Blizzplanet Review: Diablo III: Book of Cain

Materials | Review | Press Letter | Content List | Credits | Gallery

Diablo III: Book of Cain is the official Diablo universe lore source book written by Flint Dille (The Transformers) with the collaborative assistance of Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson and Matt Burns from the Blizzard Entertainment Creative Team.

Blizzplanet got a copy of Diablo III: Book of Cain, courtesy of Insight Editions and its publicity manager, Carlie Demelo. Special thanks to her for the giveaway copies for our visitors.

I’ll begin the review of Diablo III: Book of Cain. Take a seat, and buckle up.

Materials

Insight Editions took very special care of the publishing process, production and appearance aspect of Diablo III: Book of Cain.

When you hold this book on your hand, you will notice the excellent care to details over its materials. The cover has the Diablo skull and all the stylish ornamental embroidery. All the outer-edge of the skull and the ornamental images are embossed. Embossing is made by letterpress machines which raise the level of the image using pressure and heat. The eyes and mouth are debossed causing a recession or hole appearance. You can feel the lines and holes with your fingers making the Diablo skull design sort of 3D, both visually and tactile. The cover treatment is a matte finish with both embossing and debossing.

The red rectangle with the Diablo III: Book of Cain logo is actually not part of the cover itself. It’s a separate removable paper, or belly band, wrapped around the cover flaps. The belly band is loose on the front cover, but it’s firmly held on the back cover.

What’s holding the belly band tight there? An envelope glued on the interior of the back cover, with a sticker in the shape of a candle seal. The candle seal resembles the image shown in page 145, which I’m guessing is the symbol of the Great Families of Xiansai (I might be wrong).

“What’s in this envelope?” — you ask. Within the envelope is a folded poster of the Sanctuary Map. The map itself is a die cut with irregular edges along its border — obviously a real-life old scroll replica.

When you see the side of the book where all the pages are, and pass your finger through its thickness, you will feel a sandy texture on your fingertips. It looks like rugged cardboard to give it a old paper feel of ancient scrolls.

Taking a single page between my fingers, I could see what gave that texture. The edge of each single page has been cut in irregular shapes giving it a feathered appearance. If you slide your finger along the edge of the page you won’t feel the straight line cut of normal pages, it’s a rugged surface. I’m told this is known as deckled edges.

Each page has a yellow-orange 2D texture to resemble papyrus or ancient scroll paper.

Insight Editions wanted this book to delicately resemble a real world replica of the in-game Book of Cain item. I’m completely astonished with the material and printing processes of Diablo III: Book of Cain. This is a book leaking design excellence, as you would always expect from a Blizzard licensed product.

Quick Look Inside

Usually, books have a page with the name of the publisher, the writer and all the credits, the publishing year and copyright notices, and even a introduction message or dedicatory. Blizzard licensed books, in specific, usually have a glossary and/or reference list telling you all the books where determined topics originate from in continuity in the last pages.

Insight Edition went in a different direction.

The first page says: “Take heed, and bear witness to the truths that lie within. For they are the last legacy of the Horadrim.”

There’s no credit page, or copyright notices nor a content list in the initial pages.

You will see the title … Diablo III: Book of Cain in the initial pages; where the only thing written is: “text by Flint Dille” and “Insight Editions”.

After that page comes the letter addressed to Leah by Deckard Cain which she is meant to read after his death. This is the page Insight Editions recently shared in public during the 12 Days of Diablo III: Book of Cain. That was only page one of three. The letter offers more details.

At the end of the book you will see another letter to Leah. Finally, the last page contains the copyright notices and credits.

Materials | Review | Press Letter | Content List | Credits | Content List | Gallery

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet’s patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.

Facebook Twitter YouTube 

  • Great review, thanks for your time.

    You still have books to give away?

  • Anonymous

    Welcome. I think I have about six books left for giveaways. I’ll give away two per week until they are depleted. Talking about that, I have to check out last week’s giveaway. I think the deadline was yesterday, which mean I gotta announce the next one.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent overview on the lore and art MD! Definitely egger to get my paws on this now.

    Just a quick request though as I wait for my copy: did ‘Book of Cain’ elaborate any new Angel individuals outside the Angiris Council and Inarius? (e.g. angelic counterpart to Hellforge and Hephasto) Or at least had done some fleshing out backstory for Hadriel, Yaerius, and the Overlords? Plus where any more Great Evil underlings (or demon lords) noted past Diablo’s favored one Astrogha?

  • Anonymous

    There were no other angels mentioned outside of the Angiris Council, but Inarius is mentioned in the “Creation of Sanctuary” section, and in other sections. No luck on the angelic counterpart of Hellforge and Hephasto. Nothing about Hadriel, Yaerius and the Overlords — not sure why not. Astrogha ain’t mentioned either. I think all of this you have mentioned would have been nice to be added to the book, as well as some history of the previous novels such as Ureh, Zayl the necromancer, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the reply, though it indeed a bit rather disappointing they were not included. I thought at least the Butcher’s backstory and his kind he would’ve been research by Cain as the demon did play a horrific chapter in his life. In extension the D2 Adventurers speaking with Cain of the other overlord Hephasto, among fallen Izual and Hadriel. Maybe Cain or Leah have a follow up tome that cover these topics in-depth when Blizzard intend to takes us directly back into Hell once more. Inarius usurping Hell expansion?

    BTW it may old news to you MD, but nonetheless I just notice Rakkis (founder of Westmarch, mentioned in ‘Moon of the Spider’) been mention in the Immortal King armor set lore.

  • Andrew C

    I believe there was a reference to Diablo’s soulstone in one of the ending cut scenes in Diablo 2, in which it was smashed.