World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Arthas, the central, defining bad guy in the World of Warcraft on line roleplaying game, and the good guy gone bad from Warcraft III is one of the strongest characters ever introduced in a computer game. He sets out to save his family, protect his lover, and serve his people as their prince. He ends up destroying everything he touches or is touched by.
This novel of his life is about as good as you could get and stick to the very convoluted script already set down in the game, and memorized by the gamers.
As a straight fantasy novel, there are too many characters, too many details that divert from the story, and little to no tension.
However, the central story is a great one, and Christie Golden does a great job of putting the reader in Arthas's head. Arthas is the main point of view character, but there are some scenes in other PoVs, such is Jaina Proudmore's.
If you have played either of the games, it's great to live though the life of one of video games best loved and loathed anti-hero. If you play WoW, read this book. It's a quick read, and loads of fun.
If you are a parent thinking about this book for your child, the Arthas / Jaina love story is very PG, and all the fun stuff happens off camera. The readability level is in the Y/A zone, albeit with a lot of (game driven) minutia. But your kid probably knows that minutia already.
If you just want a good fantasy novel, there are many better ones.
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