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‘Eldest’ - ‘Eragon’ sequel - due in stores on Aug. 23

Paul D. Colford New York Daily News

When the wait for the sixth Harry Potter book ends on July 16, it’ll be six more weeks until the next big splash in children’s publishing.

“Eldest” – Christopher Paolini’s sequel to his debut best seller, “Eragon” – is due in stores Aug. 23.

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House, said it plans to print a million copies. That’s a huge order for a book aimed at kids and not written by “Potter” creator J.K. Rowling.

“Eragon” – a fantasy about a boy of that name, a magical stone and a mystical mountain world – started out with 125,000 copies in 2003 and went on to sell more than 1.5 million in the United States and Canada.

This week, the novel was reissued in an oversize paperback edition. Knopf said it shipped 500,000 copies.

The paperback ends with an eight-page preview of “Eldest.”

“The songs of the dead are the lamentations of the living,” the preview begins. “So thought Eragon as he stepped over a twisted and hacked Urgal. The monster’s ruined face leered up at him as he listened to the keening of women removing loved ones from the blood-muddied ground of Farthen Dur.”

Paolini, now 21, was just 15 when he wrote “Eragon.”

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