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Book Review: Paolini’s The Fork, The Witch, and the Worm

I’ve been a huge fan of Christopher Paolini’s work. Eragon was one of those books that made me fall in love with fantasy. So when I saw he returned to Alagaësia if even only for a short novella, I was in!

This book was unexpected. I didn’t know about until a month before it’s publication first of all. There was no publicity about it. But after reading the author’s note, I know that it was because of it’s speedy and sudden publication. It came together only last summer 2018.

Book review of Christopher Paolini's novella of Alagaësia "The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm" by Hayley Elizabeth
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Rating: 3.5/5 stars

As ever, Paolini’s writing and pacing is outstanding. He’s a true story teller but… I’m not convinced of the purpose of this book. It introduced us again to the world of Alagaësia but it was a tease! I think I would have rather had a full book instead of this novella.

It’s quick to read, just under 300 pages. The book sets us up for more to come. It doesn’t answer a lot of questions, it only raises more. Now, I just want more books about these characters and their new adventures. Is it fair? That’s what I’m grappling with. Was this book really worth it? I think that’s why I think I would have rather had just the first book of a new series instead of this hair breadth’s of a glimpse of what’s to come from Paolini.

Okay, but about the book itself. It has a solid opening, a bit too much summarizing if you ask me. It’s a lot of info dumping which isn’t normal of Paolini. But I think it’s because he had three separate (short) stories to tell and he needed Eragon to link them all together.

It opens with Eragon in the east of Alagaësia and he’s found a new place for the dragons. He’s having a hard time balancing the role of his new position and missing the adventure of fighting Galbatorix. There’s three main parts to the book.

First, I loved the story of the fork! It was from the perspective of a small girl and it was fabulous! Full of action and good thoughts, feelings, and drama. It was such fun to read!

The story of the witch I thought was irrelevant. It gave us more characterization of Angela, the herbalist, and Elva. Parts of it were written by Paolini’s sister, Angela. Again, the writing was good but it just raised so many other questions! It left many unopened doors.

The last, was the story of the worm, a myth of the urgals. It was thoughtful and engaging. I liked having a story about the urgals. It has some ties to what Eragon is dealing with at the present.

There are just so. many. questions. What’s Murtagh looking for? What’s happening with Nasuada and Arya? The urgals? The dwarves? Not to mention the constant mystery that is Angela and Elva.

The book was good! But to me, it just seems like a bridge to something greater. And I don’t want to be on the bridge, I want to get to the other side and explore all the new stories to be told.

Happy Reading-

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