The Fork, The Witch and The Worm by Christopher Paolini
Tales from Alagaesia bk. 1. Penguin, 2019. ISBN:
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. This is a new collection of stories based in the world of the Inheritance Cycle. Can you enjoy this book when you have not read the Inheritance Cycle series? Yes. This book may be just the book you are looking for to entice those readers a little reluctant to take on the Inheritance Cycle series because of the size of the volumes.
The book comprises three stories: The Fork; The Witch (with the chapter 'On the Nature Stars' written by Christopher's sister Angela and The Worm. The book begins with Eragon working to establish Mount Arngor as the Dragon Rider's new home.
Of these stories it is 'The Worm' and 'The Fork' that really captivate the reader. In 'The Fork', an innkeeper's daughter encounters a mysterious traveller at a tipping point in her life. She confides in the traveller who provides timely advice. Later when the traveller's meeting with traders has an unexpected outcome, the wisdom of the advice becomes clear. This story relates the advantages of confronting your fears.
'The Worm' is the story of Ilgra. She lives in a village that is attacked by a dragon. Following the attack, that kills her father, dragon takes up residence above the village. Ilgra trains herself to be a mighty warrior and then convinces a shaman to teach her the magic she needs to defeat the dragon. There is a real feeling of a Norse saga about this story. The themes of courage, loss and persistence are well told in this final story.