So my friend from out of state, Kristofer Paoalilinei, happened to be in town last Saturday. So I thought, “Man, would anything be cooler than bringing him to crash a Brisingr release party?” Turns out, anything is just about everything, including watching ice melt and sitting in corn fields.

I brought along Kristofer Paoalilinei and Lord Snow to carry out shenanigans at the local Barns&Noble—I only say shenanigans because Kristofer Paoalilinei was speaking in an Irish accent the entire time. We were expecting crowds of people, with which we could debate the merits of the books and, if necessary, engage in a cagematch.

We were sorely disappointed be our prey opponents. The opposition entirely consisted of nine-year-olds, all of which were five years too young to understand why it was funny we brought a lightsaber—and pushed the Star Wars display in front of the Inheritance desk. None of them were capable of engaging in discourse with us, to decide the merits of the Inheritance Cycle through a battle of wits. And had we fought them in a cage, we would no doubt have been charged with assault of a minor, and third degree manslaughter.

That was a jolly disappointment. We were cheered up by the prospects of FUN ACTIVITIES which the B&N staff promised. These consisted of:

So after we got our copy of Brisingr we hightailed it out of there, because there was no conceivable reason to stay. Worst. Party. Ever.

Oh and did I mention there were only twelve people there in total?


  1. Garrick on 23 September 2008, 18:46 said:

    Re unpronouncable (and aren’t we just so special) names…Just about died laughing earlier. Dunno which chapter it first appears, but Íorûnn…

    Take a moment.

    Pronounce it.


    Let the vowels roll off your tongue.

    Appreciate – no relish – that sound.

    Because this will be the first, last and only time you will ever hear a human being make that sound when he (or she) is sober.

  2. SlyShy on 24 September 2008, 00:13 said:

    Woah. That sound is really weird. It really does sound like something you would say while drunk.

  3. Christopher Paolini on 24 September 2008, 01:12 said:

    Don’t forget the rearranging of the Eragon books before the party. My favorites were putting Eldest by “The Night Serpent” and putting Eragon inbetween the Hitler biographies.

  4. Wut on 24 September 2008, 13:04 said:

    At least you got a fancy brick. With that brick you can stop doors, smash heads, and impress ten year olds.

  5. SlyShy on 24 September 2008, 13:26 said:

    You should see the castle I built with just five of them. It even has a working moat and drawbridge.

  6. Lady Stardust on 24 September 2008, 21:31 said:

    Isn’t it kind of pathetic to “crash” a party for a book you don’t like that only about twelve nine year olds attended? And anyway, they’re nine. I doubt you were reading Nietzsche and having intelligent discussions about physics when you were nine.

  7. SlyShy on 24 September 2008, 22:50 said:

    I didn’t know no one would be there. And I needed to attend it anyways for an English class assignment. And I needed the book anyways. So there you go. And plus I know you know it was totally worth it. :P

    Also, wasn’t expecting them to read philosophy. Just that they would be selective in what they read. It’s really parents’ fault these days. If they don’t set their kids up to read good books, the kids will just play video games and read whatever bad book looks like a video game. When I was a kid I started with classic Fairy Tales ( Swan Lake was my favorite) then moved on to classic literature, and finally onto anything else I wanted to read. I read Mody Dick before I read Lord of the Rings. Whatever. I think it gave me a good basis on which to evaluate other books.

  8. DrAlligator on 25 September 2008, 15:52 said:

    To be fair, videogames can make great stories! The Protomen made a brilliant rock opera based on the first three Megaman games. :P Go on, watch the music video on their website that goes with the first track! Though, you’ll have to go elsewhere if you want to hear the rest of the album without paying…

    No, really, it’s a brilliant story. :D

  9. SlyShy on 25 September 2008, 15:57 said:

    There are videogames with great stories. Baldur’s Gate II is my classic example. Problem is, I’m talking about the kind of video game that gets turned into a bad movie. You know, like Hitman and Bloodryan.

  10. DrAlligator on 26 September 2008, 15:11 said:

    True… Ah, my English text book tries so hard to connect with its readers! We were reading the chapter on ‘tragedy’ today, and one of the activities was to list as many tragedies as we could think of from books, movies, plays, videogames.

    It got really absurd when they named Doom and Resident Evil as having elements of tragedy. Er, no, Doom doesn’t even take itself seriously, let alone is a tragedy. And ResiEvil is a survival horror… I fail to see anything tragic in so-bad-it’s-good voice acting and zombies. It’s more comic than tragic.

    It was one of those moments where the grown up tries to fit in with those trendy kids, then falls flat on his face.


  11. Heradite on 30 September 2008, 00:01 said:

    12 people there? Really?

    Funny considering this book has sold 500,000 copies in it’s first weekend (the most for the publisher).

    I must admit though, this series is for far better than the copycat Harry Potter, and nowhere near as boring as Lord of the Rings (yes it is amazing, but awfully boring…to much time spent on describing stuff). Chronicles of Narnia though is still the best.

    I wonder when the first fantasy book with any sense of logic will be released…

  12. SlyShy on 30 September 2008, 01:07 said:

    I’ll say it once, I’ll say it twice, I’ll say it as many times as I need. Read George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

    Also, I’m curious. In your opinion, who is JK Rowling copying? Because, if you aren’t aware, Inheritance is the one usually accused of copying. From Star Wars and LotR, primarily.

  13. ExitMouse on 30 September 2008, 01:12 said:

    And Jeremie Thatcher: Dragon Hatcher. And he copies from the tale of ged pretty much the entire magic = words system. He even brazenly says that Eragon reads the tale of ged_A_ during his training with Oromis.

  14. Merkkyrr on 1 October 2008, 21:58 said:

    What the hell is the matter with you? I agree, the books suck and Paolini is a charlatan, but this is despicable. You crashed a party for kids. You pathetic, cynical piece of feculence. At anti shurtugal, we criticize the books, not harrass it’s readers!.

  15. SlyShy on 1 October 2008, 23:11 said:

    Hi Merkkyrr,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I censored your comment, because, as it happens, you are harassing the readers of this site with your unwarranted language.

    At Anti-Shurtugal, this happens:

    Let’s get right into it, boys and girls. The culmination of the fan frenzy surrounding the release of Breaking Dawn, the latest book in the Twilight Saga, was undoubtedly the midnight release parties held nationwide at major bookstore chains. I can’t call myself a fan — I find the books undeniably addictive, yet they also irritate the s/// out of me. But the thought of watching hundreds of fans claw their way through a raffle, costume contest, and mock wedding to get to a copy was too much to resist. And hey, any time there’s a chance I may get free stuff, I’m so f///ing there. Without further ado, my account of attending the midnight release party for Breaking Dawn.

    So remind me what it was Anti-Shurtugal doesn’t do?

    So what on earth are you trying to call us on? Besides saying the lines we knew from the Eragon movie, we were incredibly polite and downright deferential while we were at the store. In fact, we were the ones being harassed by marshmallows. Throughout the entire event, we helped the staff coordinate things, and in general made ourselves of use. You know why? Because we felt we were representing the Anti community by acting in a respectful manner.

    So in summary: We were there to engage in polite discourse with anyone of suitable age, we didn’t find any such people. Thanks for the personal attacks.

    At anti shurtugal, we criticize the books, not harrass it’s readers!.

    Also, it is “its” not “it’s”, learn your grammar. And you spelled "harass" incorrectly.

  16. Kristofer Poaolilinei on 1 October 2008, 23:27 said:

    Lucky thing I decided to class it up and not hit on those 13-year olds, huh?

  17. Kristofer Poaolilinei on 1 October 2008, 23:39 said:

    Also, as far as copying, I mean, basically everyone has been copying stuff since like, forever. Any story with a “hero” or protagonist either takes directly from or can be paralleled to the Inferno or the Iliad or the Bible or the Epic of Gilgamesh or a thousand others. The formula isn’t exactly unique. It’s the way in which the story is presented that makes it good or bad, because really, everything has been done. The problem with the Inheiritance Cycle is that it simply doesn’t present much material in a fresh way — with every plot twist, it becomes more noticeably like one of our modern epics, and less its own work. The series is falling into the pitfall of many books that could be great — the plot holes are not filled in satisfying ways, and so while it is good while those holes exist, once the story achieves closure it has lost its appeal.

    Insert mom joke here.

  18. Vin on 4 October 2008, 13:09 said:

    Inheritance may not be the best literature I’ve ever read, but it’s still awesome. It’s sure as hell better than that piece of dull and depressing s*** “A Song of Ice and Fire” that you antis have a massive erection for. Ditto for “Wheel of Time” and even “Lord of the Rings” both of which are boring as hell. In fact, it’s a great example of fantasy lit, and it’s accessible to the kids.

    Also, Harry Potter is more guilty of copying the ideas of others than Paolini is.

  19. SlyShy on 4 October 2008, 13:54 said:

    Hey Vin,

    Okay, so you’ve “proven” that Inheritance is better than four different series. Now you just have to show Inheritance is better than 100,000 other books to show it has any literary merit! That is, if this entire line of reasoning were any good at all. None of us argue that Inheritance is a bad book because it is worse than some other book. It’s not how these things work.

    Most antis hate Wheel of Time too, because of its poor characterization. Lord of the Rings is arguable. I’ll grant people probably do find it boring—because it was written in an old style.

    Why is it a great example of Fantasy Literature? Could you give a reason? Ursula Le Guin’s works are great examples of fantasy literature, because she moves away from the all white all European fantasy worlds, and came up with her own very inventive setting.

    Accessibilty to kids… if that is what you are measuring by, then Goodnight Moon is the most amazing book ever written. Actually, that still might be true.

    I’d be interested in hearing what you think Harry Potter has stolen from others. I find it very interesting that Inheritance fans are so hostile to Harry Potter fans. Neither series is amazing.

  20. Kitty on 4 October 2008, 15:58 said:

    Inheritance = awesome?

    My brain broke. D:

  21. Virgil on 4 October 2008, 17:47 said:

    I’ll admit Tolkien wrote differently and it is boring, but that doesn’t necessarily justify Inheritance is good. It’s just written like fan fiction is, easily accessible to anyone who found it lying around.

  22. SlyShy on 4 October 2008, 19:08 said:

    It’s fanfiction in a LotR, Earthsea, David Eddings, Star Wars crossover world. Duh. And the slash is between Luke and Arwen.

  23. Eragon'sShrink19 on 5 October 2008, 18:53 said:

    Gosh, Es, I loled.

    But seriously, that was awful. Hahaha.

  24. Snow White Queen on 8 October 2008, 00:28 said:

    yes, lord of the rings may be boring to many people, but that’s because tolkien wrote in a manner befitting an ‘ancient mythos’ or whatever, and many people just can’t read stuff like that. personally, i don’t think lord of the rings would have been as good without that narrative style, like it or not. it works with the grand, sweeping style of the piece.

    however, i still don’t see how that made inheritance any better. regardless of the lord of the rings’ literary style, it’s only mediocre, extremely uncreative, the list goes on.

    while harry potter books aren’t the best out there, you have to acknowledge rowling’s creativity and her ability to write an engaging book. christopher paolini is lacking in both those respects.

    that said, i did laugh at your article…although i’m of the opinion that you should let the little nine year olds have their fun. they’ll grow out of it eventually…i hope.

  25. Tsubasa on 18 October 2008, 01:04 said:

    Wait a minute, Vin… you insulted a Song of Ice and Fire? Clearly your balls haven’t dropped yet, kid.

  26. SlyShy on 18 October 2008, 01:09 said:

    In fairness, he brought up pretty subjectives ideas in his criticism, so it can’t be said he is really unfair. It can legitimately be said that ASIOAF is depressing, it certainly was. As for boring, I guess it’s just a differing expectation of what he wants out of a book. He wants bad, pulpy sword & sorcery, apparently.

  27. Tsubasa on 19 October 2008, 23:19 said:

    Oh, I’m not aguing about the depressing part; I agree with that. But dull? No way. But like you said, Sly, maybe he wants something else out of his reading.

    But he DID call it shit…

  28. Chez on 9 May 2009, 16:48 said:

    Want a kid’s opinion? I’m thirteen, I like writing, and I often go to my copies of the Inheritance AND Harry Potter books to see what not to do.

    Inheritance is full of wordy sentences, badly-done scenes, and inconsistencies in the characterization. That much I can tell for myself. The rest of its problems — ripoffs of other stories, plotholes, etc. — I read about in reviews.

    Either way, I enjoyed Eragon a lot when I was in… what was it, fourth grade? Now I just think the levels of purple prose are ridiculous.

  29. Christopher Paolini on 3 November 2009, 19:09 said:

    Inheritance inspires my soul, I wrote Eldist and Eragon in the hope that it would better young readers minds and lives. As a child I always loved fiction, it brought me to a startling cacophonous world of iron, water, and luminescent clouds of discovery. How dare you discourage children from their dreams!


    Sounded like a fun party, wish they had those in Pittsburgh.