Geek Pick of the Week – World of Warcraft: The Illustrated Novels

Getting started in the vast World of Warcraft lore can seem daunting, but our latest Geek Pick of the Week makes it much easier!

As the Holiday season approaches, we’re bringing back our Geek Pick of the Week. Each week leading up to Christmas, we’ll be highlighting a cool product we’ve found that we feel would be the perfect gift for geeks of all kinds. Use these to help fill in your own wish list or find the perfect gift for the nerds in your life. Click HERE to read more about previous Picks of the Week!

Even though I’ve never been big on World of Warcraft (MMOs in general), I’ve always loved the world they’ve crafted. I loved the original RTS games and have definitely enjoyed dabbling in the other random stories (books) they’ve released over the years. They’re just a lot of fun and combine old-school Sword & Sorcery storytelling with unique twists.

Even so, over the past few decades of the franchise, the lore has become overwhelming. Those looking to get started, especially when new expansions are coming, might feel a bit lost. That’s where this new book, from Canterbury Classics, comes in.

Enter the fantastical world of the Alliance and the Horde with these two World of Warcraft stories by Christie Golden. Learn about the Orc Thrall’s rise to power in Lord of the Clans, and then follow him through the history of how the Horde came to be in Rise of the Horde. This beautifully bound book is a must-have for any World of Warcraft fan and will be a treasured addition to any gaming library.

World of Warcraft: The Illustrated Novels collects two full books: Rise of the Horde and Lord of the Clans, both of which were written by Christie Golden. Lord of the Clans is coming up on it’s 20th anniversary, while the other book is a bit newer. Regardless they both chronicle the story of the Orc Thrall, including the original formation of ‘The Horde’ and his rise to power.

Being set before the events of WoW (and even the original games), these serve as excellent starting points to immersing yourself in the franchise’s lore and history. They’re a lot of fun to read and I breezed through them relatively quickly. Golden always brings the goods with her writing style, using concise prose that still manages to render a vibrant picture in your mind.

What’s REALLY cool about this volume, however, is the gorgeous images accompanying the story. From fully illustrated character renderings, maps, and even a sprinkling of concept art from the games, they provide excellent visuals to go with the story you’re reading.

Even better, the book itself is wonderfully bound in a larger than normal hardcover. It’s textured exterior gives off the vibe of picking up some old-school tome, while the larger scale allows the gorgeous images the chance to shine and highlight details.

Everything about it screams “Collector’s Edition” making it a must-have for fans of the franchise. It looks incredible inside and out, while telling engaging fantasy stories that suck in the readers, even if you don’t play the games. If you’re looking for a great gift for the Warcraft fan on your shopping list, or just someone who loves fantasy stories, this hardcover is exactly what you need.

World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde & Lord of the Clans: The Illustrated Novels is available now online and in stores.

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Editor-in-Chief: Writer and cartoonist who went to college for post-production, he now applies his love of drawing, movie analysis, filmmaking, video games, and martial arts into writing.