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The Tolling of the Bell & Black-Shrike-Thorn-Cave

… Wow. This chapter is so short… I mean, I haven’t seen a chapter this short in a while. It’s less a chapter and more of an afterthought. If I realized that I would have included it with the previous chapter, after all it’s mostly a clean up of the battle.

And that’s basically what happens. They go and search the area after killing everyone to recover their weapons which just happen to be laying around the chapel. As you do. Just like in a video game. They find his sword under a bunch of bodies, the ring Brom gave him under a pew and his necklace wrapped around the handles of the bier. Ayra’s sword is also found among the bodies, but the belt wasn’t there. When he tries casting a spell to find the belt he can’t find it. So basically, the bad guys took all of their shiny magical objects but hid only one of them. The others they just left lying around for no particular reason. Why didn’t they hide all the shiny magical objects?

Well, I imagine part of it is so Ayra could say that the belt has been missing before so they’ll find it again but they must flee. And so that way it feels like Eragon is making a sacrifice in his power levels by leaving it behind - even though he still has his shiny magic sword and ring and necklace. He also feels guilty about losing it because “It seemed almost sacrilegious to abandon the belt when so many creatures had died to fill it with energy”. As opposed to those poor creatures he just killed…? Honestly, this double standard is just driving me buggy. The animals - who were being killed anyway for dinner - gain more sympathy than the human lives he’s killed. Why? Because the humans were obviously evil and the animals were innocent.

Eragon contacts Saphira and tells her what happened as well as saying that Nasuada should start her attack at the south gate and that “If the Varden aren’t there when we open it, I don’t know how we’re going to escape”. Which is assuming they’ll make it to the gate first or through the city alive. But we’ve already learned in earlier chapters that once you break into a city, it’s generally empty except for a few roaming XP encounters worth of guards.

Onto the next chapter!

This one is told from Saphira’s POV so we’re going to get a lot of Descriptions - dashed - words - to -describe -simple - things -shit in it. Fun things like “Morning-air-off-water” and “rat-nest-city”. Which I believe is “fog” and “rat infested”. This one is also, essentially one long fight scene between her and Thorn. Which isn’t to bad.

Some of these over dashed things are a bit silly. Like instead of saying “Eragon’s half brother Murtagh” we get “Eragon-half-brother-Murtagh”. And Elves are elves but humans are “two-legs-round-ears”.

She has complicated feelings about Thorn and she gets all confused and stuff. It’s like she’s got a crush on him or something. I’m not sure. Still more things are a bit strange things about her thoughts. Because she’s the last female dragon “she wanted those who saw her to marvel at her appearance and to remember her well, so if dragons were to vanish forevermore, two-legs would continue to speak of them with the proper respect, awe, and wonder”. I can see wanting dragons to be remembered for being so awesome but what does that have to do with her being the last female of her kind? (Also, if you kill everyone there’s not going to be anyone left to remember you, just a thought.)

I suppose I keep on harping on this wanton killing from Eragon, Arya and the others because of how the book wants us to look at them: as heroes. Good, wonderful and classic heroes and yet… Saphira quite happily sets buildings on fire, just for good measure. It doesn’t really matter, because only NPCs live there.

It reminds me of a dilemma one of the PCs in my D&D game is having, of sorts. He wants to see himself as the Classical Hero - like Captain America. (I don’t use Captain America lightly, the player calls his fighter, who uses only a round shield Rogericus Stephan.) However he keeps on doing actions that aren’t very Captain America like. Including stealing a tooth that was the only thing protecting an area from getting burned up and destroyed by a beholder. Now, my character didn’t protest this sort of thing, because he’s neutral and doesn’t think of himself as a hero, more as a guard or a soldier trying to get things done. He knows he’s no where near being a hero like Captain America, nor does he want to be. However, the players try and remind Rogericus’ player that he’s not acting very Heroic at times and when he gets confused as to why people don’t see him as heroic we remind him why. (His player is somewhat erratic with his view of reality. NICE GUY, but outlier.) So, I the reader, am seeing Saphira much like I’m seeing Rogericus in game. Her author tells me she’s heroic, but then she’s burning down houses of NPCs who don’t matter. However while in my D&D game there are consequences for his actions from the NPCs there aren’t any for Saphira and the others.

Other interesting thing of note. Saphira calls Ayra “dragon-blood-elf-Ayra”. Why would Ayra be called dragon blood? I’m not sure. I have no idea if this has anything to do with that last egg rolling around. I guess we’ll see.

I will say that this chapter does have my favorite line so far in the book: “[Eragon] was a fierce hunter, but he was small and easily squished.” Yeeess…. let us squish him….

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Kippur Critiques Bad Books

January 2016


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