kippurbird: (Default)
I imagine people are wondering what happened to me.

Penguins did.

See what I mean? )
kippurbird: (:D)
Better update.

I went to the Once upon a time panel with authors Lynn Flewelling, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Megan Whalen Turner and Brent Weeks.

The first question put to the panel was, "Can an everyman character be in epic fantasy or does it require epic characters?"

The general consensus was that you can. And in fact it helped the readers relate to the characters and stories. There were two dissenters on this, one was Paolini, the other I didn't get the name of. They said that they liked the larger than life characters because they can do all sorts of neat things. Because they are awesome and super-powered. And that is awesome.

And then she went on to say that they called that sort of character a Mary Sue and she didn't see anything wrong with that.

The question was passed to Paolini where upon he declared, "If that's your definition of a Mary Sue, then I guess that makes Eragon one!" Hah Hah. The other panelists looked a bit uncomfortable at that sort of thing. The whole Super-Powered awesome characters are AWESOME bit.

Some (I don't remember who) said that nobles and kings are hard to relate because they're rich and noble and who here is a king?

This I don't believe. I think if you're a good enough writer you can write an interesting rich and noble character. They have the same problems as everyone else does, if not more because they can have the issues of ruling people.

Then they started talking about chosen ones and the idea of Destiny. Paolini did admit that Eragon was a chosen one. But he also said that he was trying to play with the idea of destiny and prophecy by having someone learn that they were going to do something and then killing themselves so that they wouldn't. I don't remember that. But whatever.

TI think it was Brandon Weeks who said that following the Hero's Journey so strictly to the letter, like Lucas did in Star Wars Prequels wasn't a good idea because you ended up shoehorning things into there that didn't always make sense. Things like heroes should have a virgin birth so... Ankain was made from midiclorens. Paolini had a confused look on his face when this was said.

He is aware of fan fiction and slash fic. He also admits to faking in his languages. His final piece of advice on languages was that "apostrophes are fun!"

Right then.

When he saw that my Eragon book was all full of notes and sticky tags he wanted to know why this was. I admitted to be doing some critical work on his books. He was interested and flattered. I was coy, not actually saying I thought they were bad.

Later, today, I actually had a conversation with him where upon I asked about the lack of Galby and he said he was trying to do an, "Orson Wells" (I think) where you hear about the bad guy a lot but don't see him until the very end. He promises that we will actually see Galby in book four. As for the picture of Galby in the guide to Alagesia, he said that someone else was supposed to draw it, but they couldn't do it, so they were going to use a picture of the Ra'zac. He said no, to let him do it, and he stayed up all night drawing it.

I'll take that as a fairly reasonable answer. Though I do worry that even as a bad sketch he looks like a typical Evil Dude.

He said that no, he didn't think Eragon was a Mary Sue. And we started talking about what Mary Sues were before he had to go off to do an interview. He did ask for my card though. Which I gave to him.

We'll see if anything happens. XD
kippurbird: (>:D Heh)
Christopher Paolini is going to be speaking at Comic Con.

Cue evil laughter here.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (Pretty sane...except for the duck)
We finally have a picture of Galby:


He doesn't really, well he looks like any other generic fantasy villain. He looks evil. Sour. Exactly what he 'should be'.

And yet not. We are told that the human Dragon Riders are supposed to become more elf like as they grow older, of course the only person we've seen that to be true with is is Eragon. Brom certainly didn't look like an elf, more beautiful than any man. Nor has any descriptions of Morzan. I'm not putting in Murtagh in here, because he's obviously not special enough to have gone through the transformation early.

In drawing Galby stereotypically evil, Paolini flies in the face of his own canon. He's trying to have it both ways. He wants Eragon to be beautiful because he's the hero so he comes up with some reason for Eragon to become more elf like. However, he doesn't apply it across the board, even if it should be because that would make Glaby good looking, which would make him good. Since, according to Paolini's lay of the land Good is good looking, evil is not. If Galby becomes good looking he is no longer evil. Therefor even if he should be good looking, he can't be.

If that makes sense.
kippurbird: (Mostly Harmless)
As I'm doing the various chapters in the Inheritance series I notice that I put in a lot of "What the Hell Hero" moments. I've started to wonder if I'm being fair to Paolini and Eragon, after all there is no law that says that the Hero has to be perfect. In fact, I'd like it if they weren't and isn't that what Eragon is doing? Being highly imperfect? My own protagonists are far from perfect, even if they aren't as blood thirsty as Eragon they've got their own flaws. At least, I hope they do. So, I wonder, am I being hypocritical in my writings?

And then I think back to the fact that Eragon is supposed to be the Traditional Hero. The standards that I'm using to judge him by are those of the Traditional Hero. Sure, he should of course have flaws, but he's supposed to be a paragon of moral virtue. The one who doesn't want to kill. Harry Potter, Rand Al'Thor, Harry Dresden, Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman, these are all Heroes. Yes, I know, I listed Rand there. See, despite the whole angsty life that Rand leads, he is a Traditional hero. I never got a WTF hero moment from him. Just in regards to the plot. The Never Ending Plot. WHY WON'T IT END?! Soon it'll have more books than the bible!

I digress.

The standards that I hold my characters up to are different than the ones that I am holding up to Eragon. The protagonist verses the Hero.
kippurbird: (Hippie elves)
My thoughts on Paolini's answers to some Q&A

May 2009 Monthly Q&A with Christopher Paolini
(Interview released on July 18th, 2009)

Several people have asked: Was Vrael an elf or human?

An elf.

Vrael was the leader of the Dragon Riders who got kicked in the nuts. The fact that fans have to ask this question as to his race is bad writing on Paolini's part. Brom was the one who told Eragon the story and so it probably should have been mentioned at the time. After all, the fact that elves were the first dragon riders was important. This is one of those important details, because if Galby can defeat an elf in single combat...

More gobltiy gook below )

I got a cheese egg!

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two styles

Mar. 23rd, 2009 07:44 pm
kippurbird: (Fantasy writers)
I have been reading the Obsidian Trilogy by Lackey and Mallory. In reading it, I've noticed that it's similar to the Inheritance Trilogy. Except that it's what the Inheritance Trilogy should be. Both stories are about a young boy who is if not destined the only one of his kind that the Forces of Good have to fight the Forces of Evil. The Evil is Evil with no real redeeming value (at least according to what the text says in Eragon's case). The Good are Good with no chances for falling into Evil. There are the Elves which are Perfect. Huge armies gathering to stop the Evil Overlord. All the traditional cliches that makes up good fluff reading. After all one of Mercedes Lackey's traits is Good is Good and Evil is Evil.

However this is where things stop being the same.

The Hero of the Obsidian Trilogy is Kellen a fifteen year old boy banished from his home city for practicing forbidden magic. He discovers a sister he didn't know existed and that he is what is known as a Mage Knight. A type of wild mage, the forbidden magic he was practicing, that is "created" for battle. Because of this special magical ability he's able to quickly learn how to fight and use a sword as well as other weapons.

The city Kellen came from is extremely xenophobic and ridged. They don't allow change and non-citizens to enter the city. Things that they aren't allowed to change include things for example like ribbons for women's hair, the patterns and colors have to be approved and books written mustn't be too disturbing. Nothing that is too drastic a change is allowed because then the people of the city might not be "content". The city is ruled by mages and it is they who control what can and can't be allowed. They have what is called High Magic which is very structured and nothing at all like wild magic which can pretty much be done on the spot.

The villains are demons who like to torture for entertainment and are generally evil. The queen and her son are even lovers. The Queen has started her plans to Take Over the World and stopping her is what the books are about.

And here we have one of the biggest differences. The Queen hasn't taken over yet. She's not passively sitting in her throne room doing nothing. She does things. And not only that we see her do things. We see her plots in motion, we see her slowly thinning the armies down and taking control of the mage city. Half way done with the final book and I don't know how they're going to stop her. She seems to have them blocked at every turn.

This is exciting! I want to know how they'll triumph. I know they will, but I don't know how! The Good Guys are stuck in a horrid winter, the elves have had to evacuate three of their cities and that's putting a strain on the other cities resources. One of the cities has been seriously infected with a plague and the King among them. The heir is only five years old and he and his mother are in a fortress that is protecting all the pregnant women and the children. A fortress that may run out of supplies before spring. There are shadow elves which can bring the demon's monsters pass the elf wards into their lands. All of this is happening at one time!

What is happening in the Inheritance trilogy? Eragon is going around talking to people and Nasuada is playing emo chicken. There is no threat hanging over their heads. Galby's army isn't bearing down on them. There is no rush. Nothing for them to fight against, nothing for them to stop. It's static and frozen. The army just sits there twiddling their thumbs.

Kellen and Eragon are two completely different creatures as well. For starters, Kellen appears to have a soul. He has emotional responses to things. He gets frightened and worried. At times even feels despair. The first time he killed people he threw up and was traumatized. He frets about the nameless people under his command, fearing sending them to their deaths. Eragon has no reactions. He's always blank. He doesn't get satisfied or angry. He's accepting of what happens. He allows things to happen to him. Just like the rest of the book, he's completely static. His reactions never linger and never connect to anything else. Eragon doesn't wonder about what the enemy will do next. Kellen is constantly trying to out think them.

The elves are also different. Sure they are both perfect but their cultures are completely different. Paloini's elves are free from what could be considered our societal restraints. They're free to have sex with whomever they want with no commitments. They don't eat meat because they care for all living things (except for plants) and don't want to see them suffer. They seem to do what they want and don't have any real organization. It's practically anarchy! Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it feels like a hippie commune. On the other hand Lackey's elves are bound by traditions. They put great stock in polite society. They don't ask questions because a person might not want to answer them. They never discuss what they were coming to talk to a person about right away because it would be rude. They talk a lot about tea and the weather. They drink a lot of tea. Also they don't see themselves as better than humans. Just different. The elves have had many years to perfect their crafts, but they don't have magic like humans do and they realize this.

I had more to say... but my brain fried. Perhaps more later. When I finish the book.


Feb. 25th, 2009 01:27 pm
kippurbird: (Heroes)
Today's question: What makes something epic?

It occurs to me to ask this question because of Paolini's assertions that he is trying to write an epic like Beowulf and the Lord of the Rings. However his work is clearly not epic. But why then? What makes something epic?

The dictionary definition isn't very helpful.

One definition is thus:


A long narrative poem written in elevated style, in which heroes of great historical or legendary importance perform valorous deeds. The setting is vast in scope, covering great nations, the world, or the universe, and the action is important to the history of a nation or people. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid are some great epics from world literature, and two great epics in English are Beowulf and Paradise Lost.

Most of the other definitions refer to poetry as well. But something can be teased out of this. "The setting is vast in scope covering great nations, the world, or the universe and the action is important to he history of a nation or people." An epic is supposed to be huge. Not in the number of pages but in the scope. In the What Is At Stake.

Some examples that could be considered epic in today's fantasy writing are Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time and Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. While Mercedes Lacky on the other hand has written more books, they tend to fall into more personal stories. There is not the "end of the world" urgency in them like there is for Goodkind's and Jordan's books.

If, for example, Richard Rahl, in the Sword of Truth, doesn't stop the Evil Emperor Jagang all of magic will be destroyed and their freedom and way of life will be ground into a bloody mess. In Lord of the Rings, if Frodo doesn't get rid of the One Ring then Sauron will be able to take over the world and enslave everyone.

However in the Inheritance Cycle there is not this urgency. There is no urgency. Three books in and there is nothing to stop. Eragon doesn't have to stop Galbatorix from taking over, he's already done so. He doesn't have to stop the emperor from doing anything to destroy the world. Galbatorix is a completely passive figure in this books. Everything Eragon does is small things. Nothing he does will stop Galbatorix from gaining more power.

Eragon is not a threat.

What does he do? He destroys some minions, the Ra'zac and Durza. But Galbatorix has more and it could be said that Murtagh and Thorn are even more effective than the Ra'zac because he's a dragon rider. He has access to more power. He fights off an army, but it's not a battle for anything. There's nothing at stake.

And this is why it's not epic. This is what makes something have the potential to be epic. The stakes.

The bigger the stakes the more dangerous the challenge that the heroes have to overcome and the harder it is for them.

If something is to be epic in scope then it has to include things that are more than personal trials. It's not one life at risk. It's entire cities at risk.

Admittedly a lot of times it seems like only the Chosen One can stop the Great Evil or End of the World, but that's part of what makes it epic. The overwhelming forces against the one person. There are the armies to help, but it's only the One who can stop the Evil Overlord.

Using the definition the Harry Potter books could be considered an epic. It's Harry, a teenage boy vs. Voldemort, a man who wishes to enslave the non-magical population. The battle fields are small, but the stakes are high.

Again back to the Inheritance Cycle. What is the problem Eragon has to solve to stop Galbatorix in Eragon or Eldest or Brisingr? What does he have to do to stop Galbatorix from gaining more power. In Eragon he got the dragon but that doesn't stop Galbatorix, he has two more eggs. In Eldest he gets magic training but that doesn't prove a threat to Galbatorix he has Murtagh, someone who wasn't even revealed until the very end of the book. Eragon never has to try and get training so he can best Murtagh. And in Brisingr? He gets a shiny sword. Which... is a shiny sword, but not an issue for Galbatorix. These are small and personal problems.

The language is the language of a would-be-epic, written in an "elevated style". But even that isn't done well. It's trying for epic. Paolini gets too wrapped up in describing things in interesting metaphors that he forgets the bigger picture of things. He's "fallen in love with the fly" as Natalie Goldberg says in her book, Writing Down the Bones[2]. He lovingly describes an arrow wound which stalls the story instead of giving it more depth. His lyricism is that of un-rhyming poetry, jolting and haphazard. Images appear but aren't connected to anything. The point of the elevated style is to create a fully painted image of the world and the people that live there.

What happens ultimately is that Paolini tries for epic, but because there are no stakes ultimately he has a hollow story. A story that is a mere shadow of what an epic could be but with no substance.



Goldberg, Natalie; Writing Down the Bones. Shambhala Publications; 1986

kippurbird: (Awakward Roran)
You can tell I'm bored, can't you. ^_^ Can't work on my NaNo here. From anti-Shurtugal's posting of an interview with Paolini on his thoughts of Brisingr and the up-coming fourth novel Rocks Fall, Everyone dies. Okay, maybe I'm being a wee bit too wistful on that last part. The interview was posted Here. There's a second part that I shall do later.

Q&A )
kippurbird: (paint drying)
Paolini interview. A light snack for Brisingrs release. Stolen from antishutugal. :D

It's from Bookpage, the Library magazine

From home-schooled teen to hit author, Paolini takes wing with dragon series

Even superstars get the jitters. Christopher Paolini tries not to dwell on the huge expectations surrounding Brisingr, the third book in his blockbuster Inheritance Cycle fantasy series.

Just curious... is it blockbuster if the entire thing hasn't come out yet? It sounds good. But it kinda reminds me of all the people saying it's an "instant classic" which is an oxymoron. Since if it's just come out, how can it be a classic... etc.

With the first two books in the series selling 15.5 million copies worldwide, Knopf is preparing for Brisingr's September 20 release with a 2.5 million-copy first printing, its biggest ever for a children's book. Meanwhile, fans are squealing messages like, "I can't wait!" and "OMG. I need it!" on web discussion boards.

Because you should trust fans that say things like OMG... Okay, kinda mean-ish

"As an author, I found that I can't really allow myself to think about those things," 24-year-old Paolini says, speaking by phone from his home in Montana. "I actually fell into that trap with the first part of Brisingr. . . . I sat there and I started obsessing about every single word."

Yes. You're a writer. You are supposed to do those things. Word obsession is what we do. Pick the wrong word and you get your readers giggling like school girls seeing Orlando Bloom. You want it to be good. This here is saying you stopped caring if you used the right words or not.

He worked past it by turning away from the keyboard and writing with an ink-dip pen on 80-pound parchment paper. His mother transcribed the pages. Now it's readers who are obsessing, spinning the meager bits of information Paolini has teased out to them into full-blown speculation about what will happen to Eragon, Saphira and the rest of the inhabitants of Alagaësia.

Uuuuummmmm..... ink dip pen on parchment paper...I did a bit of really really quick googling and 60 pound parchment paper is about 24 dollars a ream. And we don't know how many drafts or anything he wrote... and ink and new ink nibs... and that's just a little bit silly. Really bit silly. And expensive. And silly. Just... silly.

Makes me wonder if it made him feel like a real scribe when he was writing on parchment paper or something. I have no issues with the writing it by hand part. I do that sometimes too, it's just how utterly absurd it sounds when he says that he took to writing it by ink-dip pen and parchment paper as opposed to just saying by hand.

Also, full blown speculation would happen anyway.

Among the clues: Eragon will meet a new and terrifying enemy ("He likes to laugh a lot and not in a good way," says Paolini), Eragon will meet a god and one of the characters gets pregnant.

, if they're the terrifying enemy laughing a lot generally isn't going to be in a good way. Also, why isn't Galbatorix his new and terrifying enemy? And the god thing, this would prove that his elves were wrong. And I thought his elves were always right. They were the Enlightened Ones. I think it'll be interesting to see how he handles this then. If only, likely, proving that the character that is a god isn't really a god at all. Let's see... pregnant characters. Who's the only one we know of who's had sex? Could it be Katrina? *GASP* Could it be HER?! *GASP*

Anyone want to lay bets?

Paolini says Brisingr is more complex than the two books that preceded it, Eragon and Eldest, in part because of its multiple points of view. For the first time, portions of the story are told through Saphira's eyes. How did he find the voice of the smart, loyal and brilliantly sapphire female dragon? "I drew upon my own experience of the pets and animals that I grew up around, especially some of the cats I had," he says. "I thought a dragon would be like a cat in some ways, that same sort of self-satisfied attitude."

Multiple POVs don't necessarily mean that it's going to be more complex. Moby Dick had only one POV and it was insanely complex. (And irritating, but that's beyond the point). Also, we get an interesting insight on how Paolini views Saphira. We're told that Saphira is smart and loyal and acts like a cat. So, Saphira is basically a giant cat. We don't pay much attention to cats in regards to having intelligent conversation. Eragon doesn't pay much attention to Saphira except when he needs to go somewhere or have her do something. There are entire chapters that have gone by where we didn't even know she existed. So, this idea of seeing her as a pet or an animal instead of an intelligent creature in her own right, is perfectly reflected back in how Paolini portrays her in the books.

Beyond that, weighty moral dilemmas and the sheer number of events make for a rich narrative, he says. The story is so complex, in fact, that halfway through the writing of the book, Paolini decided to turn it into two books. "At a certain point, I realized that if I wrote the rest of Brisingr as I'd planned, it was going to end up being about 2,000 pages," he says.

Number of events also don't make for a rich narrative. They can slow the book down. Or turn it into the Wheel of Time. Also, whatever happened to Editing? You know, trimming the fat instead of you know deciding you have to make it into two books? Also, weighty moral dilemmas don't always mean good book either. They could make the book ponderous and preachy if not done right.

What had been billed for years as a trilogy became a four-book cycle. As it is, Brisingr is no lightweight at 784 pages. Paolini acknowledges that the book's sophistication reflects his growth as a writer, but he also sees it as the inevitable result of having spent nearly a decade immersed in the fictional world he created when he was just 15.

Um... again, page numbers =/= weighty or sophisticated or rich narrative. Growth of a writer is good though! And we certainly hope that he has grown. This is something that we'll have to wait and see. I'm not sure how being immersed in the fictional world also helps the sophistication of the writing. Perhaps the world, but not the writing.

The home-schooled teenager had earned his high school diploma early and wasn't ready to plunge into college yet when he began writing Eragon. Two years later, he gave it to his parents to read. They decided to self-publish the book and by the age of 18, the boy who'd grown up sheltered, living in the shadow of Montana's Beartooth Mountains with his parents and younger sister, suddenly found himself touring libraries, bookstores and schools to peddle his book. And he did it while wearing a medieval costume.


Eventually, the book ended up in the hands of Michelle Frey, executive editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers, who offered Paolini a publishing contract. After that, success came at Paolini so hard and so fast that he found it difficult to fully grasp what he'd become.

"When Eragon came out I was—I'm going to use a cliché—pleased as punch, of course, and delighted, but I didn't really feel like I was a writer," he says. In fact, it's only been recently that he's felt comfortable using that word to describe himself.

Pleased as punch isn't the only cliche you use. >.>

It's funny. Many people who aren't "writers" call themselves writers, but he doesn't... didn't... I dunno. I'm not saying it as a criticism of him or anything, just a random thought.

Now that he has embraced the label, he's eager to keep growing and proving his abilities to himself. He knows that once he completes the fourth and final book in the cycle he will deeply miss Eragon and the land of Alagaësia, but he's looking forward to exploring other fictional worlds. He's already experimented with writing in different genres, including science fiction and noir.

So, why not write a fifth book? Just saying.

And even as fans wait breathlessly to get their hands on Brisingr, Paolini is taking nothing for granted. "There's always this feeling like, well, I still remember when I didn't have this and it still might not stick around," he says. "It's good not to be 100 percent comfortable, because if you're 100 percent comfortable, you can lose your edge."

Yeah or you might have a Breaking Dawn backlash. =D

Karen Holt is a freelance writer who lives in Connecticut.

Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (English language)
I was adding things to my Wikispace site (Which I've decided, if anyone has an essay or something related to writing, I'll put it up on the essays page or appropriate location) and cleaning things up some, when in the course of things, I discovered the book description for Brisnger on Amazon. Obviously, this requires mocking.

Product Description

OATHS SWORN . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide.

Exciting! Though what sort of forces are colliding I don't know. Perhaps bad writing and characterization. Though, for all we know he could have matured. I will give him this. He has had several years to work on his craft and hopefully he has learned something. Still, I find the Oaths Sworn to be a horribly cliched plot device. The Hero swears an oath and then you know something is going to come up that requires him to go against the sworn oath. Usually another sworn oath. And thus leads to tension and things. But it's a plot device that you know is going to happen, and while it could be well done in the hands of a talented writer, in Paolini’s case, I doubt he'll have the subtly to pull it off.

Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

And this is why you don't make promises you don't think you'll be able to keep. However, since this book is as predictable as the sun rising, we know that somehow Eragon will manage to survive. And it wasn't narrowly escaping with their lives, Murtagh let them live.

First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength—as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices— choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Which really shouldn't have been made or at least taken care of right away, in regards to Katrina's rescue. She's safe as long as they can use her for leverage. (A point I made in the original go over of Eldest). And this is hardly a tangle of promises. He has to help rescue Katrina and deal with the Varden. And really, that's it, if I recall correctly. But what do I know? I've just read the books.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

Stupid question. Of course he will. But then again they are trying to get people interested in reading this book, so I suppose it's allowed, but really it's the simple farm boy to greatest hope that gets me. It's a waving cliche here. Not that we didn't already know that, but yes.

But now we know what Brisnger's about, not that it actually shows up something new and interesting happening. It sounds like every other bad fantasy story out there.
kippurbird: (Durza)
I think I figured out who's going to die in the next Brick: Dwarf.

See if he dies, then Eragon becomes king of the dwarves because the dwarf king made him part of the ruling clan. Which means he's in line for the throne. As he's already sort of the defacto leader of the Varden why not make him the king of the dwarves as well?

kippurbird: (Durza)
Stolen from [ profile] antishurtugal It's the supposed book jacket information for Brisingr, or however you damn well spell it.

"Forces collide in Book III of the phenomenally successful Inheritance Cycle.

I thought it said Episode Three here for a moment and wondered why they were talking about Star Wars. That's never a good thing.

Eragon represents the greatest hope for a better Alagaesia. Can this once simple farm boy rise to become a leader who can unite the rebel forces and defeat the King?

Why does he need to be the leader? I'm just curious. Every one always seems to be the leader in these things. I would think being the leader would be detrimental to being the hero because the leader needs to lead people not run off on side quests. Leaders are supposed to lead, which means all that boring shit that comes around like making sure people aren't fighting, there's enough food for the forces, things like that. Eragon is definitely not the leader. He's more like the face of the rebellion, not the leader.

Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives.

*snorts* They weren't even really injured. They fought like morons, but they weren't really injured in any life threatening manner. Just exhausted

Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep, including Eragon's oath to his cousin Roran to help rescue Roran's beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix's clutches.

What promises? I dun remember any promises.

But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength, as are the elves and dwarves.

Varden = Dwarves and Elves.

When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices - choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice. Conflict, action, adventure and one devastating death await readers as Eragon battles on behalf of the Varden while Galbatorix ruthlessly attempts to crush and twist him to his own purposes.

may lead to unimagined sacrifice and one devastating death awaits. I would think that neither of these things should be spoiled. However I would say if I had to spoil one, it would be the sacrifice and not the death. If you do, you keep on wondering who's going to die and not focus on the story or let it be a shock. Death works better when you don't know it's coming.

Rich with a thoughtful examination of Eragon's maturing psyche, "Brisinger" explores how Eragon must come to terms with his role as a leader and the moral obligations that weigh heavily upon his young shoulders as a Dragon Rider."

As we all know that Eragon is a psychotic mass murderer with the inverse morality of a tribble's birthrate, I'd hate to see what his maturing psyche has in store for us.
kippurbird: (Lost)
This just in from [ profile] antishurtugal: The Fourth Brick has been named.

The title of the book is... Brisingr.

There is, however, a problem with naming the book Brisingr. The title of a book is supposed to draw in readers. It's supposed to elicit curiosity about what the book is about, give them an idea of what is to be expected or what might happen.

For example:

Jurassic Park Dinosaurs and a park.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry dealing with something called the Deathly Hallows.
A day in the life of the Soviet Union ... well that one's obvious.
Brisingr ... cat on the keyboard? Random letters pulled from a hat? Typo?

The point is, it doesn't invoke any idea of what the story is supposed to be about, which is the entire point of a title. He may be constrained by wanting to only use one word, but there are hundreds of other words that he could have used instead of a made up one that no one will understand unless they've read the previous two books.

What it feels like, instead, is that Paolini is trying to be clever. While the word may "touch on Eragon's inheritance" it doesn't let anyone but him know that. It gives him an air of superiority. He is using a word that in old Norse means "fire" and isn't he clever for knowing that? And not only that but he's sophisticated and intelligent and up in that ivory tower with all the other professors who study such things like Old Norse. He's even in the same league as Tolkien because Tolkien studied such languages.

But Tolkien never needed to show off. (And he had the decency to write titles that people could understand.) At least not in the title. He used his languages subtly and never in such a way that people went "buh" to try and understand what was going on. He didn't use them to show how clever he was for making up a language but instead to help create the feel of a different world, make it rich and look like there was much more going on than what was happening in the story being told.

He didn't aspire to be the next something or another, he just aspired to tell a story and to share his world. Paolini however, and this maybe one of his biggest problems, tries so hard to be the next Tolkien that he's lost sight of the primary purpose of writing, which is to tell a story. Instead he throws in things that will make him look like an intelligent and great writer who deserves to be next to Tolkien without really seeing if it makes sense, which gives his world that patchwork feeling.

And I just COMPLETELY tangented, didn't I?

February 2016

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