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Diablo Archive Paperback


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Diablo Archive + The Veiled Prophet (Diablo: The Sin War, Book 3) (Bk. 3) + Scales of the Serpent (Diablo: The Sin War, Book 2) (Bk. 2)
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Product Details

  • Series: Diablo
  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416576991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416576990
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard A. Knaak is the New York Times bestselling author of some three dozen novels, including the The Sin War trilogy for Diablo and the Legend of Huma for Dragonlance. He has penned the War of the Ancients trilogy, Day of the Dragon and its upcoming followup, Night of the Dragon. His other works include his own Dragonrealm series, the Minotaur Wars for Dragonlance, the Aquilonia trilogy of the Age of Conan, and the Sunwell Trilogy -- the first Warcraft manga. In addition, his novels and short stories have been published worldwide in such diverse places as China, Iceland, the Czech Republic, and Brazil. 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

One

The skull gave them a lopsided grin, as if cheerfully inviting the trio to join it for all eternity.

"Looks like we're not the first," Sadun Tryst murmured. The scarred, sinewy fighter tapped the skull with one edge of his knife, causing the fleshless watcher to wobble. Behind the macabre sight, they could just make out the spike that had pierced their predecessor's head, leaving him dangling until time had let all but the skull drop to the floor in a confused heap.

"Did you think we would be?" whispered the tall, cowled figure. If Sadun had a lean, almost acrobatic look to his build, Fauztin seemed nearly cadaverous. The Vizjerei sorcerer moved almost like a phantom as he, too, touched the skull, this time with one gloved finger. "No sorcery here, though. Only crude but sufficient mechanics. Nothing to fear."

"Unless it's your head on the next pole."

The Vizjerei tugged at his thin, gray goatee. His slightly slanted eyes closed once as if in acknowledgment to his partner's last statement. Whereas Sadun had a countenance more akin to an untrustworthy weasel -- and sometimes the personality to match -- Fauztin reminded some of a withered cat. His nub of a nose, constantly twitching, and the whiskers hanging underneath that nose only added to the illusion.

Neither had ever had a reputation for purity, but Norrec Vizharan would have trusted either with his life -- and had several times over. As he joined them, the veteran warrior peered ahead, to where a vast darkness hinted of some major chamber. Thus far, they had explored seven different levels in all and found them curiously devoid of all but the most primitive traps.

They had also found them devoid of any treasure whatsoever, a tremendous disappointment to the tiny party.

"Are you sure there's no sorcery about here, Fauztin? None at all?"

The feline features half-hidden by the cowl wrinkled further in mild offense. The wide shoulders of his voluminous cloak gave Fauztin a foreboding, almost supernatural appearance, especially since he towered over the brawnier Norrec, no small man himself. "You have to ask that, my friend?"

"It's just that it makes no sense! Other than a few minor and pretty pathetic traps, we've encountered nothing to prevent us from reaching the main chamber! Why go through all the trouble of digging this out, then leave it so sparsely defended!"

"I don't call a spider as big as my head nothing," Sadun interjected sourly, absently scratching his lengthy but thinning black hair. "Especially as it was on my head at the time..."

Norrec ignored him. "Is it what I think? Are we too late? Is this Tristram all over again?"

Once before, between serving causes as mercenaries, they had hunted for treasure in a small, troubled village called Tristram. Legend had had it that, in a lair guarded by fiends, there could be found a treasure so very extraordinary in value, it would make kings of those fortunate enough to live to find it. Norrec and his friends had journeyed there, entering the labyrinth in the dead of night without the knowledge of the local populace...

And after all their efforts, after battling strange beasts and narrowly avoiding deadly traps...they had found that someone else had stripped the underground maze of nearly anything of value. Only upon returning to the village had they learned the sorry truth, that a great champion had descended into the labyrinth but a few weeks before and supposedly slain the terrible demon, Diablo. He had taken no gold or jewels, but other adventurers who had arrived shortly thereafter had made good use of his handiwork, dealing with the lesser dangers and carrying off all they could find. But a few days' difference had left the trio with nothing to show for their efforts...

Norrec himself had also taken no consolation in the words of one villager of dubious sanity who had, as they had prepared to depart, warned that the champion, so-called the Wanderer, had not defeated Diablo but, rather, had accidently freed the foul evil. A questioning glance by Norrec toward Fauztin had been answered at first with an indifferent shrug by the Vizjerei sorcerer.

"There are always stories of escaping demons and terrible curses," Fauztin had added at the time, complete dismissal of the wild warning in his tone. "Diablo is generally in most of the favorites whispered among common folk."

"You don't think there's anything to it?" As a child, Norrec had grown up being scared by his elders with tales of Diablo, Baal, and other monsters of the night, all stories designed to make him be good.

Sadun Tryst had snorted. "You ever seen a demon yourself? Know anyone that had?"

Norrec had not. "Have you, Fauztin? They say Vizjerei can summon demons to do their bidding."

"If I could do that, do you think I would be scrounging in empty labyrinths and tombs?"

And that comment, more than anything else, had convinced Norrec then to chalk the villager's words down as yet another tall tale. In truth, it had not been hard to do. After all, the only thing that had mattered then to the three had been what mattered now -- wealth.

Unfortunately, it seemed more and more likely that once again those riches had eluded them.

As he peered down the passage, Fauztin's other gloved hand tightened around the spell staff he wielded. The jeweled top -- the source of their light -- flared briefly. "I had hoped I was wrong, but now I fear it is so. We are far from the first to delve this deep into this place."

The slightly graying fighter swore under his breath. He had served under many a commander in his life, most of them during the crusades from Westmarch, and from surviving those various campaigns -- often by the skin of his teeth -- he had come to one conclusion. No one could hope to rise in the world without money. He had made it as far as captain, been broken in rank thrice, then finally retired in disgust after the last debacle.

War had been Norrec's life since he had been old enough to raise a sword. Once, he had also had something of a family, but they were now as dead as his ideals. He still considered himself a decent man, but decency did not fill one's stomach. There had to be another way, Norrec had decided...

And so, with his two comrades, he had gone in search of treasure.

Like Sadun, he had his share of scars, but Norrec's visage otherwise resembled more that of a simple farmer. Wide brown eyes, with a broad, open face and a strong jaw, he would have looked at home behind a hoe. Yet, while that vision occasionally appealed to the sturdy veteran, he knew that he needed the gold to pay for that land. This quest should have led them to riches far beyond his needs, far beyond his dreams...

Now, it seemed as if it had all been a waste of time and effort...again.

Beside him, Sadun Tryst tossed his knife into the air, then expertly caught it at the hilt as it fell. He did this twice more, clearly thinking. Norrec could just imagine what he thought about. They had spent months on this particular quest, journeying across the sea to northern Kehjistan, sleeping in the cold and rain, following false trails and empty caves, eating whatever vermin they could find when other hunting proved scarce -- and all because of Norrec, the one who had instigated this entire fiasco.

Worse, this quest had actually come about because of a dream, a dream concerning a wicked mountain peak bearing some crude resemblance to a dragon's head. Had he dreamt of it only once, perhaps twice, Norrec might have forgotten the image, but over the years, it had repeated itself far too many times. Wherever he had fought, Norrec had watched for the peak, but to no avail. Then, a comrade -- later dead -- from these chill northern lands had made mention of such a place in passing. Ghosts were said to haunt it and men who traveled near the mountain often disappeared or were discovered years later, all flesh stripped from the shattered bones...

There and then, Norrec Vizharan had been certain that destiny had tried to call him here.

But if so -- why to a tomb already vandalized?

The entrance had been well hidden in the rock face, but definitely open to the outside. That should have been his first clue to the truth, yet Norrec had refused to even see the discrepancy. All his hopes, all his promises to his companions...

"Damn!" He kicked at the nearest wall, only his sturdy boot saving him from a few broken toes. Norrec threw his sword to the ground, continuing to curse his naïveté.

"There's some new general from Westmarch hiring on mercenaries," Sadun helpfully suggested. "They say he's got big ambitions..."

"No more war," muttered Norrec, trying not to show the pain coursing through his foot. "No more trying to die for other people's glory."

"I just thought -- "

The lanky sorcerer tapped the ground once with his staff, seeking the attention of both his earthier partners. "At this point, it would be foolish not to go on to the central chamber. Perhaps those who were here before us left a few baubles or coins. We did find a few gold coins in Tristram. Certainly it would not hurt to search a little longer, would it, Norrec?"

He knew that the Vizjerei only sought to assuage his friend's bitter emotions, but still the idea managed to take root in the veteran's mind. All he needed were a few gold coins! He was still young enough to take a bride, begin a new life, maybe even raise a family...

Norrec picked up his sword, hefting the weapon that had served him so well over the years. He had kept it cleaned and honed, taking pride in one of the few items truly his own. A look of determination spread across his visage. "Let's go."

"You've a way with words for one using so few," Sadun jested to the sorcerer as they started off.

"And you use so many words for one with so few things worth saying."

The friendly argument between his companions helped settle Norrec's troubled mind. It reminded him of other times, when, between the three of them, they had persevered through worse difficulties.

Yet, the talk died as they approached what surely had to be the last and most significant chamber. Fauztin... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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If you're new to Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, it's a great introduction and a fun read.
B. Thornton
Easy reading, able to make you forget about the time and simply lose yourself in wonderful world made by Blizzard folks.
-=BlackStrike=-
Casual reference to the Sin Wars help the reader tie in later books and really round out the story for the reader.
Sean M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean M. on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book to really bring Diablo fans back to the roots of the Diablo world. There is enough reference to the game to help the gamer tie the story into what they know, but enough difference to make it believeable that the story could have happened outside the boundaries of the game. One of the best collection of fantasy books I've read in a long time. Casual reference to the Sin Wars help the reader tie in later books and really round out the story for the reader. Definitely written for avid fans only, but worth the time and money if you qualify as an avid fan.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mijat Vujacic on May 28, 2009
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"Diablo Archive" is a collection of three novels and a short story, set in the world of Blizzard Entertainment's "Diablo" franchise. Although the tales feature some of the locations and characters from "Diablo I" and "Diablo II", they are on the whole unrelated to the source material, and therefore fully understandable to people who have never played the games.

Legacy of Blood - 2.5 Stars - written by Richard Knaak, this novel starts off with an interesting premise, but soon gets buried under a huge number of cardboard characters, idiotic plot developments, and terrible writing. It didn't suck per se (I've read much worse), but one thing's sure; I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

The Black Road - 5 Stars - written by Mel Odom, this is by far the best novel in this collection. Writing style is just right, the plot is interesting, and the story on the whole is excellent. The characterization in particular is far beyond what we regularly see in fantasy novels. The protagonist is a complicated young man with a troubled past and an uncertain future, whose internal struggle is no less important then his campaign against the forces of evil. Buyard Cholik, a priest who has sold his soul to Hell, suffers from all of the human doubts and uncertainties, and has understandable motives for his actions. Even the demon Kabraxis possesses a genuine personality, with his own unique understanding of humanity, as well as motives that go far beyond the mindless bloodthirstiness that is so often the trademark of fantasy devils. The ending of "The Black Road" is particularly enjoyable, as it pits moral pragmatism against moral absolutism, leaving the reader to decide whether the ending was good or bad. A quality book, indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gene Simmons on September 1, 2008
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This is a paperback compilation of 4 books from the Diablo universe. For those of you who have not played the Diablo games, these books are pretty much D&D like stories with emphasis on demons and magic.

I enjoyed this book overall, but I was mildly disappointed that there were not more references made to the games. A cameo from one of the games' characters ,here and there, would have been nice. Still, it is well written with good detail .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By -=BlackStrike=- on November 15, 2008
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An excellent (and cheap) compilation for all of us Diablo fans out there. Easy reading, able to make you forget about the time and simply lose yourself in wonderful world made by Blizzard folks. Worth every cent and my sincere recommendation for purchase!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Moore on February 17, 2009
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I very much enjoy that they combined the first few books into one book greatly saving cost to the consumer. I wish they had done that before I had already bought the first 2 books. I'm currently reading the 3rd book in the series, so far it's decently written but rarely connects to the Diablo universe. Book one gives you background information on Bartuc (a minor miniboss in D2) and has a necromancer in it. Book 2 mentions the prime evils. Book 3 mentions the prime evils and has a necromancer in it. I would have enjoyed it tied in a bit more, but regardless it's fun reading if you like sword and sorcery.
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By JD Kell on January 18, 2014
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There is a lot of awesome fan created fiction and some terrible stuff. They included what looks like fan fiction (not Richard Knaak that guy is kick A). If you like the games and can stomach some added canon then I fully recommend this for you. I loved the games when I was younger and there was nothing better than getting some extra story to hold onto.
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By Chalupa Batman on September 24, 2013
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This is a collection of four Diablo books. That you already know if you are looking at this book's description. What you don't know is there is one book other than the Sin Trilogy book that this leaves out. The Moon of the Spider should have been put into this book as well so it would have been completion aside of the Sin War trilogy.

Even with out it.. this book is still really huge. It is so big in fact that it's really intimidating. I have only managed to read one of the four stories but eventually I want to get through them all. It's just going to take a while.
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This book is a great read and is well worth the price! You can't get this collection on your kindle, and it is one of the few "real" paper bound books that I own. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy settings and the diablo video games!
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