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July 2004

Up the airy mountain
    Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting,
    For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
    Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
    And white owl’s feather.

Excerpt from The Fairies by William Allingham

That’s the beginning of one of my favorite poems. Some of you may recognize it from the original film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I like The Fairies so much that when I climbed Emigrant, a local mountain, and reached the cairn on top, I wrote the first four lines in the notebook kept in a tin under the rocks. . . . For those of you who don’t hike, it’s customary for alpinists to record their names in some manner—runes, rocks, strips of cloth, etc.) whenever they reach the summit of a mountain.

Eldest continues apace. Not too much to report on that front, except that I can now say with some confidence that Eldest will be longer than Eragon. It seems that I have a bit more story than I thought. Of course, editing tends to trim down a manuscript, so we’ll have to wait and see where it actually ends up word-count wise.

Two days ago we got our eight-year-old satellite dish upgraded. Dad gave me the old dish, which I realized would make a wonderful sparring shield. With that in mind, I unscrewed the armature that had attached it to the side of the house, bolted a leather strap through the existing holes, then carved a wooden handle and attached it in front of the leather band. Voilá! I now have a perfectly functional, battle-ready shield. I can’t wait to test it with my sister Angela.

Copies of the Italian and Indonesian editions of Eragon arrived. The Italian edition looks almost identical to the US version. Same for the Indonesian, although instead of hardcover, it’s trade paperback and the artwork is glossy, not matte. So far all the foreign publishers have used the same cover art that John Jude Palencar painted for the US Eragon edition.

Here’s the first line of Eragon in English:

“Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.”

And in Italian:

Il vento ululava nella notte, portando con sé un odore che avrebbe cambiato il mondo.

And in Indonesian:

Angin melolong menerobos malam, membawa bau yang akan mengubah dunia.

And I thought the ancient language was tough!

A copy of the Deluxe edition of Eragon came in the same box as the Italian and Indonesian editions. “Wow,” is all I can say. The team at Random House have done another superb job. The book looks incredible. I was delighted to see my drawing of Eragon’s sword, Zar’roc, printed in blue ink on a back panel of the fold-out map.

As for the first line of Eldest . . . Well, you just have to wait until the Deluxe edition is released. It’s a killer one though, literally.

Back to Book II!

May your swords stay sharp,

Christopher Paolini

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Christopher Paolini

About Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini is the author of the international bestsellers Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance, along with Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia. He resides in Paradise Valley, Montana, USA.