The Epistler Shreds Eldest: Deluxe Edition Edit
The Epistler extends his apologies to his readers for the delay. He was unable to obtain a copy of the Deluxe Edition of Eldest until very recently, when he was able to obtain the services of a good medium and pay a visit to the land of the living, where he was finally able to view a copy of the dreaded tome and take some notes on which to base this next Epistle, which he wrote mostly because his readers were calling for him to do so. The Epistler was impressed by the cover of the Deluxe Edition, which was fairly similar to the standard cover of the Red Brick, but decorated with some rather nice gold leaf. Of course, even dog droppings on toast can look nice if properly garnished. Inside was the same inane, overlong, atrociously written book the Epistler read some time ago, but now accompanied by the following titbits:
-A drawing of a very bored-looking Glaedr, drawn by the legendary (and inexcusably wasted) John Jude Palencar
-A drawing of Brom’s ring, done by the Author, Christopher Paolini, Himself. The Epistler will say, however, with perfect sincerity, that the drawing was very good. It would seem that Paolini is a much better artist than he is a writer
-A complete list of characters, which the Epistler did not read, but which would probably be very useful, considering how overburdened with useless characters the book is
-An extract from the upcoming Green Brick
-An “extract” from a history book of Alagaësia called The Dominance of Fate
The Epistler read the extracts closely, not wanting to miss anything which might be useful material for this Epistle, only to have his eyeballs burn out of their sockets. He successfully regrew them on his return to the plane of the dead, and is fortunately now able to report on his observations. As you will see, they are not good.
The Dominance of Fate: In Which A Monk Without A Faith Writes About The History Of A World Without Any Common Sense
The first thing the Epistler noticed about the “history book” extract was the name of its author; “Heslant the Monk”.
…of what faith, exactly? As far as he can recall, there have been no mentions of any monasteries in Alagaësia, and the only identified human religion is the Three Peaks cult in Dras-Leona, which, though it has a Cathedral (strange that a fantasy world would have such a patently Catholic structure in it, but what would the Epistler know?). The cult seems unlikely to be the sort of religion that would have monks or monasteries, considering its main tenants involve self-mutilation, human sacrifice and the drinking of blood. So if Heslant did not belong to the Three Peaks cult, what faith did he belong to? A monk is a religious brother. According to the trilogy, Heslant the Monk was later “burned as a heretic by the Empire”. This was the first instance, but certainly not the last, of the Epistler responding with: “WHY?”.
If the Empire does not have an official state religion, why would it be burning someone as a heretic? As far as we know, King Galbatorix does not have a priesthood working for him which would take charge of this sort of thing. Considering that the extract is full of blatant anti-Imperial propaganda, it would make sense for it to be banned and for its author to be executed or banished, but what, exactly, did he do to be named a heretic? Did the evil King frame him in order to get rid of him? And if so, why? It looks as if the King’s power is more or less absolute, so why would he need an excuse to remove someone who had displeased him?
So the extract did not exactly do much to endear itself to the Epistler, and that was before he’d read beyond the name of the author. Not a particularly good start.
Matters did not improve. The writing style used in the extract leapt out at the Epistler almost instantly; it was overwritten, verbose and pretentious, more or less exactly like the prose used in the rest of the book. It would seem that, in Alagaësia, even ancient tomes of historical record use purple prose. When the Epistler realised that, his first thought was “figures”.
It was nowhere close to sounding at all academic. For one thing, the style frequently takes on an informal tone, as if the author is directly addressing the reader. This is a big no-no in the world of academic writing, along with the use of the word “I”. In academic writing, there is no such thing as “I”. The reader takes it for granted that any unsubstantiated statements are the author’s opinion, and therefore there is no need for said author to refer to himself at any point. Yet another clue to the fact that the person who really wrote it (ie, Paolini) has never been to university, or even a reputable school. No, “graduating” at 15 from a school you never went to does not make you smart. In this case it clearly makes you poorly-educated and naïve.
The actual content was little better. The extract went for approximately four pages, and, just like the map of Alagaësia just inside the cover, it was by turns illogical, nonsensical, shallow and poorly thought-out. Every single page contained things that made the Epistler snigger, groan, or blink in bewilderment, and it seemed that every question answered only raised more questions, and not in a good way.
So. To start with, it claims that Galbatorix burned a pair of old libraries, after he had plundered them to stock up his personal collection. According to Heslant, the destruction of the libraries (there were only two? In the entire country?) resulted in the loss of hundreds of volumes of science and other knowledge, which more or less set the human race back by hundreds of years. He goes on to lament this loss, and to claim that it was Galbatorix’s worst crime. Yes, the deaths of thousands is fine, but won’t someone please think of the books?
This was the second thing which made the Epistler say “WHY??”.
Why would Galbatorix burn libraries? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Yes, tyrants of the past have been responsible for censoring and destroying books (eg the Nazis burning copies of the Bible, and fundamentalists burning Harry Potter). The difference is that these tyrants were almost always acting out of some sort of religious or idealistic conviction, and as far as we know, Galbatorix has neither. He is not a religious despot; he conquered the country for… well, we don’t really know why he did it, other than that he was “insane”. But why would he want to destroy books? There isn’t even an unconvincing motivation; there is no motivation at all. And no, Paolini, “he was mad” does not constitute proper character motivation. But then again, let us remember that more or less every “evil” deed the King has been responsible for happened “because he’s mad”. The Epistler cannot help but shake his head miserably at this thought.
Next, Heslant talks about how Galbatorix destroyed the dragons. According to him, when he first started killing them (again, why? Wasn’t he fighting the riders?), the entire race of dragons rushed to attack him.
So why in the gods’ names didn’t they kill him? The Epistler has heard of overpowered characters, but this is just plain ludicrous. The suggestion here is that either Galbatorix is so powerful that he can wipe out a race of giant, fire-breathing, super-intelligent, immortal, magical super-lizards, or that the dragons were so ridiculously weak that they could be slaughtered by a handful of rebels. Each possibility is equally stupid. And if Galbatorix is really that powerful, even Eragon, the super-powerful-demigodling-Gary Stu, wouldn’t be able to kill him. Especially considering that he has supposedly been growing steadily more powerful every year for a century. Give the Epistler a break. What will he do when he faces Eragon directly in battle – beat him to death with a mountain? The sheer logicality of this claim – which is briefly made and then moved on from without any form of proper explanation – more or less destroys “Heslant”’s credibility right there and then.
The Epistler can’t help but wonder, again, just who the hell this Heslant is supposed to be. Most of the extract reads like the pompous ramblings of some idiot with delusions of scholastic brilliance, and yet it is filled with inappropriate words and allusions which don’t fit with the overall tone and the fact that it is supposed to have been written by an inhabitant of a faux-medieval fantasy land. For example, the word “millennia” appears – which, even if it does indeed date back to medieval times, feels decidedly out of place. And instead of “AD” or “BC” we have “AC” – “after Creation”. By which gods? It doesn’t say.
And it only gets better. The extract describes how the dwarves and the dragons were the first races to inhabit Alagaësia. Apparently the dwarves occupied a large plain in the middle of the continent, but were forced to leave it after a sudden “climate change”. Uh… to start with, why did the climate suddenly change? Were the dwarves emitting greenhouse gases? Generally speaking, considering that climate change takes thousands of years, the Epistler sincerely doubts that any civilisation would last long enough to notice it happening.
And secondly, how in the hell does Heslant even know what climate change is? Alagaësia isn’t 20th century USA. Its inhabitants haven’t even discovered gunpowder yet, and yet they know what a climate is? Wouldn’t it make more sense (especially considering that he’s a monk) for Heslant to say something like “the gods drew the water from the plains and made them a desert”? Sorry, Paolini, but you just failed at verisimilitude. And not for the first time, either. Or the last, come to that. Either way, it would seem that the dragons “converged” on the desert after the dwarves left it, finding the climate to their liking. Uh… dragons… moving into a desert? Where’s there’s no food and probably not much to drink? Yes, that makes perfect sense. Also, Heslant here suddenly refers to them as “fire worms”. Is he talking about dragons here, or is some new screwball species which has just been dropped into the text without warning? The Epistler really wasn’t all that sure, but he would like to add that “fire worms” has got to be about the most stupid alternative name for dragons ever, including “skulblaka”.
The dragons, supposedly not very intelligent, but able to communicate with each other through the mind (how? Don’t animals usually rely on body language to communicate? Oh, that’s right – it’s magic), supposedly “delighted” in “persecuting” the dwarves. Again, why? If they were only animals at this point, why would they have any concept of persecuting anyone? Persecution is a human concept. It would make sense if the dragons simply enjoyed the taste of dwarf, but, again, the dwarves live underground, so how would the dragons even get at them?
And now for the entry of the Epistler’s least favourite Alagaësian race, the elves. Supposedly they came to Alagaësia from “over the sea” (gee whiz, Mister Peabody, why does that sound so familiar?). Heslant says that no-one knows why they left their homeland, but that it was called “Alalëa” – a name which, in elvish, apparently means “melancholy place of great beauty”, or some such thing. The elves certainly have a very efficient language.
The elves, still being evil meat-eaters at the time, made the “terrible mistake” of killing a dragon “for sport”, whereupon the dragons immediately attacked the elves en masse. Again, if the dragons were just animals at this point, would they have any concept of revenge? Generally speaking, large carnivores aren’t noted for being sociable. In fact many of them (eg tigers, bears and leopards) are noted for being solitary and frequently kill each other in territorial disputes. And for good reason, too – an overpopulation of giant meat-eating animals is not something anyone would want. Perhaps Paolini should have spent a little more time watching the Discovery Channel.
This section does, however, answer a question some people had asked – if the elves are vegetarians, why would they kill a dragon in the first place? The answer – they weren’t vegetarians at the time, and apparently became so only after having bonded themselves with the dragons. In other words, forming a special magical whoozit with a race of giant, ferocious predators somehow made the elves become vegetarian. But of course that only logically follows.
The terrible war between the elves and the dragons ended, as we already know, when an elf called Eragon found a dragon egg, raised the dragon hatchling and became an ambassador suing for peace to both sides. Hooray. The difference, this time around, is that “Eragon” has suddenly obtained an umlaut from somewhere and become “Eragön”. The Epistler knew there was something missing from that name. And, as we all know, one can never have too many umlauts. At least, not in Alagaësia, Land of Meaningless Accents, all of which were apparently inspired by the author’s serendipitous discovery of the “insert symbol” function in Microsoft Word. Thankyou, Bill Gates, for this thy blessing upon us.
After this, the riders were formed. A sorry waste of a magnificent species – the dragons gave the elves their magic and agreed to carry them around like giant winged horses, and basically became accessories for a race of overpowered übermenschen, even though the elves started the damned war in the first place. This is why the Epistler has always hated the concept of dragon-riders. How exactly does a dragon benefit by becoming the pet of some human or elf? Saphira didn’t get any special powers by bonding herself with Eragon, and she barely gets any attention from him either. See Epistle the Fourth for a longer and more in-depth list of complaints about this.
Hot on the heels of the elves came the urgals, who apparently followed them from over the sea for no reason. It would seem (the text actually says this) they had the sophistication to build boats good enough to travel a very long way over the sea at the time, but mysteriously regressed into being uncultured brutes when they settled in Alagaësia. All the Stupid Gas in the air must have affected them. It certainly worked very well on everyone else.
The riders were then kind enough to persecute the urgals and basically boot them out of their new homes because they were “unable” to live peacefully with their neighbours and kept getting into fights with them. And, of course, humans never squabble amongst themselves or fight wars over silly things. No, they all get on perfectly. Ah, racism. Where would we be without it? After Galbatorix destroyed the riders, however, the urgals were able to come back to their old homes instead of living on the fringes of civilisation (for example, in the Spine with the dragons, who probably preyed on them), which Heslant implies is a Bad Thing, even though he then goes on to preach to the reader about how the urgals are not monsters and deserve respect, blah blah blah. He describes how they are sophisticated enough to weave fancy “straps” with tribal emblems on them (wow!), and includes a slightly unsettling account of how he saw a mother urgal with her young, and challenges the reader to find a human mother who is as tender with her offspring as “that bullnecked matron” (the Epistler shuddered involuntarily when he read this, which is odd considering he lost his nervous system when he died). Heslant then states that the urgals don’t deserve to be condemned as monsters just because they’re ugly.
The Epistler loves the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. This bit of preaching about how looks aren’t everything is, to say the least, somewhat dubious coming from an author who placed so much emphasis on how incredibly hot his love interest character is that he was perfectly content to make her an insufferable bitch but still have his (also incredibly good-looking) hero follow her around like a lovesick puppy. (Hmm. The Epistler feels another Epistle brewing here…).
The extract next makes mention of a book called “Eddison’s Dialogues”. Again, WHAT?? “Eddison”? Was Paolini reading up on his scientific history when he wrote that, or was he just trying to be clever? As a matter of fact, the name of Eddison does not sound too out of place in a quasi-medieval fantasy land, but it still should not have been there. Because it is so instantly recognisable, it jerks the reader right out of the text.
After the urgals, it would seem, humans came to Alagaësia. They had also supposedly left their homeland for implausibly mysterious reasons; Heslant claims that nobody knows why. In spite of the fact that said humans had reached the level of sophistication required to have ships, the ability to navigate, and a governing system with a King, they didn’t have any such thing as written records, or even legends.
For the umpteenth time, WHY?? Needless to say, Heslant, scholar extraordinaire, makes no attempt to explain it.
The newly-arrived humans settled in a valley which they named Palencar Valley after their King, and King Palencar then proceeded to antagonise the riders for no apparent reason. Surprise surprise, the riders kicked his ass and his people hastily surrendered to them. This time, Heslant does answer the inevitable “why” – why did Palencar think he had the devil’s chance of beating the almighty riders? Why, because he was mad, of course. The Epistler was quite honestly knocked on his ethereal behind by the sheer logic of this.
And, while we are on the topic, has anyone ever challenged the riders and not been a complete lunatic?
Hilariously, Heslant goes on to assert that Palencar’s “dementia” was a family trait, and this is when we know that his bloodline supposedly lingers on somewhere in Palencar valley. When the Epistler learnt that little detail in Eldest, he instantly made the connection between that and Roran’s sudden acquisition of 1337 leadership skills (in fantasy-land, all leadership ability is inherited from Mysterious Ancestors. Commonors just don’t have it). There is absolutely no doubt in the Epistler’s mind that, yes, Roran is a descendent of King Palencar, and so, by association, is Eragon. At last we know where Eragon’s mental defects came from. Who said Paolini didn’t think things through?
After Palencar had been scraped off the riders’ boots, humans were allowed to join the dragon riders’ club, which the elves were very angry about. As we can see, they did not in fact become prejudiced against humans after one of them killed all the riders – they were racist asshats from the beginning. But no, the leader of the riders insisted that since the riders ruled every race in Alagaësia, every race should have a say in what they did. Except for the dwarves. And the urgals. And the dragons don’t really count because they’re just big flying horses. Bah, the Epistler gives up.
Unfortunately – or, as the Epistler maintains, fortunately – one human who became a rider proceeded to “go insane” (how convenient) and kill all the other riders for no reason. Here we learn that Galbatorix’s dragon died when he was nineteen. And here, once again, the word “WHY??” pops up. It is already known that Galbatorix became a rider at the age of ten, and that his dragon died almost immediately after he had finished his training – and conveniently before he found out about the locations of Ellesméra and Farthen Dûr (oh, come on).
…So his training took nine years? And he’s supposed to have been extraordinarily talented? Then why did Eragon, who, let’s face it, is a complete idiot even by Paolini’s own admission, manage to do the same in an estimated fourteen months? The Epistler has heard of how Mary Sues learn ridiculously fast, but this is pushing it a little.
Either way, after losing his dragon Galbatorix returned to his fellow riders and asked for another one. How does this work? In both Eragon and Eldest, Paolini made a big deal about how a rider and his dragon are destined for each other and so on and so forth. So how is a rider supposed to get another dragon? Somehow, the idea that more than one dragon would hatch for any one person seems slightly unreasonable, and also devalues the dragon. Also, does that mean a dragon who has lost his or her rider can get another one? And even if it is possible, why did the rider elders say no? According to Brom’s account in Eragon, it’s because they saw how mad Galbatorix was when he made the request. If so, did it not occur to them that saying no would only make him worse? At the very least, they could have taken him in and done something to care for him, but it seems that they instead turned him down and either banished him or let him run off. This treatment comes off as callous at best, and unbelievably cruel at worst. If Galbatorix was one of their own, why did they treat him so poorly? The Epistler’s own theory is that it was because he was human, and the elders, all either elves or humans who had become indistinguishable from elves, didn’t care enough for a mere human to show him any kindness. Quite frankly, they brought it on themselves.
So Galbatorix ran away and remained in hiding somewhere in the wilderness for seven years (the gods alone know what he did during that time. Most likely it included reading a copy of Destroying Despots for Dummies). A fellow rider, Morzan, found him and decided to join him for no reason (honestly, if the riders were as wonderful as everyone in canon made out, why would anyone even consider betraying them? The Epistler will accept that Galbatorix is probably quite a charasmatic guy, but he would have needed something to persuade Morzan to join him, and if so, what was it? And wouldn’t Morzan and Galbatorix both have taken oaths of loyalty in the Ancient Language – you know, the ones nobody can break? The vagueness here is maddening), and the two of them found other followers and then wiped out the other riders for no reason. Galbatorix somehow managed to win the war in virtually no time at all, killed Vrael, and then made himself King for no reason. The Epistler fails to see how he managed to go from “get revenge on those asshole riders” to “make myself King of the world” just like that. But, of course, the fact that he’s “insane” makes any course of action plausible. Yes, Paolini. Just keep telling yourself that and it might become true someday.
The extract finishes with Heslant’s statement that Galbatorix is still King today, and that if he is to be overthrown one day then people will have to learn from history, ie his book. And, quite frankly, if Heslant was stupid enough to publish a book which said things like that about his ruling monarch, he was asking to be burnt at the stake. That’s one less idiot in the world, anyway.
Overall, the Epistler was deeply unimpressed by The Dominance of Fate. Even the title is idiotic and nonsensical (and, translated into the “ancient language”, it becomes even worse), and the amount of information given in it is severely lacking. Much like the rest of Paolini’s writing, it looks impressive on the surface. It uses long words, overly convoluted phrasing, endless lists of dates and proper names and dozens of unnecessarily detailed and pointless digressions in order to give an appearance of sophistication and intelligence which, beneath all this decoration, is completely absent. A bad writer will often make his prose sound impressive in order to conceal the fact that what it says is in some way inadequate, and in this case it is certainly true. The whole thing – again, just like everything else he has written – appears to be an attempt to convince the reader of how intelligent and cultured the author is, and at first glance it succeeds. But once the reader looks beyond the cosmetic appeal of words like “dementia” and “converged”, the illusion begins to fall apart. At bottom the history is in fact shallow and unrealistic – it is missing all sorts of details which have no reason to be absent, it states that things happened without explaining why or giving more than a hint of proper context, and it sounds nothing like an authentic historical record. The way it ends is very abrupt as well; it merely recaps the unnecessarily vague account given in Eragon of how Galbatorix killed the riders – again, it does not give the why or how of it, which many people have been asking for but been denied – and then suddenly cuts off. The Epistler actually read it in the hopes of finding out more about the fall of the riders, but he was disappointed. In the end, the extract gives the reader the impression that Heslant has no more than a passing knowledge of his own country’s history, and is not particularly interested in it either. Which is strange, considering he supposedly wrote the definitive text on it. Final score: half a mark out of ten. Pathetic.
A Taste of Terror: The Book 3 Extract
And now on to the thing the Epistler was most interested to read; the extract from the Green Brick, which will most likely be unleashed upon the world sometime next year. The Epistler read it carefully several times, not wishing to miss anything.
The extract is surprisingly short; shorter, in fact, than the one from the Dominance of Fate. Those who read it before the Epistler did stated that it read like fanfiction, and the Epistler agrees. He has seen approximately nine thousand “theoretical Book Three” fanfictions, and nearly all of them opened with what this extract does – Eragon and Roran going to rescue Katrina, aka Damsel In Distress #8097, who has been kidnapped by the Ra’zac for no reason, in one of the most annoying parts in Eldest. There, having come specifically to capture Roran, they devastate half of his village, eat one of its occupants, and then, having finally cornered him, they bite him in the shoulder and run off with his girlfriend. Then, having been joined by two super-intelligent flying beasts, they leave the village. Somehow, the Epistler failed to see how this made any sense whatsoever. They finally catch the man they have spent half the book hunting, and then they take his girlfriend and leave? Do they have bad eyesight, or are they just plain stupid? Or was Paolini unable to resist trotting out the old “I must rescue my twu wuv” scenario for the umpteenth time? Either way, the Epistler detects a distinct lack of original thought here.
In any case, that scenario is exactly what plays out in the extract. Eragon and Roran ride Saphira to Helgrind, the mountain where the Ra’zac live. They find the entrance to their rather stupidly big cave hidden behind an illusion apparently set up by the King himself (how does Eragon know that? It could just as easily have been someone else). They enter said cave (stupidly – again – they do so loudly and obviously), and Eragon somehow fails to detect the presence of the “lethrblaka” – the giant flying things the Ra’zac ride on – one of which smacks into Saphira, knocking him down. Eragon is apparently knocked unconscious (for what feels like the millionth time – didn’t Paolini realise this got old halfway through the first book?), and that is where the extract ends. OE NOES! Will our heroes survive? The suspense, it burns! No, wait, it doesn’t. The Epistler hopes the pair of them get eaten alive. They deserve it for such gross incompetence.
So, the big question – is it an improvement from the crime against literature that was Eldest? On the whole, no. It remains as slow-paced and boring, there are approximately nineteen words that are out of place, there is purple prose and things that don’t make sense, and Eragon remains as much of an idiot as before, as does his insufferable cousin. The tone is also shifting and inconsistent – it goes from casual to pompous to overly formal at the drop of a hat, mostly because Paolini will suddenly use a word which doesn’t fit with the tone he was using before, and the prose ends up abruptly changing gears as a result. For example, in describing the floor of the cave, he puts in the word “thereon” out of the blue. And let us not forget the much-derided “with a surge of [Saphira’s] mighty thews”. The Epistler had to look up the word “thews”, and according to dictionary.com it means “muscle or sinews”. Couldn’t he just have called them muscles in the first place? How many people are going to know what thews are? Here’s betting he hadn’t heard the word either until he found it in the thesaurus. And since when do muscles “surge”?
As if this weren’t bad enough, there is a whole list of things in the extract – which, remember, is very short – that are just plain silly. To begin with, we have Roran, on Saphira’s back, waving his fabled war-hammer around. Shouldn’t he be holding on, especially if he’s never really flown before? Wherefore (the Epistler loves that word) wouldst thou need thy mighty warhammer, O Roran? Are you expecting to have to fight someone in midair? The Epistler suspects it was merely a flimsy pretext to remind the reader that Roran now fights with a hammer (which he got from a blacksmith’s wall. Apparently it was intended to be used for cracking glaze, so it probably isn’t very big. Not the most useful thing to use in a mighty battle against unspeakable evil, but whatever). Please, Paolini. You’re better than that. Really.
And later on, something even more hilarious happens. When Saphira enters the cave, Paolini mentions how her scales “cast thousands of shifting blue specks across the rock”. What is she, a giant disco ball? (The Epistler nearly died again when he read someone else’s response to this – as he recalls, it was “Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ alive!” Brilliant). Paolini, please. For the love of gods, how is this even slightly believable? Saphira isn’t an ornament, she’s a living animal. How is being covered in uber-shiny sparkly bright blue scales going to be at all useful? What is she supposed to do, blind people with them? Dragons are predators. That means they have to catch other animals for food. That means being able to ambush them. That means some form of camouflage would be, well, kind of a requirement. How in the gods’ names is Saphira supposed to remain inconspicuous when she’s not only bright blue but apparently made out of glass as well?
There are other idiotic things in this extract. For example, the particularly appalling sentence “…the courage, nay, the desire…”, which is completely out of place and just sounds silly. So the narrator is suddenly an elderly and rather pompous lecturer? The Epistler would not like to meet whoever is telling the story, as he evidently has a bad case of schizophrenia (oh, wait, that would be Paolini).
As usual, the text is full of wrong-sounding words. Spectrum, emanating, translucent, thews, enlivened… the list goes on. They simply don’t fit in the setting or the context, and to the Epistler, who takes delight in the beauty of language, they are painful to read.
And this is what we find. All the usual mistakes have shown themselves in virtually no time at all, thus confirming that after all Paolini has not paid any attention to the valid criticisms directed at him and has failed to show any improvement whatsoever. If this is a taste of things to come, then the Epistler has a very, very bad feeling.
And that is the sum total of what is to be found in the Extended Edition of Eldest. On the whole, the Epistler would not advise people to purchase it. So-called “deluxe editions” of books are nothing more than a transparent attempt by greedy publishers to squeeze a little more cash out of a public they’ve already duped with a pathetic age gimmick. The Epistler did his best to describe everything that was to be found included with it, and he hopes that this will preclude the need for any of his readers to put more ill-gotten cash in Paolini’s pockets. The upcoming Epistles about the Green Brick are going to be intense, to say the least…
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