Paolini (Inheritance, 2011, etc.) revisits Eragon and Alagaësia with three stories.
Busy with the endless tasks involved in setting up the Academy and Dragon Riders’ home at the base of Mount Arngor, Eragon suffers from terrible burnout and seeks diversion. Eragon functions as a framing device, and the three stories in this small (for Paolini) volume provide him relief. In the first story, the dragon minds of the Eldunarí show Eragon a vision to give him perspective. That vision is of young Essie, coerced into bullying by a bully and wishing to run away to avoid the fallout; she sees things in a new light after an encounter with a mysterious traveler. In the second story, Angela the herbalist shows up, with accidentally cursed Elva in tow, presenting Eragon with some out-of-order chapters of the autobiography she’s working on (the book in a book penned by Paolini’s sister and the character’s inspiration, Angela). The final, longest, and most complete tale is told by an Urgal, about Ilgra’s quest for vengeance against a cruel dragon that terrorized her people. The first story drops hints for more stories (and more volumes); the second gives readers additional glimpses of characters likely to intrigue fans; and the third stands alone and carries the most thematic weight. Human characters seem to default to white.
Though not likely to lure in any new fans, Paolini’s readers will likely enjoy revisiting the characters and world. (pronunciation guide) (Fantasy. 12-15)