This one was written by me.
Chapter Thirty – Infidels on the Loose
“What an idiot,” proclaimed Angela [snip], “all he had to do was – this!” (page 296)
And she smashes through an amethyst with her monomolecular sword. Yes, clearly a terrified slave-boy is an idiot because he didn’t figure out the exact best way to diffuse a magic system he’s never seen before using the monomolecular sword he doesn’t own. A few sporkers have noted their displeasure with Angela, and I have to agree. She started off as a refreshingly interesting character back in Eragon and has since grown more and more unlikable. She’s kind of a bitch, to be honest.
Eragon alternates between watching Angela methodically hack away at the amethysts and watching the Ra’zac slowly break its way out of the egg. It’s the kind of scene that could have some tension in the hands of a skilled writer…Eragon is watching the monster slowly get out and come to kill them while Angela tries to free him. Of course, it doesn’t really have any tension, for two reasons:
1. Paolini isn’t a very good writer.
2. Why doesn’t Angela just kill the Ra’zac?
She’s standing there with a fucking monomolecular sword. It would take her maybe ten seconds to dispatch both of them and then she can take her time freeing Eragon and Arya.
The text isn’t particularly clear about what parts of the room have what powers (because, Paolini), but I guess it’s possible he’s trying to say Angela has to smash all the amethysts before they can get at where the Ra’zac are, which, okay, but the scene still doesn’t have any tension. I’m going to bet on the ridiculously competent lightsaber-wielding chick over the freshly hatched baby monster.
Paolini describes the baby Ra’zac using words like horrible, monstrous, carapace, grotesque, none of which I believe. I bet it’s adorable.
Anyway, the Ra’zac gets out of the adorable little Ra’zac egg and climbs to its adorable little Ra’zac feet just as Angela breaks the last amethyst and shouts “now” and Solembum leaps across the room and snaps it’s neck and that’s that. Yes, the horrible threat was defeated in less than 1 second by a kitty.
Angela cuts Arya and Eragon free, and they immediately start healing themselves. Eragon then uses the word Brisingr on the other unhatched egg and listens as the baby Ra’zac screams as it burns to death.
Eragon watched with satisfaction (page 298).
Because really, what is more satisfying than xenocide?
Eragon checks on Arya and talks about how brave she was to destroy her wrist trying to escape, and that he totally tried, but his hand was too big.
Angela reads the mind of the boy who tried to save them, and decides that he’s a “self-absorbed little wretch”. How quirky! But she does learn the way out. Eragon says they have to take the boy with him, since he promised, so Arya shrugs and throws the boy over her shoulder.
Arya gives Eragon her monomolecular sword to fight with and then pulls out a poniard. What is a poniard? Glad you asked, because I have no fucking idea, but it did impress me that Paolini has such an extensive vocabulary. Apparently, it’s a light thrusting knife with a cross guard.
Angela explains that he needs to be very careful with the sword and make sure he doesn’t lean it against anything, because it can cut through basically anything. Eragon tests it on a stone pillar and it slices through it like the granite was custard, because they have a lot of custard in Umlautgaesia. Eragon almost cuts his arm off but manages to stop the sword in time. Angela then give shim the scabbard, which apparently the sword can’t cut through, which is handy.
Eragon asks what the sword’s name is.
Angela laughed. “Of course. In the ancient language, its name is Albitr, which means exactly what you think.” (page 302)
It bites people named Al?
“But I prefer to call it Tinkledeath.” (page 302)
Because it’s used to kill people who are taking a leak?
They head out the door and standing outside are twenty guards. But there’s a blur and suddenly all twenty of them keel over dead, stabbed through the eye. He turns around and sees Angela, pale as an albino in a burqa in February, shaking with the effort. They ask her how she did it, and she gives a quirky answer. Then she explains that she probably can’t use Hadoken again that day.
They keep going, passing by lots of rooms, but don’t find Eragon’s magic belt or their other stolen possessions. After a bit, they see a couple random novitiates standing there holding some bells. Eragon leaps forward and stabs one through the neck, and the kitty Solembum kills the other but not before he rings all of his bells. This actually raises a question. Why doesn’t Eragon have a Vulcan neck pinch spell? You know, something that renders someone instantly unconscious? He has a bunch of words for death, so why not a quick and easy spell to knock someone out so he doesn’t have to murder random people all the time?
They start running and come out into a room where the High Priest is sitting with a butch of priests performing some kind of blood ceremony. There are stained-glass windows and pews and religion is bad, we get it Paolini, and then Eragon sees Brisingr and the battle is joined. Eragon dices up a couple guards, and then, in an elegantly choreographed fight scene, they murder the shit out of everyone in the room. It’s very dramatic. Some of the priests they set on fire, some of them they punch so hard that their chest cavities cave in, and others they kill with magic.
Pretty soon everyone is dead except Our Heroes and the High Priest, and the battle of minds begins. Eragon is quite impressed that he can hold off all four of them at once.
The priest did things the likes of which Eragon had never experienced before (page 310).
There are all sorts of horrible jokes I could make about this, most involving the Catholic church, but I won’t. Finally, the High Priest gives up. Angela stalks over and says she’s going to tell him her name. She whispers it in his ear and he is utterly horrified and screams in horror until Angela stabs him through the best and he disintegrates into ash.
Wow. I guess Angela’s real name is going to be some kind of important plot point that will become incredibly relevant later on in the plot, right?