Tag Archives: christopher paolini

Author Interviews
October 28, 2013 posted by Nichole

Author Interview with Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon

Hi everyone!

I am so excited that I got the chance to interview Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I’ve never actually read Eragon. I watched the movie several years ago, but I’ve never really had the chance to read it. I remember how popular it was when it first came out. My cousin, Brittany, devoured the series. I remember she would talk nonstop about it. But what really made me want to interview Christopher was the fact that my dad has been reading this series for about 2 years now. He’s a very slow reader and his eyesight is a bit shot. He also just doesn’t have very much time to read. It’s a constant joke between us about how long it takes him to read this series. I remember how excited he got when he told me that he finally finished the first book. Now, I believe he’s on the second in the series. Here’s to hoping that he finishes it by the end of the year!


Christopher Paolini was 15 when he began writing Eragon, Book One of the Inheritance cycle.  Now, nearing 30, he enjoys a success that is as magical as the fantasy novels he writes.  His Inheritance cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingrand Inheritance) has sold over 35 million copies worldwide and is available in 125 countries in 49 languages.  His journey has been extraordinary.

While most kids were playing baseball and soccer, Christopher, who was homeschooled, taught himself how to fence, weave, paint, and read ancient languages, and became expert at woodworking.  He built a forge and created his own medieval armor.  He read 3,000 books.

After graduating from the accredited distance-learning high school, American School, Christopher put pen to paper on his first novel.  Inspired by the fantastic view of the jagged Beartooth Mountains from his bedroom window in Paradise Valley, Montana, he created a vibrant, compelling fantasy world.  Helped by his family, Christopher self-published Eragon in February 2002.  They sold nearly 10,000 copies through diligent self-promotion (including sales from the family car and Paolini visiting schools to address students his own age, in medieval costume).

In a few short months, everything changed.  A Montana bookseller gave author Carl Hiaasen’s 12-year-old stepson—on vacation with his family—a copy of Paolini’s Eragon.  The boy devoured it, declaring it better than Harry Potter.  Hiaasen called his editor at Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers in New York.  Quickly acquiring the series, Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) edited the self-published Eragon and released it in August 2003, when Christopher was 19.  It was an instant bestseller.  Six months after publication, Eragon had already sold 1 million copies.

This fall, Knopf will celebrate the 10th anniversary of this worldwide phenomenon with the release of a collector’s edition of ERAGON on October 22, 2013 (9780449819531 / $50.00).  This faux-leather bound edition features gold-foil line art on the cover and six glossy, full-color original illustrations on the interior by award-winning artists who inspired Paolini—John Jude Palancar (the Inheritance cycle cover artist), Michael Hague, Donato Giancola, Ciurelo, and Raoule Vitale—as well as Paolini himself.Christopher’s large, diverse and intensely devoted fan base—including many parents who thank him because Eragon turned their reluctant readers into book lovers—are sure to add this special edition to their bookshelves.

Paolini broke sales records from the beginning.  His second novel, Eldest, sold more than 425,000 hardcover copies in its first week, making it the greatest single-week sale ever recorded for a Random House Children’s Books title—hardcover or paperback—and the fastest-selling title in the publisher’s history.  Brisingr and Inheritance released with 2.5 million copy first printings andInheritance, the fourth and final book in the cycle, achieved the highest first-day sale in 2011 of any fiction or nonfiction adult or children’s title published in the U.S. and Canada, with a staggering 489,500 copies in print, digital, and audio formats.  Paolini is greeted at every tour stop by screaming crowds numbering in the thousands.


EragonHi,  Chris, thanks for stopping by YaReads!

  1. Can you tell us about Eragon in 15 words or less?

Boy. Dragon. Elves. Dwarves. Monsters. Wise old mentor. Magic sword. Evil villain. Lots of adventure!

  1. It feels so surreal that Eragon has celebrated its 10th anniversary. How are you feeling?

Amazed that so much time has passed and amazed that so many people have enjoyed reading the series over the years. I’m incredibly grateful for the support of each and every reader; without that, I wouldn’t be able to tell stories for a living.

  1. You haven’t released anything since Inheritance came out in 2011. Are you currently working on anything else?

Of course! I spent most of 2012 touring the world for the Inheritance Cycle. As soon as I finished that, I dove back into the writing, and I’ve been working away at several projects. At the moment, I’m trying my hand at some science fiction, which I’m really enjoying. Hopefully readers will as well!

  1. You were only 15 years old when you began writing Eragon. Did you always know that you wanted to be an author?

No. My real goal in life was to be riding dragons and fighting monsters. But, since that didn’t seem to be a viable career path, I decided to try writing my daydreams down instead. Thus, Eragon.

  1. Out of all 4 books in the series, which one was your favorite to write?

It’s probably a tie between Eragon and Inheritance. Eragon because it was the first book I ever wrote and because it was the beginning of the series and contained many of the scenes that inspired me to write the story in the first place. Inheritance because . . . well, it’s the end of the series, and I think it contains some of my best writing.

  1. The Eragon movie released in 2006. I have to ask…did you get to meet Robert Carlyle?

Ha! Yes I did. He was very nice and very polite, but out of all the actors I’ve ever met, he’s the one I’d least like to fight. I have a feeling he’d do just fine if he was dropped into a medieval battlefield.  I actually got to sit right next to him during the premiere of Eragon at the Odeon Theater in London. Now that was a surreal experience!

  1. What draws you to Fantasy? Do you ever see yourself branching out to other genres or is fantasy what calls to you?

I like fantasy because it’s the oldest form of storytelling and—done properly—it contains a mythic power that other genres rarely touch. Plus, it allows me to go places and do things that would otherwise be impossible given physics as we know them. That said, I would definitely like to write stories in other genres.

  1. The Eragon series ended with Inheritance. Do you ever plan to go back to that world or is it completely over?

At some point, I do plan on writing a fifth book, which will answer many of the mysteries I left hanging at the end of the series. However, after spending nearly thirteen years working on the Cycle, I need a break!

  1. We asked some of our followers if they had any questions for you , and someone asked why you ended the series like you did. Is there any way you can answer that question without giving away any spoilers?

Hmm. . . . Well, I ended it that way because it was the only way that fit with who the characters were. Even if I wasn’t planning on writing another book set in Alagaësia, I would have done what I did. I know it isn’t a purely happy ending, but then, life isn’t purely happy, and the stories that have stayed with me the most throughout the years have had a touch of the bittersweet about them.

  1. What is the best book that you have read recently?

Hard to answer. . . . An unabridged edition (Penguin) of The Count of Monte Cristo. Lots of fun, and far more complex than the abridged editions. A lot longer too.

  1. What is currently in your TBR pile?

My to read pile is scary big: it contains hundreds of books at the moment, everything from Steinbeck to Apocalypse Cow. Too many books, not enough time!


Brisingr: An Inheritance Cycle novel – Christopher Paolini
Book Reviews
December 14, 2009 posted by Katie

Brisingr: An Inheritance Cycle novel – Christopher Paolini

Oaths sworn…loyalties tested…forces collide.

It’s been only months since Eragon first uttered “brisingr”, an ancient-language term for fire. Since then, he’s not only learned to create magic with words – he’s been challenged to his very core. Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still, there is more adventure at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices – choices that will take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

Murtagh is defeated – for now. But not after revealing the information the rocks Eragon to his core and changes everything he knew and thought was right in his life. Struggling with the true identify of his mother and rejecting that of his father, Eragon is trying to find where he truly belongs. After having his entire being affected by the Ageti Blodhren ceremony of the elves, Eragon is starting to feel the binds of the oaths that he has made – oaths to each race and the individual people of Alagaesia.

First, is the oath to his cousin Roran. Roran’s betrothed is being held hostage by the Ra’zac – servants of Galbatorix, they spread fear in their opponents making them a deadly enemy in battle. And for this battle, it is impossible for Eragon and Saphira to be together. For it is in the caves of the Ra’za, caves too small for Saphira to fit through. Eragon and Roran are on their own. And when further complications arise, Eragon is making the first of his decisions that will affect the entire Empire.

Then there is the oath to Elva, the blessed-yet-cursed child that Eragon has promised to help. Yet when it comes to the ancient language, nothing is a simple as it seems. The more Eragon learns, the more he beings to realise how hard it is to remove the cures he placed on Elva. One wrong pronunciation and it could become a lot worse.

Then there is the problem of his un-finished education and the promise to return to Ellesmera to complete this. Yet can Eragon really afford the time to travel across the Empire when the Varden need him now more than ever?

For it is Ellesmera that holds the key to the next stage of the battle against Galbatorix. For Ellesmera holds the only elf with the knowledge on how to forge a Rider’s sword. A sword Eragon is in need of after Za’roc was taken from him by Murtagh on the plains. For only a Rider’s sword can face another of its kind and only a Rider’s sword can withstand the pressure of magic. Yet this seemingly simple process is complicated further by more oaths and promises, some that Eragon himself doesn’t yet know the cost of.

As Eragon, Saphira, Arya and the Varden hurdle closer to the battle that will decide the fate of the world, each side begins to face the costs of what has be promised.

In Brisingr, I feel Paolini has outdone himself. This is by far the best of the series. The characters all come leaps and bounds, with the multiple viewpoints woven simultaneously into a smooth plot that gives you an understanding of each and every race that make up Alagaesia. One of the biggest things I noticed in Brisingr was the development of the characters and the relationship between these characters. You could see just how much each character was standing for and just how much they would lose if they failed.

Personally, I’m a sucker for romance in any for, and the continuing developments between Eragon and Arya had me happy in this novel. There still isn’t a relationship between these two, yet the strength and development of the friendship that Paolini developed between Eragon and Arya was so believable and strong, that it had me smiling at many stages in this novel. Not to mention the ending that had me tear up at one stage, due to the pure and raw emotion in the scene.

Once again, I would recommend Brisingr to any lover of epic adventure fantasy novels, and with one instalment left to go, I will be looking forward to the release date for the last novel in the Inheritance Cycle as much as the next reader.

Pages: 763

Publication Date: 2008

Rating:: ★★★★½

Eldest: An Inheritance Cycle novel – Christopher Paolini
Book Reviews
December 9, 2009 posted by Katie

Eldest: An Inheritance Cycle novel – Christopher Paolini

Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns.

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall – one that puts Eragon in even graver danger…

The rebel freedom fighters, the Varden, has just won their first confrontation with Galbatorix’s army, Eragon has defeated the Shade Durza with the help of Saphira and Arya earning him a new name – Eragon Shadeslayer. Murtagh has finally gained the trust of the Varden and Hrothgar, king of the Dwarves. Yet as everything seems to be looking positive for a while, the Varden are given a final blow. Ajihad, leader of the Varden, is betrayed by two of his closest advisors, and is killed on the very day the Varden are celebrating. A day of victory becomes a day of mourning. Along with this, Murtagh is kidnapped and clouded by a spell, making it impossible for Eragon to know if he is alive or dead. With the leadership of the Varden and their magicians in doubt, Eragon finds himself being wormed deeper into politics of the rebel army. Forced by the new leader to sear fealty to them and not the Varden, Eragon is beginning to gather more oaths then he is able to bear.

The Varden decided to move. Heading to near-by Surda to start their campaign against King Galbatorix, there is limited time for Eragon to learn what he needs to know, and the place he needs to learn it, is on the opposite side of the Empire. In the ancient city of the elves, Eragon receives instruction from a surprising teacher, being schooled in the finer points of magic, the ancient language and swordsmanship, yet even under the most careful tutorage, an old injury is holding Eragon back. As Eragon struggles with his new education, people in his past being to capture the attention of the Empire.

Roran, Eragon’s cousin, is faced with the tough decision that will define the rest of his life – to stay and Carvahall and fight a lost battle, or to move the whole town and to seek help in Surda, where members of Carvahall have only heard whisper’s of the legendary Varden. It is a decision that will cost Roran in more ways than one.

Eldest is the second instalment in Christopher Paolini’s the Inheritance Cycle, and starts right where Eragon left off. In Eldest we are now following three different points of view and three separate storylines, as Paolini introduces even further complications and obstacles in the path of all characters in the plot. We have Eragon and the elves, Roran and the people of Carvahall and Nasuada and the Varden. With three distinct and different series of events, it is easy to get lost in story, and Paolini’s handle on the multiple viewpoints rarely left me struggling for understanding.

Eragon’s character continues to develop, and in Eldest we glimpse many of Eragon’s future problems and being to get a grasp on the extreme and vast differences between the three cultures. Eragon’s attempt at trying to master these three cultures sometimes gets him into a spot of bother, and it is these moments of insecurity and failure that allowed me to connect with Eragon on a personal level – they are mistakes that I would have done in his place. The relationship between Eragon and Arya develops to a new level, and while I feel I know where this will end up, it seems that there will be some twists and turns to see it arrive in that place.

We are re-introduced to Roran, and he, along with the Carvahall villager’s, plays a much larger role in this novel than in Eragon. Roran, for me, lacked as a character. He seemed to be driven by one singular thought, and lacked reason or compassion for people around him. That being said, it was these characteristics that drove his plot and story, I just found his point of view difficult and trying to read from.

Eldest is filled with a lot more darkness and evil than seen in Eragon, slowing highlighting the true horror of Galbatorix’s reign on Alegaesia. Captivating from the shock beginning to the even more shocking ending, Eldest is the must read sequel for fans of Eragon. A truly compelling page-turner that had me reading from the first page, to the last.

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Eragon – Christopher Paolini
Book Reviews
December 2, 2009 posted by Katie

Eragon – Christopher Paolini

What was once your life is now your legend.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

Eragon is a simple country boy. Born and raised in the small village of Caravahall, Eragon believes that his destiny is simple – to follow in the footsteps of his father, farming the land for a living, marrying a simple country girl and seeing no more of the Empire than as far as the next town. Yet there is something different about Eragon. He doesn’t look like his father, and he is the only villager game enough to go hunting in the mountainous forest known as the Spine. Creepy and menacing, everything in the spine belongs to the King. When Eragon sets off to go hunting one night, his whole life is about to change.

Thousands of miles away, three elves from Ellesmera are desperately trying to outrun a Shade and his Urgal companion. An almost impossible feat when that Shade is Durza, filled to the brim with demonic spirits. Arya, leader of the elves, is carrying a stone more precious than her own life. In a last attempt to not let this stone fall into the hands of Durza, and in turn the King, Arya sends the stone by magic to Caravahall. But not everything goes as planned. The stone does not go to Caravhall where it was meant to, but lands in the Spine, in the exact position where Eragon is hunting.

Bringing the stone back with him to his father’s small homestead, Eragon soon discovers that the stone, in fact, is an egg. A dragon’s egg. An egg that isn’t meant to exist. And when more of his world starts falling apart – the death of his supposed father, the town being invaded by the King’s soldiers, and the betrayal by the local butcher – Eragon works out what they are looking for. Him. With the company of Caravahall’s mysterious storyteller who knows more about dragon’s than anyone else, Eragon sets out on a mission to find the only people who can help him – the last remnants of the freedom fighters, known only to members of the Empire as the Varden.

Along the way Eragon must learn how to protect himself and his dragon if they want any chance of survival. Eragon becomes proficient with the sword, refines his archery skills and is schooled in the Ancient Language – the basis of all magic. With each step, Eragon is carving out his own destiny and creating a legend. A legend that the King will stop at nothing to destroy.

Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle by author Christopher Paolini, and while at first glance has many similarities to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – the same three races, development of a language and an epic quest to defeat a dark overlord – the depth of the characters and the style interactions between the three races creates a fresh, new world that creates an epic fantasy for a younger generation. To me, I loved Eragon. It captured me from the fast-paced and intense prologue to the climatic ending that has you right in the thick of the action. Paolini’s style captivates the imagination, including just the right about of description to leave the settings and action up to the reader’s interpretation.

I love books that keep you reading, that are easy to read and aren’t a chore. Eragon defiantly fell into this category for me. Anything that I can fall into the world of the book and feel that it is reality for a short space of time, to me is a success on the part of the author.

Fast-paced and action-packed, Eragon does not disappoint.

Rating:: ★★★★☆