If you're familiar with the world of World of Warcraft's lore, you've likely read a significant amount into the EU (extended universe, that is, not Europe). There are quite a few books that cover the lore of Warcraft's universe, and though a good number of these books have had retcons in the years following their release, the lore is still rich and important to know. \n \nOn top of that, it's commonplace now for developers to put story elements that will only make sense to players that are familiar with the lore from content outside of a game. The Gears of War franchise, for example, can seem a bit jarring with a handful of characters being added in - Bernadette Mataki, for example - if you haven't read the novels. \n \nThe latest of these books is Shadows Rising, penned by New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Roux. This novel, slotted for release in mid-July, covers the lore between the end of the current Battle for Azeroth storyline and the upcoming Shadowlands expansion we have on the way. Picking up just after the Mak'gora between Varok Saurfang and Sylvanas Windrunner, the novel discusses the struggling leadership of the Horde and the Alliance, as well as a sinister quest being carried out by Nathanos Blightcaller. \n \n \n \n"The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest," the preview provided by Blizzard states. "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." \n \nIt seems that the story will be focused on the pursuit of Sylvanas and the struggle of the stress left behind on the factions by her action. Nathanos and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked to find and kill Bwonsamdi, the Troll loa that shepherds death, while being tracked by Zekhan and Talanji as they work to save the loa. \n \nWhile Zekhan and Talanji chase after Blightcaller and Moonwarden, Alleria and Turalyon are hard at work trying to track Sylvanas down and discover her plans. It's possible that the book takes place before the cinematic for Shadowlands, which shows Sylvanas attacking the Lich King and destroying the Helm of Domination to rip open the veil between the material planes of Azeroth and the ethereal Shadowlands. \n \nWe have to wait until July 14th to discover just what Blizzard has in store for us with this lore extension, but once it comes, it's likely to help give great definition to the Shadowlands expansion.