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Posts with tag richard-knaak

New Warcraft manga previews available

Warcraft: Shadow Wing, Vol. 1: Dragons of Outland, the new Warcraft manga written by Richard A. Knaak and illustrated by Jae-Hwan Kim, now has a preview available online at BlizzPlanet.com. Shadow Wing follows the continuing story of Jorad Mace and the blue dragon Tyrygosa, who parted ways with Kalecgos and Anveena at the end of the Sunwell Trilogy. Jorad and Tyri meet up in Outland -- and hopefully the manga explains what the two have been doing out on Celestial Ridge all this time, and how Tyri's research eventually ties in to Malygos' efforts up in Northrend.

In addition, there is also a preview available for Warcraft: Mage, the second in the series of class-based books that began with Warcraft: Death Knight. Unlike Death Knight, which detailed the untold story of Thassarian, Warcraft: Mage seems to be taking a different route and telling the story of a character as yet unseen in World of Warcraft. Aodhan is a young man who comes from a lineage of paladins and warriors, but finds himself drawn to an entirely different path. While training to become a mage in Dalaran, Aodhan and the rest of the city abruptly find themselves under siege by Malygos and the Blue Dragonflight. Warcraft: Mage is also written by Richard A. Knaak and illustrated by Ryo Kawakami, who has also done work for the Warcraft: Legends series.

While the manga novels still aren't available for pre-order, it looks like both novels will be released on June 1, 2010, from TOKYOPOP, and will be available at bookstores across the country.

Filed under: News items, Comics

Know Your Lore: Lore 101, Part 2

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how, but do you know the why? Each week Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

In the last Lore 101 segment, I went over resources -- the novels, manga, comics, source guides, games and everything else that make up the story behind World of Warcraft. It's a lot of material to follow, and the sheer volume of it can be daunting, but there's no better way to sort out the story and what happened to who, when and where, than by following the original sources.

While this is all well and good, today's post covers why everything in part one may or may not be... well, invalid. That's right, the novel you just picked up and read through may very well not count in the long run. The comics may not actually apply. A later novel may wipe out the timeline of existing events in one fell swoop, and the information you thought you had a solid grasp on might be invalidated in an instant.

And that's perfectly okay. Let's take a look at what makes a story like Warcraft tick.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

Breakfast Topic: Reading rainbow


While World of Warcraft has one heck of an audience, the story involving it doesn't limit itself to just playing the game. There's a ton of books, comics, manga and RPG source guides out there with yet another ton of information. Some of this we see reflected in game, some of it is merely implied, and some of it we just don't see at all. I'm currently working my way through Stormrage, but I've read pretty much everything out there in the Warcraft universe -- and trust me, it's a lot of material.

It got me thinking, though, particularly with what's contained in Stormrage and in other books as well: Just how many people actually read the books and other assorted reading material? Do you go out and buy a novel when it's released? Or do you prefer to just wait for the story to show up in game? So it's time for a Breakfast Topic poll!

Do you read the World of Warcraft novels/comics/manga/etc?
Sure! I read anything I can get my hands on.3011 (36.0%)
Just give me the game to play, thanks.2466 (29.5%)
There are books? 988 (11.8%)
Knaaaaaaak...1895 (22.7%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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

Know Your Lore: Malfurion Stormrage

The Warcraft timeline of events is a constantly shifting mass of lore information, and while some events and characters remain constant, others have changed significantly over the five-year run of the game. Malfurion Stormrage is one of those characters; noticeably absent from the World of Warcraft scene, his history was dramatically altered with the release of the War of the Ancients trilogy by Richard A. Knaak in 2004. Not only were the events of his youth altered, there were additions and changes made to the war he participated in that directly contradicted events presented in previous Warcraft games. In light of the impending release of the Stormrage novel, also penned by Richard A. Knaak, we're going to take a look at Malfurion, his history in games and novels to date, and what he's been up to so far in the World of Warcraft.


Please note: As the events of the Warcraft novels are considered canon according to Blizzard, I will be using those events as a basis for his history. Keep in mind there is an alternate timeline, but that timeline is no longer applicable -- and if you've got a problem with it, blame Chromie and the rest of the Bronze dragonflight.


Who: Malfurion Stormrage, aka Shan'do (honored teacher) Stormrage, aka the baddest druid that ever druid...ed.


What: Night elf – no demonic presence here!


History: Malfurion Stormrage was one half of a set of twins, Illidan Stormrage being his brother. The two had a fairly idyllic childhood along with their close friend Tyrande Whisperwind. As they grew older, the three elves found themselves having to choose their individual paths as adults. While Tyrande joined the priesthood of the Sisters of Elune, Malfurion and Illidan found themselves with a very different sort of teacher -- the demigod Cenarius, who was attempting to teach both of the twins the ways of druidic magic. Druidism was not something that the kal'dorei had previously followed, so the magic that Cenarius was teaching the twins was entirely new to them. Malfurion showed an amazing aptitude for the druidic arts right off the bat, while Illidan, despite being powerful in his own right, couldn't seem to grasp the spells and nuances of nature magic. Cenarius informed Malfurion that his brother was meant to follow a different path (and boy howdy what a path that was), and that it was Malfurion that was destined for the path of the druid, then showing him how to walk the Emerald Dream.


Malfurion had always been a different sort of night elf -- while the kal'dorei that surrounded the Well of Eternity were followers of sorcery and arcane magic, tending towards more flamboyant dress and speech, Malfurion was much more simple and humble. He dressed in a subdued manner, and the magic that he practiced was pretty much the direct opposite of the sorcery of the night elves. He also tended to question the ways and actions of night elf society and of Queen Azshara. These questions left him with few friends and few associates -- but it turns out Stormrage was right to question things, as his first trip into the Emerald Dream was a vision of the Well of Eternity and something terrible going on with the waters surrounding the palace of the Queen.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Twelve Days of Winter Veil: Day four

WoW.com continues celebrating Winter Veil with our Twelve Days of Winter Veil contests. Today is day four of our countdown and we are giving away a set of World of Warcraft novels written by Richard Knaak to one lucky winner courtesy of Pocket Books. The set includes:
  • Night of the Dragon
  • War of the Ancients Archive (which includes Well of Eternity, Demon Soul, The Sundering)
  • Warcraft Archive (which includes Day of the Dragon)
The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 18 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before 12pm ET (noon) Thursday, December 31, 2009. Please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact you should you be the winner. You may enter only once and one winner will be selected randomly. The winner will receive 1 set of Richard Knaak World of Warcaft novels including Night of the Dragon, War of the Ancients Archive and Warcraft Archive with a total retail value of US$50. Click here to read the official contest rules.

And if you don't win today (or even if you do!) check back later today for loot card giveaways and tomorrow for more contests -- the prizes only get better as we count down the Twelve Days of Winter Veil!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks everyone!

Filed under: Contests

The Twelve Days of Winter Veil: Day eight

WoW.com continues celebrating Winter Veil with our Twelve Days of Winter Veil contests. Today is day eight of our countdown and we are giving away a set of World of Warcraft novels written by Richard Knaak to one lucky winner courtesy of Pocket Books. The set includes:
  • Night of the Dragon
  • War of the Ancients Archive (which includes Well of Eternity, Demon Soul, The Sundering)
  • Warcraft Archive (which includes Day of the Dragon)
The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 18 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before 12pm ET (noon) Sunday, December 27, 2009. Please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact you should you be the winner. You may enter only once and one winner will be selected randomly. The winner will receive 1 set of Richard Knaak World of Warcaft novels including Night of the Dragon, War of the Ancients Archive and Warcraft Archive with a total retail value of US$50. Click here to read the official contest rules.

And if you don't win today (or even if you do!) check back later today for loot card giveaways and tomorrow for more contests -- the prizes only get better as we count down the Twelve Days of Winter Veil!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks everyone!

Filed under: Contests

WoW 5th Anniversary Giveaway: World of Warcraft novels

For our final contest celebrating World of Warcraft's 5th anniversary we have four, count them, four novels from Pocket Books' WoW fiction line to give away. Well, two novels and two compilation books. So whether you're a Christie Golden or a Richard Knaak fan enter for your chance to win one of these great lore-filled books.

The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 18 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before Thursday, November 26th, at 12p ET (noon), and please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact you should you be one of the winners. You may enter only once and a winner will be selected randomly for each one of the following prizes:
Click here to read the official contest rules.

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks so much for participating!

Filed under: Contests

Tokyopop announces 2010 schedule for Warcraft manga


If you're a fan of Tokyopop's take on the World of Warcraft -- I know I certainly am -- then you should be excited to know that the line-up for 2010 has been announced. The first series from Tokyopop was the Sunwell trilogy, written by Richard Knaak and drawn expertly by Kim Jae-Hwan. It dealt with the events of the Sunwell and featured characters prominent in the game such as Kalecgos and Anveena Teague. The second series was called World of Warcraft: Legends, a recently concluded five-volume affair that uniquely told various stories of Azeroth's lesser-known folks.

For 2010, Tokyopop plans to kick off class-based stories starting with the popular Death Knight, featuring Thassarian, the first Death Knight to rejoin the Alliance. According to BlizzPlanet, this full-volume comic written by Dan Jolley and drawn by Rocio Zucchi is slated for December 2010 although they probably mean this coming December, 2009. This will be followed by World of Warcraft: Mage, written by Richard Knaak and drawn by an as-yet-unrevealed artist, which will be available on June 7, 2010. Would Knaak + Mage mean more Rhonin? I certainly hope not -- I think we've just about had enough of the super-heroic, time-traveling, ultra-powerful Mage who actually taught Illidan Stormrage how to use magic (don't ask). Rhonin is kind of like the Chuck Norris of Mages.

The most curious of the three volumes is World of Warcraft: Shaman, which is due for a "late 2010" release. Blizzard works closely with Tokyopop for all its manga, and all the stories are considered canon (Trag Highmountain even made it into the game). The Shaman book is rumored to be Cataclysm-related, although it's a good bet that the game's third expansion will be out by late 2010. There is no official word yet on who will write or draw the comic, but I personally enjoyed Tokyopop Warcraft editor Troy Lewter's stories in Legends so much that I look forward to him writing a full-volume comic. How about Carlos Olivares for the art? I appreciated his unique, almost whimsical style in Legends. He also draws wonderful Goblins, whom as we all know can roll Shamans in the next expansion. As always, stay tuned to WoW.com as we bring you the latest on Tokyopop's Warcraft manga.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Comics

Richard Knaak signing in the Midwest, Blizzard artists' forum at UC Irvine


Stuck in the Midwest and didn't have enough money to go see all the fun at BlizzCon 2009 this year? We've got a little (very little) bit of condolence for you: Richard Knaak, author of the Warcraft novels, is doing a signing tour this weekend around the Midwest in Missouri and Kansas. Blizzplanet has all of the dates and places -- he'll be in St. Joseph, MO on Friday (today), and then in Overland Park, KS and Lawrence, KS on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Not quite as fun as seeing Ozzy, but if you're out in the middle of the country, there's your chance at a little facetime with someone helping shape the WoW universe.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck in Chicago, and -- oh wait! I moved to Los Angeles last weekend, which means I'm actually going to get to go to this artists' forum down at UC Irvine in California. Where I am (it's still a little weird to say that). The Laguna Art Museum (which has an ongoing relationship with Blizzard) will be hosting some of Blizzard's and other artists on October 1st, and they'll be talking (we presume) about creating art and other media for games and digital entertainment. Usually this is the part of the post where I'll ask you to send us pictures if you go, but what the heck -- I'm in the neighborhood (not really, but closer than Chicago), so maybe I'll get a chance to go and check it out for myself. See you there?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

WoW Rookie: Reading about Warcraft

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW.com WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Even if you're not a roleplayer, it's almost impossible not to find yourself swept up by some aspect of the hundreds of compelling stories tucked into the World of Warcraft. The question is, how can you dig deeper? Where do you find more? The answer: Books ... Manga ... Comics ... RPGs .... Page after page after page of glorious lore. Blizzard approves the storylines and lore included in the Warcraft and World of Warcraft line of novels, although you won't find a straight and clear progression across the whole line. Not every story and character crosses over from books to game (and vice versa).

Besides the Warcraft novels, WoW-starved readers can chew through enough manga, roleplaying game books and gaming guides to sate any lore feeding frenzy. The best part? You enjoy +Lore bonuses to your online play experience. Even the RPG books add color to the overall picture. Follow us beyond the break for a basic reading outline to escort you down Warcraft's path of lore.

Read more →

Filed under: Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, WoW Rookie, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Excerpt of the Stormrage Novel available online

I already mentioned that there's an excerpt from the upcoming Stormrage novel in the back of TokyoPop's Warcraft Legends Volume 5 manga, but if you're anxious to get yet another glimpse before February 2010, you're in luck. Pocket Books has posted a new excerpt over at their site, and all you need to grab is an email address.

The excerpt doesn't reveal any new lore per se, but it does tease pretty damn well, and should bring up some pretty nostalgic memories for a lot of Alliance players. Combine this with the excerpt from the manga, and you'll get a pretty good idea of where the story's going, I think -- Right into the Heart of the Emerald Nightmare, as we confirmed with authour Richard Knaak at BlizzCon a week ago.

As to whether it will cover the Cataclysm, or not, that's a bit up in the air. However, considering we know that Malfurion will be back in the waking world fighting Ragnaros at Hyjal, chances would seem to be good.

You can check out the excerpt at Simon and Schuster's website.

Filed under: News items, Lore

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

BlizzCon 2009: Wow.com interviews Richard Knaak

On the second day of BlizzCon 2009, I got the chance to sit down with Richard Knaak, best selling author of countless novels, including many in the Warcraft universe, such as the War of the Ancients Trilogy, Day of the Dragon, and Night of Dragon. His upcoming projects include the Stormrage novel, as well as the Dragons of Outland manga trilogy. We talked about all this and more, and you can read our conversation below.

So of course, the big thing on everyone's mind is the new Stormrage book. How's it coming along? Is it near completion?


It's near completion, we're in the editing process, getting the OKs from Blizzard. You can find an excerpt in the latest volume of the Legends Manga, along with a story I wrote, sort of a Prologue that ties in with the book.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what to expect lore-wise?

You know Blizzard likes to keep these secret, so I am going to be very limited in what I can talk about. It is Malfurion. It is about the Nightmare. And it is very current. That's the three biggest things I can say about it right off the bat. You'll see characters you know from the game and obviously from other books, and places you know from the game, and it's very current, very relevant. Of course, that's about all I can say. You know Blizzard, they love their secrets!

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Interviews, BlizzCon

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