- Title And Author: The Fork, The Witch and the Worm by Christopher Paolini
- Publisher: Penguin
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by ED PR in exchange for an honest review
- Length: 320 Pages
- Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
As you know if you have followed the Pewter Wolf in the past month or so, I’m planning to read Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini through 2019. Or try to (they are meaty books!). I planned this back in late summer 2018. So when this collection of short stories was announced to go with the series, I added it on my radar, but with the plan to read AFTER I completed the four book series.
However, when the lovely people at ED PR sent me a copy and told me “Oh, you can read this as an entry point to the series if you are a newbie to the world or readers of the series can read now as a tie-them-over till when the fifth novel set in the world comes out (oh, Christopher has said he’s planning to write more novels set in the world of Alagaësia but following new characters, so companion novels technically)”, I decided that I would read this collection before I go to Eragon (which would be a reread to me as I read this YEARS ago but never carried on due to the following novels lengths!). A bit of a refresher and, hopefully, a nice way to ease self back into the world of dragons…
Set a year after the events of Inheritance, Eragon is trying to find a new home for the dragons. But with that, comes duties. Trade agreements, guarding dragons, dealing with elves and Urgals. But three things happen that, hopefully, bring Eragon a much needed-distraction and new perspective: a vision from the spirits of the dragons past, an unexpected visitor and an Urgal legend.
Ok, I am going to start right off the bat, I get why people are saying this could be used as a starting point for people who haven’t read the series. I get it as it’s the vision, the visitor and the legend that is the real meat of the three stories (the vision is Fork, the visitor is Witch and the legend is Worm), but we have Eragon grounding the three together, meaning there are some spoilers or easter eggs about the Cycle - some, not a lot and nothing that really (to me) effected my enjoyment - but be warned in advance.
I’m not going to write too much about the three stories, but out of the three, my fave was The Witch. I can’t remember if we met Angela the herbalist within Eragon (it’s been that long, folks), but I liked this story and I liked the humour Angela brought forward. Eragon is quite a serious character, so it’s refreshing to have Angela who has a bite of humour and sarcasm. Plus, there is more to her story than we see and I do hope we learn more about her in future novels and collections of short stories…
I did like The Fork, but not the same way as Witch. I liked Witch a lot, but Fork was interesting. It had an edge or something about it that I clicked with quickly. There were little lines that felt very important about life and I went “Oh!” with it.
The Worm is probably the hardest story for me to click with. I am going to admit I struggled with this. While The Fork and The Witch each took a day or so to read, this took several. This has more weight to it compared to the other two and I think this is going to be the story that is going to split reader’s opinions. There were elements to this story I liked, but there were others that made me more of a struggle to read. I am quite glad this was the last story in the collection and not the first as, if it was, I would have really struggled with the collection…
I do think fans of this series will devour this and demand more (this is the first volume of Tales of Alagaësia so it hints that more collections are going to come. Plus, with Paolini confirming he is writing more novels set in this world). Newer readers to the series will be ok reading this collection yet might struggle with one or two bits and connections (hence why I’m saying read the first few chapters of Eragon at the end of the collection as this will give you a good vibe on whether you want to continue or not with this series). But like I said, i am planning to read this series as well as a few others so this started me on the right foot. But I think I will enjoy this a lot more once I have read the whole series… or maybe I will just reread The Witch story alone in the future…