Author: Richard A. Knaak
Release Date: 7/30/2002
MSRP: $7.99 (Paperback, Digital)
For Fans Of: Diablo, Dead City’s, Black Magic
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
The Good: An overall interesting premise that has iniquity to it
The Bad: Boring and bland characters, unexciting climax, stretched too thin and is too long
This being my three of four Diablo books for the celebration of Diablo III, The Kingdom of Shadow will be a quickly forgotten title. Probably the most disappointing read so far, the book over stays its welcome in my hands with a tale that stretches on far too long with too much filler and a plot that doesn’t really go anywhere. You follow a band of mercenaries whose leader is the forefront of the story along with a Vizjerei wizard. He has hired them to protect him while he discovers the city of Ureh that has been lost to shadow and time. They find out the tale of the city and a necromancer comes along to help them. Even though Dumond is the main character of the tale I found Zale to be more interesting than the typical vanilla protagonist. With that said, the rest of the characters are just as boring with really no life or soul to them.
The entire story is about these men stuck in a city’s soul that is lost in limbo while the king has them help him bring it to the mortal plane. There’s a predictable twist in the tale that is given away far too early, and the climax is unexciting and rather bland. Like the last three novels it rarely feels like a Diablo tale, but more of a generic fantasy novel with demons, spells, and treachery. This book reminded me of countless cheesy Sci-Fi channel mini-series that my mom used to watch. A lot of the times the book bored me and I had a really hard time getting through it. 352 pages is too long for something like this because it seems the author is just stretching the story paper-thin to make it longer. He could have shortened it up and cut a lot the filler out which would have made it more interesting.
Overall, The Kingdom of Shadow is a disappointing and boring Diablo novel that even hardcore fans will have a hard time getting through. The book rarely mentions Diablo or anything from the universe except a Vizjerei and a necromancer of Rathma. Richard A. Knaak is just a boring and generic fantasy author at best so just stay away unless you are truly that bored.