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Dawn of the Aspects part two sneak peek now available

galakrond and proto drakes
Many WoW lore fans have been anticipating Richard Knaak's latest work for Blizzard: Dawn of the Aspects. As you may be aware, Dawn of the Aspects illuminates the origins of the five dragon Aspects and tells the story of how they came to be. It also marks Blizzard's first foray into the world of publishing serialized ebooks and is scheduled to be released in five parts. Part one, which WoW Insider reviewed, became available for download a month ago, on February 19th. Recently, Community Manager Bashiok payed the Story Forum a visit to announce part two's impending release on March 18th, and to give us some enticing tidbits to enjoy while we wait. Check out the full blue text after the cut.

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Filed under: News items, Lore

Blizzard releases excerpt from upcoming Dawn of the Aspects

Blizzard releases excerpt from upcoming Dawn of the Aspects
If you're curious about the upcoming novel Dawn of the Aspects, Blizzard has just released an excerpt on its official site. The book, which will release part 1 on February 19, follows Kalegos on a journey to the past -- specifically, to the days before the Aspects were Aspects, and Galakrond still flew the skies of Northrend. It's a tale about the creation of the Aspects, and the history of dragonkind.

More importantly, while Kalecgos is observing events of the past, he's doing so from the standpoint of the future -- the days after Deathwing's defeat. While the ending of Dragon Soul was definitely interesting, it raised far more questions than it answered. What happens to the dragonflights, not that they've lost their powers? What purpose do they serve in the world, and how can they continue to make a difference in this so-called Age of Mortals?

Richard Knaak is an excellent choice for the novel, especially given his history with writing nearly every prior tale involving the Aspects and their history. The excerpt shown on Blizzard's official site is interesting, and even the small piece that we're shown holds valuable information regarding Galakrond, his history, and how it compares to the history we've been told so far. Suffice it to say, not everything is exactly as it has seemed, and the miniseries may clear up a giant chunk of Azeroth's history that to date has been left unexplained.

Head to the official site to read the excerpt, and don't forget to get your copy of the ebook when it releases on February 19.


Filed under: News items, Lore

Dawn of the Aspects Part 1 to release February 2013

Dawn of the Aspects Part 1 to release February 2013
Part one of World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects will see its release a little later than previous reported at NYCC last year. Simon & Schuster currently has the release date set for February 19, 2013. Unlike previous Warcraft novels, Dawn of the Aspects will be released in parts as an ebook rather than a print novel. Part one will be available for $1.99, with four more parts to follow over the coming year. And for those that can't wait, we've got an exclusive look at the full cover for the upcoming novel after the break.

Penned by Richard Knaak, Dawn of the Aspects explores the relationship between the proto-drakes of Northrend and the Aspects of here and now. Even though Deathwing has been taken care of and the Hour of Twilight has been halted, the question of what comes next for the Dragon Aspects is still unanswered. With their powers expended, how can any of the Aspects, or even dragonkind for that matter, hope to still make a difference in the world?

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Filed under: News items, 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

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

Stormrage novel collector's edition now on sale

The saga of Malfurion Stomrage continues in the latest book Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak. Today our friends at Simon and Schuster write in to let us know that the collector's edition is now on sale for us all, in a limited edition of 5000 copies.

From the jacket:
Recently the Emerald Nightmare, an area of corruption within the Emerald Dream, began growing in size, transforming the Dream into a realm of unimaginable horror. Green dragons have been unexpectedly caught up in the Nightmare, emerging from it with shattered minds and twisted bodies. Druids who have entered the darkening Dream lately have found it difficult -- sometimes even impossible -- to escape.

Nor are these the Nightmare's only victims: more and more people are being affected. Even Malfurion Stormrage, first and foremost of the druids on Azeroth, may have fallen victim to this growing threat. As uncontrollable nightmares spread across the world, a desperate quest begins to find and free the archdruid.
The collector's edition costs $32 and will ship the week of March 8th, 2010; whereas the normal editions of Stormrage release on February 23rd, 2010.

Stay tuned to WoW.com in the coming weeks when we'll have early reviews of the book for you, as well as an interview with author and Warcraft storyteller Richard A. Knaak.

Filed under: News items, Lore

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

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!

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

Arthas: Rise of the Lich King giveaway

The contest we've been alluding to the last couple of weeks is finally here: This is your chance to win a copy of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King through WoW Insider, courtesy of Simon and Schuster.

If you somehow managed to miss Daniel and I talking about this book, Arthas is the latest World of Warcraft novel and its official release is April 21st. It's quite possibly the most hyped up book in Warcraft history, and as you may have read in our review, the hype is warranted. We've talked about this book enough that I don't think I need to say anything else beyond the fact that we have ten (10!) copies of this book to give away.

To enter, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, April 15th at 6PM Eastern. Ten winners will be chosen randomly, and each will receive one copy of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, limit one winner per household. You must be at least 18 to enter and a legal resident of the United States or non-Quebec resident of Canada. You may only enter once. Anybody found to be doing otherwise will be disqualified. Please read the official rules before entering.

Be sure to comment with an e-mail address you check often and have easy access to, because that's how we will be contacting our chosen winners. Good luck to all who participate!

UPDATE: Contest closed. We'll be randomly choosing winners and contacting them soon. Thanks to all who participated!

Filed under: Contests

Golden's Arthas delivers the lore goodness

A note from Alex Ziebart: When Simon and Schuster sent Daniel and I a pair of free, early review copies of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, we immediately went about planning how we were going to handle a 2-man review. We've been good friends for years, and one of our favorite past times is debating things like this back and forth. We rarely agree on books, and we can argue our sides until we're blue in the face. We were going to write an Alex vs Daniel knock down, drag out argument about Arthas and it was going to rule. Unfortunately, things didn't go our way.

When we finished reading the book, we got together to talk about it. It was... unsettling. We completely agreed with each other on almost every point that was raised. The high points and the low points, we were completely on the same spectrum. That's just not right. We decided that, rather than write two reviews parroting each other, we would just go with the one. Daniel's review says everything I want to say better than I could have said it, so once you read what he says, just pretend you can hear me say "Ditto" at the end. Take it away, Danny!

As WoW Insider's self-proclaimed junior lieutenant Lore Nerd, when Simon & Schuster so generously offered to send us a couple of free advanced copies of Arthas, the new World of Warcraft book by Christie Golden, I was all over that. As soon as the book showed up on my doorstep, I turned on the answering machine, grabbed a soda, popped some popcorn, curled up in my favorite chair, and pretty much read the whole thing straight through. The only breaks I took were to discuss various scenes and their ramifications for lore with Alex. And by discuss, I mean "fanboy out."

But I am being completely serious when I say, of all the Warcraft manga, comic books, and novels I have read, Arthas has the most solid, balanced writing and best realized characters. It's not a perfect book, but it's a very worthwhile read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the why and how of that big armored dude up on the Frozen Throne.

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

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