Palencar and Paolini

John Jude Palencar and Christopher Paolini

John Jude Palencar was the cover artist for all four books in the Inheritance Cycle, and is the namesake of Palancar Valley.


John Jude graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 1980 with a BFA degree. In that same year, he won a scholarship to the Illustrators Workshop in Paris, France, as well as the top cash prize presented by the Society of Illustrators National Student Competition. Primarily a book illustrator, John Jude's work has graced the covers of hundreds of books for major publishers, such as Bantam, Dell, Penguin USA, Simon & Schuster, TIME/LIFE Books, National Geographic Television (Europe and Asia) and many others. He moves easily into advertising and corporate illustration with noted clients Anheuser-Busch and Paramount Pictures, and he was commissioned to create a promotional poster of Clint Eastwood for the inception of Pale Rider Ale (Plank Road Brewery/Miller Brewing Company), Mr. Eastwood's new business venture.


John Jude has received dozens of awards, including Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators, and Spectrum's Gold Award, in the book category, two years in a row. The Association of Science Fiction Artists (ASFA) nominated John Jude for three Chesley Awards, including Best Paperback Cover, Best Color Unpublished and Best Product Illustration for 1999.

His work has been accepted in many Society of Illustrators Annuals, Communication Arts Illustration Annuals, Art Direction Annuals, Print Regional Design Annuals, American Illustration, American Artist Magazine, Spectrum and others.


John Jude has exhibited in numerous group shows in galleries, colleges, and universities throughout the United States. Demand for his work extends into Europe and the Pacific rim through sales of his original paintings, second-rights usages and commissions. He was also invited to be a featured artist in IDEA Magazine, Japan. Many private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Europe include John Jude's paintings. He has also created covers for several Stephen King novels who also holds his work in his private collection.

When Alfred A. Knopf published Eragon in 2003, they called on Palencar to draw the cover. He has also drawn the cover for Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance.

Christopher Paolini has also said that he named Palancar Valley after John Jude Palencar long before Palencar illustrated the cover of Eragon.

  • Teot's War (1986)
  • Lord of the Crooked Paths (1987)
  • Chthon (1987)
  • The Serpent's Egg (1988)
  • Master of the Fearful Depths (1989)
  • Blood Storm (1989)
  • Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea (1991)
  • The Hollow Man (1992)
  • The Hollow Man (1993)
  • Impossible Things (1993)
  • Blood Pact (1993)
  • Blood Lines (1993)
  • The Forest House (1994)
  • The Forest House (1994)
  • LoveDeath (1994)
  • Earthsong (1994)
  • The Forest House (1995)
  • The Forest House (1995)
  • The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft (1995)
  • Testament (1995)
  • Evolution's Shore (1995)
  • Becoming Human (1995)
  • The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness (1996)
  • Return to Avalon (1996)
  • Attila's Treasure (1996)
  • Attila's Treasure (1996)
  • Archangel (1996)
  • The Lady of Avalon (1997)
  • Jovah's Witness (1997)
  • Blood Trail (1997)
  • Blood Price (1997)
  • Blood Debt (1997)
  • The Alleluia Files (1998)
  • Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (1998)
  • Fire Watch (1998)
  • The Terrorists of Irustan (1999)
  • Forests of the Heart (2000)
  • Daughter of the Forest (2000)
  • Daughter of the Forest (2000)
  • The Redemption of Althalus (2001)
  • The Onion Girl (2001)
  • The Bone Doll's Twin (2001)
  • Son of the Shadows (2001)
  • Kushiel's Dart (2001)
  • Forests of the Heart (2001)
  • Empty Cities of the Full Moon (2001)
  • Daughter of the Forest (2001)
  • Child of the Prophecy (2001)
  • Son of the Shadows (2002)
  • Daughter of the Forest (2002)
  • Child of the Prophecy (2002)
  • Child of the Prophecy (2002)
  • Kushiel's Chosen (2002)
  • Kushiel's Avatar (2003)
  • Eragon (2003)
  • Eldest (2005)
  • Four & Twenty Blackbirds (2005)
  • Path of Destruction (2006)
  • Brisingr (2008)
  • Inheritance (2011)

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