World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King

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It was caught in a hovering, jagged chunk of ice, the runes that ran the length of its blade glowing a cool blue. Below it was a dais of some sort, standing on a large gently raised mound that was covered in a dusting of snow. A soft light, coming from somewhere high above where the cavern was open to daylight, shone down on the runeblade. The icy prison hid some details of the sword's shape and form, exaggerated others. It was revealed and concealed at the same time, and all the more tempting, like a new lover imperfectly glimpsed through a gauzy curtain. Arthas knew the blade -- it was the selfsame sword he had seen in his dream when he first arrived. The sword that had not killed Invincible, but that had brought him back healed and healthy. He'd thought it a good omen then, but now he knew it was a true sign. This was what he had come to find. This sword would change everything. Arthas stared raptly at it, his hands almost physically aching to grasp it, his fingers to wrap themselves around the hilt, his arms to feel the weapon swinging smoothly in the blow that would end Mal'Ganis, end the torment he had visited upon the people of Lordaeron, end this lust for revenge. Drawn, he stepped forward.

The uncanny elemental spirit drew its icy sword. "Turn away, before it is too late," it intoned.

* * *

His evil is legend. Lord of the undead Scourge, wielder of the runeblade Frostmourne, and enemy of the free peoples of Azeroth. The Lich King is an entity of incalculable power and unparalleled malice -- his icy soul utterly consumed by his plans to destroy all life on the World of Warcraft.

But it was not always so. Long before his soul was fused with that of the orc shaman Ner'zhul, the Lich King was Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron and faithful paladin of the Silver Hand.

When a plague of undeath threatened all that he loved, Arthas was driven to pursue an ill-fated quest for a runeblade powerful enough to save his homeland. Yet the object of his search would exact a heavy price from its new master, beginning a horrifying descent into damnation. Arthas's path would lead him through the arctic northern wastes toward the Frozen Throne, where he would face, at long last, the darkest of destinies.

Customer Reviews:

  • Excellent book
    I thought this was an absolutely excellent book. It was wonderful in how it tied in all of the other Warcraft books in the history of Arthas and how it related to him....more info
  • One of the best books on WoW lore.
    Golden does an excellent job telling the story of the young Arthas and the great fall from prince to Lich King. All WoW fans will find this book an excellent read. ...more info
  • Simply stunning
    If you have played Warcraft 3, this books fills the gaps between campaigns. The story is VERY well written. As an avid WoW player I really enjoyed this book. It's just amazing a must buy for any Warcraft lore junkie like me!!! ...more info
  • Excellent book
    I thought this was an absolutely excellent book. It was wonderful in how it tied in all of the other Warcraft books in the history of Arthas and how it related to him....more info
  • Great book
    This book was really great. It followed the lore of Warcraft very close. This book even created a childhood for Arthas that was never really known. In the game I didnt't really like Arthas that much for the way you acted as a Paladin. In this book it can make like him for the bit where he is actually kind and not wanting vengence. You see the relationship Arthas and Jaina had that was not real clear in the Warcraft game. Pretty this book starts with his childhood and all the way to where hes at in the Frozen Throne. Which this is why the book is Rise of the Lich King.

    I say anyone that loved the Warcraft lore should read this or any people that have played World of Warcraft and want to know who the Lich King really was before all madness broke loose in Azeroth....more info
  • Epic!
    I am still in the middle of reading this fine novel. I must say it has to be one of the best Warcraft novels I have ever read. It tells the story of Arthas that some have never known. I love how it tells the story of the events prior to the one told in Warcraft III. It is a must buy!...more info
  • Completely faithful
    Christie Golden knocks it out of the park again. Arthas's story is one driven by the characters and their emotions more than bare-bones action, and of all the people in Blizzard's writing arsenal, Golden is the only one who could tackle such a story. And that she does, with amazing grace and tenderness toward every character, delivering each in an unbiased light. The lore is rich without being intimidating, the characters warm and developed, and it gives us Warcraft lore buffs some tasty things to chew on for a long while after. Highly recommended for anyone who likes Warcraft!...more info
  • Arthas: Rise Of The Lich King Review
    I enjoyed this book alot. I have already played through the Warcraft 3 game and this book pretty much follows the same story line, but even though I knew the story already, it was still worth reading. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys reading about the Warcraft backstory.

    I only gave it 4 stars because I did already know the story but otherwise well worth it...more info
  • Decent read for lore nerds and casual players alike
    When I saw this book was set for release, I pre-ordered immediately. I'm a hardcore lore fan, and especially in the Arthas/Lich King area. It was a good read - though like many have said, a bit short in the last volume - but to me it felt a little more juvenile than I would have expected/liked. This might be Ms. Golden's normal style, but I wouldn't know, not having read her books before. Here's what I thought overall, but please bear in mind I'm a picky reader, and these are nitpicky comments designed for other literature snobs like myself ;)

    The writing, I think, was fairly weak, which is something I personally have to struggle with to overcome while reading (this is an even better recommendation for the book since I did overcome it and was glued to the pages). Golden recycles lots of phrases frequently, and some are painfully clich¨¦. For instance, when Kael'Thas Sunstrider enters the scene, she can only seem to describe him as "physically perfect". Okay, he's not a major player and doesn't warrant florid prose on his physique, but she could well have just said he was physically perfect once. But she didn't. The least she could have done was put some variation on the phrase the next couple of times she used it. She also tends to try towards antiquated sentence structure, possibly for mood, but most of the time she only ends up creating structurally awkward sentences that rely too much on the power of implication and that just don't flow properly. Conversely, after using said antiquated structure, she'll start using common, more modern phrases that, to me, don't compliment what she is trying to do otherwise. So personally I would have liked to have seen more consistency, and, if she was going to lean towards antiquity, to have seen better execution thereof.

    The two main characters, Arthas Menethil and Jaina Proudmoore are very well characterized. I fell in love with them both quite easily. But it was also fairly obvious they were Golden's favorites, too, since other characters which wanted more fleshing out were either ignored or slapped with a one-dimensional "THIS IS GENERIC PLACEHOLDER #32273" sticker on their faces.

    I personally disagreed with how she handled Kael'Thas (all things come back to him, it seems :O). In lore, before the time he went completely caca for coo-coo puffs, he was typically portrayed as compassionate and tender-hearted. He was interested in Jaina, but he was also very conflicted over his interest and it caused him some amount of personal distress. What sealed the deal for me in buying this book was that it was purported to delve deeper into the "Arthas-Jaina-Kael" love triangle. But it didn't. Not only did it not delve, but it's like Golden was going to at first, but then got bored and gave Kael a 180 personality change. Without going into too much detail, I never pictured Kael'Thas throwing a tantrum. Really, during this particular scene when he's confronting Arthas - who is barely 18 for chrissakes - I pictured Kael being 4 feet shorter and yelling to beat any 2-year-old. I don't picture any elven prince of any lore doing that. I mean, he was hurt, I can understand that, but I strongly imagine Kael was in possession of better faculties than his outburst portrayed. He also seemed to hiss a lot. Really, Golden repeatedly says (in the course of one paragraph, no less) that he was hissing. Repeatedly says that he was hissing. So thanks to that paragraph I'm imagining a kid in the terrible twos who thinks he's a cat.

    Along the same line of characterization, it seemed to me Dalaran was a relief for Golden to write, not because she enjoys mage lore, but because she really just seemed to borrow a lot from none other than the world of Harry Potter. I know, I know. I can cut a bit of slack here just because it is Dalaran and it is populated by - ta-da! - mages. But Antonidas gave me a real Dumbledore vibe, and Dalaran seemed to be a place where Golden could "deus ex machina" to her heart's content. Which irked me. I don't recall in lore or in the games that mages ever were in possession of an invisibility spell, oh but when Jaina needs to eavesdrop they do! I know the reasoning is that, because of their magical abilities, surely they know far more than lore or (especially) the games let on. But that's a bit flimsy, to me, and it's the same thing J.K. Rowling did. "It's not deus ex machina if they're magical!" Yes. It is. I realize mages in Warcraft are powerful beings, but Jaina, Antonidas, and Aegwynn, and all other mages, are not "all-powerful".

    This has gone on far too long, and I apologize ;3 But I do hope this helped some people. Again, I loved the book, but it could have been so much better. And I definitely recommend it to people who are new to lore but want a good taste of background information. I only wish I had waited for it to inevitably come to the book exchange at work! Hehe
    ...more info
  • I was screwed
    I thought it was the game. Was too broke to even send it back. Now it's too late, but I'm going to send it back anyway. May never by another thing from Amazon because of this. It wasn't labeled a book. I feel like someone robbed me. I have no interest what so ever in a stupid book like this. Stupid me, I opened the plastic on it thinking how clever Blizzard was to make the latest game addition of World of War Craft to look like an actual book. Will go back to buying stuff like this in a store I might pay a little bit more but at least I'll know exactly what I'm getting....more info
  • A truly epic tale
    This is possibly the best in the Warcraft series of books, in my opinion. It's especially enjoyable if you happen to be a fan of the game and you're playing the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, as it helps to pull together much of the lore....more info


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