Christopher Paolini Comes Out of Hiding

Photo By Hannah L. Desrosiers

Hannah L. Desrosiers, Non-Fiction and Multimedia Panelist 

Okay, I’ve heard a ton about how the fans of Game of Thrones have been waiting forever (since 2011, but really it’s forever) for the next book to come out. Well, to the fans of a lesser-known but even better series who have also been waiting that exact amount of forever, I have great news.

Christopher Paolini is back, and with a short story vengeance.

Getting the news that he made a short story collection was a little disappointing, I’ll admit it, but since all the stories are set in the same fantasy world I was still pretty psyched. Actually, my boyfriend was the one who told me that another book was released (yes, after years of telling me he wouldn’t like the books, he officially became a convert).

To explain a little bit for those of you who aren’t familiar, here’s some background information on the Inheritance Cycle. It starts with 15-year-old Eragon, who, while the hunting in the woods of the mystical world of Alagaësia, comes across a large blue jewel — turns out, it’s Saphira, his new dragon.

The series goes on to show all the different species inhabiting Alagaësia: elves, urgals, dwarves, and so on. They work together to dispel the evil king who has his own super-huge dragon. There’s a ton of evil backstory that gets King Galbatorix to the throne, but it’s too much to explain here.

The series goes on through four separate books, each one getting at least one hundred pages longer than the the one before. All of the books are equally well-written (as opposed to the Twilight Saga — nobody really liked New Moon, even when the series was popular). They keep your attention through the whole thing — you can’t wait to read the next book.

As for the importance of Christopher Paolini himself — he was my inspiration to become a writer. His world of dragons that wasn’t overly grotesque or obscene convinced me as a fifth grader that this was something I wanted to create. I wanted to take people to another world and create this kind of happiness inside them. It’s partly why I’m an English major today.

But, the most amazing part for me as I read the author’s bio on the back was that when he wrote the first book, Eragon, he was only seventeen. Seventeen.

Now, imagine being ten years old knowing someone who was immensely famous in your eyes started their writing career in their senior year of high school. The world was my oyster.

Alright, even though this was a book series I was in love with as a kid and should technically be “too cool” for by now (since I’m at the ripe old age of twenty), I couldn’t ever let the dream of dragons go. I’ve read the series several times over since elementary school and have all the books on my shelf at home. I have the audiobooks too (though they pronounce everything wrong, based on my fifth grade in-my-head original pronunciationTM). I listened to it on my commute to UConn my freshman year. The series hasn’t gotten old.

Paolini’s written a few other books since leaving the Inheritance Cycle behind, but unfortunately they are extremely disappointing to someone who was in middle school when the last book came out. Due to my age (and expertise at not conceiving) I don’t have children who would just die for the Eragon coloring books Paolini came out with in 2017. But, the news got a little better as I went deeper into his website — I wasn’t stalking, I promise.

Yes, click that link to his site and dive right into that glorious, breathtaking news you’ll see as you scroll down just a bit. Let it surround you like the waters of Lake Leona as Saphira made that first swim, because we’ve finally made it.

Book Five.

Take a moment, let it sink in. If you aren’t a fan of his work, have a moment of silence for those who are. And then hold that moment of silence a little longer as you read that paragraph saying he doesn’t actually know when it’s coming, just that it is coming.

If you haven’t read the series and are (or could be) into the fantasy genre, I seriously recommend you give the Inheritance Cycle a try. Maybe you can get it done before the fifth book comes out, and share the hype with me.

If not, you can at least enjoy my elementary school excitement coming out during my junior year of college — if this were your favorite series, I’d celebrate right along with you.

Unless it’s manga. I can’t get into that one.

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