Featured Author Week: A look at the new contents of the Deluxe Edition of Inheritance and a possible fifth book


christopher paolini featured author weekChristopher Paolini is joining us as a guest this week as Lytherus’ featured author! We’ll be taking a look at Christopher’s recently-released “Inheritance Deluxe Edition”, which features a whole host of new content, including deleted and added scenes, new artwork, and more. Most importantly, the Deluxe Edition features a letter from Jeod detailing life in Alagaesia after the series ended! We’ll also explore a potential fifth book…


The Deluxe Editions

Deluxe Editions have been around since the beginning of this “Inheritance” journey, starting with the release of a Deluxe Edition of Eragon, containing new content not originally released with the book. The tradition continued with Eldest, which was branded a “Limited Edition” and Brisingr, which saw the return of the “Deluxe Edition” title.

Inheritance’s content offerings, however, may just be the best. Fans have been clamoring for answers to some of their lingering questions… for help with closure, to know what happened to some of their favorite characters after we turned that last page. This is where the Deluxe Edition comes in.


The art of Inheritance

Christopher Paolini has been drawing for years. His sketch of Saphira’s eye was the original cover of the self-published edition of Eragon (before being purchased by Random House and replaced with John Jude Palencar’s Saphira painting). His map of Alagaesia has been inside each of his releases to date, and many of his sketches appear in Eragon’s Guide to Alagaesia – an illustrated guide to his world.

The Deluxe Edition of Inheritance brought us several new – and old – pieces of Christopher’s artwork. The familiar map of Alagaesia adorns the inside of the book, as does a drawing of Thorn’s eye (originally done for the Limited Edition of Eldest). Turning the page reveals Saphira’s eye, and another page turn reveals Brom’s ring (also drawn for the Limited Edition of Eldest).

Turning another page reveals Glaedr’s eye – a new piece of artwork done for this Deluxe Edition. It’s a stunning and haunting look at one of the series’ best characters. It’s hard to stare at the sketch and not imagine that this once-great dragon is now trapped within an organic prison.

Shruikan’s eye is just a few page turns away, sitting on the title page of Inheritance. This eye is noticeably different from the rest. Gone is the beauty of Saphira, Glaedr, and even Thorn. Instead, we see a void of darkness, the bulging of veins; evil and insanity.

Sitting at the back of the book, rewarding readers who turn the final page of the series, is a beautiful fold-out poster featuring John Jude Palencar’s Shruikan painting.



Life in Alagaesia after Inheritance

Christopher delivered on his promise to offer fans more closure after Inheritance ended by including a letter written by Jeod, sent to his colleague detailing life for many of our favorite characters after Inheritance ended.

The letter is written to Ertharis, another member of Jeod’s Order, and details what Jeod has observed since Eragon left Alagaesia. His letter discusses his recently-completed manuscript which he refers to as a “History” — no details on what this “History” is, but it’s fair to guess that it chronicles Eragon’s adventures from the day Saphira’s egg hatched to the day they left Alagaesia forever. Included in his letter are highlights from his manuscript detailing the lives and whereabouts of many of the series’ key characters, including:

  • Eragon and Saphira
  • Murtagh and Thorn
  • The dragons’ eggs given to the dwarves and Urgals
  • Arya and Firnen
  • Nasuada and her plans to govern Alagaesia’s magic users
  • Tenga and his mysterious disappearance
  • The disappearance of Angela the herbalist
  • Roran Stronghammer
  • The seeming disappearance of the Ra’zac and Lethrblaka
  • Galbatorix’s body

Interestingly, the letter references the powerful magics of “The Nameless One”, a character which we know very little about. Who is this “Nameless One”? Is this more groundwork for a potential fifth book?

The letter answers many important questions, but raises completely new ones:

  • Why have they been unable to recover Galbatorix’s body?
  • Where has Angela gone? Clearly many others are beginning to seriously question her origins.
  • Where have Murtagh and Thorn gone, and what have they been doing during their self-imposed exile?
  • How long will it be before the Urgal and dwarf dragon eggs hatch?
  • Why and how did Tenga kill the spellcasters sent after him? Where did he disappear to?

These questions lead us to…


What about a fifth book?

While Book 4 is confirmed as the final novel in the Inheritance Cycle, Christopher Paolini has made it abundantly clear that he does not intend to leave the Inheritance universe forever. Christopher has been caught discussing the future of Alagaesia in numerous interviews:

“I don’t have any immediate plans to write a prequel, but, if I ever do, it will probably be either the story of Brom’s life or a story set during the height of the Riders’ power.”

“Book Five (as I think of it) would be set after the events of the Inheritance cycle, would be a single stand-alone book, and would feature both new and old characters.”

Christopher has also revealed that plot threads already exist in the Inheritance Cycle which pertain to the events in future books. Which threads could these be? In the mean time, fans are left pondering which characters may make a re-appearance in our favorite series’ stand-alone story, and what state the world may be in once we reach that time period.

It seems as though the loose ends made obvious in Jeod’s letter will play a central role in any future Alagaeisa books. What do you think those lingering questions could mean? How do you see the plot of a potential fifth book playing out?


About Author

Mike Macauley

Mike Macauley is the founder and editor in chief of Lytherus.com. He also founded and runs Shurtugal.com, the official Inheritance Cycle community, and published his book, The Inheritance Almanac, in 2011. Mike can be found on Twitter at @mikemacauley.

  • Mintche

    Since Galbatorix unmade himself in the events of book 4, wouldn’t that mean there was no body to find?

    • That’s what I was thinking, but maybe Christopher is suggesting something a little different happened.

      • Anymouse

        In Fantasy you really shouldn’t count someone out unless you see the body.

        • Mistborn

          I agree wholeheartedly! (I go so far as to call it the Rules of Dying: 1. You must have a body, 2. The body must be identifiable, 3. We must have SEEN the person die, and 4. The person must ultimately STAY DEAD.) Since we don’t even have Galbatorix’ body…anything could happen! 😉

    • not necessarily
      remember magic done with out the ancien language to guide it is very un predictable

      • someone

        but he used the ancient language, he used the spell “Waise neiat.” when speaking of the first time the spell was used, Glaedr spoke of how all matter was “frozen energy.” if you have even the most basic understanding of nuclear physics, or even if you’ve read the book carfully, then you know that the spell destroys matter, most specifically your matter. Thus, no body.

  • Vandal

    Galbatorix died in the lamest way possible and his dragon even lamer. The series died with the 4th book, it absolutely killed anything the author had going for him. Good riddance.

    • Vandal is stupid

      hater the book was so amazing you can hate all day man best book of the series go somewhere else with your hate

  • Mesti

    The end was very bad… Hope he can write us a happy end. 😀 (Eragon and Arya together powa )

    • SomeBoddy

      I really liked the end! I would have been annoyed if Eragon and Arya had ended up together after all the barriers set between them. Not everyone’s story has a happy ending, and I didn’t really feel that they would have worked together. They both had their separate lives and duties.
      The only thing that annoyed me at the end was the dragon intercourse. Really necessary?!

      • Kameron Cruz

        He promised us Eragon having an epic romance. That never happened. What makes Eragon and Arya’s relationship so great is the fact that they have to overcome barriers. That’s en epic romance if they ever got together. CP really dropped the ball.

      • Kameron Cruz

        Both shadeslayers. Both immortal. Both dragonriders. They’re perfect together. Eragon even says that she understands him better than anyone other than Saphira.

  • crazyjjvols

    cant wait to see a 5th book!

    • Kara

      Same…although, unfortunately, I think that it’s still several years away. Paolini himself as said that he refuses to write to a deadline for this particular book. He’s going to take his time to write it and THEN submit it to his publisher, so they don’t pressure him into producing a manuscript quickly.

    • Rishi

      doubt it will happen. im a huge fan and all but he might just kill it.

  • i already bought a regular book when it first came out, and was never able to find the dleux in a store so i could read it on the shelf. anyone know if i can read it on the internet just for the new stuff

  • Ash

    I’d love for him to write a book about Murtagh and Thorn. The scenes with Murtagh and Nasuada were my favorite part of Inheritance. 🙂

  • If there was a proper fifth book in the series, I wouldn’t like to see Galbatorix return as the villain. He’s had his reign of terror – so any sorcery (pardon the pun) revolving around his body (or lack thereof) should be a minor plot twist at best.

    I’d really like to read this letter from Jeod, though. I read the new forward on Amazon’s “look inside” feature – an inspiring story of Christopher’s struggles to produce a full-fledged book, made especially relevant by the fact that I myself I currently going through that process, having just recently for the first time drafted out the entire plot of a book.

    Regarding the conclusion of the series as it stands… The ending was definitely unique. Not the most satisfying wrap-up, but it definitely stands apart from most fantasy endings where telepathic dragons are involved (and there’s actually quite a few of those, you’d be surprised). Overall, I liked it, but it does lend weight to a sequel.

    Definitely keeping an eye out for anything he writes, anyway. He’s proven himself to be quite a skilled writer in my eyes, especially with exploring characters’ emotions and the subtexts of social formalities.

  • Kara

    Does anyone know where I can read the ‘Jeod’s Letter’ extra online? I’m aware that there may be an exclusivity period for it since it came with the newly released version of Book 4, but I’ve looked around and I honestly can’t find any copies of the Inheritance Deluxe edition left in my area :'(

    Does anyone know where I can read it online, please?

  • Asuna

    Not that I don’t love the Inheritance Cycle but seriously its just as good as it is so leave it be -.- There is a limit to how much can be written..I don’t want the story to go on so much that in the end all i’d think was, “ohh..ANOTHER book?? -.-” I think that he might be afraid to move on xD

    The letter to Jeod sounds interest though..I guess I’m sort of annoyed at the 4th book because not all the loose ends were tied up. So are they explained in this letter? Or is he going to write another book were just more questions will probably come up? I expected Galbatorix to die with more dignity..he ruled the country since anyone could remember, I thought he’d be more badass hahaha

  • fruits punch samurai G

    with galbatorix power he can blow up entire alagaesia but why didnt he do it?
    why did he blow up the castle only?

  • hani

    What is the extra scene in the deluxe version, i cant find it and i want to know what it added to the story!

  • Harry

    Hands down I think that the next book should be about Angela…. I want to know what she is !

  • bob

    book 5 🙂

  • bob

    Would love to see Eragon and Arya together

  • Andrew Hill

    In the Inheritance, during the siege of Uru’ baen Roran is rescued by two passing strangers. Another book could be written about them, since they are never explained as to who they are and what they were doing.

    • Luke

      I think the strangers were the girls Eragon blessed in the burning plains.

  • Sami

    Hey guys i know what happened to Galbatorix, He simply converted his flesh to energy. remember the same is referred when eragon discovers the vault of souls. remember how one elf converts himself into energy distroiying the place where dragon egg is kept and also rendering island unsafe to live

  • Thea

    What ever happened to Shruikan’s eldunari? I have read about speculations but I wonder if it will end up making an appearance in the one of the later books.

    • because

      i think it is the one lord barrast had in the battle for Uru’baen because it was so big and even glader’s eldunari was small enough to fit in the little chest that eragon had.