Characters: Eragon, Sloan, (the butcher), Horst (the blacksmith), Katrina (the blacksmith's daughter) and Garrow, (the Uncle)
Shiny magical objects in Eragon's possession Large Blue Stone.
Here we learn a bit more about the Spine, the name of the mountains that Eragon is in. Here we learn that they are clouded in misfortune and bad luck. "Few people could stay in the Spine with out suffering an accident. Eragon was one of those few - not through any particular gift, it seemed to him, but because of persistent vigilance and sharp reflexes" (page nine). What bothers me here, though it could only be me, is that Paolini is indicating that a boy is more capable than a full grown man in woodsman abilities. He is more vigilant and has sharper reflexes than, say, a trained ranger would have. (Not that there are rangers here, but if there were...) His skills are are sharper than someone who is older than him and would have had more training would be. After all he is one of the "few". He probably could have only been going out in them for maybe two or three years, not being old enough to do it before. Beginning Rangers (according to the D&D player's guide) start around age fifteen. Now, while he might have the hunting and tracking skills, but I don't think he'd have the skills needed to survive in a people eating mountain range.
Maybe all the spooky things stayed away from him.
From the mountains we go into the village of Carvahall and we meet the butcher Sloan. Sloan is supposed to be a bad person. He treats Eragon with disdain. And apparently only cares for his daughter. Eragon hopes to buy meat from him... with no money. Instead Eragon hopes to trade with the stone. Sloan has no idea how much this stone is worth and if he can sell or anything, so he offers a low price for it. It's safer for him. Of course this is horrible of him. But since Eragon needs the meat he lets it go at that low price. (Mind you he's letting the butcher have the mysterious potentially evil stone... for meat).
But when Sloan learns where the stone came from, he refuses to take it. We learn that Sloan lost his wife in the Spine. Thus he'd naturally not trust anything from the Spine. But still he's a horrible person for not letting Eargon have the meat.
Eragon is rescued by the blacksmith, Hurst. Hurst is a good guy. We know this because he generously buys Eragon all the meat he needs and then gives Eragon an apprenticeship. He also likes Eragon, which is another thing that makes him a good guy.
He goes home (and into a rather large house, if he has own bedroom, which is something that only rich people could afford to have, what with heating costs and things like that, but apparently they're poor since they can't afford to buy meat for the winter, and speaking of which, there's no way Eragon could have carried enough meat to last them the winter on his back...) and talks to his uncle. His uncle agrees with him about how Sloan was a bad person for not taking the stone.
Thus, it's set that people who like Eragon are good and people who don't like him are bad. This is a classic Mary Sue trait. One of many that he'll probably rack up as we go along.
- Music:Without a trace
Characters Eragon, our hero
Discovery introduces us to our Hero of the story, Eragon. Eragon is a mighty hunter and brave and intelligent man, as this chapter will show us. Or at least this scene will show us. It's not really a chapter so much as a scene, but yes.
First of all we learn that Eargon is merely fifteen years old but already a trained and capable hunter who is not afraid to go into places that grown men dare. Because, as we learn in the next chapter, he's just that good. Or he's too stupid to be afraid. One of the two.
Meanwhile, Eargon is able to preform feats of skill that not even a master archer is able to. He's able to draw three arrows, knock one and keep the other two in his other hand. To quote, "At the glen, he strung his bow with a sure touch, then drew three arrows and knocked one, holding the others in his left hand." (page seven). To knock an arrow you need two hands. Apparently he is able to do this and still hold two other arrows at the same time. Perhaps, instead he has three hands?
Then he discovers the stone. We assume it is the same stone that the elf lost in the prologue because this is a traditional story device. And it wouldn't do the stone to fall into someone who is not the Hero's hands, now would it? The stone appeared in an explosion, which would indicate that it is hot, but after poking it with an arrow he picks it up with his bare hands. Because the poked with arrow test automatically makes it safe to pick up from a steaming hole.
The stone is "Cool and frictionless under his fingers, like harden silk," (page seven) which leads to a very interesting question. If it is frictionless, how did he pick it up? The definition of being frictionless means that you can't get a grip on it to pick it up. But somehow Eragon was able to.
As a closing to the chapter we get an insight into how Eragon thinks. He's just discovered a potentially dangerous magical object so what does he decided to do? Keep it and sell it for meat. Yes. This is what I would do with a potentially dangerous magical object. Sell it. Because God only knows what might happen to those poor people I've sold it to, if it turns out to be evil and horrible. Nope. I'm not going to do something intelligent with it like put it somewhere safe and find someone who might know what it is. I'm going to sell it.
Yes. Real genius there.
chapter title Prologue: Shade of Fear
Characters: A "Shade", some "Urgals", three elves.
My first thoughts on this are, if you're going to call a character or race "Shade" do not give it crimson hair and maroon eyes. It creates a sort of conflicting imagery in the mind, you think darkness for the word "Shade" and well not for the redness of the hair. It seems to have unnaturally good eyesight and it's very powerful. I don't see why it needed the Urgals at all. The Urgals, however remind me of Steve Urkle and so now I think of some monsters in high pants and suspenders with thick nerdy glasses. Which really isn't helping my being able to immerse myself in the story. In regards to the monsters, they have "a pair of twisted horns [that] grow above their small ears" so I'm thinking maybe like a Minotaur? Dunno.
Odd turn of phrase here, "The Shade hissed in anger, and the Urgals shrank back, motionless." How do you shrink back and remain motionless at the same time? While I'm at it, if "Shade" is a race then it shouldn't be capitalized.
The Shade seems to be rather powerful if it can set a ring of fire in a quarter mile of forest. Why does he need the minions? He seems to be perfectly powerful enough to take down three individuals by himself. Especially since they don't seem to be as powerful as he is. And if he's a minion how much power can really powerful people channel?
The bar for magic has been set rather high now. A lowly powerful minion can use a lot of magic and is powerful without getting tired either. The really powerful people must be god like.
The language that the Shade speaks looks like the cat walked across the keyboard.
Now to the Elves. He points out that one of the elves is wearing a helm, as a differentiating mark but the question is, at least to me, is the elf wearing armor of some sort as well as the helm or just the helm.
They are as he says cantering. Cantering is a fast gait for a horse and makes a sort of rocking horse motion. Also, when you are riding a horse, unless you are riding side saddle you do not have a lap to put things on. You are straddling a horse, your legs are to the side of you. You can have something in your saddle, but you would have to hold onto it, especially at a canter where it feels like you're about to be thrown off at every forward movement. You'd have to hold onto the bag while holding onto the reins.
Geography seems to be a bit iffy here. They start off in a forest and then the Shade climbs "a piece of granite that jutted above them. from his perch he could see all of the surrounding forest" (page 5). Which means that it must be one hell of a big piece of granite to let him see all of the forest with its many tall trees and what not.
Well, I got Eragon today. We'll see how it pans out, now won't we?