Man these random ass names don’t half make my autocorrect go a bit mad.
Revelation at Yazuac
Brom’s in a good mood and Eragon isn’t. What else is new. The rest of the journey to Yazuac takes about half a page as it should do, since nothing else notable happens.
There’s a bit of unnecessary description. Paolini tells us that Yazuac looks like a dark bump on the horizon, but is still very far away. He then explains this by saying that this is because the plains are so flat. We can deduce this pretty easily from the prior sentence.
Saphira then whines because she has to hide all the time like a criminal. Hang on Saphira, wasn’t that one of the reasons you wanted to leave Carvahall in the first place? Also, she knows exactly what the stakes are here. Even though it’s annoying, I quite like that she acts like this. She’s stubborn and proud and this reflects that.
Yazuac is suspiciously quiet when they arrive. Not wanting to walk into an ambush, they don’t go in through the main entrance. If it was an ambush set specifically for them (I don’t think it is) then it would probably be set by the ra’zac and they’d be keeping an eye on every entrance. Also they have all the resources in the Empire at their disposal. Watching more than one path would be well within their power.
Luckily they enter the village without incident. Unfortunately, there’s a massive pile of bodies. I actually got a shock when I reread this part because I forgot that there’s a baby included in the pile of bodies. As awful as it sounds, I like the inclusion of this because it shows us that Paolini’s not going to ‘sweeten’ the war or the brutality of the Empire for us. The description of the bodies is well done as well. It sounds appropriately horrible and it’s natural for Eragon to linger on the sight. Eragon’s reaction is totally natural as well; he starts to cry and shoots a crow which tries to scavenge from the bodies. This is the first time he would have seen brutal death or murder, so it makes sense that he’s take it very personally.
Then we get our first real fight scene!
The urgals appear, and they’re ugly so we know that they’re evil. Come on, Paolini. I know that you’re fifteen or sixteen or whatever but it really is insanely cliche.
I do like that instead of trying to fight immediately, Eragon flees. Even though he’s been sparring with Brom he knows he’s not a trained fighter and these urgals probably are. His best chance is to run for his life and he takes it. Apart from shooting a couple of arrows, he only really joins the fight when it looks like Brom is going to die. Even then, he mostly just tries to distract them.
Eragon is going to use magic for the first time. He does this by thinking rapid-fire through all the awful things the urgals have done. Basically he thinks of all the bodies piled up in the village and grows so angry that he loses his fear and feels powerful. He looses an arrow, swearing ‘brisingr’ and the urgals are killed by blue fire. I have a couple of problems with this. First of all, it’s predictable. Eragon is cornered and angry so of course something is going to happen that saves it. Considering we know that magic exists it’s not a difficult leap to make. Then again, I suppose this can be explained by the fact that in this world, magic is usually activated by performing a strenuous task (such as fighting for your life) so it can be explained. Or the eldunari intervened. My second problem is that ‘brisingr’ doesn’t need a capital letter. It means ‘fire’.
It’s lucky that Eragon did kill the urgals, because he immediately passes out.