Christopher Paolini’s fantasy novel Brisingr has become the fastest selling children’s book in the UK this year, racking up over 45,000 sales in its first day of release, with similarly spectacular receptions around the world. The book, which details the adventures of dragon rider Eragon and his dragon Saphira as they battle an evil empire, is the third in Brisingr’s Inheritance cycle; the first, Eragon, was written when Paolini, now 24, was just 15 years old.
In the US, where the first print run for the novel was 2.5m – the largest in publisher Random House Children’s Books’ history – first day sales were a whopping 550,000 in hardback, its biggest one-day sale ever and four times that of Eldest, the second novel in the series. In Australia, more than 30,000 copies were sold in 48 hours.
Brisingr was launched Harry Potter-style at midnight on Friday, with more than 1,600 midnight parties at bookshops in the US and 150 bookshops around the UK running launch events and midnight openings. Waterstone’s had already predicted that the book would be the biggest novel of the year, outstripping adult as well as children’s titles and inciting Potter-esque levels of demand from readers.
Although Brisingr’s 45,000 UK first-day sales are a far cry from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ record 2.6m, the sale – equivalent to 80 copies sold a minute – is likely to send Paolini’s book rocketing to the top of the children’s bestseller charts. It also trumps the other children’s blockbuster published this summer, Stephenie Meyer’s teen vampire romance Breaking Dawn, which sold around 20,000 copies in its first day on sale in the UK.
Paolini is currently undertaking a 10-city book tour in the US and Canada. He will be writing a fourth book to conclude the Inheritance cycle, although a publication date has not yet bee revealed.
The first two novels in the series, Eragon and Eldest, have sold more than 15.5m copies worldwide, according to Random House.