The book takes place a year after the events of 'Inheritance,' with the titular character and his red dragon Thorn exiled to the outskirts of Alagaësia — where they discover a mysterious new threat.
Murtagh by Christopher Paolini
Christopher Paolini returns to the world of 'Eragon' for new novel 'Murtagh.'
| Credit: Lo Hunter; Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

It's time to return to Alagaësia. Twenty years after the official publication of Christopher Paolini's Eragon by Alfred A. Knopf Books, the author is returning to his epic fantasy world for a new standalone novel, Murtagh, set to be released later this year.

As the title suggests, the new book will focus on Eragon's rival Murtagh, and will take place one year after the end of the original Inheritance Cycle. When we last saw Murtagh and his red dragon Thorn at the end of Inheritance, they had gone off to the far corners of Alagaësia in search of redemption for their time as chief minions of the evil King Galbatorix.

Murtagh finds them "hated and alone, exiled to the outskirts of society." Soon, though, this duo finds "something wicked lurking in the shadows of Alagaësia," setting them off on a new journey across lands both familiar and untraveled, where there waits a mysterious witch who is much more than she seems.

"Returning to the world of Eragon has been an absolute blast," Paolini said in a statement. "Murtagh is the novel I've been waiting to write for over 13 years. It's a deep dive into the life of our titular character and his dragon, Thorn. Here you'll find mystery, magic, and revelations as Murtagh attempts to answer some of the deepest questions in the land, as well as those of his own life. I've had a ridiculous amount of (sometimes devilish) fun writing Murtagh, and I can't wait for readers to experience it for themselves. Welcome back to Alagaësia!"

Christopher Paolini
The cover of 'Eragon: The Illustrated Edition,' by writer Christopher Paolini with new art by Sidharth Chaturvedi.
| Credit: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Paolini previously revisited the setting of Alagaësia with the short story collection The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm in 2019. He told EW then that he was eager to write more about this world, saying "one of the most gratifying and interesting things for me has been seeing the reactions of people who grew up with" these books.

Murtagh isn't the only way Paolini and Knopf are celebrating 20 years of Eragon. Later this year, we'll get a new version of the book that started it all with Eragon: The Illustrated Edition, which will feature new illustrations by artist Sidharth Chaturvedi.

Both Eragon: The Illustrated Edition and Murtagh will be released on Nov. 7, though you can preorder them now.

Related content: