Book review: The Fork, The Witch and the Worm

Updated: Feb 03, 2019, 11:07 IST | Gitanjali Chandrasekharan

Christopher Paolini's Tales from Alagaesia is a reflection of the stories that come to fore when the big battle is over, but life still continues with touches of magic

The book is set in post Inheritance era
The book is set in post Inheritance era

There are myriad stories within one, not all binding towards one end, but branching out on their own. It's true for epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata and it's true for modern fantasy fictions like JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.

And, Chritopher Paolini's The Fork, The Witch and the Worm: Tales from Alagaesia published by Penguin Random House India. The book is set in the post Inheritance (2011) period when Eragon and Saphira move to Mount Argnor. It is a compilation of three stories - in one tale Paolini's sister Angela has written the memoirs of Angela the Herbalist.

Chritopher Paolini
Chritopher Paolini

It's tough to write a review without some spoilers, and here is one: Murtagh is back. And, as we all knew, he is the good guy. There's one more good news, but we're going to let you discover it.

While The Fork is a gripping tale, The Witch leaves you wanting to know more about Elva, the young girl cursed by Eragon's poorly worded blessing. You'll probably have to wait for the next book. And the Worm feels arduously long, even though you understand why, in the end. While Saphira (the dragon) is very much present there's no dragon fire, so many of the battles you'd been wanting from the previous series is missing.

The Fork... is very much a reflection of an adult Paolini. He started writing the series as a 17-year-old and is now almost unrecognisable in his bearded avatar. Eragon, as an adult, gets caught in the mundaneness of life, responsibilities, everyday challenges and the difficulty of concentrating, when much of your life until now has been adventurous. For a young adult who grew up reading about him, this might be a sobering reality.

Who then, is the book perfect for? It's obviously targetted at young adults, but as someone in the second half of the 30s, we still enjoyed reading this. And, if you are a fan of Eragon, Saphira and Murtagh, pick it up. You will miss Arya, but that's for another book (we hope).

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