Flight of Destiny
Sounds like there might be some adventure in this chapter!
Well, sort of. Eragon runs back home to warn Garrow about the evil dudes in town, but Saphira freaks out at their presence. He jumps on her back to try to calm her down and she takes off with him into the mountains, where they have to land and shelter for the night to stop Eragon from freezing to death.
I do like how Saphira has so far been presented as not possessing a personality and intelligence that’s entirely human-like. Her reaction to sensing the evil dudes is very animalistic, and while she’s able to comprehend the fact that whisking Eragon off was a bad idea, it takes a while before he’s able to express that idea in a way she understands.
(That’s all that happens, despite the overblown chapter title)
The Doom of Innocence
Are you serious
Will you take me home? he asked her. She cocked her head. I know you don’t want to, but you must. Both of us carry an obligation to Garrow. He has cared for me and, through me, you. Would you ignore that debt?
Eragon really doesn’t sound like a teenager. Actually he doesn’t sound like a real person, period.
Her thoughts reached him, red with anger. Blood will meet blood. I will fight. Our wyrds—our fates—bind us, but try me not. I will take you because of debt owed, but into foolishness we fly.
Hark! Thine yonder dialogue apes too strongly the imagined turgid sesquipedalian manners of old!
Flying on Saphira is actually quite uncomfortable for Eragon because her scales are super-sharp and cut his legs up something fierce. I’m always fascinated by how dragons are depicted as basically chimera of several different animals– most of the time snakes, big lizards, and bats. This business with the sharp scales seems to come from something like these guys.
The book cover actually makes Saphira look pretty stupid, now that I think about it.
When he spotted it, fear jolted him. A black plume with orange flames dancing at its base rose from the farm.
Pieces of debris that he could not have moved normally now seemed to shift on their own accord. A cupboard, mostly intact, stymied him for a second, then he heaved and sent it flying.
Is Eragon getting super-strength now, or is this just supposed to be him hulking out from desperation?
Garrow is still alive despite being all burned up, so Eragon and Saphira decide to fly him to the nearest healer. This exhausts her to the point that she has to stop well before their destination, and Eragon drags him the rest of the way.
He gritted his teeth and began to drag Garrow down the road. The first few steps sent an explosion of agony through him.
This reminds me of a certain scene at the beginning of the Eye of The World where Rand drags his injured dad into town and it’s all grueling and shit. But I guess it’s not particularly fair to accuse Eragon of copying it, since they’re both just using variations of common tropes like the hero’s idyllic hometown getting attacked and his father/mystery uncle being murdered at the start of the adventure.
Despite what this chapter’s title would have you believe, there’s not a whole lot of innocence being doomed. In fact, we don’t even learn Garrow’s fate here, as Eragon sees Brom running toward him and then blacks out from exhaustion.
Is that the name of Eragon’s high school band?
Dreams roiled in Eragon’s mind, breeding and living by their own laws.
Some of these dreams that are breeding and living by their own laws involve elves, which I assume means Eragon is having visions of the past for some reason. That’s the sort of ability that just comes with being a main character in a fantasy novel.
A man stood alone on the pebble beach, the only one who had not boarded the ship. He threw back his head and let out a long, aching cry. As it faded, the ship glided down the river, without a breeze or oars, out into the flat, empty land. The vision clouded, but just before it disappeared, Eragon glimpsed two dragons in the sky.
Eragon wakes up in the home of Gertrude, the town healer, who informs him that he’s been unconscious for two days and Garrow isn’t doing well. Why was Eragon out for that long? All he did was drag Garrow for a bit and fly around on Saphira.
Garrow lay on a bed piled high with blankets.
She just said he’s got a fever, why is she putting a load of blankets over him?
Eragon blathers for a while with a bunch of unimportant side characters, then contacts Saphira with dragon-telepahy to tell her that adventure isn’t going to be happening any time soon.
The Madness of Life
Okay now the book is just trolling me
Eragon wakes up in the middle of the night to find that Garrow has died. That’s all that happens, the chapter is like a page long.
We’ve now moved to the point in the typical Hero’s Journey plot where ADVENTURE starts, and the next chapter is really long, so maybe the book will stop boring my socks off soon.