With a 16-year run of stories spanning planets, millennia, and alternate timelines, World of Warcraft has one of the most complicated and deep mythologies in all of gaming. It can be hard to parse everything that's going on just by reading through quests and talking with NPCs, and the latest expansion, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, makes things even more complicated by bringing players to the realm of the dead where they're interacting with deceased characters from past games.
If you want a better understanding of the setting and the characters that live there you might want to check out some of the tie-in novels. Here's the list of all of them in order and links to where you can buy them. The first novel was published in 2001 and it and some of the others are out of print and can only be purchases used or as part of compilations. This is a hefty reading list, but it's full of thrills spanning demonic invasions, cataclysms, and endless wars.
Of Blood and Honor
The very first World of Warcraft novel tells the story of the paladin Tirion Fordring who comes to question his beliefs that the Orcs are his enemies. The book's been out of print for a while so your best bet is to find it as part of more recent WarCraft archive.
Day of the Dragon
The Mage Rhonin travels into the Orc-controlled lands of Khaz Modan and uncovers a vast conspiracy that endangers all of Azeroth. The book is written by Richard A. Knaak, who has also penned novels set in the worlds of Diablo, Dragonlance, and Conan.
Lord of the Clans
Horde players will enjoy reading the story of the first warchief Thrall, who was raised by humans as a slave but broke free of his bondage. This is the first of more than a dozen World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels written by Christie Golden.
The Last Guardian
The novel tells the story of Medivh, one of the Guardians of Tirisfal bestowed with godlike powers to wage a secret war against the Burning Legion. Author Jeff Grubb has also written books in Dungeons & Dragons' Draglonlance and Forgotten Realms settings.
The Well of Eternity
The first novel in the War of the Ancients trilogy follows the dragon mage Krasus, the human wizard Rhonin, and the orc veteran Broxigar as they team up to try to convince the demigod Cenarius and the Night Elves to help them. If they can't, the Burning Legion will be able to invade Azeroth again.
The Demon Soul
The War of the Ancients continues with the young Night Elf druid Malfurion Stormrage teaming up with Krasus to fight back the Burning Legion. They get some unexpected help from the leader of the dragons, Neltharion, and the titular artifact which may be able to banish the demonic invaders forever.
The War of the Ancients trilogy concludes with Malfurion and Krasus gathering allies among the dwarves, tauren, and furbolg to fight back the Burning Legion. The events of this novel led to the Great Sundering of Azeroth, dividing it into the continents found in the game.
Cycle of Hatred
With the Burning Legion defeated, Thrall and the powerful mage Lady Jaina Proudmore must work together to stop the continent of Kalimdor from being pulled into a new war. Author Keith R.A. DeCandido has also written books based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, and Marvel Comics.
Rise of the Horde
Learn about the origins of the orcs, who lived in harmony with the draenei in the world of Draenor before they were corrupted by the demonlord Kil'jaeden. It's a plot that's also explored through The Burning Crusade and Warlords of Draenor World of Warcraft expansions.
Tides of Darkness
Explore the origins of both the Horde and Alliance as the champion of Stormwind Anduin Lothar helps united the human nations while a new orcish leader sets his sights on conquering all of Azeroth. Author Aaron Rosenberg has also penned books based on Star Trek, Stargate: Atlantis, and Warhammer.
Beyond the Dark Portal
The orc shaman Ner'zhul has taken control of the Horde and reopened the Dark Portal, bringing his warriors from the ruined world of Draenor to Azeroth. Now the archmage Khadgar must lead the Alliance through the portal to save both worlds.
Night of the Dragon
The follow-up to Day of the Dragon returns to Grim Batol with the dragon mage Krasus facing a new growing darkness. The novel provides insights into the events leading to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and was originally released just days after the game came out.
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
Arthas is one of the most iconic characters in all of Warcraft, and Christie Golden gives him the same treatment she did Thrall in Lord of the Clans. The plot combines elements of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and Wrath of the Lich King.
The archdruid Malfurion Stormrage has become trapped within the Emerald Nightmare, a corrupted area within the mysterious realm of the Emerald Dream. The novel follows the quest to find and free him before Azeroth is consumed by horrors.
The prelude to the events of the Cataclysm expansion kicks off with Thrall realizing that the elementals of Azeroth will not longer obey him and trying to learn why while still protecting his people from the increasingly hostile Night Elves. Tensions are again growing between the Horde and Alliance, but something even worse is coming.
Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
The direct sequel to The Shattering follows Thrall as he works with other shamans to try to hold Azeroth together following Deathwing's devastating attack on the planet. Thrall must help the great dragonflights unite against their fallen breatheren or a terrible future awaits.
Continuing the story of Cataclysm, Wolfheart follows the growing conflict between the Alliance and Horde as acting warchief Garrosh Hellscream presses into Ashenvale. The book also provides plenty of backstory on the Worgen of Gilneas and how they are integrated into the Alliance.
Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
The mage Jaina Proudmore tries to prevent war between the Horde and Alliance in this continuation of the story of Cataclysm, but Garosh Hellscream is planning to invade her city, Theramore. Jaina works with the former Blue Dragon Aspect Kalecgos to investigate a theft of an artifact.
Dawn of the Aspects
The Dragon Aspects needed to give up their power to defeat Deathwing and now they struggle to find purpose. Kalecgos journeys to Northrend to learn about the history of the original aspects and all of dragonkind.
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
The story of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria kicks off with the troll leader facing an assassination attempt by Garrosh Hellscream but being rescued by a Pandaren brewmaster. As he fights to recover alongside a mysterious human, he must grapple with the old struggles between the Alliance and Horde.
Tying into the events of the Warlords of Draenor expansion, the novel follows the trial of Garrosh Hellscream, who has been stripped of the title of warchief of the Horde. Agents of the Bronze Dragonflight use their time manipulating powers to present visions of the attrocities he has committed.
Tying in to the Legion expansion, the novel follows Illidan Stormrage as he prepares to confront the Burning Legion in Outland by uniting orcs, naga, blood elves, and demon hunters. Author William King is a devoted MMO player who's also written Warhammer books.
Before the Storm
Leading up to the events of Battle for Azeroth, Before the Storm follows the race between the Alliance and the Horde to capitalize on the newly discovered resource, Azerite. But using the material revealed by the sword of the fallen titan Sargeras endangers the entire planet.
The prequel to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands follows Sylvannas' betrayal of the Horde as the rest of the faction's leaders form a council rather than choosing a new warchief. The new leadership must immediately confront the threats of multiple assassination attempts.
What World of Warcraft novels have you read? Tell us your favorites in the comments section and keep checking back here for the latest World of Warcraft news and guides.
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