Here’s a question. Why is Gabby king? And I’m not asking that in the “why is there a king in charge of an empire” way though it has crossed my mind. I’m asking why does ol’ Gabs have to be in a position of authority anyway?
Ostensibly, Gabby’s goal is to remake the dragon riders. Ok, fine, we’ll pretend that’s true. What does Gabby want them for anyway? Why doesn’t he leave the capital to subjugate Eragon and Saphira right away? Why didn’t he do it months ago when Eragon was human and far more vulnerable? It seems to me it’d be easier to recreate the dragon riders by taking him in right away, no matter how much you don’t like the idea of leaving the house.
The only thing I can come up with is that Gabs is doing something with magic that requires him to stay put. And if that’s true, then Gabby didn’t need to be in charge of anything. He could have just retreated to a remote location and gotten to work. If that’s not the case, and all Gabs really wants is a new set of riders then there’s no reason he shouldn’t be out and about trying to make it all happen.
This chapter is called “fragments half seen and indistinct”. What an apt metaphor for this entire series. It’s like there are bits of interesting story buried under the elephantine mound of crap. And it didn’t have to be this way. Anyone want to bet that Chris’s parents were the kind that failed to criticize him?
Over a quarter of an hour passed before the flap to Eragon’s tent stirred and Solembum pushed his way inside, his padded feet nearly silent upon the ground.
You know, Chris. I’ve been over this before but it’s a point I really want to nail home. Giving us exact times do not make things exciting. You don’t see Michael Bay movies coming with itineraries explaining what the characters did in between scenes. There’s not a running counter at the bottom of the screen in the Bourne movies. And it’s not because either of those are impossible, it’s because it’d be boring as hell.
Solmbum comes in, plops down on a nearby blanket and starts licking his paw. Am I the only person who thinks it’s creepy watching a person in cat form licking themselves? Try picturing Solembum as a human, curled up on the floor and licking his hand while he talks to you. Yeah, that has sexual predator written all over it.
Solembum tells Eragon that he’s not a dog to come when he’s called. Remember, cats are independent. That’s why Solembum is rarely ever seen outside of Angela’s company. Eragon says he never thought that but he needs help. And Chris ensures that the vibe remains notched all the way at creepy.
Mmh. The rasping of Solembum’s tongue grew louder as he concentrated on the leathery palm of his foot.
Alright, I may have been wrong. Maybe Chris refers to dragon’s legs as paws because he doesn’t know the words for anatomy. Here’s another pro tip for you Chris, cats, being mammals, have paws. Solembum asks what Eragon wants and Eragon stops the conversation to light a lantern after saying he has to do it. Have I now stumbled upon a stream of Paolini consciousness? It seems I have.
Eragon then remarks that Solembum’s eyes were a different color and Mister Kitty changes them from blue to gold. Are we supposed to be impressed, Chris? Eragon finally gets to the point and asks if he remembers mentioning the vault. Solembum says yes but he doesn’t know what Eragon will find inside. Hopefully four plucky teenagers and an almost talking dog who’ll rip his head off and reveal him to be old man Jenkins.
Eragon grabs Solembums paw and asks how. He gets offended and tries to scare Eragon off by sticking his claws into him but Eragon just grips tighter. Eragon says no more games and Solembum says he really doesn’t know where it is, what’s inside or how to open it. Eragon makes him repeat it in the “ancient language” which is jointly referred to as the “tongue of the elves” now. Eragon wants to know who told him about it and Solembum and the explanation is so silly you have to read it.
Soon after the fall of the Riders, a certain conviction came upon the members of our race that, should we encounter a new Rider, one who was not beholden to Galbatorix, we should tell him or her what I told you: of the Menoa tree and of the Rock of Kuthian.
Eragon asks if maybe ol Gabs didn’t plant the idea in their heads. Solembum says they’re not so easily fooled which should mean that’s exactly what happened. But, Chris being his usual self, won’t allow the hero’s to be tricked or forced to use their wits. Did they try to find out who told them? Yes but they failed. How mysterious.
Solembum can’t believe their memory was altered or anything and Eragon asks why they were told. Solembum says it’s because they’ve always been an ally with the riders and they’re the wathers, the listeners and a bunch of titles that were made up the moment Chris wrote this part. Speaking of which, have you ever noticed that really impotent atristocrats always have titles that need to be trucked in wherever they go, Chris? Don’t worry, my mentioning it has nothing to do with what’s going on in the book.
So then Solembum says he might be able to show Eragon the way. Also, that he should probably take that book along. That is, the one that Jeod gave to him who know how long go at this point and I’d forgotten all about.
Eragon’s reaction to all this? To complain. He complains that Solembum didn’t mention that or the book or anything. Damn it, supporting characters, why aren’t you taking Eragon by the hand and leading him around like a child? Eragon wants more info and starts threatening Solembum by telling him that they’ll lose if he doesn’t know more.
Solembum insists that he doesn’t know and then he goes all glassy eyed. And he mentions the chapter and page number before going back to normal. Oh, and Solembum doesn’t remember telling Eragon anything about a chapter or page.
Eragon opens his book up and reads about some island that dragons used to like to hunt. Apparently the dragons liked the taste of animals that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Nice to see that they were a contributing factor in ensuring some other animal’s extinction. Then he gets to a part about a dragon rider city.
Doru Araeba! The only city in history designed to house dragons as well as elves and humans.
Hmm, interesting. Sounds like it was the headquarters of the riders and like it was pretty important. Also, being on a an island could provide a lot of tactical advantages. One, why didn’t this get mentioned before, being such an amazing and mystical place? Two, why didn’t Gabby make that his capital as he’s the only one that could get there and leave easily? Because Chris didn’t think it up until just now. Though Chris doesn’t hesitate to spew info all over us like it’s our fault he’s pulling this city out of his ass.
Upon the peaks surrounding the city, the Riders placed watch towers and eyries—to guard gainst attack—and more than one dragon and Rider had a well-appointed cave high in the mountains, where they lived apart from the rest of their order. The older, larger dragons were especially partial to this arrangement, as they often preferred solitude, and living above the floor of the cauldron made it easier for them to take flight.
First question, who were the riders afraid of, Chris? You said they were guarding against attack, from whom did they expect a formidable attack from? Hmm, could it have been because they were a bunch of power hungry tyrants who ruled by their perceived divine right and fear a rebellion? Naw, they were the very image of truth, justice and exclusive rights for anyone who wasn’t a dwarf.
Eragon stops and complains that the answer isn’t just leaping out at him and smashing his nose in with a cinder block. Solembum suggests that, just maybe, the information is a little further in. Eragon keeps reading and gets a part that mentions some spire called Vroengard which is also know as the “rock of kuthian”. Then Eragon stops, agog and can’t believe his luck.
A sense of awe and fear came over Eragon. Some person or some thing had arranged for him to learn this particular piece of information, the same person or thing that had made it possible for him to find the brightsteel for his sword. The thought was intimidating, and now that Eragon knew where to go, he was no longer quite so sure that he wanted to.
Yes, some one or some thing—it’s called a Paolini—wanted you to find this info. Eragon wonders, again, what he’ll find there but doesn’t want to speculate. Fine, then I will. I’m betting that it’ll be the place where a lot of eldunari are laid to rest and then Eragon will have everything he needs to crush Gabs.