Fragment Five: An Incontinent Minotaur

Chapter Three, Part 2

Dennagon wrenched open his eyes, terrified at the visions that bombarded his mind (page 64).

Okay. So were those previous scenes intended to be some kind of vision he’s having?

Despite his terrorized posture, the dark ocean of his dreams only existed as dreams, and nothing more. It took him a second to realize that fact.

“Where am I?! What is time?! Certainty lies in one’s mind, but how can I know anything for certain?!” his random thoughts rambled (page 64).

First, you can’t terrorize your posture. Second, if he’s wondering where he is, why is he pondering the concept of time? Third, if certainty lies within your mind, it seems to follow – you know what, never mind.

He looks around and sees all the trees are growing upside-down with their roots poking up toward the sky, which doesn’t sound like it would work in real life but okay.

This must have been the Pedorian Forest (page 65).

No. This must be the Pedorian Forest. You’re not looking at the smoldering remains of what used to be. Present tense, Eng. Even Gloria Tesch writes better than this.


The wurm shows up. It’s named Dradicus. Dennagon just knows this without any introduction because Eng forgot about it, I assume. The wurm has a ‘goofy expression’ which doesn’t help me take this chapter any more seriously.

Faster than lightning, Dennagon grabbed the opponent by the throat and slammed him into a ground-dwelling canopy. Dradicus’ googly pupils ringed around his rounded eyes disoriented (page 65).

Take a closer look at the second sentence in that quote, my friends. Read it out loud. Read it a second time. That’s an actual sentence from this book.


I do wonder how the wurm was able to immediately overpower Dennagon when they first met but now Dennagon is able to throw him around without a problem.

Two other dragons come in and pull Dennagon off Dradicus and throw him to the ground.

Dennagon understood only one thing. They attacked him, and thus, were the enemy (page 65).

Technically, they didn’t attack him so much as drag him off a wurm he was strangling, but those minor distinctions mean nothing to someone as intelligent and educated as our draconic hero.

However, his sword is gone. The ouroboros (stolen from Greek history) has it. There’s an uninteresting fight scene which is broken up by the appearance of Lyconel.

Dennagon helpfully exposits that they’re all “Errants.” He clarifies: “Dissidents.” That was helpful. He says that he won’t reveal anything no matter what they do to him, but for the sake of curiosity, he’d like to know what they want. Lyconel says they want……..him.

Dennagon looked at her. Her eyes were straighter than the path of the fastest light ray (page 67).

That doesn’t make any fucking sense on so many different levels.

Dennagon laughs and says that trying to blackmail the collective is pointless.

“They want me back as much as they want to suck the bladder of an incontinent minotaur” (page 67).

That’s a lovely mental image.

Lyconel explains they’re here to help. The attack on Drakemight was not intended to eliminate data. Instead…well, we get into the “long ago”. Way back when, there was a “point that encompassed all moments in time” and that is what the humans actually want. And the humans have already managed to tap into the source of time. She pulls out something that looks a bit like a gun. One of the other dragons throws a helmet in the air. Lyconel fires and reduces the helm into shrapnel.

This makes Dennagon’s mouth drop open. I…really don’t know why. He’s already squared off against nuclear weapons without batting an eyelash. Why does a relatively simple machine-gun blow his mind?

I’m already more than certain this book was never edited, but now I suspect it was also written out of order.

Lyconel explains the machine gun is only a sample of what humans are capable of. And only dragons are smart enough to stop the humans from destroying everything.

Dennagon doesn’t believe a word of it. He points out that dragons keep wisdom, humans aren’t particularly powerful, and it’s not likely that they have powers from tapping into the source of time. And that he really needs to get back to collecting knowledge. One of the other dragons shoots an arrow up which scatters the leaves enough to reveal the night sky, which makes me suspect Eng doesn’t know how bows and arrows work. But apparently, the ashes of Drakemight still linger in the air. Which they can see, even though it’s dark.

“Drakemight is no more.” (page 70)

Well. Yeah. Getting hit by a few hundred nukes will take care of most cities. More importantly, why does Dennagon not remember what happened literally a few hours before? He’s already guessed the humans were behind the nuclear attack, and now he’s trying to argue that humans don’t pose a threat?

Maybe he has incurable brain damage. We can always hope.

Lyconel says they’re his only hope if he doesn’t want to aimlessly roam the earth for the rest of his life. Dennagon agrees, on the condition that he gets his sword back. Nomax (whose name Dennagon knows as well, for unexplained reasons) throws it back.

With a handkerchief of human skin, he wiped off the filthy claw prints (page 71).

A…handkerchief…made out of human skin?


There’s a noise and they all dive for cover. It turns out to be a bunch of sentries from Drakemight who are out…well, leaving, I guess. Dennagon thinks through his options. He considers signaling the sentries and wiping out Lyconel and the rest of the dissidents, who he doesn’t particularly trust, but then realizes he doesn’t really trust anyone at Drakemight either.

The tension virtually permeated the air. He could feel one of his new allies immersed in terror, another that was stooped in clandestine, covert thoughts, another that pondered meticulously, and the last that just plainly wanted to kill him (page 72).

Interesting, dragons have a mild form of ESP. That’s handy. I mean, if I was Dennagon, I would use it on Lyconel when she’s talking to see whether she’s telling the truth (or, at least, if she believes in what she’s saying – it’s useful information either way). Something tells me this ability won’t be used in any meaningful way.

Anyway, Dennagon decides not to betray them. They all wait until the sentries pass. Lyconel gets up.

“Follow my lead,” she advisedly commanded (page 73).

Seriously, Eng? Advisedly commanded?

We cut forward. In the middle of the forest there’s an upside-down lake that hovers in midair, and the Drakemight sentries settle there. We’re treated to an idiotic argument between two sentries, which I’ll skip. We rejoin Dennagon and co. at the outskirts of the lake and learn something new:

“The Drakemight collective organized that attack upon itself. They’re as much the enemies as the sapiens are.” (page 76).

The nuclear attack? Or the knight attack? Either way, this is kind’ve a huge piece of information, so naturally Dennagon doesn’t think about it at all.

A cloud swoops overhead. It’s the dragon-king, Drekkenoth. He lands at the center and all the sentries gather round.

Loyally as canines, the sentries did wait, every moment their pupils focused upon their master (page 77).

Drekkenoth tells the dragons that while the walls were destroyed, they haven’t lost the battle. Actually, they’ve definitely lost the battle. I think he means they haven’t lost the war yet. He goes on to say they need to advance on the human armies. The sentries aren’t happy about that, pointing out that they can’t really fight against nuclear weapons.

“I say his leadership wavers,” said the last sentry. “He cannot command us any longer.” (page 78)

Wow. Took one page and less than five minutes for the dragons to go from canine loyalty to Julius Caesar.

The dragons attack and Drekkenoth slaughters them without much of a problem.

Blood splattered all over and severed body parts were cast in all directions, the duress of a bestial fury untamed directing the wrath without care for life (page 80).

Eventually things settle down. Drekkenoth informs the survivors that the information has made him as strong as a million dragons. He then throws a bunch of the black data orbs and all the dragons take off after them in need of food. After a few minutes Arxinor and Gorgash fly down to join him and share some helpful exposition.

“That went as calculated,” remarked Arxinor.
“Their pace in downloading has quickened,” descried Gorgash.
“Their minds will grow weak with the cognitive venom we have implanted.” (page 81)

For the love of Paolini, Eng. Use “said”.

At any rate, I’m guessing that this plot point means Drekkenoth has been poisoning the minds of all the dragons, but Dennagon, being the lone abstainer, has been immune from the mindvirus.

Gorgash asks about Dennagon, but Drekkenoth says he’s irrelevant. Evil Overlord Mistake.

Dennagon’s mind is completely blown. He’s completely lost track of what he believes and what is Real and what is not and whether magic has poisoned his thoughts. He concludes that he must be dreaming, and the only way out of a dream is to die, so he starts walking towards Drekkenoth to be killed. However, Nomax sees this and bashes him into unconsciousness with a large rock, because while buildings collapsing on top of him can be shrugged off, a fist or rock really does the trick.


  5 Responses to “Fragment Five: An Incontinent Minotaur”

  1. Why fantasy? I mean, it’s a perfectly innocent little genre. It can be quite serious, make wonderful social commentary…why does it attract SO. MANY. NUTTERS? (Sigh.)

  2. I just… ground-dwelling canopy? FTL eyes? Sudden nukes? What the fuck is going ooooon..?! ;_;

  3. I would like to know this as well.

  4. Maybe the trees didn’t *grow* upside-down, and the fact that they’re upside-down now is why it must *have been* the Pedorian Forest?

  5. Maybe in Eng’s universe, “pedorian” is a synonym for “upside down,” since you can see the, ahem, feet (“ped-“) of the trees?