Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King

World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King

4.5 195
by Christie Golden

See All Formats & Editions

The book World of Warcraft fans have been clamoring for—the true story behind one of the Warcraft universe’s most terrifying villains, Arthas the Lich King. Author Christie Golden does for Arthas what she once did for the Orc Lord Thrall in the bestselling Warcraft: Lord of the Clans, in another epic exploration of one of the key characters from the


The book World of Warcraft fans have been clamoring for—the true story behind one of the Warcraft universe’s most terrifying villains, Arthas the Lich King. Author Christie Golden does for Arthas what she once did for the Orc Lord Thrall in the bestselling Warcraft: Lord of the Clans, in another epic exploration of one of the key characters from the eleven-million subscriber massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Of all the Warcraft manga, comic books, and novels I have read, Arthas has the most solid, balanced writing and best realized characters....There's much to love about this book....When it ended, I could feel the pangs in my heart as if I was one of the participants." -- WowInsider.com

"This book is an overdosed cocktail of lore and continuity that will numb your senses....I can only say one thing about this. I (beep) love this book!!!" -- Blizzplanet.com

Product Details

Gallery Books
Publication date:
World of Warcraft Series
Product dimensions:
9.24(w) x 6.22(h) x 1.19(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Four

“As you can see, Your Highness,” said Lieutenant General Aedelas Blackmoore, “the taxes have been put to good use. Every precaution has been taken in the operation of this facility. In fact, security is so tight we’ve been able to stage gladiatorial combat here.”

“So I’ve heard,” said Arthas, as he walked with the commander of the internment camps on a tour of the grounds. Durnholde, not an internment camp itself, but the nerve center of all of the others, was huge, and indeed had almost a festival air about it. It was a crisp but bright autumn day, and the breeze caused the blue and white banners that flew over the keep to snap energetically. The wind stirred Blackmoore’s long raven hair and tugged at Arthas’s cloak as they strolled along the ramparts. “And so you shall also see,” Blackmoore promised, giving his prince an ingratiating grin.

It had been Arthas’s idea for a surprise inspection. Terenas had praised Arthas for his initiative and compassion. “It’s only right, Father,” Arthas had said, and by and large he meant it, although his primary reason for the suggestion was to satisfy his curiosity about the pet orc the lieutenant general kept. “We should make sure the money is going into the camps and not Blackmoore’s pocket. We can ascertain if he is taking proper care of the gladiatorial participants—and also, make sure he is not walking the path of his father.”

Blackmoore’s father, General Aedelyn Blackmoore, had been a notorious traitor, tried and convicted of selling state secrets. While his crimes had taken place long ago, when his son had been but a child, the stain had dogged Aedelas throughout his military career. It was only his record of victory in battles, and particular ferocity in fighting the orcs, that had enabled the current Blackmoore to rise in the ranks. Still, Arthas could detect the smell of liquor on the man’s breath, even at this hour of the morning. He suspected that particular piece of information would not be news to Terenas, but he’d make sure he told his father anyway.

Arthas looked down, feigning interest in watching the dozens of guards who stood at rigid attention. He wondered if they were that attentive when their future king wasn’t watching them.

“I look forward to the bout today,” he said. “Will I be able to watch your Thrall in action? I’ve heard quite a bit about him.” Blackmoore grinned, his neatly trimmed goatee parting to reveal white teeth. “He was not scheduled to fight today, but for you, Your Highness, I shall pair him up against the worthiest foes available.” Two hours later, the tour was complete, and Arthas shared a delicious meal with Blackmoore and a younger man named Lord Karramyn Langston, whom Blackmoore introduced as “my protégé.”

Arthas took an instinctive dislike to Langston, noting the man’s soft hands and languid demeanor. At least Blackmoore had fought in battle for his title; this boy—Arthas thought of him as a boy, although in truth Langston was older than Arthas’s seventeen years—had been handed everything on a platter.

Well, so have I, he thought, but he also knew what sacrifices a king would be expected to make. Langston looked like he’d never denied himself a thing in his life. Nor did he deny himself now, helping himself to the choicest cuts of meat, the most lavish pastries, and more than one glass of wine to wash it down with. Blackmoore, in contrast, ate sparingly, though he had more alcohol than Langston. Arthas’s dislike of the pair was completed when their serving girl entered and Blackmoore reached to touch her in a proprietary manner. The girl, golden-haired and simply clad, with a face that needed no artifice to be beautiful, smiled as if she enjoyed it, but Arthas caught a quick flash of unhappiness in her blue eyes.

“This is Taretha Foxton,” Blackmoore said, one hand still caressing the girl’s arm as she gathered the plates. “Daughter of my personal servant, Tammis, whom I’m sure you’ll see later.”

Arthas gave the girl his most winning smile. She reminded him a bit of Jaina—her hair brightened by the sun, her skin tanned. She returned the smile fleetingly, then demurely looked away as she gathered the plates, dropping a quick curtsey before leaving.

“You’ll have one like that soon enough, lad,” Blackmoore said, laughing. It took Arthas a second to grasp the meaning and then he blinked, startled. The two men laughed harder, and Blackmoore raised his goblet in a toast.

“To fair-haired girls,” he said, in a purring voice. Arthas looked back at Taretha, thought of Jaina, and forced himself to raise his glass. An hour later Arthas had forgotten all about Taretha Foxton and his indignation on her behalf. His voice was raw from screaming, his hands hurt from clapping, and he was having the time of his life. At first, he’d felt a little uncomfortable. The first few combatants in the ring were simple beasts pitted against one another, fighting to the death for no reason other than the enjoyment of the onlookers. “How are they treated prior to this?” Arthas had asked. He was fond of animals; it unsettled him to see them used so.

Langston had opened his mouth, but Blackmoore shushed him with a quick gesture. He had smiled, leaning back in his chaise lounge and snagging a bunch of grapes. “Well of course we want them at their fighting peak,” he said. “So they are captured and treated quite well. And as you can see, the bouts go quickly. If an animal survives and is not able to continue fighting again, we put him down at once, mercifully.” Arthas hoped the man was not lying to him. A sick feeling in his gut told him Blackmoore probably was, but he ignored it. The feeling vanished when the fighting involved men against the beasts. As he watched, riveted, Blackmoore said, “The men are paid well. They in fact become minor celebrities.”

Not the orc, though. And Arthas knew it, and approved. That’s what he was waiting for—the chance to see Blackmoore’s pet orc, found as an infant and raised to be a fighter in these rings, in combat. He was not disappointed. Apparently, everything up until now had been a warm-up for the crowd. When the doors creaked open and a huge green shape strode forward, everyone stood, roaring. Somehow Arthas found himself among them.

Thrall was enormous, appearing even larger because he was obviously so much healthier and alert than the other specimens Arthas had seen in the camps. He wore little armor and no helm, and green skin stretched tightly over powerful muscle. Too, he stood straighter than others. The cheering was deafening, and Thrall walked a circle around the ring, lifting his fists, turning his ugly face up to be showered with rose petals usually reserved for holidays.

“I taught him to do that,” Blackmoore said with pride. “It’s an odd thing, really. The crowd cheers for him, yet they come hoping every time he’ll get beaten.”

“Has he ever lost a bout?”

“Never, Your Highness. Nor will he. Yet people keep hoping, and the money keeps flowing.”

Arthas eyed him. “As long as the royal coffers see their proper percentage of your earnings, Lieutenant General, you’ll be permitted to continue the games.” He turned again to the orc, watching him as he completed his circuit. “He . . . is completely under control, isn’t he?” “Absolutely,” Blackmoore said immediately. “He was raised by humans and taught to fear and respect us.”

As if he had heard the comment, though he could not possibly have done so over the thundering cries of the crowd, Thrall turned to where Arthas, Blackmoore, and Langston sat watching. He thumped his chest in a salute and then bowed deeply.

“You see? Utterly my creature,” Blackmoore purred. He rose and lifted a flag, waving it, and across the ring a solidly built red-haired man waved another flag. Thrall turned toward the door, gripping the massive battle axe that was his weapon in this bout.

The guards began to raise the door, and before it had even opened fully, a bear the size of Invincible surged forward. Its hackles had risen and it barreled straight for Thrall as if it had been launched from a cannon, its snarl audible even over the roar of the crowd.

Thrall held his ground, stepping aside at the absolute last minute and bringing the huge axe around as if it weighed nothing at all. It tore a great rent in the bear’s side, and the animal roared in maddened pain, whirling and sending blood spattering. Again, the orc stood his ground, resting on the balls of his bare feet until he moved with a speed that belied his size. He met the bear head-on, shouting taunts in a guttural voice in perfect Common, and brought the axe crunching down. The bear’s head was nearly severed from its neck, but it kept running for a few moments before toppling into a quivering heap.

Thrall threw back his head and cried out his victory. The crowd went mad. Arthas stared.

There wasn’t a scratch on the orc, and as far as Arthas could tell, the brute wasn’t even particularly winded.

“That’s just the opener,” Blackmoore said, smiling at Arthas’s reaction. “Next will be three humans attacking him. He’s also hampered by the fact that he’s not to kill them, just defeat them. More a strategic battle than one of brute force, but I confess, there’s something about watching him decapitate a bear in a single blow that always makes me proud.”

Three human gladiators, all large, powerfully muscled men, entered the arena and saluted their opponent and the crowd. Arthas watched as Thrall sized them up and wondered just how smart it was of Blackmoore to make his pet orc so damn good at fighting. If Thrall ever escaped, he could teach those skills to other orcs. It was possible, despite the increased security. After all, if Orgrim Doomhammer could escape from the Undercity, in the very heart of the palace, Thrall could escape from Durnholde.

* * *

The state visit lasted five days. During one of those days, late in the evening, Taretha Foxton came to visit the prince in his private quarters. He was puzzled that his servants did not answer the tentative knock on the door and was even more startled to see the pretty blond girl standing there carrying a tray of delicacies. Her eyes were downcast, but her dress was revealing enough that he didn’t speak immediately. She dropped a curtsey. “My lord Blackmoore sent me with this offering of things to tempt you,” she said. Color suffused her cheeks. Arthas was confused.

“I—tell your master thank you, although I am not hungry. And I’m wondering what he’s done with my servants.” “They have been invited to a repast with the other servants,” Taretha explained. She still didn’t look up.

“I see. Well, that’s kind of the lieutenant general; I’m sure the men appreciate it.”

She didn’t move.

“Is there anything else, Taretha?”

The pink in her cheeks deepened, and she lifted her eyes to him. They were calm, resigned. “My lord Blackmoore sent me with this offering of things to tempt you,” she repeated. “Things you might enjoy.”

Understanding burst upon him then. Understanding, and embarrassment, and irritation, and anger. He composed himself with an effort—it was hardly the girl’s fault, indeed, she was the one being ill used.

“Taretha,” he said, “I’ll take the food, with thanks. I need nothing else.”

“Your Highness, I’m afraid he will insist.”

“Tell him I said it’s fine.”

“Sir, you don’t understand. If I come back he—” He glanced down at the hands holding the tray, at the long hair draped just so. Arthas stepped forward and lifted her trailing hair out of the way, frowning at the brownish-blue fading marks on her wrists and throat.

“I see,” he said. “Come inside, then.” Once she had entered, he closed the door and turned to her.

“Stay for as long as you feel comfortable, then go back to him. In the meantime, I can’t possibly eat all this.” He gestured for her to sit and took a chair opposite her, snagging a small pastry and grinning. Taretha blinked at him. It took a moment for her to understand what he was saying, and then cautious relief and gratitude spread over her face as she poured the wine. After a little while, she began to respond to his questions with more than a few polite words, and they spent the next few hours talking before they agreed it was time for her to return. As she picked up the tray, she turned to him.

“Your Highness—it pleases me so much to know that the man who will be our next king has such a kind heart. The lady you choose to make your queen will be a very lucky woman.”

He smiled and closed the door behind her, leaning on it for a moment. The lady he would choose to make his queen. He recalled his conversation with Calia; fortunately for his sister, Terenas had started to have some suspicions about Prestor—nothing that could be proven, but enough for second thoughts.

Arthas was almost of age—a year older than Calia had been when their father had nearly betrothed her to Prestor. He supposed he’d have to start thinking about finding a queen sooner or later. Tomorrow he would be leaving, and not a minute too soon.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Christie Golden has written more than forty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Among her many projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels and several original fantasy novels. An avid player of World of Warcraft, she has written two manga short stories and several novels in that world. Golden lives in Tennessee. She welcomes visitors to her website: ChristieGolden.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

World of Warcraft 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 195 reviews.
Ryanxia More than 1 year ago
I read this book cover to cover in about a day and a half (which is about as fast as I go) and was very pleased by it. It ties in with the video games, WarCraft 3 and World of WarCraft, as well as ties into several other books in the WarCraft lore. It stills delivers originality and does not feel like it's 'describing a game campaign on paper'. Accuracy was very good too, I scrutinize details and 'facts' in books as compared to others in the same universe and this was very well thought out. Yet another example of Christie Golden's excellent work, I have quickly become a fan of hers in her WarCraft/StarCraft novels and sincerely hopes she continues to write in these universes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is by far my favorite warcraft based book ever. This book gives a little lore ofbthe horde and alliance and keeps you reading until its over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not much of a reader but during my depolyment to Iraq I saw this book and decide to read, because me and my wife are WoW fans, and I loved it. I love how the author writes even dough it took me almost four to six month to actually finish it the story is geat. Now I'm trying to read the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the greatest accounts of Warcraft Lore ever made. 5 stars easy.
buick9911 More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome. I am an old school Warcraft III fan and my wife has recently gotten into WoW and we read this book together. It was awesome, I was able to fill in any gaps and answer any questions. The book followed the story line exactly yet added more. It is well written, Christie Golden starts you out favoring and cheering Arthas on but then you grow to hate him (my wife was very upset when he turned evil) so great job dragging our emotions into the book. MUST READ new and old WoW fans!
Mondayn More than 1 year ago
This is the first World of Warcraft novel I've read thus far and all in all it was a pleasurable read. The story follows closely to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne expansion, in some cases even word for word dialouge in some of the more memorable scenes. The center of the story revolves mostly around Arthas, though it expands a little bit on Jaina and Sylvanas. Prior to reading this book I had always thought of Arthas as a mirror image to the original Darth Vader, but after reading it I would've liked to known the parts to skip, Arthas' whining. Some parts of Arthas' story were well rounded and fleshed out in the image I had. Other parts explored his 'humanity' a little too childishly. Many mager characters such as Varian, Khagdar, and Uther are prominent in the book, giving some pleasant back exposition over the other personalities that inhabit the world of Azeroth. Kel`Thuzad stands out as one of my favorite figures in particular because of how 2-dimensional his character is. For those that think just because they've played the games, should know the story, you won't. There are some delightful perks saved within this book that bring more light on questions left unanswered since the Wrath of the Lich King has taken off. If you want to enjoy a simple but memorable book with a particular shocker at the very end (trust me it's delicious if you like World of Warcraft and speculate about the Icecrown Citadel raid).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I entered Northrend I really was looking forward to questing and eventually fighting Arthas. I really enjoy the lore around this expansion and for me this book was a must have. In the beginning of the book I felt like I was going through his struggles with him and eventually becoming the lich king I really feel I can fight and beat him with a sense of satisfaction
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy the story arc for Arthas, then you should definitely pick this up. I couldn't put the book down it was that good. I'm not too familiar with the Warcraft Lore, so it didn't confuse me that much...but its not recommended for people who know nothing about Dalaran or the characters...you'll be completely lost. If you play WoW and love the love story of Jaina and Arthas..get it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid WoW and Arthas fan, I picked this up hoping to get more involved in the storyline of the game. While it does provide a good deal of information about the game and its background, i was a smidgen disappointed in the storytelling itself. It is a book that is full of potential, but moved too fast to really tap into it. Comparing to other fantasy genre books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed in the past, I would call it a decent read at best, a well written fan fic at worse. Overall, a good book that could use more pages.
lostinhickville More than 1 year ago
Likely the most detailed characters the WOW book series has ever given us. This book stands on its own. Some WOW books you need to have background information and be a real fan of the game, but not this one. I would recomend this book to anyone.
Lady_Sylvanas More than 1 year ago
I have been playing since warcraft 2 and love the series, so I have read most of the warcraft books as well as the starcraft book and Golden writes epic stories for both. I have to say that reading the book made me like Arthas a little more. It shows another side to him that players have not experienced in-game. Before I read this I liked him least of all the lore villains. I always found him to be a jerk but Golden has changed my opinion. However that doesn't mean I will not enjoy killing him as a raid boss in a future patch.
reensters More than 1 year ago
First off, I am a lover of WOW lore. I have read several books about the lore and it positively amazes me. The goods of this book is that we can really see how Arthas makes his change from being the Prince to the Lich King. We understand his relationship with Jaina and the influence she had on him and his actions (both positive and negative). The negatives of the book is the focus of Jaina. I honestly felt like I was reading a romance novel at times, instead of the story of Arthas (now, I realize that Arthas and Jaina's story is important to his development, but I think there was too much there). I would also liked to see more character development with Uther. The last thing I did not like was the writing style of the book. It was very elementary reading, maybe to capture a different audience, however, it was written more for a teenager than an adult. Overall, a good book and definitely worth the read, especially if you're a lore addict like me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is pretty good if youre into the WotLK lore. I was certainly pleased
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
- i really love my brothers -people dont get that my brothers will be happy if a friend is over - i get scared of momma ALOT - im to sscared of her to stand up for my brothers - If i do stand up for them im afraid that ill get hurt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trust not this seller i ordered it never recived That proves this guy is a bi#ch
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After I picked this book up, I could not put it down. Not until 5 a.m. when I could not keep my eyelids open. I knew it would a great story, because I loved the entire Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Christie Golden did a great job putting such a large timeline into only 416 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Arthas, Rise of the Lich King."  This book is a true triumph of the Azerothian ages. I disliked nothing about this book,  It is unbelievably touching and sorrowfully heart-rending, but it is also powerful and compelling. It has good times. And bad times.  Finally a book thats not all happy go lucky.  Its as real as life gets. Bad things happen.  Its a tragedy in some ways, yes.  But its a real amazing story of a hero who gave his all to save his kingdom.  Even when all others gave up and quit. A good souled paladin who turns from the light, and becomes  the Lich King by forsaking and killing his closest friends and  embracing the utter darkness that is Frostmourne and the Lich King. I cheered Arthas on through every moment.  Iwould have done the same exact thing he did in a heart beat.  Chills are sent up and down my spine just thinking about. Its a story like no other, it reached me on a deep personal level. Thank you so very much Christie Golden. Your faithful reader Joshua Johnson,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Any guuldies
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a 14 year old who has played warcraft three i loved the book... i had not had a chance to play the game in a while because the computer I used had crashed. My dad eventually fixed the computer but I no longer had the desire to play the game... even though I had not yet beaten it. That was before I got this book. After reading the first chapter or so I awaited my next chance to reinstall the game on my father's computer, and as I wait for this Friday, I also wait for another chance to play the game that was brought back to life for me by this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Curld up sadly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago