The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm to be released by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on December 31, 2018, with a first printing of 500,000 copies, and in the UK on January 1, 2019

Includes never-before-seen original art by Christopher Paolini and three short stories set in the world of Alagaësia

New York, NY, October 10, 2018—This fall, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books US, and Penguin Random House Children’s UK will publish THE FORK, THE WITCH, AND THE WORM, a new book of short stories from Christopher Paolini, internationally best-selling author of the Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance), it was announced today by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books and Penguin Random House Children’s MD Francesca Dow. The book will release on December 31, 2018 with a first printing of 500,000 copies in the US and on January 1, 2019 in the UK.


Set in Paolini’s well-known world of Alagaësia, which has captivated over 35 million readers worldwide since Eragon was published in 2005, THE FORK, THE WITCH, AND THE WORMincludes three all-new stories, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. The book includes four pieces of original art by Paolini and memoir pages from botanist Angela the herbalist, penned by Christopher’s sister, Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character. The first story begins a year after Eragon has departed Alagaësia to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. He is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. A vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective.


“After so many years spent working on other projects, it was an enormous pleasure to return to the world of Alagaësia with The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm,” says Paolini. “Writing about Eragon and Saphira again felt like arriving home after a long journey. These stories mean a great deal to me, and they are but the first taste of many more to come. Prepare yourselves, Dragon Riders. Things are not always what they seem. . . .”


“Since the publication of Eragon, I have watched Christopher’s masterful storytelling garner an enthusiastic worldwide fanbase,” says Michelle Frey, Executive Editor, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. “I am overjoyed that fans and new readers alike will get to dip into yet another one of his brilliant works.”


“It was an honor and a delight to give words to the character Angela the herbalist, who bears my name,” says Angela Paolini. “In this story we glimpse a few key moments from the enigmatic witch’s extraordinary life and get a hint at her future plans.”


Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 40 languages. Eragon, the first book in the series, was published when Paolini was only nineteen years old and was praised by the New York Times as “an authentic work of great talent.” All four books in the series were #1 New York Times bestsellers, #1 USA Today bestsellers, and #1 Publishers Weekly bestsellers.


Paolini’s longtime editor, Michelle Frey, will edit. North American rights for the book were acquired from Simon Lipskar, president of Writers House. UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by Penguin Random House Children’s UK from Cecilia de la Campa, Writers House’s Executive Director, Global Licensing. THE FORK, THE WITCH, AND THE WORM will also be available on audio from Listening Library in the U.S. and Canada.


Follow the conversation via #ForkWitchWorm.


Christopher Paolini‘s love of fantasy and the natural beauty that surrounds his home in Montana inspired him to begin writing the Inheritance Cycle at age fifteen. He became a #1 New York Timesbestselling author at nineteen and spent the next decade immersed in the world of Alagaësia. Also an accomplished artist, Christopher drew the interior art for the books. Find out more about Christopher and the Inheritance Cycle at and @paolini.

Back to blog