kippurbird: (Beer ghost!)
[personal profile] kippurbird posting in [community profile] kippurcritiquesbadbooks
By the Banks of Lake Leona

Yerah.

So, I started reading the next chapter, being a good little bird and keeping my momentum going… got about two pages in, got seriously pissed off, slammed the book shut and stalked off. But I have returned to the effort! And will get beyond two pages.

What, then, might you ask, had me so incensed?

Eragon’s treatment of Elva.



Let me remind you that Elva is a girl who is less than two years old who has been forced into being aged up by magic to a young girl who looks about ten by Eragon and can now feel other’s pain or something before it happens or… I’m not even fucking sure what her power is… but in any case whenever someone feels pain she feels it too and during battles is in such constant agony that she ends up being curled up in a little ball unable to do anything.

And Eragon has the gall to tell her that Wyrden’s death is all her fault because she didn’t come with them and warn him about it. Wyrden, an adult elf who has lived for centuries and knew the risks that he was taking and was a warrior and mage competent in battle, died because she a child no not even that with no combat experience, no way of protecting herself, didn’t want to put herself in a situation that the heads of the army didn’t want anyone to go into. A situation that the people going into knew they had a chance of dying but were willing to make that sacrifice for the greater good.

He saw what happened to him and Ayra when they got captured. What the hell does he think would have happened to Elva if she’d been there? They would have to have spent resources protecting her which would have also possibly lead to their capture. And if the enemy - if she is as valuable a resource as Eragon claims she is - got a hold of her then what? Then I’m sure Eragon would have beaten himself up for making her come.

But no.

An adult made a decision knowing he could die and it’s this child’s fault that he died.

Not only is this ghastly behavior on Eragon’s part it takes away the sacrifice that Wyrden did. I have absolutely no sympathy for Eragon nor am I on his side because he basically just told a child, a child that it was her fault someone died.

And when she apologizes he says they mean nothing and she should do better in the future to atone for her mistake.

Fuck, You. Eragon.

No. Actually.

He feels that upbraiding Elva makes him feel more mature.

So. Fuck you and die Eragon.

Really. I am so goddamn DONE with you. Apsositively DONE.

After he’s left a little girl in tears for something she had no control over he walks off enjoying the cool air of the camp.

Goodie.

We skip to Exposition Land where we learn that Martland Redbeard that poor dude that Roran screwed over (if I remember correctly) is given charge of Dras-Leona and the Varden start to move out.

Hurrah.

I don’t care.

The elves find Wyrden’s body and carry him out on their shields. This feels like it doesn’t belong. Let me see if I can explain why. It feels more like it belongs to the dwarven culture than the elven. It has a more Viking feel which I’ve been associating with the dwarves and not the elves who are more hippie like. More nature bent as opposed to the hard and stone bent of the dwarves which would lend themselves to shields. But it makes for a nice image in that one particular moment in time even if it doesn’t fit with what we know of the elves.

They have a funeral for him which is apparently exceptionally moving.

The elves had carried Wyrden on their shields out of the city, to a knoll next to a small creek. There they buried him while singing several aching laments in the ancient language - songs so sad that Eragon wept without restraint and all the birds and animals within hearing had stopped and listened.


So, apparently the only reason why Eragon is crying here is because the songs made him sad. And I’m just curious what about the other people around? Were they moved by the songs? I don’t particularly care for the animals but what about the people? Did the songs just affect Eragon? And if so, is this proof that he’s an unitelligent beast? (I am so not sorry for that.)

After that they plant an acorn above Wyrden’s chest and sing the acorn into a tree. Which is something Eragon likes and thinks that’s how he wants to be buried so that “his friends and family could eat the fruit born of his body”. That’s… not at all creepy… In fact he admits it’s creepy and the reason why he wants to do it is because it amused him a lot.

I’m still not really sure what to make of this…

Interestingly there’s no mention of any Varden funerals. I’m sure there were deaths and Eragon didn’t seem to be interested in visiting them or being moved by them. I guess it’s just because Wyrden was named.

Eragon also freed all the slaves. After he got Nasuada’s approval. Does that mean if she didn’t approve of it, he wouldn’t have freed them? He hoped it would improve their lives. Yeeess… because leaving them in a city half destroyed by war and the fields ruined would definitely improve their lives. I’m not saying they should have been left slaves but… I don’t know. I suppose it’s just the wording. It’s like his duty is done by freeing them and not bothering to make sure their lives will be better. He just hopes it will improve them. He’s not going to do anything to make sure it’s better.

Let’s see. What happens next. Ayra is also apparently being called shadeslayer which leads to a brief discussion on if Ayra is a princess or not. Apparently she’s not. Her mother is queen but the title that Ayra has doesn’t exactly mean princess and there’s no equivalent in the man’s language. (She doesn’t say man’s language, I just couldn’t think of a good term to use.)

After that comes a rather bizarre section where … Ayra and Eragon get drunk together.

Apparently Ayra raided Wyrden’s stuff and stole some alcohol out of his belongings… because maybe that shouldn’t go to his family? I don’t know… I don’t know why she had to have gotten it from Wyrden’s things as opposed to maybe Wyrden having given it to her. Apparently he spiked the with something else. Taking it from a dead elf’s things just sounds … creepy and disrespectful. )Arya also laughs like well-tempered steel… not sure how that’s supposed to sound.) It would have worked much better if it was something that Wyrden had given her before they left on the adventure saying they’d drink it when they got back in celebration or something like that.

They drink. Eragon notices that her hand is working. She says that she has everything back to normal except for a patch of skin on the base of her thumb where she has no feeling. She points at it with her left index finger. As opposed to just her finger. Because it’s so important we know it’s her left index finger.

Annnnd then Eragon gets high...

I just…

I don’t…

I can’t…

And Ayra knew what it would do… you… and… how is that... Okay… Okay… example time…

I’ve been reading the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson and they’re books that make the Inheritance cycle thin by comparison. They are monster bricks of books. I will admit this as a warning and The Way of Kings is a slow starter. That being said, now onto my example.

Some of the main characters, the nobility - heads of army - guys are in the middle of a war situation. The leader of one of the armies forbids his son to drink really strong wine. Why? Because they are in a war situation and therefore the commanders need to be ready to be able to take command and act coherently at a moment’s notice. The son chafes at these restrictions, but eventually comes to understand them (character development!). In this particular case the armies are at a sort of standstill … not quite siege situation. They aren’t ever attacked at their base of operations. Still the father insists on it because the point still stands. And it serves as an example for the men. Hopefully if their commanders aren’t getting smashed they will do the same.

Eragon is currently in a very active war situation. They were out of combat a few days ago. They could still be attacked. And Ayra actively and knowingly got him high. This is not a good or wise thing. This is an incredibly stupid thing and serves absolutely no purpose beyond making Eragon have some sort of enforced weakness for the next battle - as Thorn and Murtagh have shown up with soldiers and now he’s in no condition to fight. OH NOES. WHAT WILL HAPPEN!?

Gah. False needed conflict is just… stupid.

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