Welcome to Part 2 of my guide to Warcraft books! If you missed it, Part 1 is here. Now we’re getting to the books set just before or during World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), which really just means you play with other people. You don’t have to do activities with other people, but the game world of populated with real players as well as game-created content, like enemies to kill and shopkeepers to buy stuff from. Some of my fondest online memories involve playing Warcraft with various friends over the years — I’m still friends with some of them!
I’m oversimplifying here, but Horde = orcs and Alliance = humans.
By the way, I realized that I forgot a book in my first post. Sorry! It’s a graphic novel, so it flew under my radar.
WARCRAFT: BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD by Paul Cornell. Goodreads.
As I just said, BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD is a graphic novel, and tells the story of Llane, Lothar, and Medivh. AKA the Alliance side of things. It’s the official graphic prequel to the movie, even though it’s set decades in the past. It’s a cool idea, to have both a graphic and a novel prequel. And that’s all I have to say about it, because I can’t find many sample pages to preview!
LEVEL 30: Books set during World of Warcraft
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #1: CYCLE OF HATRED by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Goodreads.
CYCLE OF HATRED is one of my least favorites in the universe. I remember feeling like the author didn’t have a good grip of Jaina or Thrall, both of whom are big characters in the game. In the book, Jaina (Alliance) and Thrall (Horde) are trying to avoid a fight between their factions, but a demon is trying to stir up trouble. My 1 star review.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #2: RISE OF THE HORDE by Christie Golden. Goodreads.
Another Christie Golden book! She overwrites sometimes, but it’s also super obvious that she plays the game. She always puts little details in her novels that players will recognize and appreciate. RISE OF THE HORDE details just that: the rise of the Horde. How the peaceful orcs changed into a warrior race. How the orcs got tricked by the Burning Legion. And why the orcs need a new world. My 5 star review.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #3: TIDES OF DARKNESS by Aaron Rosenberg. Goodreads.
TIDES OF DARKNESS is another one that didn’t impress me, but it still tells an important part of the Warcraft story. I personally didn’t like the author’s writing, but that’s because I read it just after Christie Golden’s RISE OF THE HORDE. Anywho! TIDES OF DARKNESS shows the formation of the Alliance as the different human nations (and dwarves and night elves) band together to fight the orcs and trolls. It’s the story of the Second War. My 2 star review.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #4: BEYOND THE DARK PORTAL by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden. Goodreads.
When you hit level 58 in Warcraft, you go to Outlands. Outlands is the broken form of the orcs homeworld, Draenor. BEYOND THE DARK PORTAL takes the heroes of the previous book, TIDES OF DARKNESS, and sends them to the orcs’ homeworld to try and stop villain Ner’zhul, because if they stop him, they think they can stop the Horde’s invasion of their own world, Azeroth. My 3 star review.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #5: NIGHT OF THE DRAGON by Richard A. Knaak. Goodreads.
Welcome back Krasus from the War of the Ancients trilogy! Richard A. Knaak is responsible for a lot of the dragon lore in Warcraft. NIGHT OF THE DRAGON is a follow-up to one of the books mentioned in Part 1, DAY OF THE DRAGON, so I’d advise reading that one first.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #6: ARTHAS: RISE OF THE LICH KING by Christie Golden. Goodreads.
ARTHAS: RISE OF THE LICH KING follows Arthas Menethil’s journey from heir to the throne of Lordaeron to the monstrous Lich King. If you play the game, chances are you’ve seen “Why is the Lich King’s mount called Invincible if I can still see it?” posted in /2 [Trade Chat]. Invincible is Arthas’ horse, and even the horse’s rise and fall is depicted in this book. My 3 star review.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #7: STORMRAGE by Richard A. Knaak. Goodreads.
If you play a druid, chances are you’ve heard of the Emerald Dream. In STORMRAGE, the Emerald Dream has been corrupted. Tyrande Whisperwind, leader of the night elves, must enter the Emerald Dream and save Malfurion Stormrage, her beloved and the first druid.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #8: THE SHATTERING: PRELUDE TO CATACLYSM by Christie Golden. Goodreads.
If you’re a new player to Warcraft, you’ll be hearing all this stuff about Warlords of Draenor or Legion, orcs, and demons, and the Iron Horde. Etc. But you’ll be hearing that stuff from other players/news sites, because in game, the big thing when you’re leveling is Deathwing. The Cataclysm expansion pack changed a lot of the leveling zones, but they haven’t been updated since ~2010. THE SHATTERING leads into that expansion pack, so it’ll give some background information.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #9: THRALL: TWILIGHT OF THE ASPECTS by Christie Golden. Goodreads.
After the events of THE SHATTERING, Thrall travels around Azeroth and tries to heal the damage from Deathwing.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #10: WOLFHEART by Richard A. Knaak. Goodreads.
One word: WORGEN!
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #11: JAINA PROUDMOORE: TIDES OF WAR. Goodreads.
TIDES OF WAR is about the fall of Theramore, set just before the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #12: VOL’JIN: SHADOWS OF THE HORDE by Michael A. Stackpole. Goodreads.
It’s a TROLL BOOK. Sorry about my excitement, but trolls are my favorite race in Warcraft. Most Warcraft books focus on orcs/humans, with some dwarves and night elves. Plus, Michael A. Stackpole wrote some of my favorite Star Wars books.
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT #13: WAR CRIMES by Christie Golden. Goodreads.
WAR CRIMES is set at the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion and before the Warlords of Draenor expansion.
I thought there would only be two installments in this series, but I was wrong! Be sure to check back at the end of the week for the third and last. It’ll be short, I promise