Everything we know about “The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm,” with new details!

We’re approaching one week since the announcement of The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm – Tales from Alagaësia, Volume 1: Eragon. This is the first book set in Alagaësia since the publication of Inheritance in 2011. This book is not the promised Book 5, which you can learn about here.

An epilogue (of sorts): Jeod’s Letter

Before we dive into everything we know about FWW (our abbreviation), it’s important to mention the “Letter from Jeod,” widely considered to be the Inheritance Cycle’s epilogue. The full letter is found on the official Paolini website and reveals events and details after Inheritance. Its contents contain clues that point to and may tie into aspects of FWW (abbreviation of the new book’s title).

All of the information below is factual and has been confirmed by the publisher or Christopher himself. Any content that has been found outside of the official announcement is sourced (denoted by [S]).

Book basics

Book title: “The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm” is an intentional tribute to “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. [S] The book’s subtitle, “Tales from Alagaësia – Volume 1: Eragon,” establishes the likelihood of future installments featuring new main characters/narrators. [S]

Front and back covers: 

Cover dragon: This dragon is not Shruikan, who has ice blue eyes. [S] The cover dragon is one we haven’t encountered before. [S]

Additional information: The hardcover book will have a gold foil embossed title. The book will be 288 pages long.

Audio book: Gerard Doyle, long-time narrator of the Inheritance Cycle’s audio books, will return for FWW.

Publication countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom/Britain (slightly different book cover), and Australia. (Additional countries may be added in the future. Keep an eye on your local publisher’s news and/or contact local book sellers.)

Synopsis and back-of-book teaser

Official synopsis:

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!

Back of the book teaser:

Enter the magical world of Alagaësia – and beyond…

It was night when Eragon returned to himself, and the only illumination in the Hall of Colors came from the flameless lanterns on the walls and the inner radiance of the Eldunari themselves. He sat staring at the floor while he regrouped and recovered. A smile spread across his face.

The first line to be promotional copy and is not a part of the second paragraph (a likely excerpt from the book).

First excerpt from the book (Chapter 4: Rhymes and Riddles):

The first excerpt from the book was released in early November and follows Eragon as he encounters Angela, Solembum, and Elva at the dragonhold he’s building for the new dragons and Riders. “Rhymes and Riddles” offers several tantalizing tidbits, including hints at the settlement’s location, a revelation that travelers and traders are welcome, and discusses Saphira’s trouble producing eggs from her mating with Fírnen at the end of Inheritance.

Read the excerpt here!

The book’s contents

Overall plot: The book will contain three original stories framed by Eragon’s own adventures “far to the east of Alagaësia”. [S] Eragon is the book’s main character, with his adventures framing surrounding the three individual stories. The book will not read as a disjointed collection of vignettes but a single, cohesive novel. [S]

The story begins one year after the end of Inheritance. A teaser by Christopher elaborates further, saying “they take place after the Inheritance Cycle… Sorta. It’s complicated.” [S]

Events will take place in familiar locations as well as new ones not visited in the Inheritance Cycle. [S1, S2]

Confirmed characters include Eragon, Saphira, Murtagh (subject of “The Fork”), Angela, Solembum, and Elva (the latter three confirmed to appear in Chapter 4).

Short stories: We know each story’s book cover title, and in some cases, the contents of the story:

The Fork – This story is related to a tweet Christopher shared earlier this year, saying he was writing “possibly something involving a magic fork”. [S]

The Witch – “The Witch” may not be the story’s actual title. The book’s interior title page reveals Angela the herbalists’s memoir is named “On the Nature of Stars.” [S] This story was written by Angela Paolini (making her publishing debut), inspiration for the character Angela the herbalist.

The Worm – The only confirmed information* about this story is that “worm” means “dragon”. [S]

*An “Urgal legend”: The book will contain an Urgal legend, matching up with information from Christopher revealing “a short story starring an Urgal.” In the same comment, he stated that the story was “too long for a short story and too short for a book.” [S] Its length essentially confirms that it is one of the three, with “The Worm” as the only possibility. 

Illustrations and a new map

In addition to the book’s cover, painted by the Cycle’s long-time cover artist John Jude Palencar, the book will include three original illustrations and a colored map [S] by Christopher Paolini.

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