Review: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Eragon

  • Title:
    • The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Eragon (Tales from Alagaësia #1)
  • Author:
    • Christopher Paolini
  • Release:
    • December 31 2018
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Gerard Doyle
  • Series
    • Inheritance Cycle

As I often do, I’m going to make my biases known early. I’ve been a fan of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle since I was in high school. I was first made aware of it in 2004, but I didn’t get around to purchasing the first 3 books until 2008 when I bought the full set.

My middle and high schools had 8 classes. 4 80-minute classes a day. As a sophomore in high school, I was given “off blocks” or empty classes that I wasn’t supposed to have. So every day as a sophomore and Junior, I had my last classes free. Occasionally I would spend the 50 minutes walking home to play videos. Most of the time I’d go to the library and read.

One of the series I read over and over again was (as it was known then) the Inheritance Trilogy. In April 2020, I began to delete all my social media accounts. But not long after, in June 2020, I re-created a Twitter account to follow Christopher Paolini’s account.

So when I say The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm was a huge disappointment to me, I hope that my review will explain why.

Book 4 in the series was published in 2011. So after many long years, fans of the series were supposedly going to return to the land of Alagaësia. What a treat, right?! Wrong!

This review will cover the audiobook, so I don’t know if this is more apparent in the physical copy or not. But I had no clue that The Fork followed the character Murtagh until the very end of the story. I had no context going in because I didn’t feel the need to read the summary, being a long-time fan. The book didn’t need to sell itself to me. The story is short and just leaves you with more questions than answers.

The second story, The Witch is just Angela the Herbalist being her usual quirky self and Elva being the world’s creepiest child. Which is a feat on its own. But there was nothing new there. Another short story that really doesn’t go anywhere, doesn’t leave you with much of anything to work with, get excited over, or hyped about. I try to keep these spoiler-free, but there’s jack-shit to spoil. Angela is quirky, Elva is creepy. Angela offers to help Elva escape from Nasuada’s palace, the end. What the hell was that? A waste of my time, that’s what.

The final story is the only thing saving this book. The Worm feels like a true return to Alagaësia. From the perspective of an Urgal story which further helps to humanize them. An Urgal village is being terrorized by a large black dragon and one Urgal woman takes it upon herself to learn magic and take down this beast. Whether she does or doesn’t isn’t for me to spoil, just know that it’s a fine tale either way.

My usual rating is read it or don’t read it. But this one is one of those rare mixed bags. Unless you’re a fan of the series, 2/3 of the stories won’t make the least bit of sense and will only leave you confused. If you’re already a fan, then you’ve likely already read the book anyway. If you’re new to the series, some things aren’t really explained properly. I don’t think this will prevent you from enjoying the Worm if you’re curious about the series. The audio narration is very well done and beyond that, I have little else to say.

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