The first page is a real bore. We get two paragraphs of pointless description of the landscape surrounding Helgrind, which is boring and unoriginal. Paolini uses such fresh metaphors as “bowels of the earth”. Another paragraph is spent explaining how Eragon was transformed into a super elf.

Next, CP makes one the silliest and awkward sentences ever.

“This group moved with many strange and varied gaits—they limped and shuffled and humped and wiggled; …” (p. 1)

Ah yes, humping. A viable mode of transportation for cripples all across the world. Eragon avoids using magic, afraid the priests of Helgrind might detect him. In other words, he is avoiding a fight with a group of cripples. You might think this is honorable, although the language he consistently uses to degrade their existence shows otherwise. He is simply afraid of the priests.

Now we get some needlessly detailed reports of Helgrind ceremonies, which include some really bad sentences.

“Half of the young men gave their frames a vigorous shake when they stepped forward with their right foot, producing a dolorous cacophony of notes, while the other half shook their frames when they advanced upon the left foot, causing iron tongues to crash against iron throats and emit a mournful clamor that echoed over the hills.” (p. 2)

This sentence has 57 words, 79 syllable, and 5 abstract words that don’t make good images. Awesome. There are far more like this, but I’m skipping description from now on, so I can get to plot points faster. But I had to quote this terrible dialog.

““Gar!” said Roran in an undertone. “You failed to mention that those errant flesh-mongers, those gore-bellied, boggle-minded idiot worshippers were cannibals.”
“Not quite. They do not partake of the meat.”

More pointless description of the Helgrind ceremony. This only serves to introduce us to an acolyte who cuts off his own hand. This will undoubtedly be the villain who “likes laughing, but not in a good way”.

Then Eragon uses his amazing telepathy to detect the presence of minds in the Helgrind, and they make a lame plan to attack.

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  1. Erik on 4 October 2008, 22:35 said:

    The acolyte who cut off his own hand wasn’t the villain who ‘likes laughing, but not in a good way’.
    In your face!

  2. SlyShy on 4 October 2008, 22:40 said:

    Dear Erik,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Oh, yes, I know. I wrote this before I read the entire book.

    I guess I gave Christopher Paolini too much credit when I thought he could write foreshadowing.

  3. Lord Snow on 5 October 2008, 00:52 said:

    BTW, In your face!

  4. GC on 5 October 2008, 12:12 said:

    How mature this banter is. Might I add some expert opinions on the deep undercurrents of philosophical theology in Rambo?

  5. Snow White Queen on 7 October 2008, 22:42 said:

    …humping…and the innuendo continues…

  6. That Wanderer on 12 January 2009, 20:54 said:

    Of course the innuendo is there!

    It never left. Mr. Paolini always has it there, lurking, ready to amuse or disgust the minds of sick-minded readers.


  7. OverlordDan on 12 January 2009, 21:44 said:

    GC, I would be delighted.