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Posts with tag michael-stackpole

Enter to win Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde

Enter to win Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde
Wondering what Vol'jin's been up to since his brush with death in the Dagger in the Dark scenario? Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, the newest Warcraft novel penned by Michael Stackpole, is a dark, gritty, and ultimately satisfying tale that fills in that part of Vol'jin's story on the backdrop of the Shado-Pan Monastery and Zandalari encroachment.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got a copy of Shadows of the Horde to give away to one lucky reader! And just in case you'd like a little more information on the book before entering the giveaway, feel free to take a look at our spoiler-free review.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, July 9, 2013. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. One winner will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.


Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde will be available for purchase next week, on July 2. We've already published a spoiler-free review of the novel, which features the Darkspear leader Vol'jin as he recuperates from his near-assassination in the Dagger in the Dark scenario. The novel is something a little different for Blizzard, featuring a story that not only stands apart from the gameplay of Mists of Pandaria, but features a new author as well -- Michael Stackpole, whose writing spans both fantasy and sci-fi, with notable works in both the Battletech and Star Wars universe.

Blizzard was kind enough to let us have a chat with both Mike Stackpole and Micky Neilson, Lead Story Developer at Blizzard, regarding Shadows of the Horde, its development, and the intricacies of writing that oh-so-troublesome troll accent.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Review of Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole

Review of Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole
I've been dying for a good troll novel. Despite their longevity in Warcraft's timeline, we really haven't seen much of anything regarding the troll race, their traditions, their customs, the loa -- none of the rich history that has been cultivated and told over the years. Needless to say, I was very excited when Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde was announced at the New York Comic Con last year -- and even more so when Michael Stackpole was revealed as the author of the book.

A prolific author, Stackpole has written a ton of books set in the Star Wars universe as well as BattleTech and a variety of original works as well. Familiar with both fantasy and sci-fi, Stackpole is an impressive author in his own right -- and his realm of expertise with both guaranteed he'd be a good fit for the Warcraft universe and its unique approach to fantasy. So how did Shadows of the Horde hold up?

This is quite possibly one of the darkest novels in the Warcraft stable. And it's brilliant.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde release date announced

Shadows of the Horde
Many lore fans have been anticipating the latest World of Warcraft tie-in novel Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde for months now, and that wait will soon be over. In a news post today, Blizzard announced that the long-awaited novel will go on sale July 2, 2013, less than a month from now. The article also includes an excerpt from the book wherein Vol'jin experiences an intriguing vision about the Zandalari, their history, and that of his own his people, the Darkspear trolls. It's not much to go on, but the preview points toward a certain fundamental conflict in Vol'jin between his role as protector and leader of his people, and what his history and even religion may demand of him.

This latest book is authored by Michael Stackpole, a familiar name in the worlds of both gaming and sci-fi/fantasy writing. It's exciting to see a new author being added to the ranks of Blizzard licensed fiction writing, and I look forward to reading Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde.

Filed under: News items, Lore

World of Warcraft: Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde cover reveal

World of Warcraft Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde cover reveal
Blizzard Entertainment was kind enough to send us the never-before-seen cover art of upcoming novel Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael A. Stackpole. It appears that not only will this novel focus on Vol'jin, but Chen Stormstout will play an integral role, too. The book's back cover reads:

Warchief Garrosh's assassins strike at Vol'jin, leaving him at death's door. But fate smiles on the wounded Darkspear leader when renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout transports him to the safety of an isolated mountain monastery. There, Vol'jin wrestles with old hatreds smoldering between the Alliance and the Horde as he struggles to recover alongside a mysterious human soldier.

Yet this is only the beginning of Vol'jin's worries. Soon, he becomes embroiled in an invasion of Pandaria launched by the Zandalari, revered trolls driven by dreams of conquest and power. This ancient tribe offers Vol'jin a chance to seize the glory that is the birthright of all trolls... an offer made even more tempting after Garrosh's brazen treachery.

Amid these troubling events, Vol'jin is rocked by intense visions depicting his race's grand history. As he questions where his loyalties lie, he knows he must make a choice about his own destiny that could save his people or damn them to languish under Garrosh's heel.

Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde is currently slated for release July 2, 2013.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard Publishing announcements from NYCC

The Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel at New York Comic Con officially announced what we've been suspecting since the Blizzard AMA on Reddit -- there will be a new World of Warcraft novel next year. The novel, titled Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde will be available in April of 2013, and will be penned by Michael Stackpole. Shadows of the Horde will feature Vol'jin primarily, but also include Chen Stormstout, and will tie in to what we'll be seeing in patch 5.1 and beyond.

But that's not the only item on the Warcraft front! Also on the list of upcoming projects is a new title by Richard Knaak. World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects will be a four part eBook, with part one available on January 15, 2013. The eBook will address the Aspects who are Aspects no more, as well as covering history on how the Aspects came to be, with more information on Galakrond and the proto drakes.

Blizzplanet recorded the entire panel for viewing, as well as touching on the next Starcraft novel and an upcoming anthology of Diablo III stories. Take a look at part one of the publishing panel above, and visit Blizzplanet for the rest of the panel's revelations and information.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Blizzard headed to New York Comic Con

Blizzard releases New York Comic Con schedule
If you're headed to New York Comic Con this week, keep your eyes peeled for Blizzard. Blizzard Entertainment will have both panels and signings at NYCC this year, including a publishing panel with Blizzard Publishing Lead Micky Neilson, Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, and author Michael Stackpole. During the panel, they'll be revealing the next World of Warcraft novel, which should be the Vol'jin story mentioned during the AMA on Reddit last month. Judging from his presence at the panel, it's likely this is the story Stackpole will be writing.

You can catch the panel Saturday, October 13 from 2:45-3:45pm in Room 1A14 at the Javits Center in New York. There will also be a panel from UDON on Friday, October 12 from 7:45-8:45pm in Room 1A06. The UDON panel will be giving a scoop on a future collaboration between Blizzard and UDON, a Blizzard-themed tribute art book and contest. And if you're looking to get your copy of Pearl of Pandaria signed by the author and artist, you can find Micky Neilson and Sean "Cheeks" Galloway at the IDC Booth, #1238, on Friday from 12-1pm.

Blizzard will also have a presence at a ton of booths around the convention center, everything from Mega Bloks to comics and publishing. For the full list of scheduled events and booths, head the official website.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Next WoW novel set to focus on Vol'jin

Next WoW novel set to focus on Vol'jin
Anyone who has played through the troll starting zone or read the novels knows that Vol'jin, leader of the Darkspear, is not particularly happy with Garrosh Hellscream. In fact, Vol'jin and Garrosh had an altercation in which the troll leader flat-out informed the new Warchief that when his day of judgment came to pass, Vol'jin would be the one to deal the killing blow.

Since then, tensions have continued to rise in the Horde. And while Vol'jin has been keeping quiet, that tension hasn't gone away. Between trying to lead his people, his problems with Garrosh and the sudden resurgence of the Zandalar in Cataclysm, Vol'jin has had a lot on his plate. According to Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak via the AMA on Reddit, we're finally going to hear more from the Darkspear leader in the next Warcraft novel.

Dave Kosak
If you're getting psyched about the storyline, I think you'll love the next novel which focuses on Vol'jin. Have you played the troll 1-10 intro experience? Vol'jin flat-out tells Garrosh he doesn't trust him and he'll stab him in the back the moment he sees an opportunity. The novel carries his story forward and really meshes in with the events of patch 5.1.

One of our ongoing goals is to make sure that the games and novels complement each other, and that major lore events don't happen in the novels without some kind of representation in-game. This is a huge challenge for us!! But I think we're getting better at it.

Is this the novel that Michael Stackpole is reportedly working on? We don't know -- but either way, it's Vol'jin. You know it's going to be good. Hopefully we'll see more on the new novel sooner rather than later.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Star Wars/Battletech scribe Michael Stackpole to write new WoW novel

Star WarsBattletech scribe Michael Stackpole to write new WoW novel
It's been a while since we've seen a new face write a WoW novel -- novels have been alternating pretty steadily between Christie Golden and Richard Knaak for a few years now. It looks like we've about to see some new blood in the lineup, though. Former tabletop designer Michael Stackpole, probably best known for his Star Wars and Battletech books, is confirmed by Simon & Schuster to be writing an untitled World of Warcraft book due out in early 2013.

By the timeline, it's safe to assume that the book has something to do with Pandaria and the events surrounding it, but I'm sure we'll find out in the nine months before it comes out. In the meantime, you can check out Stackpole's website, where he offers advice for casual writers and fanfiction authors who want to get published, or get acquainted with his writing by picking up one of his many books.

Wait, hold up, this dude designed Wasteland? Damn, maybe I'll buy five books instead of one.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore

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