World of Warcraft has been no stranger to new product announcements over the past two weeks. Recently, World of Warcraft revealed the location of the next entrance to the Explore Azeroth book series: the frozen continent of Northrend.
Explore Azeroth: Northrend is written by award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Alex Acks. They’ve written for Blizzard in the past, with the Starcraft II short stories, One people, one goal and another found in the nature of the beast comedy series. However, Explore Azeroth: Northrend this is the first time they write for World of Warcraft.
The book itself will explore the northern continent of Northrend, subject of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Like its predecessors, Explore Azeroth: Northrend will be told by beloved Warcraft characters – this time, readers will be able to rely on “expert advice from the Bronzebeard clan”. Since Muradin and Brann Bronzebeard have strong narrative ties to Northrend, it’s more than likely that they’ll be the main narrators, but it’s possible that their older brother, Magni, could appear as well.
The first one Explore Azeroth book, written by author Christie Golden, examined the Eastern Kingdoms, and it was widely considered a delightful dive into the traditions of the home continent of Warcraft. However, Explore Azeroth: Kalimdor was not well received. The tome, written by Blizzard historian supervisor Sean Copeland, was full of historical errors and inconsistencies in characterization. Worse still, the book relied heavily on outdated racist stereotypes that enraged and disappointed many fans.
Many fans are unhappy World of Warcraft pull out another Explore Azeroth book without addressing the problems with the previous one. A number of readers are hesitant to buy another when the previous one was so problematic, and they want Explore Azeroth: Kalimdor to revise before putting money on Explore Azeroth: Northrend.
That said, most World of Warcraft fans are happy to see Explore Azeroth: Northrend is written by someone outside of Blizzard. Alex Acks is new to writing for Blizzard, but they’ve been a longtime fan of World of Warcraft, and their writing history is as interesting as it is acclaimed. Many hope Acks will give Northrend the treatment and development it deserves.
It was not lost for World of Warcraft the fans who Explore Azeroth: Northrend is set to release on October 18 this year. Many wonder if the output will match Wrath of the Lich King classicwhich was recently announced for a late 2022 launch. Players will have to wait and see if the Atlas release date is any clue as to the imminent Classic expansion or if Explore Azeroth: Northrend will be delayed as was its predecessor.
World of Warcraft is now available on PC.
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