Eldest Chapter 5 & 6

This is going way better than the last book. I feel like I’m making progress and it’s only three recaps in. I’m pumped. I’m psyched. I’m so not ready to sit through the dullest dialogue ever.

These chapters are called ‘the hunted hunters’ and ‘saphira’s promise’.

We start off with Roran who’s wandering through the woods with Baldor. Usually he goes hunting with Thinningor or Comboveror. Baldor is sort of a last resort friend Roran drags along so he can pretend he doesn’t have a drinking problem.

For a long time, the pad of their feet was the only noise. “Sloan wants to marry off katrina, and not to me. Every day that passes increases the chance he will arrange a union to his liking.”

See, that’s what I hate about Chris’s characters. No one has their own voice. Roran is poor, he’s uneducated, he’s spent his life learning all about farming. Where’d he learn to articulate like that? He should speak simply, to the point. Words for a man like that should be used sparingly.

You can get away with sloppy characterization with side characters. People who’s background and life we’re not familiar with or even just in passing. But when you have a main character, and I can’t imagine Chris featuring Roran for any other reason, they have to be fleshed out more. The problem as it stands is that everyone talks the same. You could put ‘Eragon said.’ at the end of that sentence and I wouldn’t be able to tell.

Now, I’m not saying every character’s dialogue has to differ that much but, in this case, it would be fitting. All the characters so far are just animatronic dummies in the hall of Presidents, just waiting to spill their guts when someone trips an infrared sensor.

And for god’s sake, give us some emotion. Instead of having Roran tell us how much this bothers him, show us. Give us a peek inside his head. Have him do something physical like clench his fists or hit a tree. The way Chris writes this it’s like they’re all aliens or possibly Scandinavian.

‘Yes, Galbatorix killed my uncle.’ ‘That is terrible and tragic.’ ‘Yes, I felt much grief over that loss. I shed many tears which is the manner of human grieving.’ ‘True. Let me offer you human comfort in the form of an embrace.’ ‘Thank you, that would be most pleasant.’

It turns into an after school special on romance as Baldor advises Roran to try and win over her father, rather than pretending they’re engaged which will piss off the village. Why the village cares, again, isn’t established in the slightest, Roran’s thankful anyway. ‘Gee pop, thanks for the advice.’ ‘Any time son. Oh, and Beav?’ ‘Yes dad?’ ‘Tell your mother to dress in nothing but plastic wrap and meet me in the den in five.’

They stumble upon some solider and the Ra’zac. You can tell they’re under command of the king because they have Galbatorix’s symbol on their stuff. That and they’re the only army not too chicken to venture out of their hidey hole.

They’re there for Roran, it seems, he runs back to town and then hides in the woods near the ‘Spine’ where he watches them. I guess Galbatorix’s soldiers aren’t really scared of the woods as they are too lazy to go clomping around fallen logs in full armor. Someone shows up and tells Roran that the soldiers are planning on waiting oh and the Ra’zac are the Ra’zac(Roran isn’t supposed to know until that moment).

We go back to Eragon who’s oiling Saphira’s saddle and taking care not to ‘strain’ himself. I know how that goes. Just the other day I was oiling my saddlebags and I got a little too into it. Needless to say, one rotator cuff injury later, I too am taking my doctor’s advice and not vigorously rubbing things.

Eragon meets with the dwarf king who wants to know about Nasuada. Is she going to be good? Sure, why not. Onto more important matters, what about the dragon hold? The floor was a huge crystal or diamond, I’m not sure which, called Isidar Mithrim that Saphira and Arya broke rescuring Eragon from Sam. The dwarves don’t seem to know how to rebuild the dragon hold using less ornate but better materials.

‘Rebuilding the crystal will take years, perhaps even decades.’ ‘Er, have you considered using something else?’ ‘What other material could possibly support the weight of a dragon?’ ‘You mean besides the precious and semi-fragile Isidar Mithrim? I don’t know. Papier-mâché, carnival glass, crushed soda cans, or, here’s a wild idea, stone!’

Saphira says she can fix it if they find all the pieces and put it back together. I guess that lack of control over her powers is skipping this particular plot point. The dwarves throw a spontaneous party at the news. They’re celebrating the reassembly of a giant sparkly rock. Not the defeat over the Urgals or the death of Sam the Shade, a stupid gem which they could fix on their own anyway. Oh sure, Chris pretends they’re celebrating everything but what started it, huh?

Saphira gets drunk and everyone cheers. Until she rolls back her scales and shows off what passes for privates and shouts ‘whoo-hoo’ for the benefit of the Dwarves Gone Wild crew nearby. Saphira falls over and Eragon’s sciatica flares up again, causing him to fall over as well and black out. Somebody get the man a physical therapist and an orthopedic surgeon already.

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5 Responses to Eldest Chapter 5 & 6

  1. maeverin says:

    well hell, just find a bunch of sandstone and she can turn it into a big frickin diamond!

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