By Michael McCauley
Alfred A. Knopf, $12.99, 216 pages
Fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon and the world of Alagaesia know that there are many details and characters to keep straight while reading through the fantastic series’ thousands of pages. Michael MaCauley (webmaster of shurtugal.com, the #1 Inheritance fan site) has compiled an A-Z guide to Paolini’s world in The Inheritance Almanac, an official, authorized must-have resource for any fan. The result is a comprehensive look at the characters, landmarks, events, conflicts of the series and fun facts. Did you know that in the first draft of Book One, Eragon was named Kevin? Since the beginning of Paolini’s writing career, MaCauley has had access to the author and includes little-known facts from dozens of interviews with Paolini. Even the most well versed fans will find new ways of interpreting the stories that they’ve come to love. Illustrations include maps, Paolini’s diagram of the dwarf capital Tronjheim, pictures of what real animals inspired Paolini’s fantastical creatures, and more of Paolini’s early concept sketches. Connected entries are cross-referenced. Especially helpful are MaCauley’s lists of residents of the various clans, locations of mountains, rivers and lakes that play a role in the tales and favorite motivational quotes by the most popular characters.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin