As the release of Murtagh (the next novel in the World of Eragon) approaches, new excerpts, art, and more is headed our way!
A book retailer revealed a sneak peek of their special edition of Murtagh, and the announcement contained a new illustration which confirms a major theory about the upcoming book!
“Tread not where the ground grows black and brittle”
As Murtagh prepared to depart at the end of Inheritance, Umaroth, speaker for the Eldunarí, offered the Rider and his dragon advice on how to stay safe. Part of his warning included:
“Beware the deeps, and tread not where the ground grows black and brittle and the air smells of brimstone, for in those places evil lurks.”
Looking closely at this piece of art, it’s exactly as Umaroth described – black and brittle. The ground is covered in patches of fog, and it isn’t hard to imagine that the air would smell of brimstone.
More details from “The Fork”
Even more detail about the land is revealed during Murtagh’s short story in The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm. The man Murtagh hired to investigate the mysterious area returned with exactly what Umaroth warned Murtagh about:
From the leather wallet on his belt, he produced a fist-sized chunk of black something that he thumped down on the table.
The something was a piece of rock, but there was a deep shine to it unlike any rock Essie had seen, as if a smoldering coal were buried in the center. She sniffed and then wrinkled her nose. Yuck! It smelled as bad as a rotten egg.
Tornac looked at the rock as if he wasn’t sure he believed it existed. “What exactly is that?”
Sarros lifted his shoulders, shrugging like the herons along the docks. “Suspicions of shadows are all I have, but you sought the unusual, the out-of-place, and that there doesn’t fit in the frame.”
“Were there more, or . . . ?”
Sarros nodded. “I am told. A whole field scattered with stones.”
“Black and burnt?”
“As if seared by fire, but with no sign of flame or smoke.”
(As a refresher, Tornac is Murtagh in disguise; Essie is the character whose point-of-view we’re seeing the exchange through; Sarros is the man Murtagh hired to gather information.)
We also see a dragon in the illustration, and it isn’t a reach to guess that the dragon is Thorn.
Here’s the full piece:
How to begin reading Murtagh’s story today!
The entire first chapter of the book lines up with Murtagh’s short story in The Fork. If this mystery is Murtagh’s primary focus as the story begins, it’s almost guaranteed to be a focal point of the overall plot!
If you haven’t already read The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Tales From Alagaësia, Volume 1, you might be interested in our article about the collection of short stories and the importance of reading Murtagh’s story, The Fork, before the upcoming book releases! Learn more about it in our F.W.W. – Where Murtagh’s journey begins article!
Murtagh is set to release on November 7, 2023 in North America and the United Kingdom. Other international release dates will be announced in the future.