A shadow moved in the night. Coal black scales reflected the light of the full moon as the noise akin to that of scree sliding down a mountainside accompanied the slow unfolding of limbs ready to rend cities in half. A giant lid snicked open and eyes the color of blue flame peered out. Wings larger than the sails of the biggest ship opened as half the stars in the sky vanished in a matter of heartbeats. Gale force winds buffeted the ground as a body the size of a mountain launched itself into the air. A flame of deepest red, several times longer than a knight’s lance burst forth into the night, as a roar was unleashed that deafened a shepherd twelve leagues away. Enemies beware, for here be dragons.
Be it because of an author’s skill in imagery, or the sheer childlike wonder I had and have at the idea of dragons, I have always been in awe of them. The Inheritance cycle series of books which features them prominently thus became my most reread series for nearly 2 years once I convinced my father to buy the set for me. Following the story of Eragon and his newly bonded dragon Saphira, the second last(at the time) of her kind, in their journey through the land of Alagaësia, the sheer magic Christopher Paolini managed to weave in his work is…for a lack of a better word, magical even now. When I heard his latest work, the Fork, the Witch, and the Worm was on the market, I was ready to leave everything behind and rush to the nearest Crossword and buy it. I would have too, if I had the guts to confront my mother’s wrath on leaving my exam preperations behind. Fortunately, two weeks later, I managed to purchase the book on my flight to London. I finished the book in an hour and a half. I don’t mean to brag, just make evident my appetite for any new “lore” regarding the world of Alagaësia.
I was not let down. While the book might disappoint fans who were looking for a more linear storyline, it gives exactly what it says on the cover; Tales of Alagaësia. We are given more information about Murtagh, the rugged anti-hero, Angela, the ever cryptic herbalist, Elva, the Cursed Child(who’s plot development is way better than the actual book), Eragon himself, and a story from the Urgals. Each character’s segment in the book is laced with a message for Eragon, who is burdened with longing for his homeland, his beloved, and for his great task to be successful. It is interesting though. Paolini makes several references in each segment to the events or characters of the previous book, and one of my greatest delights was guessing what the reference was towards, and then being validated once it was revealed.
The end of Volume 1 leaves the reader eager for the next book, with joyous tidings at the end giving a hint to what the future might hold for Eragon and his band. I for one, am now hoping it is released before my next set of exams.