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Diablo: Book of Cain – Book Review

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Diablo Book of Cain Book Review
Diablo Book of Cain Book Review

I am a sucker for books in general, but books that expound on the back story and universe of my favourite games series’ are a particular weakness of mine. 

Imagine my excitement then when I heard that Titan Books, purveyors of fine books on a variety of video game subjects, announced that there were going to be two new books based on Blizzard Entertainment’s, Diablo III. The first of these, entitled Diablo: Book of Cain is now in my hot little hands, and so I hope to share with you, dear reader, a taster of what is on offer. Let’s go back to Sanctuary, shall we?

Now, the book in question is a good looking object to have in your hands, first off. A hardcover book, there is an embossed cover depicting what I assume is Diablo himself, and it looks very good indeed. Opening the book leads to further delights, as this is presented as if it was written by the venerable Deckard Cain himself. Just leafing through the book, it is clear that there has been a lot of thought gone into making this an accurate record of events as seen by Deckard, and the large number of hand drawn pictures and messy scrawling makes it feel like a journal written for the purposes of educating his niece, Leah. Of course, we all know how that ends up…

The contents of Diablo: Book of Cain are very interesting, to a video game nerd like me anyway!

What the book does is take the basic lore that we learn by playing through the game and then expands on that, fleshing out the back story and explaining in greater depth the characters and events that we see from our adventuring perspective. Starting at the very beginning, Deckard attempts to show Leah, and by extension us, where the Angels and Prime Evils came from, and then proceeds to give a rundown of the main players. Seeing profiles of Diablo, Mephisto and Baal, as well as the Lesser Evils is very interesting. The same being done for the Angiris Council members from the High Heavens gives us an insight into why they seem to be indifferent to the plight of humans in Sanctuary. 

The history and creation of Sanctuary itself is explained in great detail, and this ties into the fourth game in the series as well. The world was formed as a result of a revolt by angels and demons coming together to try and bring an end to the Eternal Conflict. As a result, Inarius, an angel, and Lillith, a demon (who we see a lot more of in the fourth game) fell in love. The result of their forbidden love was a race known as the Nephalem, and these creatures, which went to become the basic humans living in the world, apparently have the potential to become more powerful than either set of parents. 

Luckily for the world, despite certain Nephalem having their powers awakened and becoming very powerful indeed, the greatest of them all, Uldyssian, sacrificed himself for the sake of the world, locking away the powers from the rest of the people. After all, no one wants Sanctuary to become a battleground for the forces of angels and demons, do they?

The writings and research of Deckard then move to cover a vast swathe of the history of the world, from the beginnings of religion, through the Mage Wars, to the founding of the Horadrim, who act as keepers of the knowledge that we need to turn the tide, if we are to avoid The End of Days. Yes, with capitals! All of this background is beautifully written, as if it was a journal being kept, and illustrated really nicely as well. There is a lot here I didn’t know, and I used to consider myself something of an authority on Diablo lore. 

I would have no hesitation in recommending Diablo: Book of Cain to anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of what is going on in the Diablo universe. It is full of information, presented really nicely with hand written excerpts and brilliant drawings. And it helps that it is a very readable book too. Sometimes books based on games can be a little dry and impenetrable, but that is not the case here.

In fact, the only drawback I could find is in the price, as there’s no easy way to say this – Diablo: Book of Cain will set you back some £27.99. As the book is only 148 pages long, and a lot of that is pictures, this seems a little steep. 

However, for the Diablo fan in your life, Diablo: Book of Cain is an ideal gift, and if that fan is you, then buy it for yourself! I can almost guarantee that there will be lore in here that you weren’t aware of, and having the background to events filled in is always satisfying. 

Keep an eye out for the second book review, Diablo: Book of Tyrael, coming soon!

Huge thanks go out to Titan Books for providing us with Diablo: Book of Cain for review. Grab a copy for yourself for £27.99. You’ll find it on Amazon too. 

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