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"World of Warcraft: Arthas": The Rise of the Lich King Hardcover – 19 May 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (19 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416550771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416550778
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Of all the Warcraft manga, comic books, and novels I have read, Arthas has the most solid, balanced writing and best realized characters....There's much to love about this book....When it ended, I could feel the pangs in my heart as if I was one of the participants." -- WowInsider.com

"This book is an overdosed cocktail of lore and continuity that will numb your senses....I can only say one thing about this. I (beep) love this book!!!" -- Blizzplanet.com --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Christie Golden has written for several SF and Fantasy tie-in series. A massively popular author with Star Trek Voyager fans, her Voyager novels include the Dark Matters trilogy, The Murdered Sun, Marooned and the top-selling Seven of Nine. She lives in Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall I enjoyed the Arthas-Rise of the Lich king. My criticism of the book is slight but pertinent.
I found the story lacked depth in charcaterisation ( I assume they leave WOW the game to do this for you), but already being very aware of the lore behind WOW, I was expecting this book to back it up a little more than it did. The story tended to jump large periods of time, and not clearly explain Arthas's motivation, nor indeed explain particularly well the obsession that the man became subject to.

This obsession drove him on to carry out increasingly terrible acts, and the reader is left to just accept the fact, and not have it explained that there was a voice in this mans head willing him on . From the point that Arthas laid hands on Frostmourne, the Lich King had control of Arthas, even though he did not initially realise it.

A few examples of how the story "leapt" without explaining itself.

:-Arthas hiring the mercs in Northrend, then blaming them for the wrecking of his fleet to his own men. Little reason for this is given . ( I know the reason, as it is played out in WC3, but someone new to the story may not see it )

:- Arthas returning home and killing his father. Almost no reason or justification given.

Anyway, the book now sits, having been read once ( it likely won't get read again) on my bookshelf. It's probably a better book that I could write, but contains nowhere near the detail and depth I would like to see given to my favourite MMO. Simply an "OK " read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
While reading this book I read through some of the reviews, and saw that there were a lot of complaints about the book. I've played the Warcraft games and World of Warcraft, I thought I knew the entire story of Arthas when I went to read this book and I found that I clearly did not know everything. Even as I read through events I already knew, I found myself learning more about Arthas and how he felt, what he thought.

There were some complaints about how much emphasis the author placed on Arthas's horse, Invincible, to the point where someone even complained that the first thing Arthas did was raise his horse from the grave. Clearly some readers seem to miss understand and not fully comprehend the true bond between a horse and his rider, especially one that Arthas had seen born. There was a bond between them from the first moment, and it devastated Arthas so much that he not only did he cause the downfall of his steed, but failed to save him. Arthas's story is one of a young man finding himself to be only average, of not being able to come to terms with his weaknesses and realise that he had strengths that he just couldn't see. He had the possibility to be a great king of his people, instead his own doubt in his abilities took him down a dark path.

The novel isn't just about Arthas, you also learn a lot more about Sylvanas and Jaina. For those who know their roles in Arthas' life, you will know how painful it was for them - this book only emphasises it tendfold
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a newcomer to WoW I found myself enthralled by the tale of Arthas, the young paladin turned Lich King.
The story told in this novel was brilliant from start to finish, tales of love, betrayal, tragedy and loss. Kingdoms brought to their knees by the ruthless Lich King and his scourge.

However, the novel and the quality of the writing is quite poor. I would've preferred the story to be told far more slowly and with more insight into what the characters were thinking. If I'm honest I wanted a book about twice the length - just to flesh it out with quality and depth which this lacks throughout.

I think the developers at Blizzard did fantastic work when conceiving the Lich King storyline - unfortunately Christie Golden doesn't do it much justice in this novel.

I would recommend this book to someone who wants to know what has happened before WoW begins - and has nothing else to read at the moment.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is, unfortunately, very flawed. It tries to tackle arguably the biggest character in Warcraft lore, around which fully half of the events in the videogames Warcraft 3 and its expansion, The Frozen Throne, were based. I won't bang on about the games here: suffice it to say that they were not revolutionary, but exceptionally well executed, impeccably voice-acted, and moving pieces of storytelling.

While Christie Golden is a decent enough writer, there is simply far too much material crammed into a few hundred pages for her to make it work. She is forced to skim over several important events because there simply isn't room to do them justice. As a result, the book feels rushed and incomplete.

Her characters suffer terribly from this as well. For example, at one point Arthas encounters a young woman named Taretha who, at the behest of her corrupt and decadent liege, unwillingly attempts to seduce Arthas. He refuses blandly. They "spent the next few hours talking", and then he is off musing about how he will one day have to find a wife for himself - despite the fact that he's noticed bruises on Taretha's wrists and neck, and it's obvious Taretha's lord is the one who's caused them. Now, this could be interpreted as callousness on Arthas' part, but it seems obvious from the way it was written that Taretha is merely a prop to try and push along the flaccid love story that is desperately trying to be at the centre of this whole debacle.

Read any good story and you'll find that the supporting characters are just as important as the main characters. Take the Iliad, for instance - this classic is as much about the Greek soldiers, the heroes, the gods and their petty disputes, the nuances of their personalities, as it is about the downfall of Achilles.
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