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An all-new official prequel novel to Shadowlands, the next expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s legendary online game World of Warcraft “The Horde is nothing!” With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Al An all-new official prequel novel to Shadowlands, the next expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s legendary online game World of Warcraft “The Horde is nothing!” With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Alleria, race to uncover her next move. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas’s whereabouts. The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest. Thrall, Lor’themar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof, First Arcanist Thalyssra, and many other familiar faces rise to this new challenge. But the threats are numerous, and the distrust runs too deep. When the council is derailed by a failed assassination attempt on Talanji—the Zandalari queen and a key ally—Thrall and the rest of the Horde leaders are forced into action. They empower the young troll shaman Zekhan, still grieving the loss of Varok Saurfang, with a critical mission to aid Talanji and help uncover the rising threat against her. Meanwhile, Nathanos Blightcaller and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked by the Dark Lady with a terrifying gambit: to kill the troll loa of death himself, Bwonsamdi. As Zekhan and Talanji work to save Bwonsamdi, their journey will be a key turning point in bolstering the Horde against the coming darkness and finding themselves along the way. Failure to save their allies and the trickster god will surely doom them—but through success, they may rediscover what makes the Horde strong.


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An all-new official prequel novel to Shadowlands, the next expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s legendary online game World of Warcraft “The Horde is nothing!” With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Al An all-new official prequel novel to Shadowlands, the next expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s legendary online game World of Warcraft “The Horde is nothing!” With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Alleria, race to uncover her next move. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas’s whereabouts. The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest. Thrall, Lor’themar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof, First Arcanist Thalyssra, and many other familiar faces rise to this new challenge. But the threats are numerous, and the distrust runs too deep. When the council is derailed by a failed assassination attempt on Talanji—the Zandalari queen and a key ally—Thrall and the rest of the Horde leaders are forced into action. They empower the young troll shaman Zekhan, still grieving the loss of Varok Saurfang, with a critical mission to aid Talanji and help uncover the rising threat against her. Meanwhile, Nathanos Blightcaller and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked by the Dark Lady with a terrifying gambit: to kill the troll loa of death himself, Bwonsamdi. As Zekhan and Talanji work to save Bwonsamdi, their journey will be a key turning point in bolstering the Horde against the coming darkness and finding themselves along the way. Failure to save their allies and the trickster god will surely doom them—but through success, they may rediscover what makes the Horde strong.

30 review for Shadows Rising

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The writing was well done, very easy to read while describing the scenes well. However, it felt like nothing really happened in the story? I was waiting for something the entire time and before I knew it, the adventure was over. Either way, fun and easy read to prepare for our adventures through the Shadowlands. Edit: after sitting on this for a while... I'm bumping it down another star. I think this is probably one of the worst books in the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Philosophercat

    Warcraft novels are always hit and miss for me. This one was obviously a miss. It all comes down to one thing: characterization. I never fully bought into any of the characters, who seemed over the top and sometimes out of character. I can't even say that the book was an amusing romp or otherwise entertaining. I ended up rushing through it. I don't know how much of the problem is Roux's prose style itself, or the dictates of Blizzard's outline from which she had to work. Maybe the out of characte Warcraft novels are always hit and miss for me. This one was obviously a miss. It all comes down to one thing: characterization. I never fully bought into any of the characters, who seemed over the top and sometimes out of character. I can't even say that the book was an amusing romp or otherwise entertaining. I ended up rushing through it. I don't know how much of the problem is Roux's prose style itself, or the dictates of Blizzard's outline from which she had to work. Maybe the out of character pieces will make more sense after we learn that there is some kind of dark magic involved (I hope not. I really dislike that trope). Anyway, this was a solid miss for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tabatha

    I’ve read all 23 Warcraft novels and this is the first one I had to force myself to finish. It’s poorly written as if the author knows nothing about the game and lore and her writing style over all is mediocre at best. This was painful to read and so slow. The author tried to incorporate lgbtq into the story which I’m all for but it felt so forced especially since there were four lgbtq relationships which just seemed like overkill. The author portrayed the characters horribly and the quality of I’ve read all 23 Warcraft novels and this is the first one I had to force myself to finish. It’s poorly written as if the author knows nothing about the game and lore and her writing style over all is mediocre at best. This was painful to read and so slow. The author tried to incorporate lgbtq into the story which I’m all for but it felt so forced especially since there were four lgbtq relationships which just seemed like overkill. The author portrayed the characters horribly and the quality of this story is more befitting of an online fan fiction not an actual Warcraft novel. Blizzard, please PLEASE do not ever use this author again. I will be so disappointed if for the first time ever I have to refuse to buy a Warcraft novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Latasha

    [image error] THIS MF'ING BOOK!! The audio book is read by none other than QUEEN TALANJI herself!!! So I'm just gonna tell y'all right now- this review is strongly influenced by my loyalty, love and devotion to the troll race- Darkspear and Zandalari alike. Taking place after the events of Battle of Azeroth, we see how everyone is dealing with Sylvanas' actions. Instead of electing a new war chief, there is now a council of Horde leaders. Thrall (oh my love for him!!!) is back, as well as Bai [image error] THIS MF'ING BOOK!! The audio book is read by none other than QUEEN TALANJI herself!!! So I'm just gonna tell y'all right now- this review is strongly influenced by my loyalty, love and devotion to the troll race- Darkspear and Zandalari alike. Taking place after the events of Battle of Azeroth, we see how everyone is dealing with Sylvanas' actions. Instead of electing a new war chief, there is now a council of Horde leaders. Thrall (oh my love for him!!!) is back, as well as Baine Bloodhoof (love him too!) and some other people lol. Queen Talanji is invited to join this council but when there is an assassination attempt on her, she declines the invite and returns home to Zandalar. [image error] Things are not going so well for her. There is unrest everywhere. Some are mad at her for joining with the horde while others remain loyal by her side (me included!). There is also whispered rumors of the uprising of a cult and dark archers. Is Sylvanas hiding out in Zandalar? [image error] There is also A LOT of Bwonsamdi in this book and I loved every freakin bit of that!! I love that loa of death and he didn't even have to bribe me with a deal to say that! The cult wants him dead but why? With his life tied to Talanji's, this is not good at all. OH!! And the now famous Zappy Boi (real name Zekhan) is in here!! I was so, so excited to see him back and in a bigger role. After Talanji leaves the council, the oh so wise, brave and noble Thrall sends him to Zandalar as Ambassador of the Horde. He is to keep eyes and ears on the Queen but he goes above and beyond, proving his bravery. [image error] Yeah, yeah, I know this is all over the place and I didn't mention anything about the alliance. They got problems too. Jania and Anduin and the rest. The story is so, so good. It does go back and forth from Talanji, horde and alliance. So there's some blue and gold for you people. I loved hearing and learning more about these characters I love. As I said at the beginning, I listened to the audio book. It's narrated by Susan Wokoma and she gets all the stars ever because she is also the voice actress for Queen Talanji, which I love dearly. Did I mention that? ;) [image error]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike Purdin

    So so Would have been Good if not real good, but pushing the lgbtq agenda way too much. I don't read books for propaganda, but for fun or knowledge. World of Warcraft sjw book. I won't be buying any more wow books. If I hadn't paid the 6 month game deal. I would quit playing. I don't want political or agendas pushed on me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brittani

    First, I'd like to say that this does not contain any information that's needed for the next expansion like "Before the Storm" did. If you think you need to read it, you don't. I was disappointed with this book. I felt it was a little slow and the characters were flat, many of them also seemed to react not matching to their true game character. The only character I thought had been the most fleshed out was Zekhan a.k.a zappy boy. A side character.. There's a lot of negotiations and talking in thi First, I'd like to say that this does not contain any information that's needed for the next expansion like "Before the Storm" did. If you think you need to read it, you don't. I was disappointed with this book. I felt it was a little slow and the characters were flat, many of them also seemed to react not matching to their true game character. The only character I thought had been the most fleshed out was Zekhan a.k.a zappy boy. A side character.. There's a lot of negotiations and talking in this book, not a lot of action. I could pick out each point that the author was instructed by Blizzard to hit and what was actually her added writing to fill in the narrative. Overall, it's okay, but doesn't hype up the expansion like I thought it might.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I went into this not knowing what to expect, but knowing that Flynn Fairwind and Mathias Shaw were due to start a relationship in the book. That’s actually why I bought it. Overall, I was bored. I didn’t find the story compelling, there were at least 9 points of view, the Alliance seemed superfluous, and a lot of characters were one note. Ultimately, I felt this could have been a Horde only book, and I saw this as a primarily Alliance player. I think this would have benefited from cutting out all I went into this not knowing what to expect, but knowing that Flynn Fairwind and Mathias Shaw were due to start a relationship in the book. That’s actually why I bought it. Overall, I was bored. I didn’t find the story compelling, there were at least 9 points of view, the Alliance seemed superfluous, and a lot of characters were one note. Ultimately, I felt this could have been a Horde only book, and I saw this as a primarily Alliance player. I think this would have benefited from cutting out all the Alliance parts, and focusing on the Horde. That, or make the book 30 pages longer, because I feel like a lot of characters were one note: Thrall was tired, Flynn was drunk, Mathias was stoic, Sira was bloodthirsty, Aparai was revenge, Talanji was angry (I couldn’t fault her for it) and Zekhan was “Aw shucks, I’m just a country troll.” Maybe if there had been fewer than nine points of view, or an additional few pages, the characters could have had more diverse character types. I hated the use of portals to get around in the book, it felt like it was simply too easy for the characters to get to where they needed to be. Except Flynn, who had to sail all over Azeroth. Drunk. As you do. Talanji gets angry and goes back to Zandalar? Must have done it in a portal, because the incident that sends her back happens one day, and she’s home that evening. Thrall neeeds to meet with Jaina? Let’s meet in Zandalar, and then have her portal him to the capital city! But not close enough so he can complain! The ending won’t happen with portals! Let’s go! It was all too convinient for me. I did like some things. The nod to Zekhan being called Zappy Boy was fun, because as an Alliance player I only knew him by the nickname. I enjoyed seeing more of Bwondsamdi. I think there’s a lot to that character that we got to see in the book, and there’s a scene near the end I really enjoyed with him in it. I enjoyed getting to see Mathias Shaw more, and hearing about how he became Spymaster. He’s a character I’ve interacted with a long time, since my first character was a rogue (along with half the server). The Mathias/Flynn relationship was a letdown to me, as a member of the glbt+ community. I could see it was there, but it was pretty tame. Blizzard novels are action novels, not romances, so I don’t expect any sort of serious romantic gestures to happen, but all we really got was Flynn standing too close, and Shaw thinking Flynn smells nice. And one big hug at the end. A big, big hug, and in invite to talk at an inn later. Yes, we can read between the lines, but I feel like a lot of people can brush it off and pretend it didn’t happen, and as someone who wants there to be more rep for glbt+ people in media, I don’t like seeing that happen. A gesture, like a touch on the cheek, could have gone a long way. So yeah, I’m not mad at the book. I’m disappointed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Anrathi

    I thought this book was good for what it is. A bridge to lead us from BfA to Shadowlands. Madeleine Roux managed to keep the events of the book moderately important, but nothing groundbreaking is happening, no major bits of lore are revealed, none of the important characters die. I find this to be an improvement from Christie Golden's Before the Storm, a prequel to Battle for Azeroth. Blizzard definitely need to get away from making big things happen outside the game itself, and Shadows Rising w I thought this book was good for what it is. A bridge to lead us from BfA to Shadowlands. Madeleine Roux managed to keep the events of the book moderately important, but nothing groundbreaking is happening, no major bits of lore are revealed, none of the important characters die. I find this to be an improvement from Christie Golden's Before the Storm, a prequel to Battle for Azeroth. Blizzard definitely need to get away from making big things happen outside the game itself, and Shadows Rising was definitely a step in a right direction. You don't HAVE to read it to understand what is happening in the game, you are not going to be left confused, if reading WoW related fiction is not your cup of tea. On the other hand, if you decide to read it, you will have a better understanding of things. I'm sure some would argue that Before the Storm was a stronger entry because of major events, specifically the tragedy of the Arathi highlands and everything that came from it. And I would agree with this, if I was not convinced that those events should've taken place inside the game narrative, because of their importance. I appreciated Talanji's chapters, her perspective on the Horde and the recent events. Alleria and Turalion also brought plenty of interesting dynamics, which is important to analyse if you are invested in the cosmology of the Warcraft universe, especially in understanding the Light and the Void. On a subjective and personal note, as a Sylvanas loyalist, getting more Nathanos is always a plus. Tyrande's behavior in the book surely foreshadows the general feel of her development in the upcoming expansion. Anduin is seemingly becoming less of a universally loved shiny angel boy, which is definitely a positive for his character. Zappy Boi (now officially) is a delight. Shaw and Fairwind's relationship is tastefully done. Generally I don't have a lot of complaints, and the ones I do have are not important enough to mention. I also want to give Madeleine a shout out for the lack of Night Elf bias. I remember her stating she was a big fan and I find it to be a big success that she managed to avoid any preferential treatment. Actually, I feel like this is another improvement from Before the Storm, which clearly and obviously had an Alliance bias to it. To summarize, it's not a must read, but I surely had fun while it lasted.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ashlyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So much of this book had potential. There were so many storylines left untouched here that could have been nearly tied up with a bow, and so many that were tied with a bow that shouldn’t have been. So many weird, out of character things. SPOILERS POSSIBLE AHEAD: The Anduin in the bar chapter was the most pointless thing. It felt like it was there just to remind us that the alliance was still there. The book was stupidly horse heavy and while I understand the central point of the plot was set in Za So much of this book had potential. There were so many storylines left untouched here that could have been nearly tied up with a bow, and so many that were tied with a bow that shouldn’t have been. So many weird, out of character things. SPOILERS POSSIBLE AHEAD: The Anduin in the bar chapter was the most pointless thing. It felt like it was there just to remind us that the alliance was still there. The book was stupidly horse heavy and while I understand the central point of the plot was set in Zandalar.... wtf? Why bother with the alliance chapters at all? They were meaningless half the time. Five minutes of my life I want back from having to read about Shaw’s fantasy vacation. The characters were sloppy all over. Massive lore characters like Lore’themar being reduced to a few lines and not even at the final battle. Ji Firepaw accompanying Thrall beyond Nordrassil made zero sense. And the Alliance. Where was Talia? Where were the gnomes and the dwarves and dranaei (I don’t care that I spelled it wrong)? Where in the ever-loving world was Magni? Talanji references the battle where her father was killed multiple times, but never once do we find out what happened to Mekkatorque. And where were the mecha-gnomes? Another huge annoyance for me was Mayla Highmountain. Every horse race is on the Horde Council and the Forsaken have two “leaders”. Everyone was named at least twice as being the “Horde Leadership”. Even Kiro the Vulpera was named... but Mayla Highmountain is never mentioned at all, like the Highmountain Tauren just ceased to exist. Plus the Alleria and Turalyon thing just... disappeared halfway through the book? Instead we got a half-assed night elf storyline? The actual thing that killed this book for me was the Epilogue. For a tie-in novel, I felt it didn’t tie in with what we know we’re getting in the expansion... and the Epilogue being half from the cutscene and then... Sylvanas being pissed at Nathanos really irked me. I don’t feel like this was a “SHADOWLANDS” book at all. It was a fluff Warcraft novel with a piss poor story... and I have LOVED every book before this.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Friederike

    So, so happy to have received my preorder a couple days early! I already enjoyed Madeleine Roux's writing a lot in "A Moment in Verse" so I was looking forward to "Shadows Rising" a lot more. This book picks up after the fall of N'Zoth and the making of the Horde Council, and ends with the official Shadowlands cinematic trailer. (Just to give you reference here) Not gonna lie, i struggled a bit with all the different perspectives that were introduced in the beginning. I had to groan each time a ne So, so happy to have received my preorder a couple days early! I already enjoyed Madeleine Roux's writing a lot in "A Moment in Verse" so I was looking forward to "Shadows Rising" a lot more. This book picks up after the fall of N'Zoth and the making of the Horde Council, and ends with the official Shadowlands cinematic trailer. (Just to give you reference here) Not gonna lie, i struggled a bit with all the different perspectives that were introduced in the beginning. I had to groan each time a new one was introduced because this requires you to focus completely on the book (not helpful when there are people disturbing you often). But I knew it was necessary to tell the story, to bring light to each perspective and side as equally as possible without taking too many things away. I'd say it took me roughly the first third of the book to fully get into the story. What I really appreciated was the attention to details. So many minor things that might be forgotten or easily overlooked but make a subtle difference - for example the effects of portalling (especially on those not used to using that method of travel regularly) or how the whole conflict, action after action, has worn the characters out. How tense and fragile relations are. In my opinion, the story is masterfully woven together and I already put more of the author's work on my wishlist. And now I fully look forward to how the story unfolds in Shadowlands.

  11. 5 out of 5

    MyMoonlightBird

    * I heavily advise you to play through BFA expansion in World of Warcraft, or find summaries about it on Youtube. Otherwise you won't understand this story at all. After the hideous betrayal of Sylvanas Windrunner, the horde is in pieces, but trying to mend it's fragmented people. So when Zandalari Queen Talenij is attacked while in council, new problems merge themselves with existing ones. Talenij is doubting herself and confused, but when her Loa of Kings Bwonsamdi is being attacked by her own * I heavily advise you to play through BFA expansion in World of Warcraft, or find summaries about it on Youtube. Otherwise you won't understand this story at all. After the hideous betrayal of Sylvanas Windrunner, the horde is in pieces, but trying to mend it's fragmented people. So when Zandalari Queen Talenij is attacked while in council, new problems merge themselves with existing ones. Talenij is doubting herself and confused, but when her Loa of Kings Bwonsamdi is being attacked by her own people and Sylvanas's dark rangers, she needs to make an important decision. Pro's: + This book is THE tie-in between the BFA and the shadowlands expansion and I think Madeleine Roux did a great job in capturing the essence of all the characters and setting them up for the next part of the World of Warcraft story. There are some small details that could become major problems in the upcoming expansion, the purple, smokey tendril around Anduin's hand, and certainly Talenij goes through a big character growth in this book. + There is a small, romantic storyline between Mathias Shaw and Flynn Fairwind and I think it is absolutely too cute. They are both very different personalities and through talks and a sea voyage they grow closer together. I hope we'll see more of them in the upcoming expansion, there is too little romance in WOW. Con's: - I hated how relient this was on close knowledge of the BFA expansion. Because honestly, the expansion was shit and not fun to play, so I missed large parts of it. And therefore I had to look up a lot of lore, which I would have gotten if this expansion was more fun to play. Other WOW books are not too reliant on close knowledge of the story, so they are a lot more accessible to the non-WOW playing public. - I have one other big complaint about this book and that is the general state of the Hardcover version. This was an EXPENSIVE book, and for that money I got a very basic, cheaply made hardcover that stains when you only look at it and the paper dust jacket feels so barebones. No foil or shiny detail and no relief letters or logo, which gives this book a cheap feel even though you have to pay a lot of money for it. Oh man, what a disappointment. If you can get if for cheap in E-format, then maybe get it. But please do not support Blizzard by buying a very overpriced hardcover that was made for 3 cents in China. I also cannot recommend buying this if you're not a die-hard BFA player, otherwise you would just miss a massive amount of background story. The author did nothing to recap events, so you're left to find this out on your own about this. And then I haven't even touched on the fake Troll language used, the complete neglect of other important characters and the pacing of this book, which were all completely off. If you want to read some WOW books, I can recommend you reading Arthas or Warcrimes, those were both really good.

  12. 4 out of 5

    lyn straine

    Spoiler alert for the gays matty and flynn don't even make out. disappointing. cowardly. but I'm glad they didn't kill zappy boy and bwonsamdi felt like such a Bro, so that was something. Otherwise it was the usual passably tolerable nonsense

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ádám Juhász

    "The Horde... is nothing! You are all nothing! ... If you could see yourselves as I see you. Toy soldiers in tin plate. Beasts who howl for honor. Standing as one. Savor it... Nothing lasts." - Sylvanas Windrunner These words of farewell by the currently fugitive ex-Warchief perfrectly summarize the content and the purpose of this book. Regarding the latter Madeleine Roux wished to break the cycle like Saurfang did and created a Warcraft book that does not contain vital information about the upcomi "The Horde... is nothing! You are all nothing! ... If you could see yourselves as I see you. Toy soldiers in tin plate. Beasts who howl for honor. Standing as one. Savor it... Nothing lasts." - Sylvanas Windrunner These words of farewell by the currently fugitive ex-Warchief perfrectly summarize the content and the purpose of this book. Regarding the latter Madeleine Roux wished to break the cycle like Saurfang did and created a Warcraft book that does not contain vital information about the upcoming expansion. I really like the approach that not every player is obliged to read books to keep up with the main lore. Although the ones who do read the novel still get a complete story of the beloved characters with a deeper understanding. A story of the aforementioned toy soldiers and beasts standing as one, but in the end nothing really matters ... (or does it?) Regarding the book my rating is simply based on how I see this as a Warcraft story. If you are not familiar with the lore of the universe or particularly the Battle for Azeroth expansion you probably will not enjoy this story as I did. The story that really favors the Horde perspective of the current events, though the Alliance still gets its shining moments. We meet several main characters that we love or hate but personally I enjoyed the side stories of the minor characters that we hardly know about during the game. In my opinion the book is well written and has a captivating atmosphere with some usual Warcraft story elements. We get a last glimpse of the beloved characters before we depart to the Shadowlands. As Sylvanas said, savor it, nothing lasts. Everything will change soon...the Shadowlands are coming...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fannynordgren

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The most interesting part about this book was to find out more about the political issues within both the Horde and Alliance, and between both. I didn’t care too much about the whole storyline about Talanji, and I found it a bit too drawn out, even though I realise that the storyline is an integral part of the story. Now. FAIRSHAW CANON FAIRSHAW CANON FAIRSHAW CANON. Ehem. As a dedicated shipper of these a good while back, I am over the moon to see this become canon. And bi/pan rep from Flynn? An The most interesting part about this book was to find out more about the political issues within both the Horde and Alliance, and between both. I didn’t care too much about the whole storyline about Talanji, and I found it a bit too drawn out, even though I realise that the storyline is an integral part of the story. Now. FAIRSHAW CANON FAIRSHAW CANON FAIRSHAW CANON. Ehem. As a dedicated shipper of these a good while back, I am over the moon to see this become canon. And bi/pan rep from Flynn? And Mathias Shaw pining over Flynn Fairwind and not being able to think about what he smells like? Wow. I was also so pleasantly surprised with how there were little bits of lgbtq+ rep sprinkled throughout. Too see that in a canon book, even THE canon book to carry on the story of the previous WoW expansion, is amazing. Like a comforting mug of hot tea on a rainy day.

  15. 4 out of 5

    TheLittlestBookworm

    Nothing happened. Where the heck did FairShaw come from? Felt like a waste of tree. Two stars for Bwonsamdi because he's cool.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mariana Suarez

    A bit fanfic-ey. It is an easy read with some interesting parts that help closing the gap between expansions. Other than that, it is not something I would rate as fantastic or a "must read" for any Warcraft fan.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anastey

    Kept finding myself skimming to get through chapters. It wasn't poorly written or anything, simply boring with very little plot. No depth to the characters, or any meaningful growth at all. So many different points of view to keep track of, that could have easily been cut too. There was so much stuff on the Alliance side that was just fluff that had zero to do with the story. I usually love the WoW books, but this was a slog to get through until the last couple chapters.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charlayne

    5 *****Stars Book: Shadows Rising Series: World of Warcraft Author: Madeleine Roux Publisher: Del Rey Genre: Fantasy, Gaming Rated: General Release Date: July 14, 2020 Page Count: 304 Reviewer’s Note: this is a novel based on the World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online game (mmo). It fills in a lore gap between the current playing expansion and the next one. The Battle for Azeroth is finally over. Both sides have a truce that its negotiators hope will hold, this time. After starting the war by kill 5 *****Stars Book: Shadows Rising Series: World of Warcraft Author: Madeleine Roux Publisher: Del Rey Genre: Fantasy, Gaming Rated: General Release Date: July 14, 2020 Page Count: 304 Reviewer’s Note: this is a novel based on the World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online game (mmo). It fills in a lore gap between the current playing expansion and the next one. The Battle for Azeroth is finally over. Both sides have a truce that its negotiators hope will hold, this time. After starting the war by killing countless elven men, women, and children, along with many of the Gilneas refugees when she burned Teldrassil, Warchief of the Horde Sylvanas stunned both the Horde and the Alliance when she loudly proclaimed “The Horde is nothing, you all nothing” at the start of the final battle of the war. She escaped with her champion, Nathanos Blightcaller and the loyalist archers following her. Anduin Wrynn, King of Stormwind and leader of the Alliance, in the wake of the war is trying to put the kingdom back together. Long-time leaders of the night elves, Tyranda and Malfurion, have gone in search of Sylvanas and haven’t been heard from. He has sent Sylvanas’s sister, Alleria, to track her down but she’s come back empty handed. Meanwhile, the Horde has its own problems. The council that has formed in the wake of the betrayal of the warchief is struggling to find a path forward. As the different faction leaders meet in Orgrimmar, Queen Talanji of the Zandalari Trolls has decided to leave the Horde. While the Horde wants peace with the Alliance, she wants Kul Tiran Admiral Jaina Proudmoore dead for killing her father, King Rastakhan during the battle in Daraz’alor. This is the setup for Shadows Rising by Madeleine Roux. The third book in the World of Warcraft series carries forth the story of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. The story lore is slowing down in the game in preparation for the next expansion, Shadowlands is wrapping up loose ends. I loved this book. I have looked forward to the novels when the old expansion winds down and the new one is soon to release. I play the game as much for the lore as anything so the books fill in some of the parts we would miss without them and gives us hints to what is coming next in the story. Madeleine has a very easy style, the story flows without a lot of overwhelming details. With such established characters, the challenge is to make sure the story meshes with the lore in-game. She’s managed to get this balance right. I hear the voices when I’m reading, nothing is out of character. She makes us care about Talanji and really hate Nathanos, if that is possible since he’s been one of the bad guy for many expansions now. This book also gives the player the story of the side they don’t play. I have characters on both sides, Horde and Alliance, so I’ve kept up with the story. Some players don’t do that and this book will fill in the holes within their game experiences from the side they don’t play much or at all. I liked the story of the Loa Bwonsomdi. The loa, or the god of death has been a fun character in the lore and even being one of the bosses in the Daraz’alor raid that groups of players have to fight. The cadence of the Cajun accent just makes him seem more life-like. It’s one of the voices you will hear in your head when you read the book. She’s got that one down correctly. The newest change in characters is the story between Si-7 master spy Mathias Shaw and the free spirit ship’s captain Flynn Fairwind. They were fun in the run into Daraz’alor to get the Abyssal Sceptor, griping back and forth like an old married couple. It was out of that one quest that fans started putting the two together in memes and fan fiction. That the story now is official, a somewhat controversial move. Some people like it, others are not quite as happy. I love it and am looking forward to seeing where the story with them goes in the next expansion. Overall, the story and lore from Shadows Rising is solid and well-told. It’s a good way to get ready for the next expansion, which is slated to come out sometime in the fall of 2020. It’s also just a plain fun read and can be read and enjoyed even if you don’t play the game. Pick it up and see where we’re heading next. It’s worth it. Charlayne Elizabeth Denney Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    I do not envy the authors who write the novels that serve as exposition to the next World of Warcraft expansion. There are, I am certain, a number of difficulties that arise when working with such an established IP and, in particular, with video game properties. It is difficult to work in a world in which the mechanics of the game must inherently allow for stories that ignore those same mechanics. What meaning, death, in a world in which the death of a player's character is completely inconseque I do not envy the authors who write the novels that serve as exposition to the next World of Warcraft expansion. There are, I am certain, a number of difficulties that arise when working with such an established IP and, in particular, with video game properties. It is difficult to work in a world in which the mechanics of the game must inherently allow for stories that ignore those same mechanics. What meaning, death, in a world in which the death of a player's character is completely inconsequential and the deaths of many major lore characters have been treated as setbacks rather than endings. To that end, I believe that Roux performs admirably. The book serves its purpose, carries the game story forward and does so in a generally adequate manner that doesn't break immersion terribly. Unfortunately, much of the book is simply bland. A few of the characters have genuine moments but those individual scenes in which we glimpse who the characters really are come too sparingly. For every great moment like Shaw coming to grips with his true desire for companionship as an escape from his prison, we are left slogging through huge amounts of what feels like filler. In the end I am left wondering what, if anything, has really been added to my understanding of what is happening in the world. Did I gain anything from this novel that I feel will either deepen my enjoyment of the game's story or make me more excited for the game's next expansion which, as I see it, are the purposes behind these tie-in novels. While I enjoyed this novel enough and reveled in a few of the reveals I just didn't feel like it carried the sense of excitement or even the levels of background knowledge that some of the previous tie-ins carried. I have not read other works by Madeleine Roux and enjoyed Shadows Rising enough to be willing to give her other works a chance, but this particular novel feels like a decent wrap up to a mediocre game expansion. I would like to see what the author can do outside of those constraints. To this particular novel, I would rank 2.5 Stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I have been waiting for this book since the expansion was announced and the book was announced as well. It was a wonderful written story. Ms. Roux is able to capture the humanity behind the epic lore characters that us WoW players love and hate. Nothing seemed jarring. I love a lot of the different personalities working together and (view spoiler)[how she handled the Flynn and Mathias beginning of relationship was delicious. It didn't seem out of place, too fast or even weird. (hide spoiler)] On I have been waiting for this book since the expansion was announced and the book was announced as well. It was a wonderful written story. Ms. Roux is able to capture the humanity behind the epic lore characters that us WoW players love and hate. Nothing seemed jarring. I love a lot of the different personalities working together and (view spoiler)[how she handled the Flynn and Mathias beginning of relationship was delicious. It didn't seem out of place, too fast or even weird. (hide spoiler)] One analogy really hit home in my heart. Anduin is thinking about the stresses he's dealt with lately in Azeroth and he compares it to a coin bag with worries being put in and worries being taken out of this bag like coins. I LOVED this. I will be using it in the future to judge my mental health. I would recommend this book for any WoW player that reads the books. Nothing earthshattering that ya have to read in order to understand anything but it does dive deeper into character's personalities and what has happened since the peace treaty.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara Medynski

    My first exposure to Madeleine Roux was her short story for Blizzard 'A Moment in Verse.' I loved her writing style and the narrative she crafted for two characters that are usually supporting cast members, Roux allowed them to take center stage and shine. She does the same here, bringing a clear voice and personality to fan-favorite (and instant meme) Zekhan. As someone who spent most of BfA playing Alliance (don't @ me), it was nice to gain further perspective into what was going on with the Ho My first exposure to Madeleine Roux was her short story for Blizzard 'A Moment in Verse.' I loved her writing style and the narrative she crafted for two characters that are usually supporting cast members, Roux allowed them to take center stage and shine. She does the same here, bringing a clear voice and personality to fan-favorite (and instant meme) Zekhan. As someone who spent most of BfA playing Alliance (don't @ me), it was nice to gain further perspective into what was going on with the Horde towards the close of BfA, especially after the Mak'gora and Sylvanas' revelation that "The Horde is nothing!" The Horde finds itself in uncharted territory, as a group that has normally united under a Warchief, but now sits under the shared leadership and guidance of the Horde Council - many of whom are new and untested. Most of the story takes place in Zuldazar and jumps between Queen Talanji's struggles with rebels and her own internal conflict over what happened with her father and her decision to join the Horde, and Nathanos and Sira Moonwarden's quest to kill everyone's favorite loa Bwonsamdi. As the story unfolds we realize that the two are connected and that it may take the Horde and Alliance putting their tentative peace treaty to the test to save the loa of Death and stop Sylvanas. I enjoyed the book, not as much as some of the other Warcraft novels, but I think that it added greatly to the world-building and helped wrap up the events of BfA nicely - for the Horde anyways. I would have enjoyed seeing more interaction between the Horde and Alliance. Other than the brief meeting with the Night Elves at Nordrassil, and Shaw and Flynn's adventures (and flirtations) most of the Alliance parts seemed like blink and you'll miss it moments. I don't blame the author here, and I realize that given the events with Sylvanas the Horde seemingly have more skin in the game right now than the Alliance, but this felt like an epilogue for BfA, not a tie in novel for an entirely new expansion. I want to learn more about the Shadowlands, the Maw, and the Jailer, but it looks like I'm going to have to wait until in-game events for that. I hope Blizzard gives Madeleine Roux the opportunity to write more stories for them, she is a fantastic storyteller.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Keith Edward

    Definitely enjoyable for warcraft fans I honestly enjoyed this story quite a bit. Definitely can tell the author is an avid player with all the details she includes in the story from the world of Warcraft itself. There was great character building with intrigue, drama, and action to go around. The only reason I didn’t do 5 stars was some of the romantic parts felt a bit pressured into the story and didn’t personally seem to fit in with me but overall, this was written very well and I highly recom Definitely enjoyable for warcraft fans I honestly enjoyed this story quite a bit. Definitely can tell the author is an avid player with all the details she includes in the story from the world of Warcraft itself. There was great character building with intrigue, drama, and action to go around. The only reason I didn’t do 5 stars was some of the romantic parts felt a bit pressured into the story and didn’t personally seem to fit in with me but overall, this was written very well and I highly recommend to any Warcraft fans out there!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alkiviadis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Amazing. Great prologue for the next expansion. I feel bad for the horde being so weak and completely disorganised. On the other hand, the alliance between the Alliance and the Horde is uneasy, the book makes it clear. We finally now the situation within the two factions just before we jump into Shadowlands. Pretty good

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Chavez

    This book is an okay story set in the Warcraft universe but compared to other books which really pull you in and get you invested in the story this book just doesn't have that. It is still an okay story and involves a couple good characters but it just seems like it doesn't have the substance compared to others

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ben McBride

    I guess It’s just been too long since I’ve been in this world. No thank you. 😒

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Neely

    I really enjoyed reading this, but certain parts felt odd or out of character

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carola | adreamofpages

    This was the first World of Warcraft book I've read and I LOVED IT!! I would say I'm an average World of Warcraft player; I do casual raiding, weekly M+ etc, but not in any way am I playing 24/7 or am I trying to hardcore 'finish' content. I really enjoyed how I already knew the world and I could read about what is happening now that we are at the end of the expansion. After finishing this I can't wait to play Shadowlands. One thing I would have liked was to see more of Sylvanas, or maybe her POV f This was the first World of Warcraft book I've read and I LOVED IT!! I would say I'm an average World of Warcraft player; I do casual raiding, weekly M+ etc, but not in any way am I playing 24/7 or am I trying to hardcore 'finish' content. I really enjoyed how I already knew the world and I could read about what is happening now that we are at the end of the expansion. After finishing this I can't wait to play Shadowlands. One thing I would have liked was to see more of Sylvanas, or maybe her POV from time to time. But I also know that it kinda is a secret what she is doing, so her POV would be difficult to have without spoiling things. I also really liked seeing Zehkan, little zappy boy. I already liked him a lot in the trailer for BFA, etc. and seeing him play a big role in this book and thus hopefully see more of him in Shadowlands made me happy. If you are a World of Warcraft fan and would like to see more of the game than I definitely recommend reading this! Also, if you love fantasy I think you could enjoy this. I don't know how much/if you would need some background story to get this book, but I guess it would still be enjoyable when you don't know the game.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    3.5 stars Very much felt like a prequel. Mostly lots of filler with very little substance.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kait

    3 stars for the story; fast paced, thorough and descriptive but felt like it ambled on more than often. 1 whole star for fairshaw. ⚔️💖

  30. 4 out of 5

    Merryn Turner

    There were parts of this that felt really well done, and parts that fell flat. It was nice to see a bit more of the Zandalari perspective, and the relationship between Talanji and Bwonsamdi. The characters (especially Anduin and Thrall) were written really differently than in previous books in the series; a risk that comes with so many authors in the same universe I suppose, and it was difficult to relate them back to the characters we’d met in previous books. The best part of this book by far wa There were parts of this that felt really well done, and parts that fell flat. It was nice to see a bit more of the Zandalari perspective, and the relationship between Talanji and Bwonsamdi. The characters (especially Anduin and Thrall) were written really differently than in previous books in the series; a risk that comes with so many authors in the same universe I suppose, and it was difficult to relate them back to the characters we’d met in previous books. The best part of this book by far was the interactions between Mathias Shaw and Flynn Fairwind!

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