This chapter is called “snalglí for two “. I had to search for a bit to find the goofy í Chris used. What the hell is with Chris and accents? For those of you curious to look it up, that’s an acute accent and is used most often to denote long vowels. But I’m betting that’s just like the umlaut in Alagaёsia, it’s there because it’s “cool”.
Last chapter Eragon started a nap so, naturally, Eragon has to wake up. He looks around and tells us he can see why the riders picked Vroengard to settle on. Hint, it’s because peasants don’t own dragons and can’t get there by boat. Eragon talks about how pretty the place is for a radioactive crater.
At some point Eragon must have been a member of the Junior Chipmunks because he hears two squirrels swearing at each other. No, really. The squirrels of Alagaёsia must be the bastard offspring of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor then he considers it being something that’s merely imitating squirrel talk. I guess it’s been a few years and Eragon’s not as fluent as he used to be.
Eragon doesn’t want to wake Saphira so he tells Glaedr to keep alert while he goes off and collects firewood. That makes sense. You can create fire with magic but you’d rather go off and get some wood to burn. Is that so the plot can get forced along at gunpoint?
Eragon wanders around and keeps his bearing by using the sound of a nearby brook to figure out where he is. He comments on how the trees look different and aggressive and blah blah blah. Then Eragon does something that I’d expect from a competent author. He notices that there aren’t any animal tracks in spite of being close to the water. Being as Eragon is supposed to have been a hunter, I’d expect him to recognize animal tracks.
Eragon thinks it’s kind of odd and wonders why they’re staying away from the woods but doesn’t concern himself. He just keeps wanderinuntil he comes to a fallen log which he steps over. As he foot sinks into a pile of moss a bunch of grub worms go squirming away and Eragon can’t identify them. He puts the image into Glaedr’s search function and the old dragon, surprisingly, has no idea. Somehow he knows they’re new to Alagaёsia though and tells Eragon not to touch them because they could be more dangerous than they appear.
They should not be, said Glaedr. He sounded troubled.
And how do you know that, Glaedr? I thought you’d never seen them before. I personally wouldn’t assume that, just because I found a creature I’d never seen, that it was an abomination. Of course that’s the kind of attitude I’d expect from Chris and his characters. ‘Ew, it’s ugly and therefore abhorrent to life. Kill it, kill it a lot!’
Now why didn’t those grubs attack Eragon? There were more of them and he disturbed them in their natural habitat. They should have at least bitten the hell out of him before scurrying off. I guess they sensed that he was the main character and thought better of it.
Eragon reexamines the place he stepped and notices what he thought were branches are actually the ribcage of a deer. He decides to take greater care when walking back to camp rather than pogo sticking blind folded through the trees.
Oh, and does anyone remember Eragon’s spider senses? I can’t remember the last time it was mentioned but it was introduced back in the first book. When there’s danger nearby his palm, the one with the spiral mark, itches. Chris must have reread his first book because he keeps dropping references to it like soap in a prison shower.
Eragon heads back to Saphira, stops and washes his face and hands. Then he hears something that doesn’t bothter him. He looks up and sees four shadows sitting in the branches, thirty feet up. They have plues and glowing eyes and when they turn sideways they disappear. Oh no, it’s Ignignot and Err. Quick, fire the Quad glacier and blast Eragon off the face of the planet. They don’t and we get some hilarious narration.
The leftmost shadow ruffled its plumes and then uttered the same shrieking chatter he had mistaken for a squirrel. Two more of the wraiths did likewise, and the forest echoed with the strident clamor of their cries.
Strident, eh? Glad to see you’ve found yet more versions of strode to work into the book, Chris. And the whole ruffled plumes thing makes me picture them as shadows with ostrich feathers glued to them. So Eragon tells them, in made up space language, that he’s a rider and a friend. The screech some more and turn into shrieking owls who take off.
Eragon then grabs a few sticks for firewood, heads back to Saphira and casts a whole bunch of wards while trying not to piss himself. Blah blah blah, Glaedr suggests a ward and then Saphira complains about being hungry. Apparently she decided to nap but will need to eat before they go back across the ocean. Details we don’t care about but that should mean it’s finally time to figure out what the prize is for trading in the last plot coupon.
Or, Eragon will sit there in camp and wait for nightfall for no apparent reason. They sit and wait and once the sun is almost down, Glaedr offers to show Eragon what Vroengard used to look like. They must have a lot of free time if they just going to kill chapter, after chapter by not doing anything. It’s not like their mission is time sensitive or anything. So go ahead and take a vacation, Eragon. The whole world will surely stop and wait for you to get back on track.
The memory is short, thankfully, but no more interesting. Large buildings, lots of shiny dragons and straight trees. It’s nothing we haven’t heard of before and elsewhere. Eragon says it was beautiful and Glaedr agrees but says no more. Then Eragon sees movement and he casts a spell to “sharpen” his eyesight. This allows him to see a bunch of hooded figures walking through the ruins with lanterns. Glaedr speculates that they’re possibly humans who moved there or survivors who hid or even people who worshipped dragons. Eragon asks him if there really were such people and Glaedr tries to brush it off. He says that there were a few but they tried to discourage it. You know, in case you thought dragons would accept the free food that walked right into their mouths.
So they go to sleep in the middle of the chapter only to be woken after a small page break. What evil thing dares to interrupt Eragon’s beauty sleep? Could it be a giant grub worm poised to devour him? Perhaps a swarm of radioactive mutants fresh off the set of Omega Man? Perhaps a few owls using their Copperfield tricks to fool Glaedr? Think stupider and when you’re done, it still won’t be nearly dumb enough. Giant snails.
Not snails which are twenty feet tall or anything. Snails that are giant for snails, about five to six feet tall. Chris tries to make the terrifying by having them move as fast as a man can run but it doesn’t really work. Saphira wakes up just before Eragon is attacked and eats them. Eragon spots four more and Saphira once again partakes of escargot. Handily taking care of the enemies and her food problem in one fell swoop. She saves one for Eragon and he laughs because snail steak and eggs strikes him as funny.
Actually, he just laughs because snails are funny I guess. He keeps making half hearted jokes about stalks and who needs mead when you’ve got slime. In an ordinary book, this would just be the author injecting levity into the story. This is the only time Chris has ever done it, that I can think of, and it just seems alien. It’s like he wrote it while inhaling nitrous oxide. Though I will say this. It was far funnier and less painful than any moment that Angela appears and is “quirky”. So if Chris wants to crack half baked jokes then I say get out of his way.
And Chris kills it when Glaedr starts talking. He says that there haven’t been dragons on BVroengard for so long that they lost their fear of dragons. The implication here is that there were always giant snails that ate people. Which is apparently the case as Glaedr says they must have been descended from Snaglí which were the locals dragons favorite snack. They chuckle and say it’ll be a memorable moment.
They go back to sleep, again, and when they wake up Eragon cooks breakfast. He says the meat’s tasty and gives the rest to Saphira. Then they wait an hour because you don’t want to go into battle on a full stomach. The rules for fighting are exactly the same as swimming. Always wear your sun block and don’t go in until an hour after eating.
After their breakfast, Eragon and friends finally head towards the “rock of kuthian”. Which means that next chapter will either be Eragon finally getting to his new power/weapon or back to Nasuada for her escape. Only twenty nine chapters left to make a good impression, Chris.
Eating giant snails that live on a place full of radioactivity. Wouldn’t be that harmful for Eragon and Saphira?.
Everyone knows that radiation, like smoking, it only bad firsthand. Besides, I’m sure they cast a spell that Eragon didn’t know what it did that protects them.
don’t you dare talk about my waifu like that(Angela)