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Infidels on the Loose

In this chapter we learn that Angela is an ever bigger Mary Sue than Eragon - which is saying something.

Angela comes striding in and covered in blood, which Eragon suspects isn’t her own. Because Angela is Just That Good. She’s only got cuts and scratches after getting kidnapped by those guards. Though, one would assume, since she’s been cut, that the cuts bled somewhat and so there is blood on her clothing. She says the boy is an idiot because he didn’t know that he just had to break the crystals surrounding them. I’m sure that’s something they taught novitiates. “Here’s how you break our special structures”! As opposed to “these are holy objects, don’t touch”. But Angela knows it so obviously everyone else should. Though we have no indication that Eragon does.

The baby Ra’zac are easily dispatched by Solembum and Eragon. So, I guess they really weren’t much of the threat they were made out to be. But, then again, the threat might have been much different when Eragon and Ayra were chained up as bait.

Ayra’s wrist is hurt having yanked it through the chains right before Angela showed up so they heal it up but can’t heal it up all the way as neither of them are good at fixing nerves and stuff. They say that they need Blodhgarm’s help to fix the hand the rest of the way. Which makes me wonder if they’d need his help to fix the harelip the baby had way earlier in the book, because I’m certain that included nerves. Though she says she can’t seem to repair them so either there is something malicious at work, plot convenience or it doesn’t matter because we won’t hear about this again after this chapter or the next are done.

They talk abit about what needs to be done - ie getting their stuff back . Eragon mentions his magic belt and Angela is actually surprised about something! She thought it was lost four hundred years ago. Figuring that the youth’s knowledge of the area would be the best way to get their stuff back they try to wake him up, which he doesn’t, so Angela reads his mind without a single bit of “I hate to do this but…” Not only that but she did it without his consent! Sure, he was knocked out but she’s an herbalist, couldn’t she have had some herbs that she could have used to wake him up like smelling salts or something.

Have we ever actually seen her practicing herbalism?

I can’t remember.

And, we’re supposed to believe it’s okay because Angela discovers he’s “a self-absorbed little wretch”. So, clearly he deserved to have his mind violated like that.

Of course, Eragon and Arya say nothing about this. It’s perfectly okay with them.

Angela wants to go and leave the boy there and Eragon protests, saying that they have to take him with them in a very interesting way. That is he says, “We have to bring him with us.” Eragon hated to say it, but duty compelled him. “I promised I would if he helped us.”

Duty compelled him. Not honor. Not even because it was the right thing to do or because he wanted to do it. He’s only doing it because he promised to do it. Which means he’d normally be quite happy to leave the boy where he lay without a second’s thought. Which is a sort of lawful evil thing to do. To bring in D&D terms here. In fact he hated the need to say it. So, he rather would not have said, “let’s take this poor sod with us so horrible things won’t happen to him and because we promised to do so.” While we’re supposed to be glad that Eragon is demanding to take the boy with them, the fact that he hated to say that they should take the kid with him brings it down and twists it away from something good. You shouldn’t hate having to do the right thing with someone like that. If it was Galbatorix that would be another matter altogether, but it’s not. It’s just some kid who got put into a position he didn’t want to be in. His parents sent him to the priesthood. He had no choice in the matter.

Angela even says that trying to free Eragon and Arya was probably “the first time in his life he’s ever done something of his own accord”. So, he’s this guy who's been told what to do all his life and sure, he’s self-absorbed, but that doesn’t make him a bad person. Hell, as Angela is supposed to be one of the heroes she shouldn’t even be saying they shouldn’t take the guy.

Our Heroes everyone. Willing to let an innocent die because it’s inconvenient to take him and only doing so because its their duty to do so, not because it’s the moral thing to do so. The right thing do so.

And then we get to Angela’s sword. Angela’s beautiful, wonderful, why does it exist, sword. This is her crystal sword which - we learn - can cut through anything and she prefers to call it Tinkledeath. First off, Tinkledeath is a stupid name. Second off it’s a mashing of the names Twinkle and Icing Death, the pair of scimitars that belong to Drizzit Do’Urden. Twinkle is also a stupid name for a sword, by the way. Angela calls the sword Tinkledeath because that’s “the sound the blade makes when you tap it.” Which apparently is a “high-pitched note that pierced the darkened chamber like a ray of sunshine”. High pitched noises sound like death? And doesn’t tinkle indicate more of a ringing noise, like a bell? A very delicate noise like the bells on a horse’s harness or on a tambourine. In Edgar Allan Poe’s poem the Bell’s he describes sledge bells as such: “...What a world of merriment their melody foretells!/ How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,/
In the icy air of night!” Merriment doesn’t seem like death.

Thirdly, the fact that is made of crystal is reminiscent of Rand al’Thor’s sword in the Wheel of Time series known as Callandor which is also known as the “sword that is not a sword”. So, so far this sword is stupidly name and stolen two other swords aspects.

Fourthly, and here I had a bit of an issue trying to figure out where it got stolen from, the sword can cut through almost anything. My first instinct was that of a lightsaber which can do such a thing. But my second thought is that of Death’s scythe from Reaper Man. I feel this way because of how Angela describes the blade, which “is the ultimate embodiment of an incision-making instrument“ and “is the archetype of an inclined plane”. While the inclined plane makes me think of a ramp or a triangle, the description of archetypes and ultimate is reminiscent of Death’s scythe that it was “so sharp that it began to possess, not just a sharp edge, but the very essence of sharpness itself, a field of absolute sharpness that actually extended beyond the last atoms of metal” which does sound like an archetype, doesn't it? Essence and archetype are fairly similar in ideas. So, three things.

Which might not have been so bad if he didn’t obviously steal them. In the ancient language it’s named “Albitr” which is much more original and takes away from the stealing. Naming it that brings attention to it. Making it an archetype of incline plane (which is … what the fuck!?) also does so. However, if someone isn’t familiar with such things it would easily get a pass (except, I hope Twinkledeath being considered a good name, because that is stupid.)

Enough on that before I start to froth some more. They leave and run into twenty guards. Before Arya, the guards, and Eragon can react the guards all fall dead, having been stabbed in the eye. Angela had somehow sped up her time which allowed her to move faster. Because time is motion and motion is heat. And heat and energy are different names for the same thing. I honestly can’t follow the reasoning of that. Mostly because I’m fairly certain time isn’t motion. You can stop time - in fantasy/science fiction - sure and things stop moving but that doesn’t mean time is motion, does it?

I don’t know and it makes my head hurt.

After that random encounter they don’t run into anyone else though they pass through a lot of rooms (no stool with two legs though) with stuff in them. Bookcases, tapestries, random doo-dads and whatchamacalits. It looks like a place that should have more people than they encounter in it. And with all the stuff inside of it, it makes me wonder how more people didn’t know it existed. These secret tunnels or what not are very well used if they’ve got desks and stuff.

Eventually they get out and end up on the altar of the Great Evil Mountain Worshiper’s Cathedral. Right in the middle of a ceremony. With the high priest right there.

Fight Scene Ensues.

Stupidity also ensues. Really. Like one priest whose magic shield protects here against swords but not fists. In fact the text says, “for whatever reason, the spell did not stop his fist…” I believe “for whatever reason” actually translates into “because the author said so”.

Angela manages not to get caught by an immobilization spell and does a very sort of … Doctory Thing. She tells the high priest that if she knew who she was, he’d never dare attack them. She whispers her name, scares him silly, and then kills him. I say it’s a very Doctor Sort of Thing because he’s not above making a bunch of badass boasts just involving his name like that. Though he usually says it out loud. Also, I’m sure there are quite a few other people who are like that too, but I can’t think of them at this moment in time.

Date: 2015-02-21 03:37 am (UTC)
albijuli: (hate sink)
From: [personal profile] albijuli
I'm using "Twinkledeath" for my next MapleStory character. (If someone else hasn't beaten me to the draw, anyway.)


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Kippur Critiques Bad Books

January 2016


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