Blizzard has spent 28 years building up the lore of the warcraft universe. While most of that time was spent in world of warcraft, the story began all the way back in 1994 with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. the story of warcraft is an expansive one that has been told through video games, books, comics, and even a movie. There is a lot for players to keep up with if they want the complete story of Azeroth.
Over the past 22 years Blizzard has been consistently publishing novels set in the warcraft universe. The majority of them cover events in world of warcraft, but there are also many that fill in gaps left by Blizzard. Currently, there are 22 different novels covering different aspects of the lore, not including the big lore books or comics. It can prove to be very daunting for those who want to delve further into Azeroth, but only some of those 22 are truly worth the read for every player.
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
Arthas Menethil’s rise and fall is often said to be the best storyline that warcraft has, and Arthas is considered by many to be the most interesting antagonist in Azeroth. His story of him began in Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos where players got to witness his descent into madness, it was then followed up by Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne and came to a climatic finale in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. Arthas: Rise of the Lich King chronicles this entire storyline in one exciting novel written by Christie Golden. If players have ever been interested in learning more about Arthas, then Arthas: Rise of the Lich King is the book for them.
The other character that fans of World of Warcraft love is Illidan Stormage, the Night Elf who became a demon hunter. William King’s Illidan tells the story of the events leading up to the burning crusade where players beat Illidan in the Black Temple. The story follows him as he gathers an army to fight back against the Burning Legion in Outland. The book gives players an insight into the mind of Illidan, and they get to learn about events that occurred off-screen. It also provides more context for why he was an antagonist in The Burning Crusade. Illidan is a great way to learn more about the titular character, and serves as a great companion novel to Arthas: Rise of the Lich King.
The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
In 2010, Blizzard chose to revamp world of warcraft with its third expansion, Cataclysm. The world of Azeroth was ripped apart by the dragon aspect Deathwing and the game was never the same. In that same year, Blizzard released The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, a novel that serves as a prequel to the events of the expansion. The novel follows Thrall and Varian as they deal with the impending crisis. It provides players a look at events that were not covered in-game and lets them learn more about some of Azeroth’s iconic leaders. It feels very much like an unfinished story, which it is since the story concludes in Cataclysmbut it is a good read for those who want to learn more about the gap between Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm
Vol’Jin: Shadows of the Horde
Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde follows the events of the first major patch of Mists of Pandaria, filling the player in on background information. The story focuses on Vol’jin and Chen Stormstout as they deal with Garrosh Hellscream’s assassination attempts on Vol’jin. Vol’jin must grapple with the deep-rooted hatred between Alliance and Horde while defending Pandaria from a Zandalari troll invasion. This book delivers a very troll-heavy lore dump as Vol’jin recaps the history of his race from him and deals with the Zandalari. For those who are interested in learning more about the ill-fated Warchief or the history of the trolls, this one is for them.
War of the Ancients Trilogy
The War of the Ancients trilogy is a set of three books that recount events set 10 thousand years before the first war. The Well of Eternity starts off the trilogy, The Demon Soul continue the tale, and The Sundering serves as the climatic finale. The series is set during the war between the Highborne and Burning Legion. It chronicles Illidan Stormrage’s fall and Malfurion Stormrage’s rise as well as the creation of the continents of Azeroth. It is one of the few warcraft series disconnected from world of warcraftbesides a few characters that play pivotal roles in-game. The series is great for those who really want to learn about the history of Azeroth and the Elves. It will surely enhance parts of world of warcraft for those who are interested.
The Warcraft Archive
Tracking down old warcraft novels can be tough, as many are out of print. The Warcraft Archive makes it easier as it compiles the first four warcraft novels into one large book. Each of the four novels tells stories set during Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness. Day of the Dragon tells the story of the mage Rhonin as he makes a perilous journey into Orc land, Lord of the Clans details the origins of Thrall, The Last Guardian follows Medivh as he descends into madness, and Of Blood and Honor challenges Tirion Fordring’s idea of Orcs, Each of the novels provides a look into some of the most iconic characters in warcraft and also gives readers a snapshot of the early days of the Horde Alliance conflict that drives world of warcraft
World of Warcraft Chronicles
The three volumes of World of Warcraft Chronicles are very different from the others out there, as they are large books that read more like history books than novels. Each one chronicles events through the warcraft series in a cohesive presentation of the warcraft lore from the Titan’s perspective. The first volume covers primordial Azeroth, creation, and the War of the Ancients. The second volume covers primordial Draenor and the events of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness. The third volume covers the events of world of warcraft leading up to Cataclysm. Chronicles serves as the best way to get all the warcraft lore, even if some of it has been altered in Shadowlands.
There are many books set in the warcraft universe, and almost every year Blizzard releases another. They serve as a quick way to learn the history of Azeroth and fill in gaps that feel left behind by Blizzard.
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