I have almost every WoW novel so far, some I’ve yet to read but what I have read, is what really brought me into the lore and world of Azeroth. They gave me so much depth with the characters, themes and ideas.
My all time favourite novel has to be ‘Wolfheart’ by Richard A. Knaak, it really helped transform a character I disliked, Varian Wrynn because of his hatred towards orcs and I got to admit, I thought he would turn into Garrosh at some point.
I felt his constant anger and seemingly rash actions would cause him to go crazy. I felt Thrall was at least trying to be better and more reasonable which is when I started to respect him more.
But reading Wolfheart really made me change my whole perspective of Varian, to me it greatly improved and matured his character. From how he accidentally hurt Anduin, learning to live like Worgen and understanding their perspectives.
He became much more mature and responsible as a character, a king and a man. For me, he impressed me that he wanted Garrosh to face judgment for his crimes where WotLK Varian would’ve tried to take the kill from Thrall.
How he was willing to end the conflict with the Horde, it was touching to see him doing what many Kings would never have done.
I was gutted when they killed Varian off in Legion, that cinematic was incredible and made him one of my favourite WarCraft characters. I thought since we get some great character development, he’d go places but Blizz has way of killing off well written characters that has potential. Like Vol’Jin.
If you wanted my 2nd favourite, Tides of Darkness, a brilliant novelisation of WC2 and loved Turalyon and Alleria.
3rd would have to be the one I first read which was Day of the Dragon, it felt gritty, down to Earth, like Classic. But I liked the developed relationship between Falstad, Vereesa and Rhonin. And actually tried to make Deathwing a relatable character.
Hands down Traveller (though not the 3rd book that dropped the ball and the author). It’s just a charming adventure through the world with some smaller-scale world-building, unencumbered by the main plot and preexisting main characters that all the other novels have to force in. Sometimes it is a bit childish or cutesey, but it can also get quite dark and harsh. So… what you might expect from the guy behind shows like Disney’s Gargoyles and Young Justice, I guess.
I don’t like much of WoW’s main story, but I am still quite partial to exploring the world of Warcraft aside from it.
Well, I guess it’s the only option aside from the main plot novels, so it didn’t really have strong competition… From the other books I’ve read I’d have to agree with Wolfheart being the best. It’s actually the only one of the Knaak-books I read, and after hearing people complaining about him for years, it was a very pleasant surprise that took actual care with the worldbuilding, the scale of the world and solid character work. I guess dropping Varian’s god mode was a bit cheap, or at least cheesy, but it’s Warcraft, so whatever. I certainly prefer it vastly to the tons of Golden I felt I had to read to keep up with the plot. I haven’t read her older Warcraft novels that were supposedly better, but I couldn’t get through Warcrimes in multiple attempts to treat it as a homework assignment…
Apart from that I haven’t read much of the other Warcraft novels… I remember reading Lord of the Clans a looong time ago and not being able to take it seriously, and not being impressed by the Last Guardian… So I never felt like Warcraft literature had that much to offer, compared to other fantasy.
I will suggest ypu read WOTA. Knaak was great there, at least for me .And it’s the book which should be considered as old testament for period from wc3 to Legion. And Legion for me was actual end of first part of WoW lore. Not jailer, and not new World Soul Saga. Yes WSS is conclusion of events about Azeroth, but Burning Legion is one enemy we knew the most and feared the most. It was buildt in core of the game
Understandable, I do like Christie’s more easier to read stuff and I felt more approachable. War crimes, while an interesting idea, to me felt unfinished. Because not long after I read that, not sure if WoW still has it, had online short stories to read and there was one that was directly after War crimes, where Garrosh escaped and found himself in Draenor, it was quite good which made me more annoyed this wasn’t part of the book.
But her book, Before the Storm…is questionable but I also think Blizz didn’t do a good job with that vision compared to the game. Turalyon and Alleria torture someone which, is completely out of character to me but the thing is, this is never mentioned or questioned ever again.
I highly recommend you read Vol’Jin: Shadows of the Horde which can be similar to Wolfheart. The human Vol’Jin meets in the book could’ve been found in WoW when Vol’jin has a funeral, that human could be found on a hill in watching, mourning their friend. Things like that is nice, like Valeera being from the comics into WoW is nice.
Ilidan by William King is honestly one of their best books in recent memory, to me it does him justice and is a nice read.
And Sylvanas by Christie Golden is probably her best one since Arthas, but she had to try and save something Blizz greatly messed up. The audio book where Patty Mattson who voices her reads the book, so a nice touch.
And did see you mention WOTA! Man, I still have the WOTA Omnibus book, I remember being in London with my uncle. We found a small shop book shop that sold some comics. I remember seeing StarCraft Heaven’s Devil’s and WOTA Omnibus, I liked WoW more so my Uncle got me the book. Still have it on my shelf.
Tried to read it but I think it was too heavy for a teenager for me to appreciate.
Honestly, despite me having most of the books…still some I’ve yet to read. Either Rise of the Horde, Beyond Dark Portal, The shattering or Last Guardian.
Being a teenager should not be a problem to read War of the Ancients.
My dad bought me set of Winetou books when I was 9. I literary swallowed them. Still have a pack of it on my shelf and reading it at least once every two years. So, no excuses , especially if you want to understand lore from WC3 to Legion. That three books are must read
Ah, I forgot to say, when I was a teenager, this was when I was 14-15 on holiday, nearly 30 now lol. I had trouble reading, but wanted it because it looked girl and a hot elf lady
I hope to read them at some points! And yes, I have Dawn of the Aspects as well, Night of the Night Dragon, Twilight of the Aspects…even the novel Cycle of Hatred which I heard mixed things about and was a little pricey, how could I not buy that!?
My uncle even got the the two Warcraft film novels, novelisation of the film and one called Durotan, never read them.
I think I tried to place them in chronological order, but perhaps I’ll read DotA! Huh…Dota, nice one blizz.
Oh, the torture thing wasn’t from Golden, it was Roux in Shadows Rising. But that just goes to show that you can never know what the game devs will actually take on for themselves from the novels. That’s why they are of limited use to actually understand the game’s world better. I mean, Jaina for example just seems crazy unstable, if you actually assume every flip-flop you can find between Golden’s books and the ingame dialogues as canon, and just ignoring the books makes for a much more reasonable arc…
I mostly followed the novels to get some more details on the world-building, but I’ve pretty much given up on that, inconsistent as they are between different authors, the game, or even books from the same author. The stuff I know from Golden for example makes the world feel pretty small to me, seldom going beyond what is depicted within the game, and focussing on the main characters so much, that everything else feels irrelevant. Other authors did better for me, adjusting their stories to travel times and adding internal conflicts, but you can’t really build a world, when you can’t get the basics consistent. So to be honest, I only read the newest novels when I am bored and would like some more details to make fun of by now. Not the noblest reason, but it is what it is.
Now that you mention it, I did read that one. That one wasn’t bad, yeah. Though I guess that I kinda forgot about it doesn’t speak for it leaving a deep impression with me.
I heard that, but just as with WotA I think I’ll pass. I’m intersted in neither the setting nor the characters, nor the parts of the game world that are deeply connected to them. And Sylvanas’ story mostly has comedic value to me, having a deeper look at what might have been could only make it worse.