Pixels to paper - 10 videogame novels reviewed

The shadow fell across Uldyssian ul-Diomed's table, enveloping not only much of it, but also his hand and his as-of-yet-undrunk ale. The sandy-haired farmer did not have to look up to know who interrupted his brief respite from his day's labours. He had heard the newcomer speaking to others in the Boar's Head - the only tavern in the remote village of Seram - heard him speaking and prayed silently but vehemently that he would not come to Uldyssian's table.

What is it?
A prequel to the events of the original Diablo. Short-tempered Uldyssian is exiled from his village after being wrongly accused of a double murder, leaving him wandering the wilderness, while struggling to cope with the strange and terrible powers he is slowly developing.

Who wrote it?
Richard A. Knaak- if there was ever a name perfectly suited to a Diablo novel, it's his. Knaak is a prolific writer, his novels covering the universes of pen'n'paper RPGs Dragonlance andDragonrealm, as well as Blizzard's Diablo and Warcraft, plus a handful of his own creation.

Fanboy factor?
Our on-team fervent Diablo fan was actually a little let down by this. Uldyssian isn't a particularly evocative character, but the chance to explore what happened before Tristam was infested with hell spawn at least gives this novel a real fanboy pull.

Is it any good?
There's far too much incidental detail going on throughout, which makes for a bumpy read. And the author (as you can see above) has a liking for some truly bonkers sentence structures. It'll take a really dedicated fan to slog through this tosh.

Further reading
Knaak has pulled a duo of Diablo trilogies out of his writer's hat, with Birthright the first inThe Sin Warseries, andLegacy of Blood the first in his novelisations of the videogame adventures.