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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Christopher Paolini looks back at a busy year.

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Kvetha Fricäya!

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Kvetha Fricaya. Greetings, Friends.

Wow! A lot has happened this year! Most importantly, the book—and the Inheritance cycle—is finished. I couldn't be happier. And in a few short weeks, you'll get to read the conclusion for yourselves.

I can't tell you what finishing this project means to me. It would take a book as long as Inheritance itself in order to sum up my feelings with regard to the series—and Inheritance is no small book. As many of you know, I've been working on this series since 1998, and the initial idea even goes back to the year before. I've spent nearly every single day of my life since either writing on, thinking about, or discussing these books. And now they're done. Over. Finished. Finito. No more.

The actual writing of Inheritance was every bit as scary, exciting, and soul wrenching as I expected. Despite the fact that I've already published three books (four if you count Eragon's Guide to Alagaësia), I've never actually ended a story before. Not properly. Doing so was a unique experience. When I wrote the last scene, I felt this wave of heat rush through me, and I found myself shaking as if with a fever. I didn't cry. I didn't wail. The moment was beyond that. Thirteen years of work and emotion brought to a head. And saying goodbye to the world and the characters wasn't easy. I still find myself thinking about Eragon and Saphira and the other characters and wondering, What if… Funnily enough, it seemed as if nature itself was bound up in the completion of the book. I was in New York City for the last week of editing, and during that time, the city experienced both an earthquake and a hurricane.

As my editor, Michelle, said, “You have to finish this book, before any more natural disasters occur.”

So finish it I did.

Is it good? I think so, but then I'm biased. It's certainly intense. And as I said above, long. I thought for sure that Inheritance was going to end up somewhere between Brisingr and Eldest with regard to length. Shows what I know. Overall, though, I'm very proud of the book, and I can't wait for readers to get a crack at it. My greatest hope is that fans will feel that I did justice to the world and the characters, and that I sent them off in a proper fashion. (Make sure to look in the acknowledgments, by the way, for a few extra words on Angela the Herbalist.)

The completion of the Inheritance cycle is a huge shift for me, both personally and professionally. Even if I live to be a hundred or more, I won't get too many thirteen-year chunks. And I doubt I'll spend another of them working on just one story. It's possible that I will return to Alagaësia at some time in the future (I've laid the groundwork for that in both Brisingr and Inheritance), but it won't be for some time to come. First, I want to try my hand at many of the different stories that have been bouncing around in my head for the past ten years.

Aside from the writing, I've had a few other notable experiences this year. I got to attend BookExpo America in New York City, which was especially awesome because Random House hosted an event for their authors on the Intrepid, a retired aircraft carrier. Very cool. I also went to the San Diego Comic-Con again, which as always, is geek paradise. There I was fortunate enough to be on a panel with George R. R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Kevin J. Anderson, Peter Orullian, and K. J. Taylor. I thought I wrote big books, but Martin, Sanderson, and Rothfuss make me feel like a piker. I also got to ride on a mechanical bull during a Random House party that evening. (Yes, there's footage. No, I won't be sharing it with you.)

On the flight to Comic-Con, my sister and I bumped into the crew from American Chopper, the Discovery channel show. (We were also on the same flight with Peter Dinklage, which was cool.) American Chopper made an Eragon bike based on the movie, but I'd never gotten a chance to meet the guys from the show before, so it was nice to shake their hands and chat for a few minutes. They were very polite and much quieter than you'd expect.

Let me see, what else? I bumped into Tyra Banks a few times in New York, once at BookExpo and once at the Random House building. She had a young adult book, Modelland, come out this September. She was very charming, very tall, and she signed a book to me with one of the funniest dedications I've ever seen. The word auteur was used somewhere. I've yet to read the book myself, but my mom did, and she compared it to a cross between Roald Dahl and The Wizard of Oz. I don't know whether to be encouraged or frightened by the prospect, but I'm certainly intrigued.

More recently, I met with Jake, the young man who won the Inheritance cycle video contest way back in December of 2010. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet with him until the book was finished, but when he was finally able to come out to Montana, we had a great time hanging out together by the base of the Beartooth Mountains. I was impressed; he had a list of detailed questions written up for me, questions that would have stumped anyone other than the author, I think. Congratulations again to Jake on winning the contest!

A few weeks ago, I returned from England where I went on a weeklong pre-release book tour. I hadn't been to England or the U.K. since 2007 (when the movie version of Eragon premiered at the Odeon theater in London), so this was a real treat for me.

One of my events was at the Forbidden Planet bookstore in London. Among the people who attended was a young man who had flown all the way from the Canary Islands to get his books signed. He also gave me a rather impressive origami dragon that I now have atop a bookcase in my office.

Two different fans gave me paintings of Arya, both of which I really like. It's fun for me to see the different ways that readers view my characters.

The following morning, I got to film some material for Random House while in the London Eye (the huge Ferris wheel). Fortunately, the weather was warm and clear, and I had an awesome view over the whole of the city! It was definitely a highlight (ha!) of my time there.

From London, I went to Manchester (fun train ride) where I did another presentation at Waterstone's Deangate. Then back to London, and from London to Bath, which was surprisingly hot. Now, when I do my presentations, I often tell the story of how I once—while promoting the self-published edition of Eragon—arm-wrestled a man in order to convince him to buy a copy. Well… during my signing at Bath, a young man (maybe in his early twenties) came up and challenged me to arm-wrestle him as well. Even though it was in the middle of a signing, I cleared off the table, and he and I squared off with each other. I was a bit worried about the outcome, as he was taller than me and fairly well built. Fortunately though, I managed to get the upper hand—literally. I believe the exact phrase he used was “freakishly strong for an author,” which left me feeling rather smug. However, dear readers, please don't take this as an invitation to challenge me to arm-wrestle at every one of my signings. The events will take far too long otherwise.

After Bath, it was off to my last event, which was FantasyCon in Brighton. There, I got to meet several fellow authors (including Joe Abercrombie, whose books I've been reading for a while now), and I had a lovely panel event, followed by a signing.

Overall, I had a wonderful trip. It was fun to be able to visit England, meet with some of my fans, and for the first time, to read an excerpt from the finished version of Inheritance. Hopefully, it won't be another four years before I'll be able to hop back over the pond to visit.

And now, it's almost time for the book tour. It's going to be an amazing experience, I'm sure, and I'm looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible and hearing what you think of the end of the series.

Atra esterní ono thelduin,

Christopher Paolini

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011 A Devil's End

To depict Arachus, Lord of the Pit, the most similar figure is Baal Zebu or Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies Myths & Legends TCG By GenZoMan ( A Devil’s End
Back to the Dark Throne in Kraal’Thragon, the Heir sits alone, still with his knuckle supporting his head like the one deep in thought – or sleeping.
Suddenly, the heavy door that leads into the throne hall opens a bit slowly. The Heir still doesn’t move and a she-devil walks into the hall. She comes and kneels before the throne, and stays that way until the Heir notices her.
A minute after, the Heir speaks gently, ‘What tidings do you bring, Archdemoness?’
The Archdemoness or Succubus Queen reports, ‘Your spy in Arcadia, Talbot du Bois has been discovered. He escaped and is now en route here.’
The Heir’s voice turns hoarse, ‘See, I told you they would find out the truth sooner or later.’
The gentle voice responds, ‘Well, there’s no such thing as a flawless plan. The point is, WHEN they would discover the truth. After our return here? After the Alliance waged war against each other? After we used that chance and advanced as far as Borgia?’
‘Yes, but the plan failed. The Alliance has stopped us and we lost more troops than their overall,’ says the harsh voice.
And gentle, ‘Still, we have done our best. Without the ‘divide and conquer’ scheme, we wouldn’t be able to take even Merida, even with the orcs’ help. Just face it. The Light Side is strong, and they are not to be taken lightly despite their limited numbers.
We still have plenty of reserves for another wave of campaign plus our defenses. So, Archdemoness, how is the preparation going?’
Before the Archdemoness delivers her report, suddenly, the door to the throne hall flings open with a loud CLANK! A big, blood-red skinned devil walks limply into the hall with is scythe as a walking stick. His right hand, right horn and left leg seem missing.
The Heir recognizes him at once and greets with a hoarse voice, ‘Arachus, Lord of the Pit. You have returned, and you return with victory, I hope.’
With resentment in his tone, Arachus replies, ‘Yes, I’ve returned, and I returned victorious. I see you have completed your ‘transformation’, milord. Well, while you were ‘slumbering’, I’ve challenged Archangel Avariel, your Light Side counterpart in this world. We’ve fought for a fortnight, day and night without rest. Oh yes, we’ve fought.
He lost me an arm and a leg, but I finally got him under my mercy. Oh, yes. Weak, powerless, barely alive. And when I brought my scythe down to finish him once and for all, he just dissolved into thin air, every last cell of his existence, gone. Only his sword remains, like a tombstone in – to my delight – the Slope of Fallen Angels. I could hear his voice fading in the wind, singing,
Schaivona, Schaivona
Flee me, flee me
This great evil not yet slain
Wait for me, wait for me
We’ll surely meet again
And that was the end of Avariel Swordsinger. I tried to bring the oversized sword here as the trophy for my victory, but I still got my scythe on my single hand. So I decided to leave the sword there.’
The Heir falls silent for a moment, and then his gentlemanly voice reverberates, ‘So, Lord Regent, you came back here to claim your just reward?’
Arachus readily answers, ‘Why, of course, milord. That is, with your consent.’
Hearing that, the Heir just stands up silently and slowly. Arachus puts up a broad, hopeful smile, making his face more frightening than ever. And then, to his surprise, the Heir vanishes!
The next split-second, he feels a sudden jerk on his hand and the scythe he’s supporting on is snatched from him. The next second, the Archdevil feels pain, the greatest and last pain, the life-ending pain as if his torso has been split in two.
And yes! He falls face-down on the floor and black blood floods out from this spilt stomach. His strength is failing him, and with labored breath he mutters, ‘W-why, m-master?’
The master lands next to the dying Arachus, planting the tip of the Crow Scythe on the devil’s back, absorbing what’s left of his energy. Arachus is getting thinner and thinner. The Heir now speaks hoarsely, ‘You might’ve done a great deed, Arachus, but you also made mistakes, mistakes that deserve death as reward.’
‘Y-you mean?’
‘Let me fill you in. First mistake, the Crow Scythe is mine. I’ve lent it to you during my absence and now I’m taking it back, yet you said that it’s YOUR scythe. I smell perfidy and ambition in the air, and I don’t like it.
Second, you said Archangel Avariel was dissolved and left his sword in the Slope of Fallen Angels, and you claimed that you’ve killed him? BIG mistake! Avariel was not dissolved, he teleported! He was indeed, too weak to bring his heavy sword all the way to Yvais, and at least he can’t fight for another five years or so. After that, his strength will be restored, and he’ll be my greatest rival and hindrance all over again! To assume that he’s dead, that’s outright stupid!
And the third, what has become to you to achieve that? You’ve lost an arm and a leg, and pretty much useless without degrading my prized Crow Scythe into a walking stick. We have no use of such powerless, crippled leader!’
The Heir then changes his tone to gently, ‘Yet, you still deserve a reward from putting Avariel out of picture long enough until I conquer this world. You should be honored to be part of me now. Your spirit becomes the spirit of the Crow Scythe and can be summoned anytime, and your body, your strength live in mine. It seems you won’t be useless after all. Good bye, Archdevil Arachus, my Lord Regent...’
Arachus has never been very bright all his life, with his brute strength to compensate for it. He realizes now the meaning of life in the Dark Side. Only the strong can survive, and to lose one’s strength means becoming a garbage, a useless waste. He knew that, but he never fully understood it. His ambition drove him into dueling Avariel, who, despite is equal to him in strength, outsmarted him with skills, magic and tactics to cripple the enemy and escape death.
Alas, it’s too late for Arachus now, and with his dying breath he sighs with regret. The Archdevil leaves this world in the most horrible state: spilt stomach, body drained up to his bones, and all is lost.
The Succubus Queen watches this with mixed feelings of joy of taking Arachus’ place as Vordac’s right handman and dread of understanding the price of losing one’s own strength, and the kind of world the Dark Overlord aspires to rule in the future. ‘The strong devours the weak, only the strong may survive and only the strongest may rule.’
Suddenly, the Heir’s gentle voice startles her, ‘Archdemoness, gather our troops. Get them ready for the second wave of our campaign. We will commence attack immediately.’
‘I’m on it, O’ Dark One,’ says the she-devil. Her eyes are half-fixed towards the bony-blood-dry remains of the former Lord Regent, Arachus on the floor. She then quickly turns and walks away, hiding her terror from her fearsome master.
Having imposed his authority to his minions and becoming stronger, full of devilish energy, the Heir just sits back on his not-so-comfy Throne of Bones. He just caresses his treasured weapon, the Crow Scythe like a father to his son, singing a song composed today, softly like a lullaby.
With the Crow in hand
Opening the road ahead
I bring scourge to this land
Sleeping beauty upstairs
Brings purpose in the air
Nothing can stop the Heir!
End of Chapter 18


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Final Battle Cutscene
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Sample Battle - Pyro's Pyres
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Tamora Pierce's "Mastiff" On Sale Today! Plus Our Most Chilling Covers!

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October 2011 - Some wickedly good reads are headed to a bookshelf near you! From the world of Tortall comes Mastiff by Tamora Pierce, the latest in the Beka Cooper series. And from author James Dashner comes The Death Cure, the riveting latest installment to The Maze Runner series.

And finally, to get your spines tingling, we've collected some of our scariest book covers for your viewing pleasure. See them in the round-up below! Happy All Hallow's Read, Strange Landers!




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The Long-Awaited "Mastiff" Goes On Sale Oct. 25!

The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want--a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City--while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well..

facebook Enter The Mastiff Contest on Random Buzzers to win a digital camera!

Also, watch the author speak at this year's New York Comic-Con panel, "Girls Kick Butt: Strong Female Heroines in Young Adult Fantasy"

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For Part 2 and 3 of the Comic-Con panel, hop over to Random Buzzers' YouTube Channel! And to learn more about the other authors that appeared with Tammy, check out the links below:

Caitlyn Kittredge, author of The Iron Thorn
Kate Klimo, author of Daughter of the Centaurs
Esther Friesner, author of Sphinx's Queen



Modelland cover

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Something WICKED This Way Comes: The Death Cure On Sale Now!

The Time for Lies is Over -- Read New York Times bestselling author James Dashner's epic conclusion to the Maze Runner series!

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.

Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

Play the all-new "Survive the Scorch" game at!
Face down cranks, bulb creatures, and other monsters from the series as you fight your way across the desert wasteland. Do you Greenies have what it takes? Or will you be just another dead shank?

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Celebrate All Hallow's Read With Our Most Spine-Chilling Titles!

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Seeker cover

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