This book was part of Scholastic's "Worlds of Power" series of junior novels that took various NES games and made novelizations based on them. Some were way off the mark (see Castlevania II: Simon's Quest), others were close but no cigar (see Metal Gear), others were later adapted into future installments of the game (see Blaster Master), but "Before Shadowgate"...
"Before Shadowgate" is unique because Dave & Karl actually had a hand in the writing of this book. That makes this book "canon" to ALL of Shadowgate.
The book was written by Ellen Miles (one of the authors who used the collective pen name "F.X. Nine" for the Worlds of Power series). However, while she was writing it, Dave & Karl worked with her to make sure she had their "Shadowgate Bible" if you will that detailed everything about the World of Shadowgate. They gave her an outline of events that led up to the original game as they had envisioned, and she took that outline and wrote the rest to make a complete book.
It's not College-level English class reading level, but it IS canon and accurate in its telling of what happened before Shadowgate starts.
A Stretch Funding goal of ours would be to include scenes and narration that detail these events at the start of the game, and also probably expand on them during the game as well (however Dave & Karl want to do it). But like I said before, we can't go into details until after we cross the goal.
Wasn't a bad read,especially if you had some Shadowgate music playing while reading it....though,I have to point out that the book's story seemed an awful lot like LotR in how the story was delivered,but still a worthwhile read to the avid Shadowgate fan