So for my birthday, my loving boyfriend picked me up a book I've been meaning to read for quite some time now. I finally got around to finishing it up about a week ago, so while it's still fresh in my mind, I wanted to write this review first.
Off the bat, I have to warn you: I'm a HUGE fan of Christie Golden at this point. Every Warcraft book that I've read from her has been absolutely riveting and enthralling to the point where I lose sleep over extended reading periods. I have to add that while Arthas was no different in that regard, out of all her books, I think this may have been my least favorite.
Now, I'm not entirely sure this is a fair assessment. You see, there were only two problems that I had with the book. First, the entire recapping of Warcraft III was boring to me. I knew everything that was going to happen (though, arguably, as a WoW player in general, I suppose this should be true for every book to some extent). Just the same, I couldn't help feeling that I was trying to rush reading through it to find something new and interesting - and what do I get when I get to the end of where "The Frozen Throne" ends? Nothing but an Epilogue.
In fact, that brings me rather to my second beef - I could have read the prologue and epilogue and gotten everything I could have wanted out of the entire book. The information I was looking for, the bits and tidbits into Arthas' character, everything from his light to his dark side to how he interacts with Ner'zhul, all get summed up so nicely, almost too nicely, in those bits of the book that there's nearly no reason to read the rest of it.
Now, allow me to backtrack a bit to say that this isn't a bad book. I liked it. While I was reading the beginnings in particular, all the established relationships that you never really saw fleshed out in any game (such as the couple love triangles, family matters, and childhood friends) were pretty much what I was looking for - insight into a character who had such an abrupt change in Warcraft III that it was hard to understand the "why." The book instead outlays a series of events that leads Arthas to this path before he ever takes it - everything, admittedly, makes a lot more sense.
I just don't think that the recap of everything should have taken over half the book's volume while adding very little insight overall. I know that it's necessary - what if someone has never played Warcraft III? What if they've only played WoW and want to find out more about Arthas? It's totally understandable.
I think there could have been a better way to handle it - and don't get me wrong, there's a lot cut out or shortened for readability sake. But I don't think there's much excuse for a portion of the book that an individual can legitimately label as boring.
I don't like "grading" things, or having a rating system, so I think I'll end this with this: This book is worth reading, if only for the beginning and the very end. If you're into the Arthas/Jaina relationship OR Lady Sylvanas Windrunner's ascension as the Banshee Queen, then check this book out for sure - there's a lot for you here. However, if you're just looking for insight on the what-ifs for Icecrown or hints as to what's to come? Read the intro and epilogue and you can live your lore life quite happily without wasting too much time, 'cause that's all you're gonna get.
Not sure what I'll have in stock for you next week - we'll see. For now, fight the good fight. FOR THE HORDE!