Title: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm
Author: Christopher Paolini
Publisher: Knopf Publishing
APC: 250 pages
Return of Eragon: Kinda?
This was one of my most anticipated novels of 2018! A return to the world of Alagaesia is just what I've been dreaming of, and I was thrilled to get my hands on it. The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm is a novel consisting of three different stories told through the introduction of Eragon a year after the Inheritance Cycle ended. The stories featured in this book were interesting and fun to read. There was one featuring Murtagh, one told by Angela the Herbalist, and another told by a Kull.
Angela has to be one of my favourite characters in the series. She and Brom were on the top of my list of characters I wanted to see spinoffs for, so finding out she had a section in this novel made me very happy, and it did not disappoint!
Another thing I am super excited about is the expansion on the original map of Alagaesia. Paolini has created a small map (in colour!) of the area in which Eragon decided to settle after the books ended. This gives me tremendous hope that there will be more expansions in the future. I'm looking for someone to put them all together now!
Alas, the inevitable problem has come up: I did not like the changes made to Eragon. At all.
There were some scenes and interactions that set up the three stories, which involved Eragon and Saphira. We were able to learn more about what they were up to, where they had settled, and how things were going. However, Paolini made Eragon into a sour, grumpy man, so different from himself in the previous books.
Paolini describes Eragon as exhausted, extremely busy, and stretched thin. In the end, he takes the stories that he hears and has a realization; still, the change was drastic.
Here's the thing: After finishing the Inheritance series and realizing the potential for the future of the world of Alagaesia, I got my hopes up so high, they were impossible to reach. I LOVE the idea of stories from different characters from the original story, but when you alter the main character so much after only a year passes plot-wise, that's a problem for me.
Despite this, I did enjoy it and I look forward to future installments of the Tales from Alagaesia series; after all, it's still based on my favourite books.
I'd give The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm 3.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐💫
What did you think of The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm? Do you think it did justice to the Inheritance Cycle? Let me know!
B.O.O.K. Project Analysis
Writing Style - Paolini leans more toward the storytelling aspect of writing in this novel. He was able to set up the plot structure to support the stories. The stories are all told in different ways: the first was as if it was happening in real life, the second in the form of a character's written work, and the last a story told around a fire. It's impressive that he found different forms for each story.
Plot Structure - Rather than a book with three different stories in it, Paolini has made it so that the stories are brought up organically throughout a short telling of how Eragon has been doing in the past year. This gives the stories purpose and context. Paolini as also able to maintain a certain structure with the 'setup' story, including an exposition and a conclusion.
Character Development - Paolini has used these stories to expand on secondary characters in the story. He has also changed Eragon's personality drastically. In one year, Eragon has become a grumpy, disgruntled man, which is completely different from the way he was before. There was an attempt at reconciliation at the end, but in my opinion, it did not change his attitude.
Worldbuilding - Paolini expanded once again on Alagaesia, the land that the Inheritance Cycle and this book are based in. He has offered a new map to add to the old one, as well as an overview of the land they are currently in. Paolini also expanded on the information pertaining to previous locations that we might have heard of in the previous novels. Theme/Message - The message of the novel was that hard work pays off. At the beginning of the novel, Eragon is frustrated and worn out. At the end, he realizes that all of his hard work will pay off in the long run, that all of the effort he is putting into his project is worth it and is for the greater good.
Later this week, we will be reading and reviewing The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang! Have you read this book? I'm so excited to share my thoughts on it.
Until then, read on.
~ Hayley's Reviews xo