Eragon Chapter Eighteen

Eragon Wakes: 11

There seems to be an unspoken rule among fantasy author’s, especially amateurs(having done amateur fantasy I should know), that you can’t have regular names for anything. Borrow liberally from Germanic or Klingon if you have to, make it uncomfortable to say and either guttural or flowing. Load a blunderbuss full of punctuation and fire it at a school bus full of letters. Discard the broken and keep those that survived scared for life as your pets for they will be the new labels of your world. And don’t forget to grab those bookend consonants that don’t see a lot of use, I’m looking at you Z.

I say this because this chapter is called ‘revelation at yazuac’. On that note I’ve got to say I feel for Chris here. It is hard to try and come up with names in a fantasy setting. You don’t want to go the route of Otis and sound so juvenile that toddlers are asking if you’re mentally deficient. On the other hand you don’t want to make up the clumsiest name and break the suspension of disbelief. The worst part is no matter how awkward it is to say if you type and say it enough to yourself it becomes natural so you don’t think about it. You know like when, say, you’re writing a book.

The blame is partly to lay at rest on Tolkien’s shoulders. Because of his seminal work and the others that followed it doesn’t feel right to have plain or simple names in fantasies. It feels downright strange to try and call a range of mountains something that doesn’t sound like a dog coughing up a Latin dictionary. So, for just this one recap, I’m going to skip the complaints against the names. Besides, there’s plenty else to dig at.

Eragon start off whining, big shocker I know, about being thirsty. They got some water from the storm but not enough. They keep riding though towards, ugh, Yazuac. Brom decides to ride at night because he knows how to get there by stars.

Ohh, well mister fancy pants former dragon rider picked up a star chart once. ‘Well, I needed to know the constellations for some of my stories.’ Yeah? Well I bet you can’t navigate your way out of a lame story, can you? ‘Well, no. I’m not like a freakin’ wizard or anything.’

“The Ninor River,” said Brom, pointing at it.

Yes, Brom is still fascinated by flowing water. Just take him near a stream and he’ll spend hours running up and down the banks, staring down at that strange man who looks up at him and barking. You have to be careful though, when he finally builds up the courage to try and bite he’ll drown himself doing it.

Then we get ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this.’ Okay, not the line itself just the character mentioning that, hey there aren’t any dogs barking and shouldn’t have someone seen us by now. Also, does anyone find it strange that there are hundreds of crows circling above the town? Nah. They’re probably just a bunch of Brandon Lee fans.

Tears blurred Eragon’s vision and he tried to look away, but the dead faces held his attention. He stared at their open eyes and wondered how life could have left them so easily. What does our existence mean when it can end like this? A wave of hopelessness overwhelmed him.

I like how Eragon takes every opportunity to turn into an angsty teen that’s just discovered French Noir and clove cigarettes.  ‘We are born astride a grave, clawing frantically at the world as we cling to our fragile lives…Man these cigarettes really aren’t that good.’

And it’s an ambush as well. Some orcs, I mean urgals, are waiting. There’s a short fight where Eragon gets cornered but then he remembers the key to all heroes strength, boundless anger. The rage at his stupid name builds until he releases it with a magic word which makes the urgals heads explode. Okay, he shoots an arrow that makes their heads explode but there is magic involved. True to his nature Eragon passes out. Oh, I can’t wait to update the counter next time.

<<Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Nineteen>>

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