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Uncovering the Sea of Sorrows Novel

David North Posted:
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ArenaNet has done an amazing job giving Guild Wars 2 rich lore to help make the world feel alive.  As players adventure through the land of Tyria, they find pieces of history, helping to connect the game to the original series.  But there are hundreds of years between the games, so what happened in the time between them?  Luckily we have some great novels to come in and tell us the tale.  The newest novel, Sea of Sorrows written by Ree Soesbee, takes readers to the past, 150 years before the events of Guild Wars 2.

Readers will meet the character Cobiah Marriner, a young boy trying to protect his younger sister, and deal with an abusive mother as they try to live in Lion’s Arch.  A terrible event strikes his family, causing Cobiah to leave Lion’s Arch to live a new life on the high seas.  It is on the danger filled waters we see the young boy who worked at the docks become a hero.

The type of art we saw during the games development is featured on the cover.

Now don’t worry, this isn’t just another story about an adventurer growing up in a fantasy world.  Sea of Sorrows shows us a dark event in Tyria's history, one that directly affects the game world of Guild Wars 2.  I’m not going to give too much away, but just in case, spoiler alert!

Through the eyes of Cobiah readers will witness the rise of Orr.  The story shows us the destruction of Lion’s Arch and the creation of Zhaitan’s undead weapons. Cobiah must now face his past so he can rebuild Lion’s Arch to bring hope for a better future where all the races can come and call Lion’s Arch their city!  These moments in history are perhaps the most important in the entire history of Tyria.  The game always told us it was a dark time, but now we get the chance to see what really happened.

Even though Orr is a land of death, it has a ton of history. 

Sea of Sorrows is a great book, but there’s another tale to be told.  When Ree Soesbee was writing, she went to great lengths to keep the story connected to the lore of Tyria she helped establish.  In fact, all the authors of the Guild Wars novels worked together to make sure they all followed the lore we see cannon in the game today.  So don’t think this is just some random story, this tale is directly connected to Guild Wars 2.  In fact, there are several Easter Eggs throughout the game that originate from this story.  To help connect the book to the game even more, you can expect to see some live events in the Living Story pop up.   Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open to catch these connections.

To help connect the book to the game, Soesbee did a ton of fact checking.  To help describe Lion’s Arch being rebuilt, she went through and walked around Lion’s Arch in game to make sure every detail was exact.  To even explain how certain characters fought, Soesbee made sure to use moves, skills, and weapons that will sound familiar so players could connect them to certain professions.  As cool as it would be to have a necromancer swing a great sword around, that would go against the rules of the game.

The part that really makes this story special is that it takes place in the Sea of Sorrows.  Much of the story takes place on ships, and shows us a part of adventuring we can’t experience in the game.  This allowed Soesbee to think of new things, like how Asuran ships would magically travel over water.  It also takes place in the past when the Charr and Humans are still at war.  The Sylvari are also absent from the book, because they haven’t been born into the world yet.  We get to see how things use to be, which makes you appreciate the relationships the races have now even more.

Sea of Sorrows is bound to be a great read for fans, taking you through important events in the history of Tyria.  As Soesbee continues to write for the game, you never know when she will be inspired to dig deeper into the lore, and I’m hoping that means we will see more novels in the future.  It’s a great way to expand on the world, as we are seeing other great franchises releasing novels as well.  I just want to give a big thank you to Ree Soesbee, not just for sharing another great story with us, but for taking the time to talk to us press and answering our bombardment of questions. Be sure to look out for the book June 25th at your nearest book store.  If you prefer digital copies you can get yours on the Kindle market.  Check it out!

David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com.  David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them!  If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.

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David North