06 March, 2019

#BookReview :: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Eragon (Tales from Alagaësia #1) by Christopher Paolini

A wanderer and a cursed child. Spells and magic. And dragons, of course.

Welcome back to the world of Alagaësia. It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective. This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist . . . penned by Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character, herself! Relish the incomparable imagination of Christopher Paolini in this thrilling new collection of stories based in the world of the Inheritance Cycle.

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Okay, don’t hate me… but I have not read The Inheritance Cycle series. I know! How can a fantasy aficionado not have read it? I have no explanation other than that it just hasn’t happened yet. I do plan to pick it up someday though. So, when I heard that this book can be read without having read the series, I decided to give it a go to get a taste of the world that The Inheritance Cycle is set in and also to get an idea of what to expect from the series when I start it.

The book is divided into three parts – The Fork, the Witch and the Worm.

The fork is the story of Murtagh and Essie, set in a small town. Eragon is now away from Alagaesia to find a new home for the dragon riders, but he misses his life and the action. So, the Eldunarí shows him Murtagh’s life and ‘adventures’ that serve as a lesson to not only little Essie but also for Eragon. The witch is the story of Angela and Elva. It is written by Angela Paolini, who apparently was the inspiration behind the character of the same name in Inheritance Cylce. For me this was a really interesting one as the story read like a memoir. I do not know how Christopher Paolini has sketched Angela’s character, but I did love reading Angela Paolini’s sketch of the character she inspired into life. The worm was also a very interesting read. It is the story of Ilgra, an Urgal and her long fight against worm of a dragon. 

All the three stories bring forth a lesson to be learnt by Eragon and maybe even by the readers. I absolutely loved Eragon, Murtagh and Angela. I may just pick up this sooner because of the character of Angela alone. She is a firecracker of a character and I hope she is the same in the series. I also loved the glimpses of the world setting I got through this book. It was indeed interesting and I found the Urgal species to be something I would like to know more about.

For those who are already fans of The Inheritance Cycle, this should be an interesting addition to the stories you already know. For those of you who are wondering whether or not to read the original series, give this book a chance before your make up your mind.

Review Copy received from Penguin Random House

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