Saturday, June 06, 2009

Book Review: WoW Arthas: Rise of the Lich King

~World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King Reviewed by ~Asara I have to say, that going into this review, I had little idea what to expect. I'm not nearly as fluent in Warcraft lore as some people, so I figured that everything in this book would be more or less new to me. However, I was extremely interested to see what sort of insight I would get into the character of Arthas, as he is a very prominent figure in the current expansion of the World of Warcraft game. I believe that the author did a very good job of detailing Arthas' history, and how he came to be the Lich King. While he is a major character in The Frozen Throne (an expansion of the Warcraft 3 Real-Time Strategy game), I don't think the true impact of his journey is portrayed as well in the game as it is within these pages. We see Arthas as a young boy, experiencing a deep tragedy in the loss of his cherished horse, Invincible. That event, and Arthas' response to it, have a definite impact on his life as a young Paladin. Arthas' main flaw seems to be that he feels personally responsible for all the evils that befall his people. As their future king, this is inherently an admirable trait, but when Arthas lets passionate anger color his actions, he slowly slips from a holy vessel of the Light into something darker. As he begins his conversion to the Scourge, he is eventually called to work with the very demons he had fought in the beginning. He notes the irony, but only in passing. He loses himself on his way to find something to save his people, and as a result, wreaks more havoc upon them than any of the Scourge could have without him. I have to make note of something interesting that my husband noticed after he read this book. When Arthas returns from Northrend, one of his first acts as a servant of the Scourge is to resurrect Invincible. In the World of Warcraft game there is a farm called the Balnir Farmstead, located near Undercity (what was once Lordaeron, Arthas' home). My husband took one of his characters there, and found that sure enough, there is a large hole which looks to be the excavated grave of a horse nearby. In all, this book is definitely an emotional telling of the tale of Arthas, the dark paladin. The romance between Arthas and Jaina Proudmoore, poor Kael'thas Sunstrider, playing the role of jilted lover, and even the Banshee Queen, Sylvanas Windrunner, and her fall from her position as Ranger-General of Silvermoon. The story incorporated many of the great heroes and villains of the World of Warcraft, providing some interesting insight into the roads they traveled before they ruled such places as the Sunwell and the Undercity. Those who have played the Frozen Throne may know the story, but this book really helps you to reach the emotional background of it, and as such, I highly recommend it!

1 comment:

Caffey said...

My son reads Warcraft as well as does the game. I'm more fascinated with the graphics from what I saw and too know very little about this. But I guess its like a 'world' that they get into deep with the vocabulary and culture and all. Interesting review! I know he has this one his wishlist to get so I'll have him visit here!