• The cover of the book Eragon


    A funny thing about fantasy: it is often derided as kids’ stuff, yet it is so often the work of old people. Tolkien was in his 60s when The Lord of the Rings was first published, C.S. Lewis in his 50s by the time he wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and George R. R. Martin nearly half a century when A Game of Thrones was first unleashed onto the world. Hell, J.K. Rowling seems positively newborn for publishing the first Harry Potter novel at 32. But Christopher Paolini takes the cake: his novel Eragon, a 500+-page epic about dragons and knights and swords and prophecies and all that fantasy shit, became a smash hit when he was 19, securing Paolini a Guinness World Record for being the youngest author of bestselling books. And the plucky, precocious Paolini complete three sequels in what became the Inheritance Cycle, all of which sold extremely well, and Eragon was turned into a Hollywood film—now that’s some real fantasy shit.