Chapter Fifty-Seven: Return
Pipedream couldn’t help smiling a little as she went to take Inheritance off the book shelf. How long she had waited to renew her attack with sharpened kitchen implement at the ready…
“Gawd,” she said under her breath, as her arm struggled to bear its considerable weight. Seating herself back onto the couch she lazily flipped through the numerous chapters, noticing with admiration how far they had all already come. Once she had found the end of Lacuna, Part The Second, and the beginning of Return, Pipedream skimmed the first page and turned it…
… only to come face to face with The City Of Sorrows, the book’s 58th chapter.
What? she thought. Surely that can’t be right. I haven’t turned two pages in a row, have I? The book isn’t missing any pages, is it?
No, it was none of those. Return was merely a single page in length.
It was then that Pipedream’s thing rose in her. Prophecies of revenge, spoken in a wretched language only she knew, rolled from her tongue. She raised Inheritance into the air and with one swift motion tore the single page out. She then screwed it up and crammed it in her mouth. She had never eaten paper before but knew in this case it was time to make an exception.
For it was crap, and to crap it would return.
Yeah. I’m pretty frustrated with this. I didn’t actually tear the page out and eat it, but the sentiment is still there. For some stupid reason, Paolini thought it’d be a great idea to separate Eragon and Saphira leaving the Vault of Souls and what happens directly afterwards (as in, THEY LEAVE AND THAT’S IT) into separate chapters.
You remember how Eragon and Saphira already know they’re about to lose their memory? As in; it’s been made very clear? So it doesn’t actually have to be written down because it’s assumed? Yeah, well our dear author doesn’t know this. Look, I’d accept it just fine if the end of Lacuna 2: Electric Boogaloo was Eragon and Saphira forgetting, if Paolini REALLY insisted on writing every silly detail about it (which he does anyway). That’d work just as well as how it ends now:
Then Eragon squared his shoulders, and together he and Saphira strode through the Gate of Vergathos and thus departed the Vault of Souls.
But the thing which gets me is the above example is also a perfectly valid way to finish this subplot, too! That’s enough. That’s all the reader needs. (In my humble opinion, of course, but my opinion is why you’re here, right?) In short, there’s nothing more to say.
I mean, I’m flabbergasted. Is he trying to be avant-garde, or does Paolini really think that you need a chapter break for that final tiny bit between Lacunas One and Two because the eggs in those chapters are to be forgotten once they leave? Gods above, does he think he’s being clever by doing this?
But of course, here we have a writer who just LOVES having the final word after the final word. So welcome to the shortest chapter (all of 307 words!) I think Paolini has ever written:
Eragon frowned as he stepped out of the tunnel into the early-afternoon sunlight that bathed the clearing before the Rock of Kuthian.
Eragon then remembers that he’s forgotten something, and tries to remember it.
You know that feeling you get when you can’t remember your dream? It’s exactly like that, only described in such over-the-top painful detail it’s like Paolini doesn’t realise he’s talking about something everyone can understand in a brief sentence.
The door closes behind them. Umaroth tells Eragon to get going.
The day grows long, and many leagues lie between here and Uru’baen.
Eragon climbs on Saphira, still with that weird feeling. Paolini takes the time to remind the reader about the absolutely nonconsequential fauna with the sound of a shadow bird which Eragon can’t spot even though he’s Supermandragonelf. (If he really wants to know where it is, can’t he just sense it instead, anyway?)
He made a face. He was glad to have visited Vroengard, but he was equally glad to be leaving. The island was an unfriendly place.
Firstly, what kind of face exactly did Eragon make? Happy? Sad? Of course I know what Paolini’s implying with this statement (I get this hilarious mental image of Eragon screwing up his face in childlike distaste) but it just feels really off next to all the run-on sentences. Isn’t ‘made a face’ a little ‘slangy’?
Then, we get another attack of the non-impartial narrator. Since, you know, it’s not as if anyone of the characters are thinking or saying it. Nope, it’s the narrator. Right?
So to finish off the chapter (uh-huh, we’re nearly at the next stop already) Saphira takes flight in a really awkwardly phrased way:
With a sweep of her wings, Saphira jumped into the air and took flight over the grove of apple trees at the other side of the clearing.
Having a really hard time visualising this. She can jump-flap an entire clearing in one movement? Or is it only properly called ‘taking flight’ from when she’s comfortably in the air? That doesn’t sound right…
Saphira heads east and to Uru’baen, leaving behind the remains of the Riders’ once-glorious stronghold.
BE SAD, READERS, ‘CAUSE THE RIDERS WERE COOL N SHIT.