| Quote #7
The long days and strenuous work stripped Eragon's body of excess fat. His arms became corded, and his tanned skin rippled with lean muscles. (23.15)
Somebody's getting ready for beach season. Seriously, though, more than just a killer bod, Eragon's development is a sign of his progress as a Rider. Now he can ride a dragon, cast magic, and grate cheese on his super-cut abdominal muscles. Rock on, E!
| Quote #8
I didn't know I could stay on while you did that without being strapped into the saddle, he said, grinning fiercely. (29.18)
Remember when a ride on Saphira's back left Eragon a quivering mess of scabs and tears? Like his other skills with the blade and with magic, his ability to ride on Saphira's back grows and improves. Look, ma! No hands! His comfort on this back of a twisting, twirling dragon shows just how much he's developed as a Rider.
| Quote #9
Eragon slowly lowered his arm and backed away. It was the first time he had bested Brom without resorting to trickery. Brom picked up his sword […] "We're done for today." (31.32)
Eragon wins! Without even cheating! His victory in the sparring session with Brom signifies a whole new level of achievement for our hero. Brom recognizes this, too. While it might seem like sour grapes that he quits, it's actually because he realizes that he has nothing left to teach Eragon about sword fighting. The dude has learned it all.