Chapter Master of the Blade. This fills me with dread. The Mire of Dras-Leona
Our next chapter begins with a discussion of our Sue. Eragon didn't get a good look at her, yet he knew that she was beautiful. My guess is that her beauty out shone the shadows and darkness or Eragon was able to see the beauty in her soul. Brom has no idea how Eragon was able to do this and says so. If you're breaking the rules of the world, there should be a reason why, in the world why you can do this. There shouldn't be an "I don't know".
Eragon, because of his broken wrist, has to fight left handed. He soon becomes as proficient in the left hand as he was in the right hand. Now normally I would say that he's not that proficient at all, but this is Eragon we're talking about, so of course he's good. Limyaael says this about that sort of thing, "This is the part that bothers me the most about protagonists who’ve never picked up a sword in their lives, but jump into being experts who can best their teachers, the Dark Lord’s lieutenant, or even the Dark Lord himself in a few weeks or months. (It’s been a while since I saw a story that made the protagonist better in mere hours or days, thank whatever gods you believe in). Learning a sword is more than just visual demonstrations of moves. It’s learning balance, learning to read your opponents’ emotions, learning what little tricks will increase your chance of survival—see point 4—learning how to care for your weapon, learning how to estimate what different fighting styles there are and the best way to counter them, learning how to deal with sudden setbacks like a wound, and I’m sure plenty of things I didn’t cover." I think this says everything. Especially when Eragon beats Brom and hands him his ass finally in one fight.
Brom says this "I can teach you more of the sword. Of all the fighters I've met, only three of them have defeated me like that and I doubt any of them could have done it with their left hand." He smiled ruefully, "I may not be as young as I used to be but I can tell that you're a talented and rare swordsman." (243)
Eragon has been training for less than six months. Less than three months and he's ALREADY a master... with his off hand. This is impossible. Physically impossible. Unless Brom is a REALLY shitty fighter.
Or we could believe Paolini and the fact Eragon is really an awesome fighter. Take your pick.
Then we learn about how wizards dual. Apparently defensive/pre-emptive magic like shields doesn't exist. The two magic users have to let each other into the other's mind so that they can tell what the other person is doing before they do it. Personally I don't know why you would do that, if I were a magic user like that, I would brain bash the person before they could even think about using their magic. Who cares about being fair. Brom says that "before you can defend yourself, you have to know the nature of the forces directed at you. If you're being attacked being attacked by heat you have to know whether it is being conveyed through air, fire, light or some other medium." (245) Bah, I say. If you know someone is throwing something at you, you throw up a general purpose shield. Or if it is heat, you throw cold at it. You don't know have to know how the heat was formed, just that it is heat. And if you're paying attention, you would hear the guy's words so you would know what it is that they're throwing at you. If the magic could be done by gesture or silently, then that might be a different story.
Then they get to Dras-Leona. In the background of the city is a mountain called the "Helgrind" it is an evil thing. But people are apparently fascinated with it and it was the reason why the city was built. The people of the city apparently worship ... wait for it... the mountain. Not spirits that live in the mountain. But the mountain. The religion is an evil thing. We know this because they drink human blood and make flesh offerings. The practice self mutilation because they feel that it makes you less attached to the mortal world. Their religious arguments are about which mountain peak is the highest and if the fourth one should be included in their worship. I think this is Paolini trying to create a religion. He apparently has missed the point of religion. Or the reason why people worship things. Or have religious dogma. It shouldn't be which mountain peak is the highest. There's nothing spiritual about that. It's not something that you can base a religion on. At least not a sustainable one. And does the mountain tell them to sacrifice people? Also, religions shouldn't be either good or evil. Because then why would you join up the evil religion? Of course, it could be said that only Evil people would join the Evil church. And the city is Evil, because they worship an Evil mountain with their Evil religion, and we know the people are evil because the city is filthy and there are poor people around who are deformed and there are beggars even. Which of course means that this place is evil. Squaller = Evil. And then Eragon wants to know how the rich people can live in ease when the suffering around them is so obvious. Obviously Eragon comes from some sort of head space where good people will always help the poor and since the rich people here don't do that they are Evil.
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