Apr 27, 2014

The Book of Cain and The Book of Tyrael.




BOOK REVIEW: The Book of Cain and The Book of Tyrael.

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the term "Fan boy". I do not like the assertion that a devoted follower of a genre, IP or product line can be boiled down to being merely a mindless consumer. This discounts the real love and immersion that one could feel for a franchise, over the course of years or decades. With this being the case, I have to admit that I am a Blizzard Fan boy.

Since the early days of Warcraft, I have been interested in all things that are birthed from that creative well of fantasy goodness that is located somewhere in southern California. I was an avid WOW player back in the day and I have long been friends with and followers of the various artists that Blizzard employs for their games. For me this group hold no equal, and I am not afraid to say that.

Since the launch of Diablo III, I have been immersed in the world of Sanctuary. A dark yet stylized world and art style that seems to tick all the boxes of my personal sensibilities. A lore that is full of Gothic themes and is built around the most epic conflict of good vs. evil....like the biggest worst evil. This lore is the perfect subject matter for spinoff materials and The Book of Cain and The Book of Tyrael are exactly that.

Each book takes you on a fictional journey, whereby you as the reader are leafing through a handwritten tome scribed by the ever unlucky Deckard Cain for the first book and Tyrael: The former Archangel of Justice, and now the current Aspect of Wisdom. The pages are made to look like browned old parchment, containing handwritten accounts of characters and events from the Diablo series. These expositions delve deeper into that back stories and give further context to the events contained within the games themselves. The tales are accompanied with a variety of tonal drawings that are made to look hand sketched by the authors themselves.

Each book contains a nicely embossed hardcover and is overall a decent size. If you already familiar with other art books that Blizzard produces for  their collectors editions, then you will already be familiar with the form and quality of these.

As a fan of the series and knowledgeable about the characters, I am eager to glean every little piece of lore that I am able to from these books. I am a big fan of the hand drawn grey scale art style and fantasy themes. This bias is obviously caused by my own pension for working in that style and subject matter. There is nothing that I love drawing more, then a dark and dangerous dungeon. The same goes for my 3D work as well.

If you are uninitiated with the series then I think that allot of the nuances contained in the books might be lost on you, but that's OK. I could imagine that even someone with no previous knowledge of the Diablo games would still find a lot of enjoyment in these books, as long as they are a fan of the dark fantasy genre.

In the end, I believe that these books are really made for and appreciated best by the series' fans. It is this kind of top level fan service that Blizzard does so well and keeps us coming back to the trough for each expansion and peripheral product, year after year. If you are a Blizzard supporter (Fan boy) like I am, then these books are must haves for your collection.