Chapter Queen Islanzadi, Out of the Past
Well, I'm a third of the way through the book, and I still don't know what's going on. Oh the events are clear enough, but I don't feel any tension. No one is in danger. There's no threat. Sure Galby is around... somewhere. But again, he's not being threatening. Things are just happening one after another for some reason, that reason being that they are steps on the Hero's Journey, but they don't really move the story forward.
In any case, Eragon is overawed by the fact that Ayra is a princess. And to hammer facts home even more, he remembers Angela's prophecy that he would love one of noble birth. So, not only can he not choose he would love or have many of them, but it's already destined. He's just stuck with this one choice. And that's not really fair to him. But I'm sure it's not supposed to be seen that way. Instead it's supposed to be a wonderful thing of True Love and happily ever after. Because you only need one person in your life to love and you don't need to discover them. It just happens.
Meanwhile Elf Queen and Elf Sue make up. The Queen is apparently very sorry about having done something. Ayra appears to be reluctant to make nice, but the queen gets what she wants.
Then the raven speaks, in doggerel. "And on the door was graven evermore, what now became the family lore, Let us never do but to adore!" (page 227) I have absolutely no idea what that's supposed to mean. It's just words strung together that look like they were horribly born from the raped body of Poe's the Raven. After all they all rhyme with "nevermore". But other than that, I've got nothing.
The queen the turns and pays attention to Eragon (least we forget that he's the main character of our story) she gets Eragon and Saphira's names. Eragon's name gets a lot of attention because it's such an uber rare name. Dwarf appears to be ignored completely. They don't even ask his name. Instead they ask for what happened to Eragon until he got there. He tells them. He shows them this scroll that Nasuada gave him to give to the Queen. Eragon then asks the Queen to reestablish relations with the Varden. Since the only reason why they stopped hanging around the Varden is because they thought Ayra was dead, and she's not, they agree. It seems rather shady to me. After all the main goal of the Varden and the Elves is to rid the world of Galby, because he's evil and they're good. So, despite the fact that they thought that Ayra was dead, the alliance should have still continued, because the greater good is more important, the cause is more important than one person. Even if the person is your daughter.
Eragon is then named an elf friend. Why? Because he helped Ayra and the Varden. Once. He's done one thing and all of a sudden he's an elf friend. Previous mentions of this have led me to believe that it's very difficult to become an elf friend. But Eragon is just that special that he becomes one with only one great deed to his name. Their standards must have gone down or maybe it's like what they give people who donate a certain amount of money to a campaign. First level is elf friend, second level is elf lover, third level is elf's trusted secret love slave and bondage partner.
When Eragon asks about his training, he's told because of the damage done to him by the Shade he's not allowed to be trained. As long as his infirmity persists he can't be trained and will only be a figure head. Paolini has written himself into a corner here. Eragon needs to be trained, but he can't be trained because he has that scar. He can't get rid of the scar because no one can see what's wrong with it. So... he's stuck unless he pulls something out of his magic hat.
After all this, Dwarf finally gets addressed. They don't even ask him his name. No one seems to be very interested in him. If I were dwarf, I'd be very insulted by all of this. After all, he's there as a representative of his people to a group that traditionally didn't get along with his, and they're ignoring him. This is another mark down in the black book of why dwarves dislike elves, at least according to me. But it's not looked at like that, because Dwarf is not Ayra the Sue or Eragon and therefor not important.
Ayra then tells her story of torture and imprisonment without any difficulty. She just tells it in a complete monotone. This woman has almost been raped numerous times. She was beaten and tortured. But she has no difficulty in retelling what happened to her. She shows no emotion at all. Now, there's repression, but Ayra, as far as we know, has told no one about what happened to her. She never even talked to Eragon about it. But she's able to tell people an intimate and horrifying experience in a completely calm manner without breaking. She shows all the emotional range her of a piece of cardboard. Here was a chance for Paolini to show how this tragic event effected his heroine and he totally blows it.
The elves then celebrate Ayra's return and Eragon's existence with a long dinner with no meat. The dinner drags on for pages. Eragon at one point gets annoyed that more people are paying attention to Saphira than to him. The meal goes on and the Raven speaks again.
Dragons, like wagons
Dragons, like flagons
But while two hold beer,
the other eats deer.
Apparently the elves are mortified at such a verse and are afraid that Saphira will be offended. I'm not really sure what's there to be offended by. It's not like the Raven compared Saphira to a small rock lizard that got run over by a drunken wine merchant. It was just a bit of bad poetry. Saphira was not offended so it's all right.
Apparently the raven is very special. He once saved Ayra's father by pecking out the eyes of an urgal. No one knows why the bird did that. It just did. So to reward the bird it was given intelligence and long life. I'm not sure exactly how that's supposed to reward a bird. I mean it's a bird. It was probably a fluke that it decided to attack that urgal. The bird doesn't need a reward. It's non-sentient. In fact he had to make it sentient. Rewards are something that sentient creatures need, not random birds. A better reward would have been to declare that all ravens were holy or not to be hunted or special in someway, as opposed to rewarding the individual bird. In any case the magics made the bird even more special by making it white and to be able to predict certain events. Yes. The raven can foretell the future. Kinda like Odin's ravens. Hrmmm... I wonder where Paolini got that from.
There's also a werecat among the elves. You can call her Maud. She knows Serious Ass.. and that sounded wrong. I suppose she'll become important later on. Or she'll just be there for some random reason.
Elf Queen shows Eragon to his quarters. They're up in a tree. It's lovely and magical. Saphira and Eragon discuss what had happened for the day and come up with that they don't know anything. They go to sleep. The night is liquid.
They wake up. They eat. There are new clothes for Eragon and they're special, like nothing he's ever felt before and were specially made for him. Dwarf shows up and tells him that the elves want to see. Apparently they're being shady about something.
The Queen makes Eragon, Dwarf and Saphira promise in the ancient language that they'll never speak of what they're about to see to anyone without her permission. They promise, after some reluctance.
What the queen wanted to show them was a very large gold dragon.
But all the dragon riders were killed! OH NOES! HOW COULD THIS BE! Could this be Yoda?! I think so!
We'll have to wait though to learn more because next chapter is back to Roran.
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