The Burning Legion has been defeated, and eastern regions of Kalimdor are now shared by two nations: the orcs of Durotar, led by their noble Warchief, Thrall; and the humans of Theramore, led by one of the most powerful mages alive – Lady Jaina Proudmoore.
But the tentative peace between orcs and humans is suddenly crumbling. Random attacks against Durotar’s holdings suggest that the humans have renewed their aggression toward the orcs. Now Jaina and Thrall must avert disaster before old hatreds are rekindled – and Kalimdor is plunged into another devastating war.
Jaina’s search to uncover the truth behind the attacks leads her to a shocking revelation. Her encounter with a legendary, long – lost wizard will challenge everything that she believes and illuminate the secret history of the world of…
Keith R. A. DeCandido
Cycle of Hatred
To GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido,
Helga Borck, Ursula K. Le Guin,
Constance Hassett, Joanne Dobson,
And all the other women who taught me so much
Primary thanks must go to Blizzard Games guru Chris Metzen, whose contributions to everything Warcraft cannot be understated. Our phone conversations and e-mail exchanges were tremendously fruitful and full of an amazing creative energy.
Secondary thanks go to Marco Palmieri, my editor at Pocket Books, and his boss Scott Shannon, who both thought this would be a good idea; and to Lucienne Diver, my magnificent agent.
Tertiary thanks to the other Warcraft novelists, Richard Knaak, Jeff Grubb, and Christie Golden. In particular, Jeff’s The Last Guardian and Christie’s Lord of the Clans were very helpful with the characterizations of Aegwynn and Thrall, respectively.
Gratitude also to: the Malibu Gang, the Elitist Bastards, Novelscribes, Inkwell, and all the other mailing lists that keep my sanity by making me insane; CITH and CGAG; the folks at Palombo who
put up with me; Kyoshi Paul and the rest of the good folks at the dojo; and, as ever, the forebearance of those that live with me, both human and feline, for all the continued support.
This novel takes place one year prior to World of Warcraft. It is three years after the invasion by the Burning Legion and their defeat by the combined forces of the orcs, humans, and night elves (Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft 3X: The Frozen Throne).
Erik had been cleaning ale off the demon skull mounted behind the bar when the stranger walked in.
The Demonsbane Inn and Tavern didn’t usually get much by way of tourists. Rare was the day when Erik didn’t know the face of one of his patrons. More common was when he didn’t know their names – he only remembered their faces due to repeated exposure. Erik didn’t much care who came into his tavern, as long as they had coin and a thirst.
Sitting down at a table, the stranger seemed to be either waiting for something or looking for something. He wasn’t looking at the dark wooden walls – though you could barely see them, seeing as how the Demonsbane had no windows and illumination only from a couple of torches – or at the small round wooden tables and stools that festooned the floor. Erik never bothered to arrange the tables in any particular pattern, since folks would just go and move them around to suit themselves anyhow.
After a minute, the stranger got up and walked up to the wooden bar. “I’m trying to get some table service.”
“Don’t have none,” Erik said. He never saw the sense in paying good money for waiters. If folks wanted a drink, they could walk up to the bar.