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Enter to win a signed copy of War Crimes by Christie Golden

Are you dying to learn the fate of Garrosh Hellscream, former Warchief of the Horde? War Crimes, the newest Warcraft novel by Christie Golden, sets the stage with Hellscream's trial and elegantly weaves together the stories and testimonies of Azeroth's major faces in a tale that is much, much more than a courtroom drama.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got not one, but two copies of War Crimes to give away, and each has been signed by Christie Golden! If 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, May 13, 2014. 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. Two winners 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

Christie Golden, Micky Neilson discuss newest novel, War Crimes

War Crimes, Christie Golden's latest Warcraft novel, officially hit the shelves today. The novel details the trial of Garrosh Hellscream for his crimes against Alliance, Horde, and Pandaria alike. We were lucky enough to get a chance to sit down and chat with Christie Golden, as well as Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson, about the novel, the feedback, and even some upcoming projects that are on the way.

War Crimes is a different kind of book -- it features a gigantic cast. Can you tell us a little about the challenges involved in writing and keeping track of so many familiar faces?

Christie: It definitely is. I had kind of done a run at something like this with The Shattering, that was my first experiencing writing for both Horde and Alliance, trying to weave in various characters and their story lines and still make it fast paced and entertaining. This really was a chance for me to, with the Vision of Time at my disposal, to kind of go through and not just address Garrosh, but sneak in some of the history of Azeroth. What made these factions who they are, how they thought of each other, and a lot of old hurts, as well as new things. I actually just posted on Twitter a picture of the colorful index cards that I laid out on my dining room table at work at one point just to keep track of it!

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Review of Christie Golden's novel, War Crimes

It's time for Hellscream to pay.

Or at least that's what everyone in War Crimes would enjoy seeing, to varying degrees. Christie Golden's latest novel, War Crimes, is due out next week on May 6. It tells the tale of Garrosh Hellscream's trial, an event many players have been waiting to hear about -- and it also serves as a bridge novel, of sorts, between Mists of Pandaria and the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor. If you'd like to know how Garrosh wriggled out of his presumably inevitable death and got to Draenor, this is the book you want to read.

But it's so much more than that. In War Crimes, the focus is much less on Garrosh, and much more on the people around him -- those called to the witness stand, and those simply observing the trial in progress. It's a sweep of almost every major face in the Alliance and Horde, and their unique individual reactions to what happened during Hellscream's reign. In that, it's a very different kind of novel -- and I think it was just the novel needed to bring this expansion fully to a close.

Please note: Because War Crimes has yet to be released, this will be a spoiler-free review. Please refrain from talking about spoilers in the comments -- any spoiler information posted will be deleted.

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

Review of World of Warcraft: Paragons

With all the chatter surrounding Christie Golden's next novel, I have to admit I'd almost forgotten that World of Warcraft: Paragons was set to release today. It's definitely not your usual sort of novel, instead holding a collection of short stories lore fans are likely already familiar with, all tucked into one book for easy referencing -- but it also includes the long-awaited novella Blood of the Highborne, by Micky Neilson. That said, fans looking for new, current lore aren't going to find any in this particular collection.

However, the book contains all of the leader short stories that were released over the course of Cataclysm's run, as well as a few other shorts -- Unbroken, the story of Farseer Nobundo, The War of the Shifting Sands, a piece that was released just before the launch of AQ40, and Road to Damnation, the story of Kel'thuzad, released just before the launch of the original iteration of Naxxramas all the way back in vanilla. It's Blood of the Highborne that really stands out among the collection, not necessarily because it's better than the rest, but because it's brand-new content that fills in a gap that's been missing in lore -- the conception and introduction of the Blood Knights of Silvermoon.

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Filed under: News items, Lore

Recommended reading for Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor, the next WoW expansion, will feature a trip to a world we've only seen one version of. Although we've visited Draenor in game, it was the shattered version of a world post-Horde, taken over by Illidan Stormrage, his allies, and the Burning Legion. Now called Outland, there's very little to see of the old Draenor in the wake of Ner'zhul's disastrous attempt to open portals to other worlds in the hopes of continued Horde domination.

In Warlords, we'll be visiting an alternate version of Draenor -- a version in which the corruption of the orcish race was halted. This alternate version will highlight and showcase former faces of old in a new light, through the meddling of Garrosh Hellscream. Now united as the Iron Horde, the orc clans of Draenor past have turned away from the Legion, instead embracing their strength on their own. But just because this is an alternate version of Draenor doesn't mean there isn't material out there to be found about these characters. The situation may be different in Warlords, but there's a pile of relevant material that will help players understand exactly why the cast of Warlords are a force to be reckoned with.

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Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Paragons release date announced

World of Warcraft: Paragons finally has a release date set for an English edition -- March 31, 2014. The long, long awaited novel is a collection of the leader short stories currently available on Blizzard's website, as well as an all-new piece of fiction by Senior Writer and Voice Director Micky Neilson entitled Blood of the Highborne. Highborne will explore the origin of blood knights, the attack on Silvermoon, and the history of the quel'dorei -- a story many blood elf fans have been waiting to hear. Neilson's other works include the short story Unbroken, as well as Curse of the Worgen, Ashbringer, and Pearl of Pandaria.

While Paragons was released earlier this year in Spain and France, the US release was nowhere to be found. We still have some time to wait before we'll see an English version, but at least we have a date to look forward to -- and preorders to place. You can preorder World of Warcraft: Paragons for the Kindle on Amazon, or for the Nook on Barnes and Noble for $5.99. At present time, it appears that the novel is only available for preorder in ebook format -- we have yet to see if a print version will be made available.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Exclusive first look at Christie Golden's new novel, War Crimes

Christie Golden, author of a substantial amount of Warcraft novels including The Shattering, Tides of War, Lord of the Clans and Rise of the Horde, recently announced a new novel to add to the list, and we have all the details. Titled War Crimes, the new novel features an all-star cast of nearly every important figure from both the Alliance and Horde, and tells an interesting, new kind of story the likes of which we haven't seen from Blizzard before.

The brutal siege of Orgrimmar is over. Garrosh Hellscream, the most infamous orc on Azeroth, now sits in chains. His tyrannical leadership of the Horde has been ended by his many enemies, and he must answer for his crimes.

Renowned leaders from across the world gather in Pandaria to witness Garrosh's trial. Visions of his past atrocities are presented in vivid detail for all to see. But as history is revisited, old grievances and bitter memories come back into the light, and those in attendance begin to wonder if anyone among them is truly innocent. Mounting tensions and rising enmity steer the court to the brink of chaos... as the world waits with bated breath for the verdict on the war crimes of Garrosh Hellscream.

If you think a novel about a courtroom trial is going to be a dull affair, think again -- War Crimes isn't just a story about a trial, nor is it just another story about Garrosh Hellscream. In fact, it's anything but another Garrosh Hellscream novel. We were thrilled to get an exclusive interview with Christie at BlizzCon 2013 about her new title, a gigantic cast that includes some unexpected faces in the spotlight, and what we can expect to see -- as well as information on the book's release.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

New Christie Golden novel on the way

Amidst all the BlizzCon excitement yesterday, author Christie Golden decided to drop an interesting bit of information on Twitter -- she's working on a new novel. Not just any novel, but a WoW novel that ties in with the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Obviously no title or plot information has been released, but since Golden has written several novels with expansion lead-in titles, it stands to reason this novel will hopefully form some kind of bridge between Mists and Warlords.

With titles like Lord of the Clans, Rise of the Horde, The Shattering, and Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects under her belt, Golden is also incredibly familiar with the history of the orcish race. While we don't know how much this novel will feature any of the key players in Warlords, it's safe to say that this is going to be a pretty amazing read. Hopefully we'll see more information regarding this mysterious new title soon.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Dawn of the Aspects paperback coming in November

Dawn of the Aspects
Lorehounds and story fans might remember the Dawn of the Aspects e-book that Blizzard released in five parts earlier this year. Well, if you're a Luddite like me and don't have an e-reader, in a few short months you'll have the ability to purchase the story in print. As the article title implies, the complete Dawn of the Aspects will be available for purchase in paperback this coming November. You'll be able to find it at all the usual haunts: Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and likely the Blizzard store, as well.

You can check out Blizzard's blog post for an overview of the story, as well as sneak peaks of all the different parts. If you're unfamiliar with the idea, it centers around Kalecgos gaining insight into the origins of the five dragonflights themselves, and the violence and upheaval that lead to their creation. If you're still on the fence, you can check out Anne Stickney's review of the story right here on WoW Insider.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Christie Golden's Tides of War on sale for $1.99 on Amazon

Christie Golden's Tides of War on sale for $199 on Amazon
If you're looking for reading material, you're in luck -- Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War is on sale today in Amazon's Kindle store for a mere $1.99. The latest offering by Christie Golden, Tides of War takes place just prior to the events of Mists of Pandaria, including the fateful attack on Theramore that decimated the city. I can't really stress how much I recommend this book, particularly for those wanting to know more about the Theramore scenario -- the book explains it in detail, along with the first glimmers of the internal Horde conflict that have since risen to a head in Mists.

Beyond that, it's just a really good, heart-wrenching read. Golden really outdid herself with the book, and at $1.99, it is absolutely worth picking up. Don't have a Kindle? No problem -- you can read the Kindle version of the book on the web, on your computer, or even on your phone using one of Amazon's Kindle apps. But if you're interested, jump on this deal fast -- it's a daily deal, so it'll be gone tomorrow!

Filed under: News items, Lore

Blood of the Highborne novella possibly on the way

Blood of the Highborne novella possibly on the way
The folks over at the Scrolls of Lore forums happened to dig up some interesting information in the form of the cover pictured above. Many fans of Warcraft lore have been waiting, somewhat impatiently, for the new novella by Micky Neilson titled Blood of the Highborne. In an interview last year about the graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria, Neilson mentioned the novella, suggesting that it would be included in a collection of the leader short stories released during the Cataclysm expansion.

The novel found at Scrolls of Lore is titled World of Warcraft: Dechados, which was translated as World of Warcraft: Paragons. It seems an apt title for a collection of short stories about Azeroth's leaders -- and there's the fact that the translation of the description also mentions the inclusion of a novella. After doing some further digging, we managed to find a French version of the book as well. Both books suggest a September release date.

At present time, there doesn't appear to be a peep about an English version of the collection, however -- and it definitely wasn't mentioned at the San Diego Comic Con Licensing panel this year, either. What's the fate of Blood of the Highborne? We aren't certain, but judging from the information found, it may be out sooner than we'd previously thought.

Filed under: News items, Lore

San Diego Comic Con 2013 Blizzard Licensing Panel now online

Wondering what was talked about at the SDCC 2013 Blizzard Licensing panel? The fine folks over at Blizzplanet have released a video recording of the entire panel from start to finish. Included in the discussion are new toys, statues, and upcoming books -- including the children's book Snowfight, written by Chris Metzen with illustrations by Wei Wang, that we mentioned last week.

The panel also included a fairly lengthy Q&A session that covered both licensed products and game questions as well. Q&A topics ranged from the future of beloved raid instances like Karazhan to the balance between including major events both in novels and in the game itself, as well as balance between PvP and PvE, among many other topics. There are also some funny moments like the video above, in which Chris Metzen deftly avoids spoiling the debut of the Warcraft movie teaser that was shown later on in another panel at the convention. Be sure to check out Blizzplanet's post for the full set of panel videos.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft children's book announced at SDCC

New World of Warcraft children's book announced at SDCC
Polygon is reporting an interesting bit of news from the San Diego Comic Con publishing panel -- apparently Blizzard has decided to try its hand at children's books. The first book, Snowfight, was written by Chris Metzen himself, and the book also includes some incredibly charming illustrations by Blizzard artist Wei Wang. From the image above, it looks like a story involving both Thrall and Varian Wrynn -- an unlikely tale, but hey, children's literature should be lighthearted and fun, right?

This is, of course, a huge step for the publishing team -- most Warcraft novels and manga have been placed firmly in the young adult to adult category, with nothing for the little kids. But considering how many Warcraft fans are now moms and dads themselves, this is actually a really sweet way to introduce your little ones to the games you love. And it might just be interesting enough to keep their fingers off your action figures, too! Look for pre-sales for Snowfight later this year -- the book should be making its debut at BlizzCon. For more information, check out the full article on Polygon.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Christie Golden's The Shattering on sale for $1.99 on Amazon

Looking for some light reading for the weekend? You're in luck, because Christie Golden's pre-Catacylsm novel The Shattering, which digs into the chaos and political turmoil caused by the Cataclysm, is on sale today in Amazon's Kindle store for a mere $1.99. It's no secret that we're fans of World of Warcraft novels in general and Christie Golden's work in particular, and at a price like this The Shattering is a heck of a bargain. So why not spend the weekend dipping your toe into World of Warcraft's extended universe?

Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can read the Kindle version of the book on the web, on your computer, or on your phone using one of Amazon's Kindle apps. But if you're interested, jump on this deal fast: it's one of Amazon's daily deals, and as such, will be gone tomorrow.

Filed under: News items

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

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