You know what really makes me laugh? How long it took Chris to get these books out. Eragon was first published, yes I’m counting the vanity run, sometime in 2002. Eldest was published in August of 2005. Brisingr came to market in September of 2008 and the fourth, Inheritance, is slated for November of this year. That’s three years between each novel. Subtracting a year for editing and print time from the publisher, which might be more or less accurate depending on the publisher. That’s two years that Chris had to write each one. Two years to churn out something that looks like bad fanfiction. Can you imagine what the first draft of these looked like?
Two years? I could see that if Chris had been working and going to school. That wouldn’t leave a lot of time to sit down at the keyboard. But Chris went from home-high school directly to writing and then he got published. He’s never had to work a regular job. Which should be to, some of, his advantage, he should have been able to get the second book out faster once Eragon got picked up. You would think that this would mean both quality and speed would have gone up. Heck, the two years would have been more than acceptable if he’d spent the time polishing this into a real work of fiction.
But if Chris is anything like his avatar he just kind of faffs about, doing whatever he wants until someone reminds him that he’s supposed to be some sort of author. Then he storms over to his writing corner and starts pounding the keys with his face until a couple of coherent words appear on screen. Once that’s accomplished he can go back to watching TV.
These chapters are called ‘reunion’ and ‘ascension’.
Let’s do something I haven’t done in awhile. Let’s vivisect the first paragraph of this chapter.
It was nearly a mile from where Eragon started to the south gate of Tronjheim. He covered the distance in only a few minutes, his footsteps loud upon the stone floor. As he ran, he caught glimpses of the rich tapestries that hung above the arched entrances to the corridors on either side and of the grotesque statues of beasts and monsters that lurked between the pillars of blood-red jasper that lined the vaulted avenue. The four-story-high thoroughfare was so large, Eragon had little difficulty evading the dwarves who populated it, although at one point, a line of Knurlcarathn stepped in front of him, and he had no choice but to leap over the dwarves, who ducked, uttering startled exclamations. Eragon savored their looks of astonishment as he sailed over them.
It was nearly a mile and he ran it in a few minutes. How many is a few? It’s certainly more than two or else it’d be a couple and I doubt it’s six because well trained humans can run a six minute mile easy and we all know how much better Eragon is than us weakling-flesh-bags-with-round-ears. I figure he’s supposed to be running a three to four minute mile so let’s split it and call it three and a half. That’s about seventeen miles an hour, more than quick enough to keep up with most horses, at a canter, as Chris says elves and Eragon can do.
Then how does he have time to notice the statues and tapestries? Secondly, why is he looking anywhere but in front of him when he’s going that fast? ‘Humm de dum, these statues sure are fascinating.’ ‘Watch where you’re going, idiot!’ ‘I wonder if these tapestries are historical or decoration?’ Smack, clang. ‘Hey moron, you made me drop the king’s celebratory meal!’ ‘Ooohhh, there’s someone’s pocket lint and it’s exquisite.’ Screams of children. ‘Oh my gods! Eragon trampled those orphans to death!’
Spahira lands, they hug and Eragon has his magical pet back. Saphira gets the hiccups because somehow the author thought the moment needed some humor that would fall flat on its face so we’d be glad when it was over. Then they both go to see if the stupid rock is ready to weld back together.
And one short chapter down we’re onto the next where the coronation for Orik is starting. The drums are being pounded again because apparently there’s a distinct possibility that the dwarves just plum forgot that their newest leader was being crowned today. Eragon tells Saphira to stop fidgeting while they wait.
A soft growl emanated from Saphira.I can’t help it. I have wool stuck between my teeth. Now I remember why I hate eating sheep. Horrible, fluffy things that give me hair balls and indigestion .
You know, Saphira is starting to get more and more likable as her lines start devolving into non sequiturs. Maybe from here on out Saphira will speak in nothing but bumper sticker quotes. ‘It seems Murtagh and Thorn wish to fight us, Saphira.’ ‘This is my other car.’ ‘You’re absolutely right.’ ‘Honk if you’re horny?’ ‘Er, maybe?’ ‘Proud Parent of an Honor Student at Waterbury High!’
And then some trumpets sound which is the signal for Eragon and Saphira to wander out into view. The trumpets play for a half hour as Orik steps slowly to his throne. Why does it take so damn long? Does he have arthritis? Maybe he just had hip replacement surgery and he has to take it easy for the next few weeks.
Twelve dwarf children followed Orik, six male and six female, or so Eragon assumed based upon the cut of their hair. The children were garbed in tunics of red and brown and gold, and they each carried in their cupped hands a polished orb six inches across, every orb a different species of stone.
Species of stone? Was type just too accessible for you, Chris? Was it just too easy to say something like “they carried polished orbs of stone that varied from obsidian to sandstone”? Or were you just thinking about alliteration because you just read some doctor Seuss?
A dwarf priest waves his hands and a dwarf god materializes. The god asks Orik three questions, though who knows what. I’d like to think at least on of them is ‘Are you a god?’ Orik answers and then gets the same golden helm that the dead king had.
Eragon wonders if it was a real god or something else. Saphira, suddenly intelligent again, says it’s funny how the dwarven gods never assist them on the battlefield but she isn’t sure because there are strange things in Alagaësia. Who care? We all know Chris won’t bother exploring it anyway. Then they start giving Orik gifts.
Eragon and Saphira were the last to go before Orik. Once again kneeling at the base of the dais, Eragon drew from his tunic the gold armband he had begged from the dwarves the previous night. He held it up toward Orik, saying, “Here is my gift, King Orik. I did not make the armlet, but I have set on it spells to protect you. So long as you wear it, you need fear no poison. If an assassin tries to hit or stab you or throw any kind of object at you, the weapon will miss. The band will even shield you from most hostile magic. And it has other properties as well, which you may find of use if your life is in danger.”
That might have been useful for Eragon to have had a few days ago. Why doesn’t Eragon make one of those for himself? Why does he fear assassination then? Gaghg! Stop breaking the story Chris!
Then Spahira’s turn comes up and she fixes the big rock. La dee freaking da. Then do you know what time it is? Damn straight. It’s feasting time. Eragon gorges himself on six buckets of fried chicken wings and enough Pabst to drown a hipster.
Then Eragon asks Orik about the appearance of the dwarf god. Apparently he doesn’t always give his blessing and those that don’t get it have short reigns. Orik wasn’t sure he’d get it until the crown appeared on his head. Again, what do I care? I don’t know Orik or the dwarves. They mean less to me than a preposition. I don’t give a flying rodents posterior if the dwarf god gave his blessing or, in fact, came down and told all the dwarves that they’d be played by Ewoks in the film.
What…is your name?
What…is your quest?
What…is teh air-speed velocity of an ulnaden swallow?
What if it was a/s/l?