Warning: Mild Spoilers Ahead
I had the pleasure of speaking with William King, the author of the new World of Warcraft: Illidan novel, at this year’s Blizzcon. He was very careful to not spoil anything, but as we spoke he assured me that the lack of Illidan story in Burning Crusade would be largely addressed in this novel.
We will find out why he was so absent during the expansion, as well as delve deeper into his relationship with the Legion, namely with Kil’jaeden the Deceiver himself. After our chat, I truly got the impression that he knew and loved the character. William King said that he was a fan of Illidan all the way back to Warcraft III, which is a sigh of relief to many of us fans.
We spoke about what happened in the RTS games, as well as World of Warcraft; and I got the impression that he really respects Warcraft lore. He shared that Illidan and Arthas are, in his opinion, the most interesting characters in Warcraft lore, and that he’s very excited to be a part of fleshing Illidan out more. Getting in Illidan’s head will be a primary goal in this novel, to see what makes him tick. To my surprise, I was handed the first three chapters of the upcoming novel!
The first is the prologue, which covers Illidan’s release by Tyrande in Warcraft III. Those of us who loved the RTS will feel right at home, while those who haven’t played the game will have a portion of Illidan’s background revealed to them.
The best part for Warcraft III lovers is that the novel format allows King to flesh out the scene in greater detail. We get to see what is going on in Illidan’s mind shortly before his release, as well as briefly afterward.
The second chapter covers Illidan’s assault on the Black Temple. Here we start to see parts of the Burning Crusade timeline that did not quite get fleshed out in-game. The reader is given hints that Illidan has exceedingly grand plans that are not intended to be fulfilled immediately. He intends to defeat the Legion as a whole, and this is the first part of that plan.
I found it interesting that Illidan indeed intended to have Karabor cleansed by Akama, but he needed to complete the first stage of his grand plan before doing so. It makes me wonder what would have happened if Akama would have waited for Illidan to complete his plans.
The third chapter details portions of Maiev’s storyline that we did not see in-game. Like Illidan, we get to peek into her mind to a greater extent than the game could allow. Fans who have read Wolfheart, which I highly recommend, will see how it all plays together for the character.
If you’re excited as I am to see Illidan get the development that many of us have hoped for since Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, I suggest the following reads to get ready:
I will be posting a review when the book comes out on Spring 2016. Between Illidan, the Legion expansion, and Warcraft Chronicle: Volume 1, 2016 looks like a massive year for lore fans.