Chapter 18: Admonishments
Having Brisingred the Urgals to death, Eragon goes to check on Brom.
There was a long, blood-soaked cut on the old man’s right arm. The wound bled profusely, but it was neither deep nor wide. Still, Eragon knew it had to be bound before Brom lost too much blood
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Do fantasy authors think micro-organisms didn’t exist until we invented microscopes? If the characters in your gritty Ye Olde fantasy world get cut to ribbons, their wounds will get infected at least some of the time. Especially if they’re travelling through deserted lands on horseback, like our heroes are doing now.
Saphira said gravely, You have grown.
Eragon leveled up!
With a few deft strokes he cleaned the cut and bandaged it tightly. I wish we were still in Palancar Valley, he said to Saphira. There, at least, I knew what plants were good for healing. Here, I don’t have any idea what will help him.
Aren’t they like a few days away? I know the valley is likely to differ in terms of flora, but you’d think knowledge of the plants in the immediate vicinity would have percolated around at least a bit. The book is acting as if Eragon and Brom have traveled across half a continent (remnants of an earlier draft, maybe?).
Somehow I’ve become a sorcerer or wizard!
‘Yer a wizard E–
No that’s too lazy, even for me.
How can I have this ability? Was it common among the Riders? And if Brom knew of it, why didn’t he tell me? He shook his head in wonder and bewilderment.
Eragon thought about how he was now a sorcerer or wizard. Having finished this, he wondered how he had become a sorcerer or wizard. Then he shook his head and experienced the following emotions.
For some reason Brom starts admonishing Eragon (hence the chapter title) for using magic, even though he made it pretty clear that he didn’t actually do it on purpose. But whatever, I guess we need some character conflict to liven up the story. Lord knows it needs the help.
Take a look at the following conversation:
“Well, I have used it, and I may need it to fight again. But I won’t be able to if you don’t help me. What’s wrong? Is there some secret I’m not supposed to learn until I’m old and wise? Or maybe you don’t know anything about magic!”
“Boy!” roared Brom. “You demand answers with an insolence rarely seen. If you knew what you asked for, you would not be so quick to inquire. Do not try me.” He paused, then relaxed into a kinder countenance. “The knowledge you ask for is more complex than you understand.”
Your deeds are limited by your strength, the words you know, and your imagination.”
“What do you mean by words?” asked Eragon.
“More questions!” cried Brom. “For a moment I had hoped you were empty of them. But you are quite right in asking.
Brom tells Eragon he shouldn’t use magic but won’t explain why, gets angry when he naturally asks for more information, throws him a few scraps of meaningless nonsense, gets angry again when Eragon asks for clarification, and then tells him that actually he was justified in asking and proceeds to give him some of the information he just claimed was too complex to tell him.
Worst mentor ever.
Eragon being able to use magic at all feels a bit much, given that he also seems to have elven blood or something, and is the first new dragon rider in umpteen years. It would be like if Luke Skywalker simultaneously became a Jedi and an assassin, or if Harry Potter was both a wizard and a vampire.
Brom goes on to explain that magic in this world is name-based so hooray, we’re getting more Earthsea rip-offs again. “Brisingr” is the name of fire (and also the name of the fourth book in Christopher Paolini’s acclaimed Inheritance cycle series, which is available for purchase in a wide range of both digital and physical formats).
Brom is a magician! That’s how he was able to light the fire on the plains. He doesn’t just know about magic; he can use it himself!
Eragon’s eyes widened. You’re right!
Ask him about this power, but be careful of what you say. It is unwise to trifle with those who have such abilities. If he is a wizard or sorcerer, who knows what his motives might have been for settling in Carvahall?
Why can’t the characters agree on what magic-users are called? Why do they keep saying “wizard or sorcerer”, is there a difference?
“Where did you learn to use magic?”
“That is one fact I’ll keep to myself. . . . Suffice it to say, it was in a remote area and from a very good teacher.
Nobody talks like this. “I learned it from someone else” would have been a perfectly decent explanation; the rest only makes sense if you assume that he’s deliberately trying to sound mysterious.
Brom raised his hands. “Most of the time you don’t. That’s why magicians have to know their limits well
So magic-users are called magicians? Have we settled the matter now? Brom is one, so presumably he’d know.
As they spread out their blankets, Saphira commented with satisfaction, We are becoming more powerful, Eragon, both of us. Soon no one will be able to stand in our way.
It’s a little early to be going all Anakin Skywalker, Saphira.