Outside of Paolini.net, I own and operate Shurtugal.com, the official Inheritance Cycle community, which launched shortly after the Random House release of Eragon. I have been along for the journey ever since!
The publication of Eldest saw what was already a massive success bloom into a worldwide phenomenon, and as a result, our little group of passionate readers expanded to welcome tens of thousands. In late 2006, we set out to surprise Christopher with a project dubbed the “Christopher Appreciation Book,” a collection of letters, poems, and art from fans who wanted to share their love for the series.
My staff and I never could have predicted the response we received from our call to action. Hundreds of people, spanning nearly every continent, shared stories of how Eragon touched their lives and sparked their creativity. I spent days reading and sorting entries, ensuring that every contribution was included.
The submissions were then sent to Kim Kincaid, a talented fantasy artist known in the Inheritance Cycle community as “Fatty Lumpkin.” She graciously volunteered to bring the book to life as a leather-bound, fantasy-inspired collection, weaving her illustrations throughout the pages, framing fans’ work. One of her special drawings doubled as the tome’s cover: Eragon, drawn to resemble Christopher, standing beside Saphira.
The finished compilation, titled Du Dagshelgr abr Christopher Paolini-vor, or The Hallowed Day of Christopher Paolini, weighed a massive 15 lbs. It was divided into four sections: letters, poems, artwork, and photos of many of those who contributed. Each section was guarded by a riddle, one of which stumped Christopher:
What gets wetter the more it dries?*
In all, the project took over a hundred hours to complete.
I remain incredibly humbled to see that this fan book, nearing a decade old, remains on Christopher’s shelves as a reminder of the those who are appreciative of the world he created.
*Highlight for the riddle’s answer: a towel.