not shown.

We’re just told he feels things.

What these things are, I don’t know.

If we knew better what the true form of an object was and weren’t told that it was completely, pretty much useless then maybe it might make sense. But we’re not.

It’s just completely ridiculous.

And Eragon wants to try it.

It could kill him. It would drain him of energy. And yet he wants to try it.


I just… no. There needs to be at least some hint of a reason why you would need to summon something’s true form. And vague jumble of feelings isn’t a good enough reason.

Saphira protests, of course. Eragon says he’s going to do it. She capitulates.

Then we learn that Eragon needs to summon something he’s intimately familiar with. Which, then brings me back to the beginning of this discussion when the Twins, way back in book one, asked Eragon to summon the true form of a silver ring. If Eragon wasn’t familiar with it, how was he supposed to summon it? But then again, maybe they were trying to kill him.

I would.

At first he thinks about summoning Aren, that magical ring he inherited from Brom but decides against it and then decides to summon Brisingr. He says its name out loud and it catches on fire. Of course.

He really should fix that.

Apparently you don’t need to know the true name of something to summon its true form.


As long as Eragon maintains the proper knowledge at the forefront of his mind, he can call Brisingr sword and get the same result. Which makes absolutely no sense according to the previously established magical system. That being: To do any sort of magic with anything you need to know its true name. To be able to create fire you need to know fire’s true name. To control a person you need to know that person’s true name. To create an object’s true self -which seems to be the ultimate trueness of trueness - you should have to know its true name. How else would you know that you’re creating its true self then?

By Glaedr’s reasoning - “the name is merely a label for the knowledge and you don’t need to know the label in order to make use of the knowledge” - completely defeats the purpose of knowing the true names of things. You know you want to create fire, so you don’t need to use the label of fire to create fire, according to this logic. You just need to see yourself or see fire being created.

This understood Eragon finds the nub in the back of his mind. Nub is a terrible word. It’s inherently ridiculous. It makes me think of bad porn where the man rubs the female’s pleasure nub. It’s also just silly sounding. Like a piece of rubber that you can flick and watch it wobble. It completely ruins the seriousness of the situation. Of Eragon trying some sort of magic that could kill him.

Which, you know, is exceptionally smart. Because he should risk his life and possibly leave everyone else without a dragon rider. I could see it being used as a last ditch gambit in combat, but to just try it now?

It’s very selfish of Eragon. He’d rather try to do this piece of magic than realize that he has a responsibility to the Varden to stay alive long enough to stop Galbatorix or Murtagh.

Still, of course, he manages it. He creates a hologram - essentially - of Brisingr, but the idea of the sword. How the sword would look like if it was exactly how Rhunon or Eragon wanted it to be. And that’s it.

The sword illusion shows up.

Eragon looks at it.

It vanishes.

And Eragon goes to sleep with the knowledge that he can create a hologram sword. Feeling exceptionally drained.

The next day Roran returns.

He gets a hero’s welcome and then everyone goes back to being bored. Eragon is happy to see him but Roran looks like shit. There’s a nice little bit of Eragon being relieved to see him. Even though he’d been scrying on him and knowing he was okay, seeing him in person - seeing his one remaining family member alive and in person - lets Eragon finally lose some anxiety he’d been carrying.

It’d be nice if we saw a bit more of that in earlier chapters, but it’s still something that’s worth putting in showing how much Roran means to Eragon.

Roran talks to Nasuada giving her his report and then she puts him in charge of a battalion. Much to Eragon’s surprise Roran isn’t happy about it. Still, Roran accepts the command without complaint. It’s a nice bit of continued characterization for Roran who has shown that he’s been a reluctant leader. But he’ll still do his duty. This at least is consistent.

Then Eragon runs into Jeod who tells him that - just in time - he’s found a secret entrance into Dras-Leona. In fact it leads right into the center of it. Isn’t that a fantastic coincidence? And lucky?


And that’s that chapter.

Overall it basically gives us a chekov’s skill. Or spell. Which we know it’s going to be useful because we spent so much time on it. And then Roran shows up and now we’re finally going to get some sort of action.

At least it was short.

Buy my book!


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Kippur Critiques Bad Books

January 2016


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