I just finished reading Arthas by Christie Golden and here's a short review. Before that, you should know that about a year ago I read another of Golden's Warcraft books, Lord of the Clans, and I really loved it. I'm a man, dammit, and I have a heart of stone but that book literally brought tears to my eyes in a couple of instances.
Arthas, however, was meh. I'm sure Christie Golden is a great author and capable of a lot more but this book felt like reading a few Wiki entries on some of the main featured characters. If you haven't picked up this book yet and still want to, do yourself a favor and just read Wowwiki.
I won't get into details why I didn't like this book, but I will say this: before that, I read the first three books from the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. If you know what I'm talking about, then you'll realize that there's simply no comparison. Perhaps I'm a bit biased from reading those books but Arthas is light years behind them. Maybe I'm into more mature fantasy...
I'm not that big on WoW lore but I have at least some knowledge of the various major characters and some of the history of Azeroth. For the lore junkie, there might be something redeeming here as plenty of famous characters make a cameo. And "cameo" is the right word. Apart from the expected culprits such as Arthas, Jaina, Terenas, Uther and Magni, there's a host of others that only briefly make an appearance. Unfortunately there's no time for getting into details so I was left with a sour taste in my mouth every time I read about one of these characters.
The dialogue between the various characters is childish and stunted. For example, very often characters (especially Arthas) use the expression "What the hell?" I don't mind the swearing, in fact I would like to see more of it, but this expression seems so modern, so part of our present culture that it seems misplaced in a fantasy novel of Azeroth.
Another example of ridiculous dialogue (to me at least) was the piece between Arthas and Mal'ganis, when they meet the first time. Arthas is rightfully pissed at the demon so, before kicking his ass, he gets into some verbal sparring that seems to be never-ending. Arthas goes something like this: "Yo biatch I hate yo' ass, I'm gonna kill you!" Mal'ganis responds: "Lemme see you try that, you punk-ass loser!" And so on. Eventually Mal'ganis just teleports out before Arthas can get to him, probably just as bored by the dialogue as I was. Of course, I exaggerate, but you get the picture. I mean, come on, why waste time throwing useless jibes back and forth when they could just go straight to business and trade some real blows?
At least I found out two things from this book (but I won't spoil it for you), that I was curious about: what really happened between Arthas and Jaina and how did Arthas get his hands on that awesome armor.
In conclusion, I just wasted a few hours reading Arthas, when I could have gained more information just by reading some Wiki entries or someone's blog. I really don't know what happened to Christie Golden and this book, considering that Lord of the Clans moved me emotionally. Perhaps she didn't have complete freedom from Blizzard, perhaps she wasn't allowed to expand too much on the story or who knows what else. My recommendation is to save yourself a few bucks and pass on this book.
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
4 years ago