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Seth Cassel
October 2005

An Inspiration to Childhood Authors

Released on August 23, 2005, Eldest sold 425,000 copies in one week, is one of's top sellers, is number one on the New York Times Bestseller, and already has 1.8 million copies in print. Eldest is the sequel to another hit fantasy book, Eragon. Both fantasy books have rocked the enormous population of fantasy readers. On an avid, 11 year-old fantasy reader, MY, gave Eldest the first 20 out of 10 on my site, declaring that it was his "favorite book of all-time." The author behind the books, Christopher Paolini, had never written a book before Eragon. Which is really not too unusual since he was only 15 when he wrote Eragon. On, Paolini says that he wrote Eragon "after several failed attempts composing other stories." Home-schooled, he spent a whole year writing Eragon, a second year revising it, and a third year with his parents self-publishing the book. After the immediate attention the publishing of Eragon received, the Paolini's switched to a large publishing company, Knopf. Eragon and Eldest, the first two books in the Inheritance Trilogy, have received attention in the young-adult literary community similar to Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, and even to the god of books itself, the Harry Potter series. In fact, Eragon is being made into a movie, set to release on June 16, 2006. However, the story behind the writing of Christopher Paolini's first two books makes them seem even more impressive.

Eragon began simply as a project started from Christopher Paolini's daydreams and turned into something like magic. Paolini took a month to plot out Eragon at the age of 15 and then sat on the couch and started writing in a notebook. After he had completed the first 60 pages of Eragon, Paolini decided he better type it on the computer. Most of his work was done while listening to classical music and on he says that he wrote the final battle of Eragon "while listening to "Carmina Burana," by Carl Orff. In addition, he used the snowcapped Beartooth Mountains close to his house in Paradise Valley, Montana as inspiration for some of the detailed scenery. The most impressive part about Christopher Paolini was that he was like most other preteens and teenagers; he did not like to read. In Upfront magazine he admits that he "didn't understand what the point was." However his interest was started when he found a book that subsequently devoured. From then on he "he got sucked into someone else's world and someone else's story- [he] became addicted to books." We are certainly glad he did.