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Posts with tag novel

War Crimes novel release date details

So if you're wondering when War Crimes (the upcoming Christie Golden novel about post-Siege of Orgrimmar Garrosh Hellscream and his trial) will be released, we have the details straight from author Christie Golden's Twitter account.
So not only do you know that the book will be released on May 6th, but if you just can't wait that long, you can go to Denver to the StarFest convention and snag a copy there three days early. I'm not saying you have to do this, nor am I saying to get me a copy while you're there, but I wouldn't mind it, either.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: War Crimes novel front cover released

While it's still not up on Amazon, the folks at BlizzPlanet have the cover to Christie Golden's War Crimes and they're showing it here. Our own Anne Stickney covered the book during BlizzCon, talking to Christie Golden about the book and its themes, and it seems pretty clear that those themes are reflected in this cover - while Garrosh is there front and center, we get a series of Horde and Alliance luminaries (I count Sylvanas, Baine, Vol'jin, Tyrande, Velen and Jaina) all reflecting in one way or another the situation of Garrosh's downfall.

It's a very striking cover - can't wait for the book to finally come out.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

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.

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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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

WoW adds uniting element to YA novel about a transsexual teen

WoW adds uniting element to YA novel about a transgender teen
"Look! Look! Someone wrote something and actually mentioned World of Warcraft!" That used to be A Thing, a Really Big Thing. After eight years and millions and millions of players, though, it's much less of A Thing. Everybody knows WoW. In fact, the last time a group tried to make a big deal out of the fact that someone played WoW, the outcome didn't turn out in their favor.

So WoW has evolved from A Weird Thing to An Everybody Thing, sort of like the latest hot TV show or book. It's something people talk about over coffee. And that's why author Rachel Gold chose to have the teenage protagonists of her young adult novel Being Emily play WoW -- that, and the opportunity WoW provides to try on different gender roles by playing characters of the opposite sex. You see, Being Emily is the first YA novel to tell the story of a transsexual girl from her perspective.

"I've been playing WoW since its first weekend, and although I'm not transsexual myself, I know that a lot of my trans friends who game found relief in the ability to play a character that matched the gender they know themselves to be, regardless of what body they were born into," Gold observes. "I included that feature of gaming in the novel by having the main character and her girlfriend both play WoW (casually, since they're in high school)."

Since Being Emily arrived in bookstores at the end of June, it's hit #2 on Amazon.com's Hot New Releases in Teen Fiction & Literature. Gold talks with us about why the book resonates with teens and how WoW is helping open doors for people searching for new identities and places to be accepted for themselves.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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

Wolfheart audiobook to include game sounds

Not only will our friend and the king of Stormwind (and my heart) Varian Wrynn be getting his own novel soon, but said novel will also be released as an audiobook. Richard Knaak's Wolfheart will not just be released as a novel, but also as a recording with special effects, in-game sounds and narration. The novel is scheduled to be released Sept. 13, 2011, and the audiobook is expected not long after.

Are you excited? I'm excited! I'm actually looking forward to seeing how King Varian and the Worgen, especially their king Genn Greymane, interact in this book. Thanks to BlizzPlanet for the heads up!

Filed under: Events, Lore

World of Warcraft: "Wolfheart" novel description now available

A preview description for the next book set in the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm universe, Wolfheart, has appeared courtesy of BlizzPlanet. The novel, penned by Stormrage and War of the Ancients trilogy author Richard A. Knaak, follows the exploits of Varian Wyrnn, Genn Greymane, night elf leaders Malfurian Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind, and surprise guest Maiev Shadowsong. From the description, it appears the novel will focus on the tensions between Stormwind and Gilneas due to their tenuous new alliance, the Highborne's reintegration into night elven society, and the continued fight in Ashenvale against the surmounting Horde odds.

Christie Golden's Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, is currently on the shelves, chronicling Thrall's journey post-Cataclysm with the Earthen Ring and his counterpart Aggra, as well as the dragons and their quest to stay alive and allied during Deathwing's brutal return. With Wolfheart, it seems we're getting an Alliance leader's story opposed to that of Thrall, who was once the Horde's warchief.

World of Warcraft: Wolfheart is going to be available on Sept. 13, 2011. Hit the jump for the full description.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Stormrage novel hits the best-seller lists

Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak has made USA Today's Top 150 Best Selling Books list, coming in at #126 of the best selling books based on sales through February 28, 2010. Apparently the ebook community is embracing the new story as well: Stormrage hit #8 on the best seller list for ebooks from BooksOnBoard.

The latest offering in the World of Warcraft line of novels, Stormrage continues the story of events that the green dragonflight have been dealing with since World of Warcraft's launch: Nightmares have invaded the Emerald Dream, Malfurion Stormrage is nowhere to be seen, the Dragons of Nightmare are busting out of portals, and it looks like the whole of the Emerald Dream is in danger of permanent corruption. With Stormrage, we finally get to see what's been brewing for five years now -- no wonder it's popular!

You can pick up a copy of Stormrage at the Blizzard Store for yourself. Check out our full review of the novel, and our refresher course on the history of Malfurion Stormrage.

Filed under: News items

WoW.com reviews Richard A. Knaak's Stormrage


Before we begin, in the interest of full disclosure, we will make it clear that Simon and Schuster did forward us free copies of Stormrage for this review. They did not, however, dictate any of the opinions held in this review. In addition, our network has a policy against keeping 'giveaways' sent to us, so our copies of the novel will be given away on our site sometime in the future. With that out of the way, let's get to the review.

The last book we reviewed here on WoW.com was Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. It was written by Christie Golden and was a little over three hundred pages of Prince Arthas Menethil's personal history, from his childhood to his fall to the Scourge. If that's what you're expecting out of Richard A. Knaak's Stormrage, drop those expectations. All of that can be found in the War of the Ancients trilogy. Despite the similar naming scheme, Stormrage is a novel that takes place at the same time as the events going on in Wrath of the Lich King. It's specifically stated that the Wrath Gate incident has already happened by the time the events in this novel begin. This isn't backstory, this is buildup to Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Cataclysm novel slated for August, 2010

While it may or may not hint to the release date of the next expansion, a listing on Amazon has pegged the release of a hardcover novel by award-winning author Christie Golden entitled World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm. While that might seem like one colon too many (insert snickering here), the self-explanatory title actually sounds pretty cool. What sounds uncool, however, is that it's a prelude. Meaning before.

If you're reading into this as much as I am (generally not a good idea), that could mean that the Cataclysm expansion will ship after August 31. After all, you'd think that Blizzard's marketing team would want a book that reveals what happens before the Cataclysm to actually launch before the expansion hits, right?

Well, not really. The Arthas book, which focuses on the Lich King, was released long after Wrath broke out. In short, the novels follow a completely different schedule from the game even though they all share the same lore. So I made you fret over absolutely nothing! You didn't fall for it? Ok, so I made myself fret over absolutely nothing. The book is available for pre-order at $26 on Amazon and should be chock-full of lore and hopefully explain a lot of what will change during the expansion.

Considering how a lot of people (well, okay, at least Alex and Daniel) geeked out over Golden's Arthas novel, this book promises to be a good read. At any rate, we can probably expect it to be free of super-powerful, hackneyed, Mary Sue-ish, self-projected characters like time-traveling dudes who shack up with the hottest girl or multi-racial scions who can wield all kinds of magic. I mean, it's a freaking black dragon, man. It's kind of hard to mess up something innately awesome as that.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Cataclysm

All the World's a Stage: The art of the alt

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

With all the talk lately about starting new characters once the Cataclysm arrives, it struck me that most roleplayers already have more than one, including myself. Like most players, I started with one, a night elf druid, and focused on playing that exclusively for quite some time. It didn't really occur to me that I would even want to play more than one.

Then, I began to notice that other people played more than one character, even within the same small group of friends. I had one friend in particular who had mastered the art of roleplaying multiple characters. She never said anything out of character to anyone in our group, and it took me ages to even realize that her characters were ally played by the same person in the first place. Each one had its own personality, and each had a different relationship with all our mutual friends.

Knowing her made something click inside my mind, and I began to see other possibilities for myself too, other sorts of characters I could play with different weaknesses, strengths, and entirely different stories to tell. As my roleplaying experience grew, I began to feel as though one character couldn't contain all the ideas I had jumbling about in my head, so... I started another one, then another, and ... another. Little did I know all the pitfalls I could run into with so many characters, nor the quirky little tricks that could become possible with multiple characters, a small group of friends, and a bit of creativity.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, RP, Classes, Alts, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

How will the Stormrage novel tie into Cataclysm?

So the convention is over, Blizzard has shown all (or at least most -- there are still secrets, we're sure) of their cards, and the next expansion will involve the return of Deathwing and a completely remade Azeroth. Goblins will be in there as the Horde race, but as for the original speculation of the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream, well... It remains to be seen exactly how those will tie in to what we heard about at BlizzCon.

The biggest hint I saw at the Emerald Dream in the last year was the fact that Blizzard is going to release a "Stormrage" novel -- that would hint that good old Malfurion Stormrage and his kin would be spotlighted in the near future. Richard Knaak says the novel is set in the present, so something is going on for sure. Even though Deathwing is going to be the big bad this time around, something's still cooking with Stormrage.

Which actually makes sense. If we're going to get looks at Deepholm (the elemental plane of Earth, where Deathwing has been lying dormant recently) and The Firelands, as well as Skywall and the Abyssal Maw (the Fire, Air, and Water planes, respectively), that could mean they're going to open up Azeroth's other planes as well, with the Emerald Dream among them. The return of Deathwing would undoubtedly bring the other Aspects to bear, and Ysera would definitely be among those. In the opening ceremony last weekend, Metzen dismissed the Emerald Dream as "rumors and speculation," but the upcoming Stormrage novel still hints we still might see the Emerald Dream sometime soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzPlanet reviews upcoming Arthas novel

One of the Warcraft novels I've actively been looking forward to is Arthas, Rise of the Lich King. It's set to be released to the world on April 21, 2009 but BlizzPlanet.com has gotten its hands on a few bound galleys of the book early. Some of them are being given away, but he's also reading one on his own and has gifted us with a quick review.

The review makes the book sound incredible, though perhaps a bit too cluttered. The novel is roughly 300 pages in length (I believe) and the first 100 pages covers his childhood from the arrival of the Stormwind refugees in Lordaeron to the beginning of Warcraft III. That covers about fourteen years, and that's potentially a lot of territory to cover!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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