Book Review: “The Sin War: Book Three: The Veiled Prophet”Posted: February 6, 2012
The Sin War is a trilogy of books that takes place within the “universe” of the Diablo games. All three were written by Richard Knaak, an author whose writing I always enjoy. According to the Diablo Wiki, everything that happens in The Sin War Trilogy takes place around 3000 years before the darkening of Tristram. Or, if you like, it takes place before the Tristram that you knew when you were playing the original Diablo game.
The Sin War: The Veiled Prophet is the final book in the trilogy, and it was published in 2007. You might remember that 2007 was also the year that the second book in the trilogy, The Sin War: Scales of the Serpent, was published. After waiting for a year in between when the first book, The Sin War: Birthright, was released, and when the second book in the trilogy was out, it was refreshing to not have to wait quite so long this time in order to see how the story ended.
I would highly recommend that you read this trilogy in order. There are some series where each book can truly stand on its own. This is not the case with The Sin War. This trilogy feels like one, long, story, that was split into three parts. You really do need to know what happened in the first two books in order to fully comprehend the significance of what happens in the third.
The beginning of The Sin War: The Veiled Prophet takes place not long after the events that occurred at the end of The Sin War: The Scaled Serpent. It might be impossible to review this book without accidentally giving away the smallest of “spoilers”, but I will try and minimize it as best I can. I want you to enjoy the book as much as I did, and be just as surprised by the events that unfold.
At the start of the book, we have Uldyssian, the main character of the series. The people who have joined him have become very much like an army. Each one has become more powerful. This is leading many, including Uldyssian himself, to become a bit careless, and somewhat overconfident, in their abilities. Only his brother, Mendeln, seems to be aware of the dangers inherent under those circumstances.
Uldyssian’s army is about to attack the last remaining structure of the force that they had been fighting in the first two books. By now, I think that most people who are interested in the lore of the Diablo games is aware that Sanctuary, the world that these stories take place in, is desired by both the angels of the High Heavens and the demons of the Burning Hells.
By book three, it appears that one of those two sides has been vanquished. One would assume that the rest of the book would involve a battle between the remaining force, and Uldyssian’s army. What actually happens is more complex then that. This is where the mage clans step into the story. Previous to Uldyssian, it was the mage clans that held a great deal of power, (both magical and political). Needless to say, they are not thrilled by what has been happening.
I won’t say how the book ends, other than to note that the ending wasn’t what I expected to read. This is fitting, though, in a trilogy that is filled with unexpected twists and turns, and characters who are not what, or who, they appear to be. The Diablo “universe” includes both angels and demons. They don’t equate to “good” and “evil”, but rather as “order” and “chaos”. Neither side can be entirely trusted.
One more thing.. after you get to the end of The Veiled Prophet, go back, and re-read the prologue. You will find that it holds more meaning than it did before you started reading this book.