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The Diablo: The Sin War #1: Birthright: Birthright: Birthright Bk. 1 [Kindle Edition]

Richard A. Knaak
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $7.09
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
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Book Description

Since the beginning of time, the angelic forces of the High Heavens and the demonic hordes of the Burning Hells have been locked in an eternal conflict for the fate of all Creation. That struggle has now spilled over into Sanctuary -- the world of men. Determined to win mankind over to their respective causes, the forces of good and evil wage a secret war for mortal souls. This is the tale of the Sin War -- the conflict that would forever change the destiny of man.

Three thousand years before the darkening of Tristram, Uldyssian, son of Diomedes, was a simple farmer from the village of Seram. Content with his quiet, idyllic life, Uldyssian is shocked as dark events rapidly unfold around him. Mistakenly blamed for the grisly murders of two traveling missionaries, Uldyssian is forced to flee his homeland and set out on a perilous quest to redeem his good name. To his horror, he has begun to manifest strange new powers -- powers no mortal man has ever dreamed of. Now, Uldyssian must grapple with the energies building within him -- lest they consume the last vestiges of his humanity.

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.


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 labors. 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.

It was ironic that the son of Diomedes prayed for the stranger to keep away, for what stood waiting for Uldyssian to look up was none other than a missionary from the Cathedral of Light. Resplendent in his collared silver-white robes -- resplendent save for the ring of Seramian mud at the bottom -- he no doubt awed many a fellow villager of Uldyssian's. However, his presence did nothing but dredge up terrible memories for the farmer, who now angrily fought to keep his stare fixed on the mug.

"Have you seen the Light, my brother?" the figure finally asked when it was clear that his potential convert planned to continue to ignore him. "Has the Word of the great Prophet touched your soul?"

"Find someone else," Uldyssian muttered, his free hand involuntarily tightening into a fist. He finally took a gulp of his ale, hoping that his remark would end the unwanted conversation. However, the missionary was not to be put off.

Setting a hand on the farmer's forearm -- and thereby keeping the ale from again touching Uldyssian's lips -- the pale young man said, "If not yourself alone, think of your loved ones! Would you forsake their souls as -- "

The farmer roared, his face red with a rage no longer held in check. In a single motion, Uldyssian leapt up and seized the startled missionary by the collar. As the table tipped over, the ale fell and splattered on the planked floor, unnoticed by its former drinker. Around the room, other patrons, including a few rare travelers passing through, eyed the confrontation with concern and interest . . . and from experience chose to keep out of it. Some of the locals, who knew the son of Diomedes well, shook their heads or muttered to one another at the newcomer's poor choice of subjects.

The missionary was a hand taller than Uldyssian, no small man himself at just over six feet, but the broadshouldered farmer outweighed him by half again as much and all of that muscle from day after day of tilling the soil or seeing to the animals. Uldyssian was a square-jawed man with the bearded, rough-hewn features typical of the region west of the great city-state of Kehjan, the "jewel" of the eastern half of the world. Deep-brown eyes burned into the more pale ones of the gaunt -- and surprisingly young -- features of the Cathedral's proselytizer.

"The souls of most of my family are beyond the Prophet's gathering, brother! They died nearly ten years ago, all to plague!"

"I shall s-say a prayer for . . . for them -- "

His words only served to infuriate Uldyssian, who had himself prayed for his parents, his elder brother, and his two sisters constantly over the months through which they had suffered. Day and night -- often with no sleep in between -- he had first prayed to whatever power watched over them that they recover, then, when that no longer seemed a hope, that their deaths would be swift and painless.

And that prayer, too, had gone unanswered. Uldyssian, distraught and helpless, had watched as, one by one, they died in anguish. Only he and his youngest brother, Mendeln, had survived to bury the rest.

Even then there had been missionaries and even then they had talked of the souls of his family and how their particular sects had the answers to everything. To a one, they had promised Uldyssian that, if he followed their particular path, he would find peace over his loved ones' losses.

But Uldyssian, once a devout believer, had very vocally denounced each and every one of them. Their words rang hollow and his refusals seemed later justified when the missionaries' sects faded away as surely as each season on the farm.

But not all. The Cathedral of Light, though only of recent origin, seemed far stronger than most of its predecessors. Indeed, it and the longer-established Temple of the Triune seemed to be quickly becoming the two dominant forces seeking the souls of Kehjan's people. To Uldyssian, the fervent enthusiasm with which both sought out new converts bordered on a strenuous competition much in conflict with their spiritual messages.

And that was yet another reason Uldyssian would have no part of either.

"Pray for yourself, not for me and mine," he growled. The missionary's eyes bulged as Uldyssian easily hefted him by the collar off the floor.

The squat, balding figure behind the counter slipped out to intervene. Tibion was several years senior and no match against Uldyssian, but he had been Diomedes's good friend and so his words had effect on the furious farmer. "Uldyssian! Mind my establishment if'n you can't mind yourself, eh?"

Uldyssian hesitated, the proprietor's words cutting through his anguish. His gaze swept from the pale face before him to Tibion's round one, then back again.

A frustrated scowl still on his face, he let the figure in his grip drop in an undignified heap on the floor.

"Uldyssian -- " Tibion started.

But the son of Diomedes did not wait to hear the rest. Hands shaking, he strode out of the Boar's Head, his heavy, worn leather boots clattering hard on the well-trod planks. Outside, the air was crisp, which helped soothe Uldyssian some. Almost immediately, he began to regret his actions within. Not the reasons for them, but that he had acted so before many of those who knew him . . . and not for the first time.

Still, the presence of the Cathedral's acolyte in Seram grated on his heart. Uldyssian was now a man who only believed in what his eyes showed him and what his hands could touch. He could see the changes in the sky and so tell when he needed to rush his work in the field or whether time enough remained to complete his task at a more moderate pace. The crops his work brought forth from the soil fed him and others. These were things he could trust, not the muttered praying of clerics and missionaries that had done nothing for his family but give them false hope.

Seram was a village of some two hundred folk, small by many standards, of reasonable size by others. Uldyssian could have paced its length in as many breaths, if that much. His farm lay two miles to the north of Seram. Once a week, Uldyssian went into the village to get what supplies he needed, always allowing himself the short break for food and drink at the tavern. His meal he had eaten and his ale was lost, which left only his tasks to complete before he departed again.

In addition to the tavern, which also acted as an inn, there were only four other buildings of consequence in Seram -- the meeting house, the trading station, the village Guard quarters, and the smithy. All shared the same general design as the rest of the structures of Seram, with the roofs pointed and thatched, and the bodies wooden planks over a frame whose base was built of several layers of stone and clay. As was typical in most areas under the influence of Kehjan, the windows of each were arched sharply at the top and always numbered three on a side. In truth, from a distance it was impossible to tell one building from another.

Mud caked his boots as he walked, Seram too provincial to have paved streets or even stone ones. There was a small, dry path to the opposite side from where Uldyssian trod, but at the moment, he had no patience for it and, besides, as a farmer, he was used to being one with the soil.

At the eastern edge of Seram -- and thus nearest to Kehjan -- stood the trading station. The station was, other than the tavern, the busiest of places in Seram. Here it was that locals brought in their goods to trade for other necessities or to even sell to passing merchants. When there were new items in stock, a blue banner would be raised by the doorway up front, and as he approached, Uldyssian saw Cyrus's night-tressed daughter, Serenthia, doing just that. Cyrus and his family had run the trading station for four generations and were among the most prominent of families in the village, although they dressed no more fancy than anyone else. The trader did not look down on his customers, who were also, for the most part, his neighbors. Serenthia, for example, was clad in a simple cloth dress of brown, cut modestly at the bodice and whose bottom hem ended just above the ankle. Like most villagers, she wore sensible boots designed for both riding and walking through the muddy ruts in the main street.

"Something of interest?" he called to Serenthia, trying to focus on other matters in order to forget both the incident and the images from the past it had conjured up.

Cyrus's daughter turned at the sound of his voice, her thick, long hair fluttering about. With her bright blue eyes, ivory skin, and naturally red lips, Uldyssian felt certain that all she needed was a proper gown to allow her to compete with the best of the blue-blood females in Kehjan itself. The unadorned dress did not hide her curves, nor did it detract in any way from the graceful manner in which she somehow moved regardless of the terrain.

"Uldyssian! Have you been here all day?"

There was that in her tone that all but made the farmer grimace. Serenthia was more than a decade younger than him and he had seen her grow up from a child to a woman. To him, she was nearly one of the sisters that he had lost. However, to her, Uldyssian evidently seemed much more. She had turned down the attentions of younger and more affluent farmers than him, not to mention the flirtations of several visiting merchants. The only other man in whom she showed any interest was Achilios, Uldyssian's good friend and the best hunter in Seram, but whether that was because of his ties to the farmer, it was difficult to say.

"I arrived just ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 267 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743471229
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (September 26, 2006)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,342 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as a reader of the book... October 26, 2008
Format:Kindle Edition
the first book in the sin war trilogy was a decent starter book to the trilogy. i know there are some poo-pooers saying that knaak`s work in this was lacking. however, i`d like to tell potential buyers that this book is a pretty good ride, through and through, and well worth your money. the tension throughout is palpable, the mystery intense. read the sample and see what i mean...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow to unfold however a satisfying read June 7, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I personally found this story not to be as exiting as other books Knakk has written however it is a fun journey.

The story is very slow to unfold thus creating a small boredom factor in certain parts of the book. However as you near the middle of the book you are forced to read on as the twists and turns within the story lines leave many questions unanswered which is always something to look forward to.

I will read the other books in this series as i want these unfull filled questions to finally have an answer. great travel book but by far not the best ive read.

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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid December 7, 2010
By Cwbys21
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first want to say, I didn't intend on writing a review for these books. But between just finishing the third book, the impending release of the next game they are based on, and the small number of reviews up here, I figured I should review it to give some more feedback to fans of the game on whether this is worth their time and money. I would also like to say I am a big fan of Blizzard's games, and have read now all the Diablo and Starcraft books. I'm going to copy and paste this review across all three books, but don't worry, I won't give you any spoilers (not that there is much to give).

To get right down to it, the books are based on a man named Uldyssian, his brother Mendeln, and a woman named Serenthia and their fight for freedom for their world basically from angels and demons. The angels and demons have set up followings in the world of Sanctuary to recruit worshipers. It sounds interesting, the execution was poor. Uldyssian and Serenthia basically have a magic power that allows them to do whatever they want, and all they have to do is think it hard enough. Mendeln is pretty much the first necromancer and while his magic isn't the, "just think it hard enough" type, he just magically has the right words pop out of his mouth to get the job done with very little actual training. The ties into the actual games themselves are pretty slim and as a stand alone to someone who hasn't played the games, the books don't hold up well and they add hardly anything to the lore of the universe itself.

The first book is decent, but slow. The second book is slow and slightly less decent. The third book is slow, and the ending is atrocious. I can't say much more without spoiling the ending unfortunately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for Diablo fans October 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It has some interesting characters and a pretty engaging story. Fun read for Diablo fans who are really into the lore of the games
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diablo August 10, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're into the Diablo lore, great place to start.

Never read the author's other books, but as said by some of the other readers, he uses "Son of Diomedes" far too much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting! October 4, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I haven't really ever played the Diablo games. Playing for a good 20 minutes on Diablo II 10 years ago doesn't count.

That being said, you don't need to be a fan of the games or have played through them to enjoy/understand this story!

The story is very rich and never dull. I can't recall a single moment where I was bored. The storyline has me hooked, never faltering! Only complaint on the story is predictability. You can definitely see the plot twists before they're fully revealed. I was still anxious and excited to see them unfold.

The characters all have distinct personalities, and none of them are ever neglected. However, I still was never emotionally attached to any of them. They're still interesting regardless.

I really recommend this book, even for those who have not played the games. It's shortcomings are very small, while the overall book is thoroughly enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 10, 2014
By Paul
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Richard is an awesome writer
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2.0 out of 5 stars was very disappointed as a huge diablo fan June 4, 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
i have been a long time fan of diablo games and wasnt even aware there was a book series based on the string of games until recently...i must say i may have been better off not knowing at this point. the story line that runs along with the games is great and really draws you in to keep playing over and over to relive the experience. these books dont meet the diablo story standards by any means. i have read hundreds of books i enjoyed, but was disappointed in how slow the story goes and doesnt even really have anything to do with the game at all, other than the war over sanctuary by angels and demons and some character name drops from the games. this is a completely off course story that seemed forced to stretch what was already an amazing story but failed miserably. in my opinion the author seemed like he was writing more of a "teen" story with juvenile writing that also disappointed. i may give one more book a try that has been recommended by other readers of the later part of the holding hope for 1 good book somewhere in the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Beginning of a Long Journey
As a fanatic of the Diablo universe I must piece together a time line of events. This book is a start.
Published 4 months ago by erik
5.0 out of 5 stars FAST!
Book came fast and was cheap! Couldn't ask for a better deal! Nothing compares to a great deal! Thank you Richard A. Knaak!
Published 6 months ago by Francis Maney
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
One of the best books ive read ive been a diablo fan since the game first came out and I can say I think the books are a great way to understand the game
Published 7 months ago by James MellingerJR
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I like the mythos of Diablo and I enjoyed reading this book. The trilogy fits the themes of American Naturalism well despite the quasi happy ending of the series. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Chalupa Batman
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Was a little slow to get started, and the author held onto "secrets" that I'm sure most readers have long ago figured out, a little too long. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Brett M. Cook
3.0 out of 5 stars For what it is, it ain't bad!
Bought this leading up to the release of Diablo III. Not a bad book at all. I have played all of the Diablo games extensively and this is a nice peak into that universe. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jacob W. Carlson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
great book, it tells the history behind diablo 1, also helps to understand the events on diablo 3. I recommend this for every fan of the series, also the author is a great writer.
Published 23 months ago by Paulo Vitor Sato
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect by any means, but the flaws are largely subjective...
Overall, I enjoyed this book and do not regret purchasing it at all. I have avoided the Diablo and Warcraft tie-in novels for a long time because I had heard terrible reviews of... Read more
Published on June 18, 2012 by Noah Ahmed
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Diablo Novel
It is awesome! I love you! Blizzard! Just buy it! That is what I say!
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Published on November 27, 2011 by Smith
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More 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.

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