Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden
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Age Group: Young Adult/Adult
Pages (Paperback): 312
Genre: Epic Fantasy
His evil is legend. Lord of the undead Scourge, wielder of the runeblade Frostmourne, and enemy of the free peoples of Azeroth. The Lich King is an entity of incalculable power and unparalleled malice -- his icy soul utterly consumed by his plans to destroy all life on the World of Warcraft.
But it was not always so. Long before his soul was fused with that of the orc shaman Ner'zhul, the Lich King was Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron and faithful paladin of the Silver Hand.
When a plague of undeath threatened all that he loved, Arthas was driven to pursue an ill-fated quest for a runeblade powerful enough to save his homeland. Yet the object of his search would exact a heavy price from its new master, beginning a horrifying descent into damnation. Arthas' path would lead him through the arctic northern wastes toward the Frozen Throne, where he would face, at long last, the darkest of destinies.
As a lore supplement, this book is great. As a book telling a story, this book is amazing! This book offered a unique experience for someone who has played the game, and would be a great story for someone who hasn't.
This book takes us on the full journey of the life of Prince Arthas Menethil. Destined to be the Lich King, the evil ruler of the Undead that plague the world, Arthas was not always so heartless and cold. In fact, the depth of this character is remarkable in his complexity. Arthas was (perhaps is) capable of love; profound and ever present love.
Our story starts with a boy who loves his father. Shortly into our story we see a boy who can develop and harness friendships that could span kingdoms. Beyond that the story grows into a young boy in the throws of his first and eternal love. Then our tale darkens to a young man, nearing the throne and expressing a deep love of his people; deep enough this love will cost him everything. But darker yet, our grown prince continues to twist within himself and develops a love of power, a power he now wields over his valued army of the dead.
In such a short span of a book, Christie Golden has absolutely painted a remarkable image of young Arthas Menethil. Power reading this book is the only way to satisfy your need to know more about this young prince. With her intensive research, her easy writing style, and the attention to detail Christie Golden has won my heart and respect.
I would recommend this to fans of fantasy who can shoulder the burdens of betrayals and tragedy as well as feel the elation of love. Without making this seem like a sappy love story (as it clearly is not) I walk away from my favorite parts of this book with the lesson that love can transcend good and evil; through the taint of power, love can survive.
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