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World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde (No. 4)
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
Price:$19.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on May 5, 2014
Out of every Warcraft book this is the place to start. It takes before Warcraft 1, 2, 3, WoW, etc. This looks like it will help explain the history of the new WoW expansion War Lords of Draenor a bit. If you're looking for the proper order to read the Warcraft books I suggest the following:

Rise of the Horde (book) - Covers approx. a 10 year period prior to WC I.

The Last Guardian (book) - Touches on the closing days of the First War with bookends set prior to WC III.

Tides of Darkness (book) - Covers WC II in continuity.

Beyond the Dark Portal (book) - Covers WC II expansion in continuity.

Day of the Dragon (book) - Wraps up some dangling threads from WC II with Deathwing and the Red Dragonflight.

Lord of the Clans (book) - Covers a wide swath from just before WC II all the way to prior to WC III. Should be subtitled All You Wanted to Know About Thrall But Were Too Much of An Alliance Lover to Ask. ;) J/k.

Of Blood and Honor (book) - Set just prior to WC III.

Warcraft III Battle Chest (game) - Reign of Chaos covers the origin of the Scourge and the return of the Burning Legion. The Frozen Throne covers the exile of Illidun, the rise of the Forsaken and the crowning of a new Lich King. Founding of Durotar covers the most recent conflict between Horde and humans prior to WoW.

Arthas: Rise of the Lich King (book) - Recaps material from Tides of Darkness all the way up until the end of Frozen Throne with bookends just before the WotLK cinematic.

Ashbringer (comic) - Covers the fallout from Arthas dissolving the Order of the Silver Hand and the rise of Argent Dawn and Crimson Crusade.

Cycle of Hatred (book) - Picks up after Founding of Durotar and begins to set the stage for WoW Vanilla.

Well of Eternity (book) - Try and follow: characters from current Azeroth are sent back to the War of the Ancients 10,000 years before by the Bronze Dragonflight to make sure what was supposed to happen happens. Part of War of the Ancients Trilogy

Demon Soul (book) - See above, part of War of the Ancients Trilogy.

The Sundering (book) - See above, part of War of the Ancients Trilogy.

Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy (Comic) - This is just before WoW vanilla since some Horde holdings (Tauren Mill) are still Alliance held. Sets up Kalygos and his motivations mostly.

Warcraft Legends Vol. 1-5 (Comic) - These are all over the place, but primarily just before WoW Vanilla with some flashback stuff.

The Dragons of Outland (Comic) - Trilogy set between Vanilla and TBC. Running a bit late, second volume should be out later this year.

World of Warcraft Books 1-4 (comics) - Set between TBC and WotLK, covers a lot of plot spillover. Ever why the Missing Diplomat questchain ends so quickly in Thereamore? The answer is here.

Death Knight (comic) - Set before and during WotLK. Sets up Thassarian.

Mage (comic) - Set before WotLK. Sets up why Dalaran is a floating city over Northrend.

Night of the Dragon (book) - Set before WotLK, deals with some stuff spilling out of TBC, especially dealing with Kalygos and the two new dragonflights in Outland.

Stormrage (book) Set after WotLK. Sets up Malfurian Stormrage and Tyrande and the status of the Emerald Dream corruption.

Shaman (comic) - Set between WotLK and Cata.

The Shattering (book) - Covers all the details between WotLK and Cata that were going on while we were doing the pre-launch events.

Wolfheart (book) - Details the Worgen and Gilneas' recruitment into the Alliance after the Cataclysm.

Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects (book) - follows the former War Chief of the Horde as he struggles with the ongoing repercussions of the Cataclysm.

Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War - The ashes of the Cataclysm have settled across Azeroth’s disparate kingdoms. As the broken world recovers from the disaster, the renowned sorceress Lady Jaina Proudmoore continues her long struggle to mend relations between the Horde and the Alliance.

Dawn of the Aspects - The former Dragon Aspects are on the brink of going their separate ways to forge new destinies...

Vol'Jin: Shadows of the Horde - Follows Vol'Jin as he travels to Pandaria, where the troll chieftain's loyalties are put to the ultimate test when a member of his own faction moves to assassinate him. . . .

War Crimes - Centers around Garrosh Hellscream after the Siege of Orgrimmar. It provides a bridge between the events at the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion and the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion.

Hope this helped i tried my best to get it right but as always there may be some mistakes just try to look into it on wowwiki or wowpedia. Special Thanks to Kordd on the forums for creating the original part of the list.
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on December 9, 2015
I would like to begin my review by stating that I have been playing World of Warcraft since The Burning Crusade expansion and I have always been in love with its universe. I always clung to any bit of lore I found in-game or learned from others, but it never quite satisfied me. Being an avid reader of varying levels of literature, I am honestly surprised that it took me so long to begin reading the books. At the beginning of August, I told myself I need to bite the bullet (after seeing the daunting, very long list of books I was behind on) and searched for a list of the proper order to read them in and was directed to Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden.

I was very familiar with many of the plotlines of this book because my very first character was a Draenei Shaman and I absorbed as much in-game lore as I could about both the Draenei people and the Shaman. Outland itself has a lot of history in its quests and NPC dialogue to inform players as to what happened to the planet the expansion revolves around. Also, at the time of purchase, Warlords of Draenor had already been live for over nine months, so there was more about the Draenor I would be reading about.

Upon reading it, I found that the story begins on Argus, long before most of the events of the book. I am very happy to have learned both exactly how Archimonde and Kil'jaeden became Sargeras' lieutenants and what exactly those Ata'mal crystals I'd been hearing about since TBC were. Also, it was great to see how the Naaru became such a part of Velen and the Draenei people. Then, we are flashed forward to the world of Draenor and we see many events unfold that bring us right up to The First War on Azeroth. There was so much information that I didn't even know I was ignorant to and I was constantly finding myself anxious to know what happens next.

Four months later, I'm almost finished with the ninth book, The Well of Eternity. Out of all the authors I've read so far in this series, Christie Golden has become my favorite. I am anxiously awaiting an announcement that she will be writing for Legion.
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on January 17, 2014
I will preface this entire review with the fact that, I am no authority on the subject of World of Warcraft. Not even a novice, in fact. Surely, I’ve seen the South Park spoof, and understand what I’ve learned through this story (with some extrapolation and attention to detail), but this is my first real exposure of any sort to what is WoW. I was… moderately impressed. By no means high-literature, this is pretty interesting if you want a real quick paced story (Durotan before his rites to adulthood, through his rites, to his marriage, into Clans Chieftain and through 3 years of War against the draeni) that has some degree of nerdy depth to it (in kind, in kind!) then this is definitely your kind of story. From a critical perspective: the story is seems very rushed, for in the time which elapses, there might be other significant stories there.

What we see, essentially, is the coming of age of two great Clan chieftains, and the manipulation of the Orcs by the Burning Legion, specifically Kil’Jaeden who is bent on the extermination of the eredar (here known as draeni). The Orcs, because of their gullibility and the faith they place upon their ancient ways are easily led astray and manipulated by Kil’Jaeden’s convincing banter and the ‘proofs’ he utilizes to win their arms – enhanced abilities, weapons and magics. While some of the Orc parties have moral qualms with what they are doing and how they are doing it – because this war is based essentially on ‘alike’ vs. ‘dissimilar’ – the fight rages on and we witness the genocide of a race along with the disastrous moral fall of the Orcs. A tragic scene where the Orcs, used as pawns, are pitted against the draeni in a grudge match that isn’t even their own. Ruining two nations, taking away their sacred rites, erasing a generation of Orc youths and nearly obliterating the draeni. A very tragic and heart-rending story if WoW were to have such a thing. The author is clearly an Orc apologist… and a decent crypto-historian!

Each chapter opens with a brief excerpt or preface written by Thrall (he is apparently more recognizable as a member of the current WoW games; the son of Durotan & Draka) denoting brief snippets of this dark-age of Orc history from his perspective as both Shaman and War chief, leader of the Horde he details the Orc fall from their true nature as he is able to recount the story based upon details given him by Drek’Thar – the Frostwolf Shaman (Warlock) who supported his father. Each entry bears some ominous news, generally related to the ease with which the Orcs were deceived and the sorrow which Thrall experiences for his once mighty and proud people before their great deception at the hands of Kil’Jaeden and the man’ari.


Opening to Saragras’ enticement of the eredar: Kil’Jaeden, Archimonde and Velen, he promises them and their people absolute rule, where thousands chant their names, a world conquered through war, bloodshed and the propagation of fear. Velen sees the destruction of the heart and soul of his people, a compassionate individual whom soon becomes an exile: a draeni, rather than a man’ari (a horrifically transformed eredar, more commonly known as ‘The Burning Legion’, 822). Velen also encounters the Naaru, and K’ure, a powerful being that resides in the mountain (Oshu’gun) the Orcs consider to be sacred. The story essentially revolves around the gradual drawing of the Orc clans into Saragras’ legions, with guile and deception the stage is set for a grand battle.

We soon encounter the younglings: Durotan Garad & Orgrim Doomhammer, two orcs of different clans who form a bizarre and competitive friendship before the Om’riggor (rites of coming of age) festival. This is notably the first time a friendship had been borne of different clans (Frostwolf & Blackrock, respectively) and thus is a novelty to their clan’s leaders as well as to the draeni whom save Durotan and Orgrim from a large Ogre and show them their city while picking their brains about Orcishness, its people, history, habits, beliefs and customs.

Having sent his most trusted spy, Talgath, on a reconnaissance mission, Kil’Jaeden learns where the draeni are hiding out and he sees that they’ve established a rudimentary harmony with the Orc clans than inhabit their shared world. He soon puts his master plan to manipulate the Orcs into full order. Initially appearing in dreams to the Clans shaman as ancestors (Shaman can converse with the deceased) the Shaman are informed that the draeni are plotting their destruction.

The Orcs do not send a single ambassador – NOT ONE. Instead they immediately commence war-faring against the draeni, slaughtering their hunting parties and doing every single thing possible which works contrary to the way the Orcs were being painted up until this point. Generally they were depicted as honorable creatures, thrilling in the hunt but unwilling to take down defenseless prey or enemies. But, frightened as they were by the news from their faux ancestors, they waste little time engaging the fight.

Ner’zhul, Shaman of the Shadowmoon clan, is visited by the visage of his deceased partner, Rulkan. Beguiled into believing the draeni dangerous he asks the Orcs to congregate and verifies the threat with the other Clan shaman. Progressing through many battles the orcs soon find that the shamanic powers of the earth they’d relied upon have been depleted! They’ve been abandoned by the ancients and they’ve expressed their disapproval by failing to appear to the shaman. Ner’zhul is soon usurped by his apprentice Gul’dan, a power-hungry orc who draws Blackhand (the Blackrock chieftain) into his ploy, after Ner’Zhul realizes that the orcs have been tricked because he took a pilgrimage to Oshu’gun and saw the ancestors turn away, abandoning the orcs. There is to be a pair of councils formed: the Horde, a governing body whose business is open (2124) and a secret committee, to do the dirty work behind the curtain. Because their earth-borne powers are gone (with the abandonment by the ancestors) the Orcs are now reliant upon the dark-magics propagated by the man’ari. These new magics come equipped with the assistance of daemon pets to further inflict harm upon the Orc’s victims.

Drinking an elixir of Mannoroth’s (Kil’Jaeden’s lieutenant, something akin to a dragon) blood the Orc’s become little more than bloodthirsty savages. This aides them in the attack against the Temple of Korobor and laying it to waste. Expecting Velen killed and being hurried by Archimonde, Kil’Jaeden vanishes off to do Saragras’ bidding elsewhere. Meanwhile Medivh, purportedly Saragras’ master, begins presenting himself to Gul’dan. The goal is a portal to Azeroth. This achieved: the Horde is let loose upon the Warcraft World.

A neat picture of the Orcs, from a crypto-historical perspective!
Sorta fun.

Orc Clans mentioned:
Frostwolf, Blackrock, Warsong, Shadowmoon, Shattered Hand, Bleeding Hollow, Thunderlord, Dragonmaw, Laughing Skull, Bladewind, Red-Walker, Bonechewer (and some I missed).


‘… the story of my father and those who believed in him (Durotan); and of those who betrayed him and indeed, all our people.’ (203)

‘There is no shame in fear… Only in letting fear prevent you from doing the right thing.’ (435)

‘It is said that the last of the Doomhammer line will use it to bring first salvation and then doom to the orc people.’ (573)

‘Teach him well Kashur, for one thing is certain: From his line will come salvation.’ (re: Durotan, 792)

‘Hate is powerful. Hate can be eternal. Hate can be manipulated. And hate can be created.’ (816)

‘All worlds, all beings, all races were horrifically equal in Sarageras’s eyes. They all needed to be obliterated in a ghastly festival of carnage and fire.’ (1439)

‘He loved his wife, his clan, his people. He hated what he was seeing: an entire generation rushing headlong to adulthood with only blind hate in their hearts.’ (1761)

‘The ancestors had never appeared to him (Ner’Zhul) at all. It had all been a trick concocted by Kil’Jaeden.’ (1942)
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on November 22, 2016
If you've ever wondered how the World of Warcraft storyline gets started (excluding the Titans and Guardians saga) this is an absolutely wonderful title to begin from. Christie Golden's style of writing really shows someone who has a deep appreciation of a source material and treats it with the kind of respect one would wish most writers would.

The fact that she's been tagged for several WoW novels really shows her dedication to the universe and coming from someone who's been playing the game for years now and never read one of the novels before this one, I look forward to each of her iterations from my beloved World of Warcraft universe.
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on September 5, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It gave me more insight into the beginnings of the Draenai and Orc civilizations and how they came to be on Azeroth. It gavew me more insight into some of the characters in World of Warcraft such as the Orc Warlords and some of the main Draenai figures. Before I read this book I had no idea who these characters were and how they fit into the Lore of Warcraft. The book was very well written. I especially liked reading about Durotan and Orgrim Doomhammer and how they were friends and both were against what their people were doing but felt forced to go along with them or be killed or exiled. I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about the Orcs before they came to Azeroth.
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on July 13, 2014
As a long-time WoW player, I have been late in getting into the lore of the game. I chose to read Rise of the Horde in preparation for the newest game expansion, Warlords of Draenor, and I was not disappointed. The book captured the feeling of old Orc life prior to the influence of Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion, and it described in great storying detail the coming together of the Horde, and how it was driven to invade Azeroth. I enjoyed the read very much. It was also the first e-book I have read (kindle app on iOS), and that was great fun. Off to read Christie Golden's latest work, War Crimes next.
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on April 13, 2018
This book arrived in great condition, well packaged, I am very happy with this purchase!
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on March 26, 2018
Bought this for a friend for his birthday-he loved it!
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on January 21, 2018
Actually a really good book. Hope they release more books from the series with this cover design " Blizzard Legends". This is what the Warcraft Movie SHOULD'VE COVERED.
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on December 23, 2013
This is the first WoW novel I have read and I must say it was a fine introduction to the literature side of The World of Warcraft. Even though I roughly knew what happened with the orcs I still learned a lot from this book and it kept me turning pages for much of it.
I usually don't enjoy reading, I'm more of the t.v. and video game type person but this is different reading something like this. If you played WoW I suggest you read this.
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