I’ve honestly got so little recollection of how far I am into the story. Eragon doesn’t half drag at times.
We open the chapter and Eragon finally has his magic back! That seemed quite simple. I wouldn’t have put it past Paolini to drag this subplot out for about ten chapters.
I also like how we’re shown that Eragon is learning about how magic works from how he unlocks the door. We saw earlier on, prior to Dras-Leona, that Eragon fought a group of urgals by trying to throw them far enough to kill them, which obviously didn’t work. We can see here that he’s improving because he unlocks the door by simply pushing the mechanism into ‘unlocked’ rather than break the lock itself.
His priority is of course to rescue Arya. He’s attacked by some soldiers and rescued by Murtagh in disguise. Eragon threatens one of the soldiers with torture until he gives up the information on where Arya is. After threatening the man with torture, he then magically knocks him out rather than killing him. Eragon has some quite bizarre morals.
Anyway, they find Arya and I am just going to quote this entire paragraph in which Ergaon sees her:
“A single beam of moonlight slanted through the window, illuminating the elf’s face with cool silver.
She faced him, tense and coiled, ready for whatever would happen next. She held her head high, with a queen’s demeanour. Her eyes, dark green, almost black, and slightly angled like a cat’s, lifted to Eragon’s. Chills shot through him.”
Okay, let’s dissect how much I hate this. First of all, the moonlight. Gil’ead is a big city and, being a military outpost, presumably in operation 24 hours a day. There must be smoke. How can there be so little light pollution from a city that the moon is able to produce enough light to illuminate her? Surely the outside of the prison must be quite well lit up?
Next, we later learn that while in captivity, Arya is basically in a constant state of being poisoned. She keeps herself in a self-induced coma to slow down the effects of this. Based on this, why is she standing around all ready to get involved in the action?
Saying she has a ‘queen’s demeanour’ is clearly just a nod to the fact that she’s a princess. Although Eragon seems to have this opinion of pretty much every elf. Maybe the people of Carvahall have bad posture of something.
I don’t know whether dark green eyes are more or less cliche than like, icy blue or something. Where’s my people with muddy brown eyes? Hazel eyes? Whatever, I’ll forgive it because she’s an elf and I suppose they’re meant to be ‘different’.
Arya faints. Eragon catches her. Despite being kept prisoner in a filthy prison and being tortured constantly, Arya smells like pine needles as opposed to sweat. I don’t care if she’s a fantasy creature, that is stupid.
They grab Arya and run up the stairs towards a banquet room, which seems to be on the way to the armoury. Bit odd. Eragon has a sensible moment for once and grabs some food and drink.
Durza then appears, being about as dramatic as you’d expect an evil person with white skin and maroon hair to be.
I’m honestly kind of skimming these pages because they just read like a young kid trying to sound badass. Durza talks in a weird pseudo-intellectual way and is better than Eragon at sword fighting. Despite this, Saphira breaks the roof open and Murtagh manages to shoot him in the face and he turns into smoke and disappears. Some soldiers run in, Saphira flies them out of there, everything is hunky-dory and I won’t have to deal with Durza until the end of the book. Hooray.