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Fragments, half-seen and indistinct

I’ve decided I hate this chapter. It’s one of those Dues Ex Machina chapters where the characters miraculously get information without really needing to dig for it and there’s no good explained reason for it to have happened. The characters can’t explain it - just happens.

Also, for some stupid reason Solembum’s eyes change colors. I don’t care if I get an explanation later, I’m sure it’s going to be stupid. Though one thing I do enjoy about this chapter is Solembum’s continual insulting and threatening of Eragon. It’s always nice to see that happen. He threatens at one point to tear Eragon’s face off and feed his guts to the crows.

Happy thoughts.

If only it would happen.

Anyway, when Eragon asks Solembum where he got the whole prophecy thing of going to find the vault of souls and what will he find in it, the werecat says he doesn’t know. Eragon disbelieves and makes him say it in the ancient language, still, cat doesn’t know.

Apparently “Soon after the fall of the Riders, a certain conviction came up on the members of our race that, should we encounter a new Rider, one who was not beholden to Galbatorix, we should tell him or her what I told you: of the Menoa tree and of the Rock of Kuthian.”

And apparently Solembum knows it wasn’t from Galbatorix because Werecats aren’t that easily fooled.

Except that they don’t remember. AND Solembum admits that some nefarious entity could have altered their memories against their will or they agreed to have them altered for some reason or another. SO, theoretically Galbatorix could have. After all he is some nefarious entity, isn’t he? The only one we know of at least.

The excuse used for it not being Galbatorix is why would he want Eragon to find those things? My only thought is that only someone like Eragon could open this vault of souls and inside there are things that Galbatorix wants.

Oh, and Solembum managed for Eragon to have the book Domia abr Wyrda which is… I don’t remember, but I think that it was the one that told them about the sekrit passageway into the evil mountain city. Why did he do that? Because he got a FEEEEELING that Eragon should have it when they first met.

See what I mean about the whole Dues Ex Machina?

One good line, when Eragon asked if Solembum’s had some other strange feelings lately he says, “Only the urge to eat a small red mushroom, but it passed quickly enough.”


Eragon looks at the book and complains about having trouble reading because he’s a slow reader and it’ll take him forever to get through it and possibly find something useful. Which is actually a reasonable complaint, after all he is a new reader and hasn’t been reading for very long. The only problem I end up having with this is that it doesn’t become a problem for very long.


Because the Dues Ex Machina kicks in again.

Eragon struggles with the reading and wants some help in it and Solembum is being a cat’s usual helpfulness up until the point where SUDDENLY something takes over Solembum’s mind and tells Eragon what chapter, page and paragraph to look into. Of course Solembum doesn’t remember saying this.

And THEN we get this description of a city for dragons and their riders. A city so large that two dragons could walk abreast of each other easily on EVERY street, the buildings were large enough to allow most dragons inside with no problems. Okay. Something that big? I’m assuming has to be around Los Angeles in sprawl sized (not Greater Los Angeles including the Valley and stuff, just the stuff in the Los Angeles Basin).

The most notable feature of Doru Araeva, however, was its enormous scale. Every street was wide enough for at least two dragons to walk abreast, and with few exceptions, rooms and doorways were large enough to accommodate dragons of most any size.

As a result, Doru Araeba was a vast, sprawling affair, dotted with buildings of such immense proportions, even a dwarf would have been impressed.Gardens and fountains were common throughout the city, on account of the elves’ irrepressible love of nature, and there were many soaring towers among the Riders’ halls and holds.

And yet somehow Galbatorix managed to turn the entire thing to dust.

Oh my FUCKING GOD… It takes Eragon about eight paragraphs for Eragon to get to the information he needed and THEN it tells him that there’s an ENTIRE CHAPTER devoted to this Rock of Kuthian thing. WHY couldn’t the Mysterious Voice - if it’s going to be doing Dues Ex Machina tell Eragon to go to that chapter in the first place?

Because Paolini wanted to shoehorn in a description of his SUPER AWESOME CITY OF DRAGONS OHMGIAWD. Honestly that’s three pages of wasted, extraneous words because Paolini wanted a ‘clever’ way to describe his ridiculous city of dragons.


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Kippur Critiques Bad Books

January 2016


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