I’m never going to reach Eldest at the pace I’m going now. Lol.
Oh Murtagh, my absolute favourite. Or one of my top five favourite characters in this series, anyway (Nasuada, Roran, Murtagh, Orik, Horst if you didn’t know). We’re going to have a weird couple of chapters before the story gets going again. We’re in the halfway point – of the story, anyway. I have no idea how much of the book is actually left. I feel like Eragon can be pretty clearly split up into two distinct parts. Hunting for the ra’zac, and then going to the Varden.
Eragon is in a sort of semi-conscious state at the start of this chapter. I’ve always thought that ending a chapter with unconsciousness is a bit of a cheap way to do things, especially when the next chapter begins with waking up. I’ve just never been a fan of it, personally.
I’m not really a fan of how Murtagh is described. We’re told there’s a strange man sitting opposite the fire, and then the description is written. It would be better if the description was worked into the action, so it would seem more organic.
Despite the amount of times I’ve read these books, I always thought Murtagh had black hair. Apparently he has brown. Maybe because he’s kind of an angsty person at times I just assumed he had the hair to match.
We immediately learn that Murtagh is a closed off person. Better, we’re shown it and left to infer this aspect of his personality. “His voice was low and controlled.” We will learn later that Murtagh has an extraordinary level of control over his mind, and this gives us a hint towards that.
Murtagh tells Eragon that Brom’s wound is bad because the knife went right between his ribs. I have to say, that’s some good aim from the ra’zac who there it. Flung it at Brom whilst fleeing and managed to get a kill.
Saphira’s very focused on protecting Eragon. When Murtagh puts pressure on Eragon’s wound to see how serious it is, she growls at him. While at first it does come off as Saphira being unfriendly, when you think about it in terms of her bond with Eragon, her overprotectiveness makes sense.
Eragon then behaves in a very Eragon-like way. He goes to look at Brom’s wound, and Murtagh tells him not to. “‘I wouldn’t do that,’ warned Murtagh. ‘He’ll bleed to death without it.'” Pretty solid warning. Brom’s on his deathbed, so it makes sense you don’t want him to bleed out. “Eragon ignored him and pulled the cloth away from Brom’s side.” This is ridiculous. I get that Paolini’s trying to make out that Eragon’s feeling reckless and doesn’t care because he’s losing Brom, but this is just stupid. If Brom is literally going to bleed to death, then it’s silly that he’d describe Eragon as doing this. If Brom is not going to bleed to death, then it’s silly for Murtagh to say he is. Just the use of the word ‘might’ could prove valuable here in Murtagh’s warning.
Eragon remarks that “a wound inflicted by the ra’zac was slow to heal.” I can’t actually remember why this is. I know that Garrow was covered in burns because of the seithr oil, but do they coat their weapons in it too? I wonder if this was explained previously and I’ve forgotten, or it will be explained later. We’ll see.
Eragon heals Brom. Or, he closes the wound. We’ll actually learn in Eldest that when healing a wound, you need to heal it on the inside as well as the outside. In Eldest, Eragon has to heal a wound of Saphira’s which requires him healing the muscle in her leg before healing the skin on the surface. As Eragon has only had minimal education, it makes sense that he doesn’t really know this yet. He does mention that he doesn’t “know enough to fix whatever’s damaged inside.” It does make sense though that he wouldn’t realise what a crucial part internal damage can play in hurting someone.
Eragon and Murtagh make a litter so that Saphira can carry Brom while they try and get away from the ra’zac’s potential return.
Murtagh decides to accompany Eragon so that he might get another shot at the ra’zac. I have to say, he’s being really stupid. Murtagh basically really does not want to go to the Varden. Eragon is a Rider who is being hunted by the Empire. Surely Murtagh would assume that Eragon is going to try and head straight to the Varden. It’s the safest place for him, and he has to assume that Eragon is going to be trained. Why would he bother joining up with Eragon (at least for as long as he ends up doing) if he really doesn’t want to to.
Saphira has found them a cave to hide in. It’s in a huge sandstone formation. They somehow manage to get the horses up this.
They go to sleep feeling safe. It’s coming guys. Brom is about to die!