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August 2005

Kvetha Fricäya! Greetings Friends!

This is my final newsletter before I go on book tour for Eldest. I look forward to meeting many of you in person! Because I’ll be traveling so much, this may be the last time I can write to you until November.

The past few weeks have been a frenzy of interviews, photo shoots, and preparations for my trip. Two events, however, deserve special notice:

First, I completed the dragon painting for Random House’s poetry contest and selected the winners. It was difficult for me to choose from so many creative entries. Despite the challenge, I’m delighted to announce that the grand prize winner is Alex L. Congratulations Alex, you wrote a great poem! I hope you enjoy the painting.

Second, I was fortunate enough to be asked to review Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for Entertainment Weekly magazine. Wow, what an experience! I never, ever, thought that I would have a chance to do such a neat thing. It reminded me of the book reports that Mom used to make me write back in the dim mists of time. . . . The only problem was that I had to read HP 6 in just a few hours, which meant that I couldn’t spend as much time savoring it as I wanted.

Several fans have asked where the black ring I wear on my right hand comes from. Well . . .

Many moons ago, in late 2002, Dad and I were in Seattle, marketing the self-published edition of Eragon. My first event was the Northwest Bookfest, a convention of booksellers, publishers, authors, librarians, vendors, readers, and fans.

I had a small table in the huge unheated warehouse where I stood in my medieval costume, trying to keep my teeth from chattering while I described the book to potential customers. When we packed up for the day, I stumbled across a small metal band lying on the asphalt parking lot. I had no idea where the ring came from, but it fit my finger perfectly, so I took it back to the hotel. That evening we received the first e-mail from my editor-to-be, Michelle Frey, saying that Random House/Knopf was interested in publishing my entire trilogy. I have worn the ring ever since, as a memento of that important occasion.

Sitting here at my desk, on the eve of my trip, I started thinking about everything that has happened to my family and me because of Eragon. It delights and humbles me and leaves me shaking my head in mute amazement. I have been incredibly fortunate, and for that, I have you and every other reader to thank.

Atra du evarínya ono varda. May the stars watch over you.

Christopher Paolini

p.s. For those of you who want a sneak preview of Eldest, I’ll say this:

Two die, one is reborn, and one is renamed.
Flowers sing, birds speak, and ants wage war.
And a hammer sails through the eye of a boar.

A sword, a dragon, a half-answered riddle.
A scar, a blood oath, a celebration.
He who was broken must be made whole,
Before blood may meet blood in the field of battle.

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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.