World of Warcraft: Sylvanas Prequel Novel Preview from IGN
IGN has shared an exclusive excerpt
from the upcoming
World of Warcraft: Sylvanas
prequel novel. Like
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
before it, the book tells Sylvanas' story, from her youth within the Windrunner family and rise to Ranger-General of the Quel'Thalas, to her death at the hands of Arthas and subsequent founding of the Forsaken, as well as her fateful first encounter with the Maw.
Christie Golden's newest novel releases in print, e-book, and audiobook in just under four weeks, on March 29th.
is said to take place early in the novel, depicting a much different Sylvanas from the one we know today and her first encounter with the newborn Lirath Windrunner, her younger brother. It also features several other familiar characters, including her father Lord Verath, mother Lady Lireesa, sister Vereesa, and the current Ranger-General Halduron Brightwing.
In this excerpt, we see Sylvanas refer to her new brother as "Little Lord Sun"--a nickname with similarities to her nickname for Anduin, "Little Lion." Between the nickname, golden hair, deep blue eyes, and timing of this excerpt right after
Anduin's Sepulcher cinematic
, perhaps this is foreshadowing additional parallels between both characters that will be further explored in the novel.
World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, via IGN
“Halduron!” her father called as Halduron, Jirri, and the dragonhawks approached. Although she was clearly trying to control her emotions, the normally smiling Jirri was pale and almost . . . frightened?
“My lord, you must return to the spire at once,” Jirri said “Lady Lireesa has gone into labor!”
Sylvanas had never seen her father look so distressed. “But the child isn’t due for several weeks—”
“Apparently, someone neglected to inform the child,” Halduron retorted. His effort at lightening the mood was received with worried silence as Verath handed Vereesa to him. He settled the girl safely in front of him while Jirri slipped off her dragonhawk and Verath and Sylvanas climbed atop it.
Sylvanas was not particularly interested in children other than her younger sister; nor had she given much thought to having children of her own. Alleria was the only one who needed to produce the future ranger-general. She sat behind her father, arms around his waist, resting her cheek on his back. Verath’s reaction had unsettled her, and she was doing her utmost not to worry. Her mother had doubtless summoned some of the finest healers in the land the moment it became apparent that the newest addition to the family was determined to join it ahead of schedule.
Sylvanas and her father leaped off the dragonhawks almost before the creatures were close enough to land. Halduron handed Vereesa back to her father, and Verath and Sylvanas raced up the stairs. A sensitive child, Vereesa had picked up on the tension and started crying the moment they departed, much to Halduron’s consternation, and she now was sobbing at full tilt. There was no sound from above, of another child crying its first breath. Sylvanas did not think she had ever been truly afraid of anything in her life, but suddenly fear locked her in its cold grasp. She was clumsy as she ran.
Despite his weeping burden, Verath reached the room before Sylvanas, vanishing into the quarters he and his wife shared. Sylvanas stumbled in a second after, bracing for the worst.
She saw instead a sight so beautiful it could have been a painting hung in Sunfury Spire. Warm sunlight streamed in through the open casement window, bathing her mother and the bundle she bore in white-gold. The transom at the top was made of stained glass, casting its own rainbow hues. Verath cupped Lireesa’s flushed face in his hands, and as Sylvanas stepped inside, relief making her weak, her parents kissed for a long, sweet moment, then pressed their foreheads together. Tears were on Verath’s cheeks, yet Sylvanas had never seen him smile with such joy.
Alleria leaned against the wall, smiling herself, and another worry Sylvanas hadn’t realized she’d been carrying fell away. The new arrival, it would seem, had already worked a minor miracle if Alleria’s test was all but forgotten. Lireesa pulled back from her husband’s embrace, her hand still on his cheek.
“Everything’s fine,” she reassured her children. “This little boy simply couldn’t wait any longer.”
A boy. A brother for the three sisters. Sylvanas realized she’d simply assumed the baby would be a girl, but she was glad he wasn’t. Four girls would have been boring.
Vereesa had stopped crying and now wedged her way between the parents. “Let me see, let me see!” Had only half a day passed since she’d said that to Sylvanas, wanting to see Alleria? It seemed like a lifetime ago.
Sylvanas stepped from the doorway quietly to stand at the foot of the bed, wondering if this giddy elation filling the room would extend to her. Lireesa turned her eyes toward Sylvanas, and her smile was warm and genuine. “Would you like to hold him, Sylvanas?”
Sylvanas nodded. The lump in her throat stopped her from speak- ing. She reached down as Lireesa reached up, and gathered the small, warm bundle in her arms.
The infant fidgeted, turning his head and dislodging part of the blanket that had been tucked around him. Sylvanas took a swift breath as she finally beheld his face, her eyes wide and suddenly stinging with tears.
He was perfect. Wisps of gold hair, bright as newly minted coins, adorned his head. His cheeks were pink as roses, and his deep blue eyes were fixated on her.
Joy and fierceness flooded her in a sudden burst as the world narrowed to this moment, this small being, and Sylvanas did not think she had ever cared about anything more than this confoundingly tiny bundle. Carefully, she shifted him so she could touch his face, his skin so soft, so perfect.
“What’s his name?” Her words came out in an awed, hushed whisper.
“Lirath,” Lireesa said.
“Lirath,” Sylvanas repeated, trying it out. As Vereesa’s was, so was the baby’s name an amalgam of his mother’s and father’s. It rolled pleasingly off the tongue, and though it was of course impossible, Lirath gurgled as if responding to it. “Lirath, one day, I’m going to show you our favorite spot. You can splash in the water, or dance with us, or just sit and watch the world like Father does. I can’t wait to show you fireflies.”
She leaned over and kissed his smooth forehead, unmarred as yet by sun or sorrow. As she drew back, the baby waved a chubby arm and tiny fingers grasped a few strands of her hair.
“He likes your hair, Lady Moon,” Alleria said. Her voice was warm and soft. Everything, Sylvanas thought, was warm and soft right here, right now.
“Well,” Sylvanas replied, her voice still low and tinged with won- der, watching the infant’s fascination with a simple lock of hair, “he is golden-haired, like you, Lady Sun, so I think he should be Little Lord Sun.”
“Two suns, two moons!” Vereesa crowed, bouncing slightly. “Hold him carefully, Sylvanas,” Lireesa said. “You don’t want to hurt him.”
Sylvanas recalled her father’s words.
I will never hurt you. Ever. And no one else will, either. With love and courage, I will keep you safe.
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