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To Feed a God

The thing I really hate about this chapter is that it reinforces the whole beauty = goodness theme that’s been riding through the series. Because the one person who decides to help Eragon and Arya is one of the beautiful youths novitiates as opposed to the ugly and maimed ones. (Also those oiled slaves from book three show up again.)

Apparently Eragon passed out again. I don’t remember if I’ve been keeping track of these things yet. I guess he failed his jump check. He wakes and discovers he’s been strung up in chains. Also gagged. While this means he can’t talk this entire chapter, we’re stuck in his head. Not that much is going on there. He’s also been stripped to his leggings with all his weapons, armor, shiny magical objects have been taken away from him.

One of the odd things going on here is the fact that when Eragon first comes around we learn that, because of the change of light sources, it’s gotten brighter, I’m assuming because Eragon can see things better. Yet for some reason that “details that had been obscure now seemed sharp and vivid, while others that had been prominent were subdued”. This is odd, to me because why, if you can see things better, would things that had been sharp before suddenly not be so sharp? I know that he’s going for contrast but perhaps discussing colors might be a better thing to use for contrast. While he initially does start talking about the colors having changed he goes into the details of the stone blocks in the ceiling and other structures in the room.

Ayra is next to Eragon, also in the same position, but I’m not sure how much clothing she’s wearing. Again one of those odd little things. It seems like that if Eragon was so infatuated he’d be noticing details about Arya not wearing as much clothing and what her body looked like underneath the clothing - any possible scars or things like that. But her physical state doesn’t get much description beyond her having a cloth ball gag in her mouth much like Eragon. We can assume that she’s stripped because Eragon is, but since we’re not told as far as the audience is concerned she’s still got all her stuff on. It’s like the whole “If there’s no body they’re not dead” trope in Science fiction and fantasy fiction. If we’re not told she’s stripped to her underthings, then we don’t know for sure. This isn’t one of those things that should be assumed. So, we’re left with the being told that Eragon is infatuated with Arya, but when given the chance to see, we don’t.

What does get Eragon’s goat is when he notices that she’s bleeding from scrapes in her skin from the manacles. Then he goes all RAR and tries to free himself. It doesn’t work. He tries to cast himself free. It doesn’t work. It seems to backfire on him and he’s in pain. Yay! Also, returning to the idea that Eragon doesn’t really see Arya as a person, he finds no comfort in her being there, as he finds himself feeling incredibly alone. You’d think that at least he’d find some comfort with her there.


After hanging around for a while (hah) the Bad Guys show up all ceremonial like. You’ve got the pretty novitiates, the priests wearing robes of leather (that’s got to be hot) that are all crippled and then the high priest who’s got to be named Bob (cookies to anyone who gets that). He’s got a crest on his head.

Just a crest.

Don’t know what it’s made of. Or what it looks like. Just a crest. Let’s go with a cockatoo crest.

So, Bob, the cockatiel resting on his beir carried by oiled slaves (see, Eragon notices this detail but not the state of Ayra’s clothing)l does the whole Bond Villain Speech and is filled with typical Bond Villian Stupidity saying that Eragon has killed his gods and so he’s going to let his gods kill him and then leaves.

Another interesting thing of note is that all the novitiates are pretty young men but there are women among the ranks of the cripple. Now, it could just be there’s no pretty young women in this group of novitiates, but I don’t think there were any in the group we saw in Brisingr.

After they leave and the eggs are left, Eragon starts panicking and one of the pretty boys returns. This is after Eragon decides to yank his hands through the manacles but Ayra beats him to it first. The youth is described as being “slight, with large eyes and delicate features; it seemed obvious to Eragon that he had been chosen for his position because of his appearance.” Ah! And this proves that the Evil Mountain Worshipers (Okay, they’re not really - as they say the worship the Raz’ak, but my way is funnier) are evil. They take pretty people - who are good - and pervert them into evil - by maiming them. The boy promises to help them if they take him with him as he hates it there. Notice that none of the maimed people who possibly don’t want to have another limb removed come to rescue Eragon and Ayra. It’s the pretty untouched boy, who does. The one who hasn’t really touched evil and realized how bad it is.

He’s also an idiot as he has to be told that he needs to ungag them and when trying to file away their chains he doesn’t keep the file on the same link apparently. When the eggs start to hatch the boy decides that the best way to save them is to kill them as there’s nothing else he can do.

But then he’s knocked out by a rock thrown by Solembum. And here Angela and the werecat show up for a miraculous rescue! Just in time!

Buy my book!
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Kippur Critiques Bad Books

January 2016


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