Cataclysm Reading List
One of my guildies asked me which Warcraft books they should read in order to get caught up on lore for the expansion. I thought this was a really good question and that I’d share my answer with you. The spoiler-free answer will be before the break. Spoilers and more in-depth explanations will be after, so click through if you don’t mind reading some spoilers about both the books themselves and the Cataclysm expansion.
List of books:
All three (five if you count the Archive as individual books) of these books have story lines in them that you will see continue in Cataclysm. If you want to know the story to the upcoming expansion I highly recommend reading these books. If you don’t want to read them all, or want a brief run down of how they are connected to the Cataclysm expansion, then follow me after the break. I won’t be covering every little detail, but at least you’ll better understand how a few things fit together.
Lets start at the beginning. Or, more accurately, lets go back in time to the beginning. In War of the Ancients Krasus (the consort of Alexstrasza in human disguise), Rhonin (the current leader of the Kirin Tor and friend/apprentice to Krasus) and Broxigar (a veteran orc warrior trusted by Thrall) get pulled through a strange time anomaly to a point just before the Burning Legion’s first appearance on Azeroth. The three of them, together with the help of Malfurion Stormrage, Illidan Stormrage, Tyrande Whisperwind, and Korialstrasz (a young Krasus in his natural dragon form) work to defeat the Burning Legion, sending them back into the Twisting Nether and causing the Great Sundering.
In this series of three books you will learn about the war itself (which will be a raid instance in Cataclysm in the Caverns of Time), the creation of the Naga and Queen Azshara (who will be a raid boss), along with the transformation of Neltharion from the Earth-Warder into Deathwing the Destroyer. You will also learn more about some past raid bosses such as Illidan and Malygos and how they started on their paths to corruption and insanity.
Moving on to Day of the Dragon. It is important to note that while this story takes place a long time after the War of the Ancients, for the characters that the books share in common, the events take place earlier in their lives than their experiences during War of the Ancients. This book takes place during the Second War and deals primarily with Krasus trying to free his queen, Alexstrasza, who is being held captive by the orcs. How they are doing this, I won’t say. You’ll just have to read the book to find out.
The reason I highly suggest reading Day of the Dragon is that you will learn more about the effect Deathwing has had on Azeroth in the past and just how deep his madness goes. You will learn about the start of the Dragon Mage Krasus, his friendship with Rhonin, and how Rhonin met his wife (who is currently helping him rule Dalaran). You will also see a little bit more of Malygos here as he slides deeper into insanity.
Finally, we have Stormrage. While this book doesn’t directly cover any known raid bosses or major story lines that we are aware of so far in Cataclysm, it takes place in between the death of Arthas and the Cataclysm. This means that its information is current. In terms of the game, it is taking place right now or in the very near past. Last week, perhaps. I’ve already written a review of the book here. And while it isn’t my favorite, it is still well worth a read if your goal is to catch up on lore prior to Cataclysm’s release.
Again, I HIGHLY suggest you go out and read these books for yourself. Warcraft books aren’t always the most well written, but if you are interested in the lore of the Warcraft universe, they are all canon. As always when talking about lore, be aware that it can change and your safest assumption when reviewing two pieces that seem to oppose each other is that the newest piece is now the correct version of the story.