social-media-postShur’tugal has quite the presence online, both on our website and in social media. We’ve put together a helpful guide for those of you who may be interested in joining us outside of Shurtugal.com. Our social media accounts offer fans exclusive access to special content and updates on news and articles before you can find them on the website! It’s worth giving us a “Like” or “follow” if you’re use any of these social networks!

Here’s a map of where to find us:

  • Shur’tugal on Facebook: Our Facebook page offers news, information, images and more! We’re frequently updating the page not only with news and blog posts from the site, but fun Inheritance stuff, including images, trivia, quotes from Christopher and more. Join in on the discussion with fellow fans and enjoy our Inheritance updates by giving the Shur’tugal Facebook page a “Like”.
  • Shur’tugal on Twitter: Sharing the latest news, information, and behind-the-scenes details, Shur’tugal’s Twitter account (@itsshurty) is the account to follow for the latest on all things Paolini and Inheritance!
  • Shur’tugal on Tumblr: We have an active presence on Tumblr sharing all kinds of Inheritance Cycle goodies you won’t want to miss out on! If you’re a Tumblr fan, Shur’tugal’s updates and posts will definitely make a great addition to your dashboard!
  • Mike Macauley on Twitter: Mike Macauley, the man behind Shurtugal.com, can also be found on Twitter. You may be ask why we’re including him in this list! Well, Mike offers some great behind-the-scenes information, Inheritance-related tweets and updates you won’t find on any of the other accounts, in addition to news on a secret project you’ll all be very interested in!

We aren’t the only ones available on social media, though! Christopher Paolini can be found on several social networks, all of which are updated regularly.

  • Christopher Paolini on Twitter: Christopher’s personal Twitter account is frequently updated, not only with fun, interesting and quirky shares from around the ‘net, but with information related to the Inheritance Cycle and Christopher’s latest projects! Christopher often response to fans tweets as well, so if you’re lucky, the author may just answer one of your questions!
  • Christopher Paolini on Facebook: Christopher’s Facebook page is handled a bit differently from his Twitter account. On Twitter, smaller and less Inheritance-related items are shared. His official Facebook page is a bit more Inheritance-oriented, although you’ll find a lot of great content on his Facebook page that you won’t find elsewhere!

Our sister site, Lytherus.com, can also be found on social media! Lytherus covers everything in the realm of fantasy and science fiction, in addition to a fun emphasis on geek culture. Whether you’re into books or movies, video games or television, Lytherus has you covered! Hunger Games, Doctor Who, Legend of Korra, Percy Jackson… you name it, they’re covering it!

  • Lytherus on Facebook: Follow the Lytherus account for news, reviews, and fun editorials as they break! You won’t miss a single piece of fantasy or scifi news with the coverage our staff offers! Plus, discover some new and interesting books, movies, and television shows to watch and enjoy!
  • Lytherus on Twitter: Much like their Facebook page, the Lytherus account offers the latest in news, reviews, and fun editorials the minute they hit the web! You won’t miss out on any of the latest updates in the world of fantasy and science fiction, and as book fans, we know that’s exactly what you’re looking for!
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which-character-shurtyReading a series you enjoy is only half of the true experience. The other half, and arguably the most exciting, is transporting yourself into the world you’re exploring. Imagining yourself adventuring alongside your favorite characters and fighting your least favorites adds to the story in a way that the book’s author can only dream about.

We’ve often found ourselves daydreaming about being an elf or a Rider. We’ve daydreamed countless battles and swordfights against our enemies, have rescued our allies, and have befriended some of Alagaësia’s most interesting inhabitants.

Now’s your chance to share with us, and your fellow fans, just who you are in the Inheritance universe!

If you could be a character in the Inheritance cycle, who would you be and why?

To help you better explain your character, your back story, and your motivation, we’ve put together some writing prompts. Feel free to answer any or all of these questions in the comments section! Additionally, you’re more than welcome to add any extra story or information to bring your character to life.

Keep in mind: your character can be from any timeline! If you want to be living during the events of the Inheritance Cycle rather than after it, that’s great! The first Rider war? That works too!

  • What race are you?
  • What is your role, occupation, or hobby? (Mercenary, farmer, pirate, soldier, member of the Varden, Dragon Rider, or anything else you could possibly think up!)
  • Where were you born and where do you currently reside?
  • What would your back story be? (Think age, family and friends, motivation and purpose in life, etc…)
  • What is your ultimate mission?

We’re looking forward to reading your responses! Additionally, jump in and comment on your fellow fans’ stories! We’ll be selecting some of the best responses to share on social media!

 

Vroengard Island has always been a place of legend amongst those who have lived in the shadows of the Fall of the Riders. Before Eragon, Saphira, and Glaedr traveled to the island in search of the Vault of Souls, few had visited in the one hundred years after the bloody battle and destruction of the Riders’ capital, Doru Araeba.

It took nearly four books for fans to get a glimpse of this once-majestic island, but when the time came in the Inheritance chapter “Amid the Ruins”, fans were not disappointed. Christopher beautifully described the ruins of Doru Araeba and the way the land had reclaimed the area in the years since the Fall.

DeviantArt artist Bethany Thomasson, also known as “Pilgrimwanders”, brought the moment of discovery to life in a piece of fan art:

the_ruins_of_vroengard_by_pilgrimwanders-d4g1jfcThe scene, as illustrated above, from Inheritance:

The thick gray clouds parted, and from his place on Saphira’s back, Eragon beheld the interior of Vroengard Island.

Before them was a huge bowl-shaped valley, encircled by the steep mountains they had seen poking through the tops of the clouds. A dense forest of spruce, pine, and fir trees blanketed the sides of the mountains as well as the foothills below, like an army of prickly soldiers marching down from the peaks. The trees were tall and mournful, and even from a distance Eragon could see the beards of moss and lichen that hung from their heavy branches. Scraps of white mist clung to the sides of the mountains, and in several places throughout the valley, diffuse curtains of rains drifted from the ceiling of clouds.

High above the valley floor, Eragon could see a number of stone structures among the trees: tumbled, overgrown entrances to caves; the husks of burnt-out towers; grand halls with collapsed roofs; and a few smaller buildings that looked as if they might still be habitable.

A dozen or more rivers flowed out of the mountains and wandered across the verdant ground until they poured into a large, still lake near the center of the valley. Around the lake lay the remnants of the Riders’ city, Doru Araeba. The buildings were immense – great empty halls of such enormous proportions that many could have encompassed the whole of Carvahall. Every door was like the mouth to a vast, unexplored cavern. Every window was as tall and wide as a castle gate, and every wall was a sheer cliff.

Thick mats of ivy strangled the blocks of stone, and where there was no ivy there was moss, which meant that the buildings blended into the landscape and looked as if they had grown out of the earth itself. What little of the stone was bare tended to be a pale ocher, although patches of red, brown, and dusky blue were also visible.

[...]

Almost all the buildings were damaged, some more severely than others. The damage seemed to radiate outward from a single point near the southern edge of the city, where a wide crater sank more than thirty feet into the ground. A copse of birch trees had taken root in the depression, and their silvery leaves shook in the gusts of the directionless breeze.

The open areas within the city were overgrown with weeds and brush, while a fringe of grass surrounded each of the flagstones that formed the streets.Where the buildings had sheltered the Riders’ gardens from the blast that had ravaged the city, dull-colored flowers still grew in artful designs, their shapes no doubt governed by the dictates of some long-forgotten spell.

Altogether, the circular valley presented a dismal picture.

- “Amid the Ruins”, Inheritance

Now we ask: Is this how you first imagined the land in your head while reading the scene in Inheritance? Despite the risk, would you want to visit Vroengard Island?

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It has been three years since the release of Inheritance, the final chapter in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, and fans are clamoring for information on Christopher’s next big project – be it set in the world of Alagaesia or in an entirely new universe.

With nearly three years to embark on new projects behind him, Christopher has now begun to speak about his future as a storyteller, including the future of the Inheritance universe and other stories the author plans to tell. Christopher has used his own platforms, including Twitter, as well as interviews and guest articles to detail the work he’s done over the past several years in addition to the projects he is currently working on and his vision for the future of his universes, including Inheritance.

With ten months of planning and months more of writing, Christopher was finally ready to discuss his next project in an article with Barnes and Noble promoting their “Get Pop Cultured” week. Christopher reflected on writing Inheritance, the shock of finishing a project he had spent over twelve years working on, and how he began writing outside of the Inheritance universe.

“Writing the Inheritance Cycle was like training for and competing in the Olympics. For over twelve years, I spent nearly every waking moment working on, thinking about, or discussing the series.” …

“Even though I knew I was approaching the end of the series, even though I’d anticipated it—and planned for it—for years, finishing it was still a shock. All of a sudden, this massive thing that had been the focal point of my life since I was fifteen was . . . gone.

The experience was both terrifying and exhilarating.”

Naturally, after over a decade writing in the same style, within the same universe, and with the same mindset, Christopher didn’t just dive into his next big project. Instead, he dipped his toes into the water, tried his hand at a variety of projects, and generally had fun growing:

“I messed around with a number of short stories, each in a different style. I even tried my hand at a screenplay (they’re harder than they look). And I read as many books and watched as many movies as I could.”

However, it would seem he couldn’t stay away from that new big project for too long:

“Once I had recharged my creative batteries, I knew I was ready to tackle something bigger. Much bigger. So I began researching the information I’d need. For nine to ten months, I scoured the Internet for details obvious and obscure. I called and emailed professors around the world. I spent days hashing over various world-building issues with my friends and family. All so that I could do justice to the setting I had decided on for my next story.

And then, only then, did I start to write.

So far, it’s been a blast. The story is science fiction—one of my first loves, along with fantasy—and full of aliens, spaceships, lasers, strange new planets, and explosions. You know, fun stuff. At the same time, I’m hoping that the story will stir people’s emotions, as well as give them a few interesting things to think about. As with all creative endeavors, there’s no guarantee of success. But I think it’s going to end up being pretty awesome.

Of course, I’m biased.”

Don’t worry – Christopher is making it clear that he’s not abandoning Alagaesia:

“In the long term, I do intend to return to the world of the Inheritance Cycle. However, for now, I’m enjoying stretching my wings and inventing a whole new universe for readers to explore. The stars are our future, and while we may never visit them ourselves, at least we can visit them in our dreams.”

Christopher is definitely hard at work on a project sure to please his long time readers! We’re excited to dive into Christopher’s next adventure and to continue holding our breath for the next Inheritance universe installment, known affectionately by fans as “Book V”.

Speaking of “Book V” – we’ve compiled a massive “Book V and Beyond” page containing everything you need to know about the next Inheritance universe books, including a possible prequel. The page includes comments from Christopher on the content we can expect to see in both books. You won’t want to miss this information!

Now we ask: Are you a fan of science fiction? What do you think Christopher’s book will include? Do you plan on reading his next book?

welcome-back-shurtyIf it’s been a while since you last visited us, welcome back. If you’ve never visited us before, welcome! And if you’ve stuck around, waiting anxiously for updates, thanks for your patience – we hope the coming months of content makes up for it!

We have grand plans for Shur’tugal. We aren’t quite ready to reveal everything just yet, but we can tease some fun and interesting projects coming in the future. Before you get your hopes up, there are no book announcements in the coming weeks (however, we will be discussing Christopher’s next book!). Rather, we’re working on internet-related projects that we know you’ll still be very excited about.

We’ve learned through the years that even when there’s no major news, the community is still ready to band together to discuss, theorize, learn and grow, and we’re planning to build on that to bring the Inheritance fan community together for epic projects and more.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect in the coming weeks and months:

  • Christopher Paolini’s Facebook fan page is about to get a whole lot more exciting! Be sure to “Like” the page on Facebook to keep up with the latest from Christopher
  • Frequent web content is coming, both from Shur’tugal and elsewhere, and you won’t have to wait long to see it all…
  • Fan oriented community content, including major projects, discussions, giveaways, contests and more
  • We’re re-launching the Shur’tugal Fan Fiction website!
  • Lots of fan art reveals, story analysis, looks at Alagaesia being developed in video games, a throwback to the Eragon movie and Eragon video games, and more!
  • Interviews – both new and recaps of old interviews
  • Artist highlights delving deep into the world of Inheritance art, each telling stories of their own
  • Galleries ranging from concept art from the Eragon video game to never-before-seen book tour photos
  • Looking back on big and interesting tweets from Christopher’s personal Twitter account
  • Updates on Christopher’s next projects!

We may even be launching a potential revival of the Inheritance Cycle Book Club podcast, and that’s up to you guys – if enough people want it, we’ll be bringing it back with a huge (and awesome) twist! We’re exploring other, equally exciting community projects ranging from creating soundtracks for the Inheritance Cycle books and to book clubs!

Shur’tugal will be updated two to five times per week for the foreseeable future, with even more updates planned for our social media accounts. From quotes and fan questions to the latest news and information, you won’t want to miss out on our social media content, found on Twitter at @itsshurty and on our Facebook fan page! If you’re a frequent Facebook user, join our growing fan community of over 20,000 Inheritance fans for news before it hits Shur’tugal, frequent fan discussions and more!

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback as we begin to find our footing on this new adventure. If you have any features you’d like to see more of or feedback on our first few weeks’ worth of content, please feel free to share it in the comments or on social media.

If you think you may be interested in contributing to the website, please visit the “We’re Hiring” page!

shurtugal-eragon-daybooks-mid-eragonIt’s hard to believe that today marks eleven years since the release of Eragon! That’s over a decade of dragons. Last year, a special 10th anniversary collector’s edition of Eragon was released to celebrate the book’s milestone. The book, which is still available, features a faux textured blue leather cover and binding complete with a new gold-plated book cover design and text. The interior of the book features a letter from Christopher discussing the journey to and after the release of Eragon, his influences, and the impact the series has had on his life. Perhaps most exciting, the book features six stunning illustrations from five world renowned fantasy artists as well as Christopher Paolini himself. You can learn more about the book on our special 10th anniversary collector’s edition page!

Eragon was originally self-published in 2002 by the Paolini family, but the widely-recognized edition of the book was first published by Random House Children’s Books in 2003. Random House first discovered Eragon thanks to the stepson of Carl Hiaasen, who purchased, read, and enjoyed the self-published edition of Eragon while vacationing in Montana. Hiassen’s stepson shared the book with the author who then shared the book with his editor at Random House. The rest is history.

The book’s early success and traction within the young adult community has been attributed to two things: the young age at which Christopher wrote Eragon and the inclusive and original style in which Eragon was written. Fan communities started popping up all over the internet shortly after the book’s launch, with Shur’tugal releasing not far after in March, 2004 (an earlier Shur’tugal release at the end of 2003 was scrapped following technical issues).

Because Shur’tugal launched shortly after the book’s release, we don’t have many pre-launch news stories to share with you. Instead, we have a preview of what Shur’tugal and the community looked like one decade ago:

To help you journey back in time to get a feel for what the Inheritance community used to be like, here are some highlighted news posts from the website’s early days (just a few months after the release of Eragon):

To celebrate today’s milestone, here are some interesting facts about Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle:

  • Plans to create the infamous Eragon movie were first announced in 2004 with a subsequent release in December, 2006.
  • Despite being an unknown author and completely new to the young adult market, Eragon was the third best-selling children’s hardcover book in 2003 and the second best-selling children’s paperback in 2005.
  • The book spent over 121 weeks on the best seller list. Because of the New York Times’ best seller list rules, series with more than two books are combined into one listing, leading Eragon‘s tracking to end prematurely. Eragon achieved many bestselling milestones, including:
    • #1 New York Times Bestseller
    • #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
    • Wall Street Journal Bestseller
    • USA Today Bestseller
    • Book Sense Bestseller
  • Eragon has won a number of awards, including (but not limited to) Texas Lone Star Reading List, 2004-5; Book Sense Book of the Year, 2004; Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award, 2006; The New York Times Best Seller, No. 1; USA Today Best Seller; Publishers Weekly Best Seller; Wall Street Journal Best Seller, 2005
  • Mike Macauley, owner of Shurtugal.com, launched the website at the age of 14, a year younger than Christopher when he first wrote Eragon!

We invite you to join us in celebrating the eleven year anniversary of the release of Eragon on this special day!

Now we ask: When did you first read Eragon? What is your favorite scene from Eragon? Do you remember your biggest theory for what would happen in Eldest? Let us know in the comments!

shurtugal-eldest-dayeldest-3d-bookToday marks nine years since the release of ELDEST, the second book in the Inheritance Cycle! In 2005, the year Eldest released, the series was still known as the Inheritance trilogy. It wasn’t until half way through writing Brisingr that Christopher realized the need for splitting the final book into two.

Upon its release and in the years since, Eldest has gone on to sell millions of copies and mark a permanent spot on the book shelves of many fantasy and young adult fans. It was an exciting year leading up to the book’s release, as announcements were made containing the book’s title, cover, page count and more, as well as hints at spoilers, lots of interviews, title rumors and more!

We’ve compiled some of the best news and articles from before and after the release of Eldest. These articles will take you back in time to witness the excitement fans experienced as all of these announcements were made and as Eldest reached previously-impossible milestones.

Pre-release announcements and excitement

Post-release milestones

  • “Eldest” releases! – The Shur’tugal crew’s post announcing the release of Eldest, titled “…and it has released!”, was one of the all-time most viewed posts on Shur’tugal!
  • “Eldest” achieves record salesEldest sells over 425,000 copies in its first week on sale in North America! During the announcement, the book’s publisher also announced an additional printing of 500,000 copies, upping the total amount of copies in print in the first week to 1.8 million in North America alone!
  • Some copies of “Eldest” shipped with other books inside! – Fans were shocked to open their copies of Eldest only to discover that 32 pages of Inkspell, a fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke which was not set to release until several months later, filled the inside of the book.
  • “Eldest” knocked “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” from the #1 spot in its first weekHarry Potter books were, and still are, massive. Understandably, the recently-released Harry Potter 6 was dominating the best-seller charts in the week after its release. However, Eldest was able to knock Harry Potter 6 to the 2nd best seller spot in the first week of its release – an impressive feat for any book!

Fun facts

  • The Inheritance Cycle, including Eldest has sold over roughly 38 million copies since its release in 2009
  • Eldest has been released in over 49 languages in 125 different countries
  • Eldest contained 704 pages, a massive change compared to Eragon‘s 509 pages
  • Eldest spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list (before the Shur’tugal staff stopped tracking it)
  • Fans waited one year, eleven months and 28 days from Eragon‘s release to the release of Eldest

We invite you to join us in celebrating the nine years since the release of Eldest on this special day!

Now we ask: What is your favorite scene from Eldest? Do you remember your biggest theory for what would happen in Eldest? Did you purchase the book at a midnight release? Let us know in the comments!

 

Some cool stuff is coming very soon for Shur’tugal, but in the meantime, our friends and co-workers over at Lytherus have headed to San Diego Comic Con and are bringing a ton of exclusive, exciting and interesting coverage from the convention. Not only is our team delivering on huge announcements and exciting panels, but we have VIP tours of an incredible array of off-site events, including a Game of Thrones: Survive the Realm interactive experience, going inside of the worlds of Constantine and Sleepy Hollow, parkouring our way through the Assasin’s Creed Unity course, and traveling the convention center as a mutant using Cerebro.

Check everything out over on Lytherus. Additionally, follow @mikemacauley and @lytherus on Twitter for live updates before they hit the site!

Here’s a sneak peek of the Assassin’s Creed Unity parkour off-site… we’ll be running it and having an exclusive VIP tour of the experience later this week.

assassins creed

Random House reveals winner of the official Inheritance art contest!

The Inheritance cycle Fan Art Contest has now concluded. Random House and Christopher Paolini received over 100 great entries with some spectacular art! It was a very tough decision for the Inheritance author, who chose the winner and ten finalists. His choice for the winner is below, with images of the ten finalists’ art coming soon!

contest-winner-eragonThis fall, Knopf celebrated the 10th anniversary of Paolini’s worldwide phenomenon with the release of a collector’s edition of Eragon on October 22, 2013. This faux-leather-bound edition features gold-foil line art on the cover and six glossy, full-color original illustrations in the interior by award-winning artists John Jude Palencar (the Inheritance cycle cover artist), Michael Hague, Donato Giancola, Ciruelo, and Raoul Vitale, as well as Christopher Paolini himself.

You can learn more about the 10th Anniversary Edition of Eragon on our special book page!

Happy Halloween from the staff of Shur’tugal!

[fan art -- dont forget to make an image for Facebook]

Happy Halloween!

On behalf of the staff of Shur’tugal, we want to wish you a happy, safe, and fun Halloween!

Now we ask: Are you going out in an Inheritance-inspired costume? If so, let us know in the comments!

Shurtugal.com is © 2004-2014. Shurtugal.com is owned by Mike Macauley, in partnership with Lytherus.com.
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