Christopher Paolini

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Christopher Paolini
Christopher Paolini - Lucca Comics and Games 2012.JPG
Christopher Paolini at Lucca Comics & Games in 2012
Born Christopher James Paolini
(1983-11-17) November 17, 1983 (age 31)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Author
Genre Fantasy
Notable works Inheritance Cycle

Christopher James Paolini[1] (born November 17, 1983, Los Angeles, California)[2] is an American author. He is best known as the author of the Inheritance Cycle, which consists of the books Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance. He lives in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he wrote his first book.


Christopher James Paolini was born in Southern California and raised in the area of Paradise Valley, Montana.[3] His family members include his parents, Kenneth Paolini and Talita Paolini, and his younger sister, Angela Paolini.[4] Homeschooled for the duration of his education, Paolini graduated from high school at the age of 15 through a set of accredited correspondence courses from the American School of Correspondence in Lansing, Illinois. Following graduation, he started his work on what would become the novel Eragon, the first of a series set in the mythical land of Alagaesia.

In 2002, Eragon was published by Paolini International LLC, Paolini's parents' publishing company. To promote the book, Paolini toured over 135 schools and libraries, discussing reading and writing, all the while dressed in "a medieval costume of red shirt, billowy black pants, lace-up boots, and a jaunty black cap."[4] He drew the cover art for the first edition of Eragon, which featured Saphira's eye, along with the maps on the inside covers of his books.[5]

In summer 2002, the stepson of author Carl Hiaasen found Eragon in a bookstore and loved it, so Hiaasen brought it to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.[6][7] Knopf subsequently made an offer to publish Eragon and the rest of the Inheritance cycle. The second edition of Eragon was published by Knopf in August 2003. At the age of nineteen, Paolini became a New York Times bestselling author.[8]

In December 2006, Fox 2000 released the film adaptation of Eragon in theaters around the world.

Paolini's essay "It All Began with Books" was included in the April 2005 anthology Guys Write for Guys Read.

Eldest, the sequel to Eragon, was released August 23, 2005. The third book in the cycle, Brisingr, was released on September 20, 2008.[9] Although the Inheritance Cycle was planned as a trilogy, a fourth book, Inheritance,[10] was needed to conclude the story.

To date, the Inheritance Cycle has sold more than 35 million copies.[11] On March 23, 2011, Random House announced the cover, title, and release date of Inheritance. It was released on November 8, 2011 in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the EU and India, and was subsequently translated and published in fifty-three countries.

In 2011, Paolini stated that he has several science fiction ideas that he plans to possibly develop into novels in the near future.[12]


Paolini's literary inspirations include the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert and E. R. Eddison as well as the epic poem Beowulf.[6] Paolini said that Eragon was "specifically inspired" by Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, by Bruce Coville. Other literary influences include David Eddings, Andre Norton, Brian Jacques, Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist, Mervyn Peake, Ursula K. Le Guin. Other favorite authors include Jane Yolen,[4] Philip Pullman,[13] Terry Brooks,[14] and Garth Nix.[6]

In a nod to Frank Herbert's Dune, Paolini wrote in Brom's story that the first dragon that the elves kept was Bid'Duam, which is Muad'Dib, in reverse.[13]

Nature influences much of Paolini's writing. In an interview with Philip Pullman and Tamora Pierce, Paolini said that Paradise Valley, Montana is "one of the main sources" of his inspiration.[15]

In the acknowledgments of Brisingr, Paolini acknowledged the influence of Leon and Hiroko Kapp's The Craft of the Japanese Sword for his description of the forging of Eragon's sword.[16] Additionally, Paolini admitted he is a Doctor Who fan, which inspired his reference to the "lonely god" (the epithet given to the Doctor by the Face of Boe in the episode "New Earth"), to "rooms that are bigger on the inside than the outside" (from "Questions Unanswered" in Inheritance), as well as to Raxacoricofallapatorius, the home of the Doctor Who Slitheen ("Blood Price" in Inheritance).[17][18][19]


Paolini’s books have won numerous awards, including topping the charts of the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers lists.[20][21][22]

The Guinness World Records recognized Christopher Paolini as the “youngest author of a bestselling book series” on January 5, 2011.[23]



  1. ^ Paolini, Christopher (May 16, 2013). "Somewhere on Mars is a CD with my name on it. #smug #love_living_in_the_future". Twitter. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. At
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Biographies.
  5. ^ Paolini, C., Eragon, Paolini International LLC, 2002.
  6. ^ a b c Spring, Kit (January 25, 2004). "Elf and efficiency (Interview)". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  7. ^ David Welch (September 29, 2005). A Kinder, Gentler Carl Hiaasen, Still Pissing People Off Accessed 2008-01-20.
  8. ^ Liz Rosenberg (November 16, 2003). 'Eragon': The Egg and Him. Accessed 2007-10-30.
  9. ^ Press release (January 16, 2008). Random House. Accessed 2008-01-16.
  10. ^ Press release (October 30, 2007). Random House. Accessed 2007-10-30.
  11. ^ "Inheritance Cycle: Author". 
  12. ^ Horn, Caroline (October 11, 2011). "Paolini eyes sci-fi for next venture". The Bookseller. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Talita Paolini Christopher Paolini Q&A Accessed 2008-01-20.
  14. ^ Paolini, Christopher (November 8, 2011). "Acknowledgements". Inheritance (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 860. ISBN 978-0-375-85611-2. And to author Terry Brooks, who has been both a friend and a mentor to me. (I highly recommend his Magic Kingdom of Landover series.) 
  15. ^ Dave Welch (October 2003). News: Philip Pullman, Tamora Pierce, and Christopher Paolini Talk Fantasy Fiction Accessed 2008-01-20.
  16. ^ Paolini, Christopher (September 20, 2008). "Acknowledgments". Brisingr (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 761. ISBN 0-375-82672-6. 
  17. ^ Paolini, Christopher (September 20, 2008). "Shadows of the Past". Brisingr (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 204. ISBN 0-375-82672-6. Bending over, Eragon read, Adrift upon the sea of time, the lonely god wanders from shore to distant shore, upholding the laws of the stars above. 
  18. ^ Paolini, Christopher (September 20, 2008). "Acknowledgments". Brisingr (1st ed.). New York City: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 761. ISBN 0-375-82672-6. Also, for those who understood the reference to a 'lonely god' when Eragon and Arya are sitting around the campfire, my only excuse is that the Doctor can travel everywhere, even alternate realities. Hey, I'm a fan too! 
  19. ^ Paolini, Christopher (November 8, 2011). "Blood Price". Inheritance (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 814. ISBN 978-0-375-85611-2. Raxacori- Oh, never mind. It wouldn't mean anything to you anyway. 
  20. ^ "USA Today Best-seller". USA Today. 2011. 
  21. ^ "New York Times Best-seller". New York Times. October 12, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Publishers Weekly Best-seller". Publishers Weekly. November 28, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Guinness Book of World Records". Guinness Book of World Records. 

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