Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world. A comic or graphic novel would make a fantastic companion to the series, leaving all kinds of opportunities on the table: a serialized release, a complete graphic novel for each book, or even an animated show or anime. With the source material existing already, and in such detail, a project like that would presumably require little oversight from Christopher, allowing him to focus on his current projects, including his scifi novel, while the comic or graphic novel was brought to life. Imagine that as a live action, big budget film removing all images of the Eragon movie from your brain. It would be incredible!
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Doing a new thing! Namely, in-depth reviews that take apart books chapter by chapter. If you want to set up the story with a suspenseful scene, great — just make it the first chapter. A tall Shade lifted his head and sniffed the air. He looked human except for his crimson hair and maroon eyes.
These are only the second and third sentences in the book. Is he thin or fat, muscular or scrawny, pale or dark? Does he have an angular face or chubby baby cheeks? Does he have an awesome beard? Is he wearing robes? Leather armor? How long is his hair? Does he have squinty eyes? How hard is it to tell us what this guy looks like? Around him shuffled twelve Urgals with short swords and round iron shields painted with black symbols.
They resembled men with bowed legs and thick, brutish arms made for crushing. A pair of twisted horns grew above their small ears. I take the Urgals about as seriously as I take Lovecraft, and I keep picturing all his monsters as Dr. Shades smells somebody coming and tells his minions to go and ambush them. After a bit the elves show up. On the first horse was an elf with pointed ears and elegantly slanted eyebrows.
His build was slim but strong, like a rapier. A powerful bow was slung on his back. A sword pressed against his side opposite a quiver of arrows fletched with swan feathers. The last rider had the same fair face and angled features as the other. He carried a long spear in his right hand and a white dagger at his belt. A helm of extraordinary craftsmanship, wrought with amber and gold, rested on his head. Between these two rode a raven-haired elven lady, who surveyed her surroundings with poise.
Framed by long black locks, her deep eyes shone with a driving force. Her clothes were unadorned, yet her beauty was undiminished. At her side was a sword, and on her back a long bow with a quiver. She carried in her lap a pouch that she frequently looked at, as if to reassure herself that it was still there.
Still kind of vague, but we get a clearer picture of the elves than Shades and his buddies. Is this supposed to be some sort of clue? Are capital letters supposed to signify Bad Guys?
Or did Christopher Paolini just want to make his new fantasy races special? The guards switch places for … some reason, and they almost walk straight into the ambush when the wind changes, which freaks the horses out and alerts the elves to the presence of the Urgals. Shades sends the Urgals after her, then climbs up an outcropping of rock and starts setting sections of the forest on fire in order to trap her. Why would you do that? Not to mention it seems pretty extreme and more than a little desperate.
She skidded around and sped back to the trail. Black Urgal blood dripped from her sword, staining the pouch in her hand. The former makes for some very awkward running, as you generally use your arms for balance; the latter would make it very difficult to hold on to either object, let alone fight without dropping anything. Shades finally manages to corner the elf, but orders his lackeys to capture her instead of doing it himself.
Which is a mistake, because Elf Lady pulls a blue stone out of the pouch and holds it up over her head in response. A ball of red flame sprang from his hand and flew toward the elf, fast as an arrow. But he was too late. A flash of emerald light briefly illuminated the forest, and the stone vanished. Then the red fire smote her and she collapsed. The Shade howled in rage and stalked forward, flinging his sword at a tree.
It passed halfway through the trunk, where it stuck, quivering. He shot nine bolts of energy from his palm — which killed the Urgals instantly — then ripped his sword free and strode to the elf. What exactly was the point of killing all of his remaining minions?
Disgust curled his lip before he turned back to the unconscious elf. Her beauty, which would have entranced any mortal man, held no charm for him. He confirmed the stone was gone, then retrieved his horse from its hiding place among the trees. After tying the elf onto the saddle, he mounted the charger and made his way out of the woods. Why am I an idiot? Explain your reasoning! I fail to understand why you hate this prologue, but I will attempt to put myself in your shoes for the moment.
I personally believe Paolini only described what he believed to be important in order to put the characters in perspective. Durza is destructive and innately evil, so of course his sword is given major attention, as it is his implement of war. This entire story cycle is about war, so Paolini gives great description to the tools of war. Urgals are not innately the same as orcs, especially if you read into the last two books in the series. They are much stronger and innately braver than orcs, and have organized, structured societies.
Moving on to the guard situation: Durza was the most dangerous enemy who could have attacked the group, barring only Galbatorix. Arya was understandably dismayed by his appearance. Her guards were each shot at by approximately six archers apiece at close range with the element of surprise. Understandably, they died. On to the blazing forest. Regardless of whether he can control the fire remember, he has no regard for anything but himself Durza knows that Arya is quite capable herself.
She is definitely able enough to avoid bursts of fire or heal herself if necessary. The Urgals were nothing but tools to him, so killing them was pretty much the same to him as throwing his sword into a tree. He killed them because his plans had been thwarted. Simple as that. If an author describes to much, they lose their readers because it becomes boring and drawn out.
Props to you, anon. Have you re-read the whole book recently, or are you just reviewing it chapter by chapter? And seriously, how old are you? Descriptions of recurring characters should be built up. Like one of the previous commenters said, if you over do it, not only do you risk repeating yourself tedious to read or you bore your reader.
In most cases, these details will be the very first ones that come to mind. Some of the first things people use to describe others particularly for identification are skin, hair and eye colouring. And Twilight? Below the belt much? Besides, humanoid is a good description for general shape. By not describing too much, it allows you if you so choose to picture it in a way unique to you. By extending willing suspension of disbelief, you are actually reading fiction, not just sulking about someone not giving inspirational credit to other authors.
Besides, its not like Paolini has any objection to infodumping about other things. Half a page of describing a sword, for instance. I just started reading Eragon a week back and I was a bit prejudiced given that he wrote it when he was just But I had to overlook those minor defects if I wanted to enjoy it.
But I find it hard to read it for too long. There is not much in it that motivates me to get back to reading it, except for a few well writen lines and expressions, and I have not read it for three days straight.
Nevertheless, I have to get back to it. I found your blog while idly browsing the net and I find it very amusing, even hilarious at times. I have to give it to you: you have really disected the story and reflected on every part possible.
The horses being scared was explained in Eldest, chapter 25, page Elven horses have been bred for several centuries to perfection and are able to discern the faintest of smells.
Quick Read: Eragon Prologue + Ch. 1
It was popular for its time, the movie bombed, the series concluded, and now it seems as if no one really talks about the books all that much. Back when the books were coming out I had recently made an attempt to get into The Lord of The Rings that failed utterly, so I never took much interest in them. Truly, this will be a journey of discovery. Originally it was the first book in the Inheritance Trilogy , but then Paolini decided a fourth book was necessary. This is already giving me everything I want in a good fantasy novel. Scents are generally not omens of world-altering events.
Prologue: Shade of Fear
Doing a new thing! Namely, in-depth reviews that take apart books chapter by chapter. If you want to set up the story with a suspenseful scene, great — just make it the first chapter. A tall Shade lifted his head and sniffed the air.