Chapter Bless the Child, Argetlam, Mandrake Root and Newt's Tongue
In which Eragon is Jesus. Well... no... but still.
Orik (Dwarf) tells Eragon that he's been put into a powerful position now because he gets to lead Eragon around like a tour guide. We learn that the Twins magics are for plotting and scheming for power and the only reason they're around is because Ajihad needs their magical support. Ajihad apparently hasn't realized that they're evil yet.
Apparently the Dwarf City built by Dwarves for Dwarves that never trusted the Dragon Riders or liked the dragons in the first place has a place for dragons to stay. Does Paolini even pay attention to what he's written in his previous chapters? Or is he just making it up as he goes along and saying whatever he wants because it seemed like a good idea at the time? Let me quote what he said about Dwarves and dragons,
"There has long been enmity between dwarves and dragons -before the elves came along and made peace, dragons made a regular habit of eating the dwarves' flocks and stealing their gold. - and the dwarves are slow to forget past wrongs. Indeed they ever fully accepted the Riders or allowed them to police their kingdom. Galbatorix's rise to power only served to convince many of them that it would be better never to deal with Riders or dragons ever again." (411)
Ten pages later:
"Where hare we going?" asked Eragon.
"Out of these halls so Saphira can fly to the dragonhold above Isidar Mithrim, the Star Rose... it is where the Riders used to stay when they visited Tronjheim." (421)
As a friend said, "That world does not have logic like we have gravity."
Saphira goes off to this dragonhold and Eragon and dwarf go off to feed Eragon. They have fish and mushrooms. Where the hell did they get the fish from? Apparently they don't farm in the valley where the Dwarf City is. They have to rely totally on other valleys for food. Who builds a city in a locked place where you can't have ready access to food supplies? That's like asking for suicide in a siege. Not only that but it's the place where all the dwarves go in times of trouble. How are they going to support all those people? They'd have to rely on brought in food, which could easily be ambushed by clever people.
Eragon eats and then takes a bath in water that is described as being warm and mildly salty. Now, if these pools were heated by way of geothermal springs, then I would say that they should smell like sulfur and not be mildly salty. However I have no idea where these pools are coming from and how they're being heated. So I can't even fathom how they're mildly salty. And for some reason, in the city, there is only one place to bathe because Eragon doesn't go to his room to do it but down below the city into these pools. Do all the dwarves do this? And isn't that a bit impractical?
Never mind that. Instead we learn that inside the Dwarf city is a giant slide. Yes. A giant slide that you can take all the way from the top to the bottom to get down quickly in case of an emergency. These are the only stairs in the place, but they aren't convenient. Why in the hell would you build a stair case if you're not going to use it? It's a waste of resources. I don't care how grand it sounds.
Saphira comes and picks Eragon up but before they can go, he's accosted by the humans. An old woman wants him to bless her ... I'm assuming grandchild. Now, before this moment we haven't heard a single thing about blessings. Or Curses or anything like that. Blessings are usually things given as an invocation of the gods to give the person good something or another. Four out of the seven definitions of the word bless on Dictionary.com in fact have to deal with a god of some sort. But there have been no gods mentioned before in the entirety of this book. (I refuse to call the mountain a god.) So apparently the Riders are a religious figure now and can give blessings.
Eragon blesses the child in the ancient language. Apparently what he says is "Let luck and happiness follow you and may you be shielded from misfortune". What he does say, as revealed in the second book however is "... may you be a shield from misfortune" and apparently has cursed this child. Now why hasn't anyone done that to Galby? You apparently don't need to know his name to work this sort of magic, but no one has done this. Why? It seems so easy. Just say the magic words and poof. Do you know what we call this? We call this a plot hole.
After blessing the child Saphira touches the child on the forehead and leaves a star mark rather like the thingy on Eragon's hand. (This child is Mary Sue number two as will be seen in book two. As a preview, she has violet eyes.) The masses are suitably impressed and Saphira flies off with Eragon who angsts about what's happening to him. There's a lovely line where at one point he says, "I feel as if I am living in an illusion, a dream where all things are possible". Saphria, of course, gives him the pep talk he needs to feel better about himself and what he's doing. They end up in a place that is rather like a Weyr from the Pern series. There are a lot of caves for dragons to reside in... despite the fact that one would assume that the dwarves wouldn't want that many dragon visitors.
In fact, for not liking dragons, they seem to spend a lot of time on their accommodations.
The next morning Eragon awakes to find Serious Ass in his cave.
Serious Ass wants Eragon to follow him. Eragon follows without question. Eragon is an idiot. For some reason Angela is there. We call this a plot contrivance. She apparently knew about the egg that the Varden had. Does no one not know about this egg? She decided that she wanted to know more and went to the Varden. Why did she go the Varden when they obviously lost the Egg? She then puts down the dwarves as "superstitious bunch of ninnies content to hammer rocks all their lives". Angela also knows about Murtagh. Everyone seems to know about this secret kid. She's also surprised that Galby is aligned with the Urgals. Why is everyone surprised about this?
We then get an info dump about Shades. In fact Paolini even writes, "As I'm sure you know," to quote, "As I'm sure you know, only two people, Laetri the Elf and Irnstad the rider, ever survived the feat." (437) Ten bucks says Eragon becomes number three.
Apparently the twins have a magic club that they wanted Angela to join. She declined to join because she's too good for them. Apparently she doesn't like the twins either. See, they're evil. People don't like them so they must be evil. If they weren't evil they would be liked. This is how it works in Eragon land.
Eragon is then kicked out of her room and he goes back to Saphira.
There was no reason for her to be there except for there to be a Shade infodump and for us to learn that Brom had been fated to fail at everything but one thing (which was to kill Morzan) which is a pretty sucky fate. And if we think about it. It must mean that he failed at training Eragon. Because he fails at everything. So... Eragon really sucks.
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