Several weeks ago, I was given access to a copy of Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani (review here), and World of Warcraft: Shadows Rising — the Shadowlands prequel novel tie-in. Special thanks to Random House and Rogers & Cowan PMK who reached out.

I feel privileged to be able to read the novel after 87 days playing Shadowlands Alpha to understand the lore from both media.

Especially, after playing the Shadowlands Intro Questline where players participate in a ritual at The Frozen Throne to open a way into The Maw in the Shadowlands.

Reading the novel helped me fill up the gap of what led to the new expansion.

Throughout this review, I will offer minor spoilers without names in some instances, or without going into detail. So keep this in mind beyond the break below. If you want to skip the soft spoilers, but want to check out the Table of Content with chapters listed, skip to the image.

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Days of Wonder announced the launch of the Small World of Warcraft board game, based on their Small World game mechanics.

A new day dawns on Azeroth. A day like every one before it, and every one after. A day of merciless struggle for the control of the World of Warcraft. Not only is this Small World territory far too tight for everyone, it also hosts the never-ending conflict between the factions of the Alliance and the Horde. Dawn has broken and the time has come to take your place on the front lines.

Small World of Warcraft is a stand-alone board game set in Blizzard’s glorious video game universe, Azeroth. 2-5 players vie for control of several islands in this hostile world and their only hope will be to pick the right combination of races and special powers. After staking your claim to a piece of land, defeat your neighbors and expand your territory. If you can occupy legendary places and control powerful magical artifacts, you’ll reach new levels of domination. However, empires must eventually fall, so be ready to put your over-extended race into decline and lead a new one to glory so you can eventually rule Azeroth.

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Update (April 10) — Random House provided via email a summary and the front cover of World of Warcraft: Shadows Rising.

Penned by New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Roux, Shadows Rising is the next epic tale in the World of Warcraft novel series and takes place during the aftermath of Sylvanas Windrunner’s betrayal of the Horde. The prequel novel releases on July 14, 2020, yet fans can pre-order now.

SUMMARY

“The Horde is nothing!” With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Alleria, race to uncover her next move. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas’s whereabouts.

The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest. Thrall, Lor’themar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof, First Arcanist Thalyssra, and many other familiar faces rise to this new challenge. But the threats are numerous, and the distrust runs too deep.

When the council is derailed by a failed assassination attempt on Talanji—the Zandalari queen and a key ally—Thrall and the rest of the Horde leaders are forced into action. They empower the young troll shaman Zekhan, still grieving the loss of Varok Saurfang, with a critical mission to aid Talanji and help uncover the rising threat against her.

Meanwhile, Nathanos Blightcaller and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked by the Dark Lady with a terrifying gambit: to kill the troll loa of death himself, Bwonsamdi.

As Zekhan and Talanji work to save Bwonsamdi, their journey will be a key turning point in bolstering the Horde against the coming darkness and finding themselves along the way. Failure to save their allies and the trickster god will surely doom them—but through success, they may rediscover what makes the Horde strong.


Originally posted on February 10, 2020.

Very early in the morning today, the World of Warcraft: Shadows Rising novel by Madeleine Roux appeared with a book description and the pre-order page.

The novel features Sylvanas, Nathanos, Zekhan, Alleria, Turalyon, and several leaders of the Alliance and the Horde.

Sylvanas has given Nathanos and Sira Moonwarden a terrible assassination order. One that will reverberate among Warcraft lore scholars: “how?”

Pre-order is available as Hardcover and Digital (Kindle) — which can be read in the PC app or with Firefox/Chrome/Edge

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Update (July 11) — The front cover has been revealed.

Update (January 23) — The book description for World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms is now available, but my previous gut feeling is starting to take shape with a new bit of information: the book author. Gentlemen and Ladies… this book is written by New York Times best seller author; and current Blizzard Entertainment Senior writer Christie Golden.

Now that’s major eye-popping news. It is much easier to take a guess at its content and structure from the point of view of Blizzard’s two-decade book writer.


January 16, 2020

Eastern KingdomsBlizzard Entertainment is publishing a brand-new book under the Blizzard Legends label that might probably be a mix of concept art and in-depth history about each of the zones of the Eastern Kingdoms.

Pre-orders are now open. The title of this new book is: World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms.

If true, this is a very different way of doing concept art books. Past Blizzard Games’ Art Books have been themed around a specific expansion, or around encompassing the history of Warcraft as a whole (spanning several expansions).

But publishing an exploration art book focused on the Eastern Kingdoms?

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