Inheritance Chapter 69

Well this is just great. Ten chapters to go and the head boss is already dead. And Eragon only met with him for two chapters. The fights between Eragon and Murtagh were handled with literary dignity on par with the greats compared to the confrontation between Gabby and Eragon. Basically all Eragon did was show up, babble at Gabby and then use the Care Bear stare to make him repent. So what are these last ten chapters devoted to?

This chapter is called “death throes”. Which doesn’t really fit because Shruikan died without ceremony and Gabby exploded. And I’m pretty sure a bad guy that explodes can’t have any death throes. But being as we just watched the bad guy go nova, we’re shifting perspectives over to Roran. He’s busy sitting around giving orders and telling us about his healed body.

Four of the elves had carried him out of the city, where they could use magic without fear of Galbatorix’s enchantments distorting their spells. They had healed his dislocated arm and broken ribs, as well as the other wounds Barst had inflicted, although they warned him that it would be weeks before his bones were as strong as before, and they insisted that he remain off his feet for the rest of the day.

Wait, what? Since when have people had to wait for their bones to get stronger again? Through out the entire series, people have been getting beaten up, healed and thrown right back into the fights. Since when have bones obeyed special rules where healing them fixes a break but leaves them weak? My guess is Chris just learned that bones aren’t just fine once a fracture heals.

Roran ordered the elves to take him back or he’d walk back. So they carried him back and headed off to take a shower to wash the stink of human off. The Varden have basically had everything under control without his meddling as evidenced when we learn that they’ve taken over a third of the city after Barst was killed. So clearly, the situation now calls for Roran to wade in and ruin things.

There’s a brief moment of drama where we’re told they’ve lost many and the dead are lying in the streets while the gutters run red with blood. You can almost picture Ken Burns “Civil War” playing in the background as Chris scribbles along with his hunk of charcoal. Then we’re told that’s okay because the recent victories have heartened the men. ‘Sure there are all sorts of dead people near me. I’m not letting things like that get me down. After all, we’ve won a couple of battles.’

Also, the Roran feels the need to mention about how the elves are dangerous when their bloodlust is up. Never forget the elves are better than us, always bow to them as is their due and you’ll never leave their presence without your head. One of them was even kind enough to carry Orrin out of the city when he took a bolt in the chest, even though he was in the middle of fighting! How nice of the elf to take a braek from slaying humans to save one of them.

Roran sends some guy to go look for soldiers—whether or not he’s looking for lone surviving Varden or loose bands of Imperials is up for debate—and starts wondering where Eragon is. No one’s seen him in awhile, lucky bastards. Here we’ve been following him and his dull tale while all these side characters get to spend most of their day, Eragon free.

Roran speculates on whether or not Gabby has fled but doubts it. Then someone stops by to deliver a tweet for Roran. They found Martland and he sent a message along that they’ve cleared the baths and they’re headed to check all the local strip clubs but still no sign of rouge Imperials. Roran asks for an update about more places we know nothing about that are between the baths and the wall when the underling is interrupted. Speaking of places we know nothing about, how does Roran know where all these things are?

A muffled roar from within the stone hill interrupted the man.

Never have I been so glad as now to have a random explosion appear. Ok, it’s not really an explosion as it is a muffled roar. Roran, using the detective cap he borrowed from Sherlock, deduces that it’s Shruikan because only he could have gotten so loud. Roran seems to have a rather intimate knowledge of dragons for a guy who was farming turnips not that long ago. Besides, don’t dragons have all sorts of unknown powers? I thought Eragon knew that dragons had unlisted abilities which means it’s pretty common knowledge.

They hear some roaring and Roran says to “kill the bastard”. I assume that’s the demon talking, the one that possesses him and forces him to kill hundreds of mooks to sate its bloodlust. The random Varden asks if Roran thinks he needs their help. Roran says there’s nothing they could do which is mighty convenient. How does he know that a couple of arrows to Shruikan’s eye wouldn’t give Eragon just the distraction he needs? Just as the nameless is asking if the elves could do something, this happens.

The ground rumbled and shook; then the front of the citadel exploded outward in a wall of white and yellow flame so bright, Roran saw the bones within the archer’s neck and head, his flesh like a red gooseberry held before a candle.

Ok. I keep saying I’m not an expert or anything but if a light were bright enough to make someone seni-transparent, it’d probably blind you. Even assuming it wasn’t hot enough to flash fry you or the shockwave didn’t pulverize you or anything else.

Chris at least nods in the direction of reality. Roran grabs the nameless man and uses him as a human shield. Very heroic, Roran. He dives with him to the ground and there’s a “blast of sound” that hits above them then debris starts raining down while the earth quakes. When Roran gets up, it’s basically any scene from a war movie where a mortar explodes right next to the cameraman.

Let’s see, Roran’s temporarily deaf and there’s blood coming from one ear. The guy he used to shield himself is alive while Chris pretends that Roran was doing it because he wanted to save the man. The air is dusty and the gate is on fire and there are dead bodies everywhere. The picture is pretty clear, not because Chris is a good writer but because the image of a grey, smoky and burning city is etched clearly into our minds from pop culture but at least Chris doesn’t embellish it. Less of his writing is always better.

Suddenly, Roran remember the stone shelf above them. Great granite shelves, Batman! A possible calamitous crashing cover hanging above the city?! He decides they need to evacuate quickly in case it comes down and turns them all into bloody pancake batter. He looks back at the palace and whines “Eragon!” because he’s sad that his cousin might be dead. ‘Oh, yeah. I just remembered, I have a relative and stuff. I should feel sad… Well, that’s enough of that.”

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