I have been carrying this book around for nearly a week, but I haven’t felt like reading (health-induced reading slump). I finally cracked it open last night when I couldn’t sleep, and how does Paolini welcome me back to Alagaësia? With the brief and non-fatal imperilment of Roran Stronghammer, two-time winner of the Most Boring Character in the Series award. It wasn’t even a good enough fake-out to get my hopes up for a millisecond. If your fake-outs are that super obvious, it’s not an effective tease. It’s just trolling. I’ve been trolled.
And now I shall whine about undermining a character's personal growth for no apparent reason.
Book two: When Eragon is in elven country training to be a Dragon Rider, he grumbles about being forced to conform to the elves’ vegetarian diet and constantly craves meat. Part of his training involves learning to connect with the consciousness of all living things. Then he gets a chance to go off on his own for a bit, and he takes the opportunity to catch a couple of rabbits and roast them over a fire. Finally! Meat! And then he can’t eat it, because it’s hard to eat something after you’ve shared its consciousness. The very thought makes him ill, and he has this little breakthrough and finally understands why the elves respect the forest so much and don’t eat meat. With his new understanding, he embraces vegetarianism.
Book three: Eragon is forced to eat meat when he’s in a desolate environment without much in the way of edible vegetation. He’s conflicted about it, but decides he can’t afford to keep bolstering his strength with magic and has to have actual sustenance. A heartbeat later he’s rationalizing that he’ll allow himself to eat meat if there are no other alternatives or if he’s in a diplomatic situation and it would be rude to refuse. He spends the rest of the book eating meat with barely a thought for his reasons for embracing vegetarianism in the first place.
Book four: As Eragon bit into a slab of roast pork belly, Saphira said, Is it good? Is it scrumptious?
“Mmm,” said Eragon, rivulets of juice running down his chin.