This is it, the last two of the book. Chris has two more opportunities to make this not suck and I have no doubt he’ll fail. Authors like Chris can be counted on to screw the pooch with such regularity that you can set atomic clocks to it.
Heck this whole battle’s premise is one big fantasy faux pas drizzled with retardation. The Varden are attacking a city that’s loyal to a lady who’s neutral. That is, she supports neither the Varden nor the Empire. Of course this means that they had to attack the city rather than, say, go around?
Why are they doing this? Is Feinster of strategic importance in launching the next attack? Do they have large supplies of plotsteel to outfit everyone with magic swords? Why not just sign a mutual nonaggression pact with the lady who runs Feinster and continue on? None of this makes a damn bit of sense but, then again, it never has. So at least Chris is keeping consistent.
These chapters are called ‘shadow of doom’ and ‘sunrise’
Arya heeded his call and loped over, her stride as graceful as a gazelle’s. She had acquired a shield, a full-sized helm, and a mail hauberk since they had parted, and the metal of her armor gleamed in the gray half-light that pervaded the city. As she drew to a stop, Eragon said, “Saphira and I are going to enter the keep from above and try to capture Lady Lorana. Do you want to come with us?”
Arya agreed with a terse nod.
Oh did she now? Why not just, she agreed or a simple yes? Nothing can be easy with you, can it Chris? And where did she find equipment that fit an elf in the heat of battle? Is it the magic sizing kind of equipment you find in RPG’s that’s pretty much one size fits all? That’s probably it.
And as they take to the air, Eragon is suddenly inside Glaedr’s mind. Apparently he too is functionally retarded. Glaedr also thinks in the unnecessary-words-strung-together-with-hyphens. I guess a hundred years wasn’t long enough to make him an educated dragon.
Glaedr and Oromis ar at Gil’ead and he remembers when it had a different name. Back when elves used to live there. Yes, but Rivendale is probably copyright so don’t think it. Also he’s mad that Oromis might have to kill Murtagh and Thorn and how sad that will be.
Wait, what? Why is Murtagh over in Gil’ead? Oh, right. Because Chris didn’t want to deal with it yet because he was sure it would be “epic” when Eragon kills him. Or maybe he’ll have a change of heart but I’m betting that Saphira and the green dragon will be the last of their kind and responsible for repopulating.
Eragon and Arya get to the top of the keep and go inside. Apparently the keep is empty because they aren’t instantly surrounded or even attacked. Maybe all the defending soldiers(Feinsterians?) are taking nap time.
Arya climbed through the window after him. She inspected the room, then gestured at the stairs in the far corner and padded toward them, her leather boots silent on the stone floor.
Now remember, elves live at peace with the world around them and don’t slaughter animals for any reason. Nope, they never eat meat and they sure wouldn’t kill an animal just for its skin. Which does leave some possibilities. I suppose Arya could have killed some humans and made them into boots but that would only serve to make her interesting, if creepy, and Chris wouldn’t allow that.
They sneak around and stop to admire some paintings before they find Lady Lorna. There are three magicians which Eragon saw earlier who are all three focused on a task that makes it impossible for Eragon to get in their heads. Lorna warns them to be quiet and says they’re busy trying to summon a shade.
Wait, what? Why should Eragon be quiet then? Why not shout and start stabbing at them? I mean, if they’re focused on summoning a shade then distracting them would be a good thing. Sure it’s not what the author and plot demands but Eragon knows how dangerous shades are. Or were before they became diluted by Chris’s incompetence.
A brief interlude in Glaedr’s head. They’re still fighting Murtagh and Thorn and they’re draining their magic reserves to do it. Oromis is confident he’ll get control of Murtagh and then he’ll make him dance like a marionette.
Unless he dies before that happens. Not that Chris would let that happen. He wouldn’t bother ensuring that Eragon and Murtagh have a shonen style battle of brother against brother. Heck they’re even red and blue.
Eragon and Arya begin hammering at the magicians with their swords, wearing them down until their Mana Shields drain the last of their MP, leaving them vulnerable. They manage to kill two of them before the spell is completed and spirits start coalescing. Again I say. What? I thought shades were the product of a human who was taken over by the spirits they summoned? Keep some damn consistency Chris!
And we switch back to Oromis and Glaedr once again. Glaedr and Thorn fight while their respective riders just hold on and wait to see who wins. Thorn and Murtagh get put in the corner, Murtagh gets mad at Oromis for not showing up earlier and then the most surprising moment of all…Gabby shows up.
Well, not quite. See, Murtagh is under mind control, something we all figured out a long time ago, and Gabs chooses to talk through him for the first time ever. Being as this is Chris, Gabby and Oromis have to stop and have a conversation. Gabby says Oromis should come on over to the dark side, they don’t have cookies but he does have a wide array of cheesecakes and tiramisu.
Gabby actually acknowledges that he’s done some bad stuff in the past but now he just wants to keep Alagaësia stable. He also says he can’t change the past. Now remember this, it will be important in the next book. That’s when Chris will try to convince us that Gabby is mad and we all know how madmen acknowledge their mistakes.
Oromis says he’ll never turn, Gabby feezes them in place then something unclear happens. Oromis loses his weapon and the source of his magic. Glaedr fights against the spell and his body dies. In a kind of freaky moment Glaedr finds himself trapped in the dark, alive and alone. It’s kind of horrifying because that means Glaedr’s mind is trapped inside a rock.
And we’re back with Eragon again and we’re not yet in the last chapter. The last magician is dead and the man who sat in the middle of the magicians, who I don’t recall Chris mentioning, is now a shade. He says their name is Varaug and to fear them. Oh, and he looks exactly like Sam the Shade. So, all shades look alike?
There’s a sort of mental battle going on and this shade is pissed. It turns out the spirits don’t like being trapped in a body. Eragon shields Arya and Saphira by firing mind bullets at the shade. They do this silent exchange while Arya grapples with him. Arya shakes him off and then stabs him in the heart. Varaug explodes and Eragon says they won because shades fight alone while they use the power of teamwork. When did this turn into an episode of Saved by theBell? Oh, and Chris? Killing off a shade less than two pages after it’s made doesn’t exactly offer real menace.
Saphira then starts mourning the death of Elf-Yoda and Glaedr by gnashing her teeth and wailing. You know, basically chewing the scenery harder than the biggest ham inHollywood. Arya asks what’s wrong and Eragon tells her.
And now we’re on the last chapter. Which means that Gabby’s appearance has come and gone for this book. So that was the best you could do, eh Chris? Have him grab the strings of his puppet and work the jaw like a megalomaniacal Jeff Dunham? That’s not a main villain, that’s a late night guest act not fit for Letterman or Leno.
The elven bodyguards catch up with Eragon and they all apologize to each other. They both made mistakes and they want to get back to being the bestest of friends. I think it might be worth mentioning that the only elf aside from Arya who has a description or name seems to be the Elfwolf. I guess Chris couldn’t think up anything else to steal so there’s just twelve other generic, blond elves standing behind Dances in Leaves staring mutely at the world and agreeing with whatever Elfwolf says because no one ever voices opinions to the contrary.
Nasuada’s second in command takes Lady Lorna prisoner and takes her to address her subjects. He says that they’ll treat her with respect. Gee, it’s a good thing that the Varden are willing to ignore all the people who got killed because Lorna wouldn’t surrender. And for those of you who remember that she swore a pact with Gabby then I ask, why didn’t he make her swear to never give up as well? Oh right, because the author didn’t think about it.
Eragon tells Nasuada everything that we already know. From what makes Gabby so powerful to what happened with Oromis and Glaedr. And of course it can’t be one of those cheap ‘Eragon told her everything about the Eldunari and the death of his mentor.’ Oh no, no one can say that Chris is one to skimp on the boring details.
Long story short, they know now that they need to get the Dragoncite away from Gabby in order to beat him. Then Saphira complains about being alone and how alone Glaedr felt when Oromis died. Saphira actually says she can understand why Gabby went mad.
First of, we get it Chris. You’re trying desperately to say Gabs is mad because motivation is hard. And secondly, why didn’t you explore that a little? Afraid you might make Gabby more interesting and, by default, a better character than your avatar? Sure, I can understand that.
Eragon goes to the top of the keep and faces the sunrise. He holds up Glaedr’s Dragoncite towards the sun and vows that he’ll kill the dark king. Wait, now he’s going to kill the dark king? What about Gabby the mad king? You can’t go adding new villains like that, Chris. It really undermines your established cannon.
And since this isn’t the latest post anymore and few people are looking at the comments… I guess I’m not too embarassed to wrap up that “Ra’zac’s egg sac” thing… sigh…
It hatched out into a bunch of little caterpillars. I tried out a bunch of different foods on them, and it seems that they’ll eat just about anything EXCEPT human flesh. I was a bit surprised that they don’t seem to resemble Ra’zac or Lethrblaka at all, but hey, insect larvae are like that sometimes.
About a month after they hatched, I contacted Scruffles through a seance. After yelling at me for interrupting his card game with Spot, Gandhi and Billy and the Kid, he informed me that instead of morphing into a Ra’zac as the result of aging, like butterfly larvae, these caterpillars will morph any time they taste human blood. In the wild this is kind of a biological indicator that tells them that human prey is available nearby, so they won’t go hungry if they go into the human-eating stage. In theory, they’ll stay caterpillars forever if they don’t taste human blood. I thanked Scruffles for his time and went on my merry way.