Battle for Azeroth leaves us with many questions about Sylvanas, and with the death of N'Zoth in Patch 8.3, we have a lot of narrative ground to cover as we transition from Old Gods back to the realm of Death. Now, in a reveal by Blizzard Watch, we've learned that the novel Shadows Rising will serve as the prequel for Shadowlands, covering what's next for Sylvanas, the Alliance, and Horde. (Initial plot spoilers ahead.)
Shadows Rising is by Madeleine Roux, author of World of Warcraft: Traveler / The Shining Blade, and scheduled to release on July 14th, 2020. This is similar timing to Before the Storm, the prequel novel for Battle for Azeroth, which launched on June 12th ahead of the expansion on August 14th.
In the book summary shared by Blizzard Watch, we learn that:
Anduin sends Alleria and Turalyon to find Sylvanas
Sylvanas orders Sira Moonwarden and Nathanos Blightcaller to kill Bwonsamdi, the loa of death
Talanji survives an assassination attempt, and she and Zekhan work together to save BwonsamdiKeep in mind that during Battle for Azeroth, Bwonsamdi made it clear he disliked Sylvanas, and offered Talanji the chance to kill Sylvanas in the tests leading up to the Zandalari coronation.
You can also read a juicy excerpt on Blizzard Watch, detailing the attempt on Talanji's life.
Shadows Rising Book Summary
“The Horde is nothing!” With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance race to uncover her next move, including her own sister, Alleria. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas’s whereabouts. The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest. Thrall, Lor’themar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof, First Arcanist Thalyssra, and many other familiar faces rise to this new challenge. But the threats are numerous, and the distrust runs too deep. When the council is derailed by a failed assassination attempt on Talanji, the Zandalari queen and a key ally, Thrall and the rest of the Horde leaders are forced into action. They empower the young troll shaman Zekhan, still grieving the loss of Varok Saurfang, with a critical mission to aid Talanji and help uncover the rising threat against her. Meanwhile, Nathanos Blightcaller and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked by the Dark Lady with a terrifying gambit: to kill the troll loa of death himself, Bwonsamdi. As Zekhan and Talanji work to save Bwonsamdi, their journey will be a key turning point in bolstering the Horde against the coming darkness and finding themselves along the way. Failure to save their allies and the trickster god will surely doom the Horde, but through success, they may rediscover what makes the Horde strong.