Blainie

Reading Order of Warcraft Books and Novels

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Are you starting to read up on WoW lore for the first time? Maybe you've heard about the various novels, but you just don't know where to start.

It can be tricky when trying to establish a proper order for the books, mainly because the books sometimes jump around the timeline, moving back or forward in history. Below is my suggested reading order for the published novels and short stories of the Warcraft universe. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

The recently released Chronicle books don't really fit well into any part of the full list below, so I am instead listing them as a separate entity. They cover such a huge amount of lore and story in such a concentrated set of pages that they can't feasibly be put into any one position. These two books can be used to answer most questions you have after finishing the novels, since they were intended to be used as information packets.

  1. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    • The first volume spans from the creation of Azeroth, the Titans and the universe all the way up to 45 years before The Dark Portal was created.
  2. World of Warcraft Chronicle Volume 2: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    • The second volume spans from the origins of Draenor and its history up until the end of the Second War.

Please note that Dawn of the Aspects and War of the Ancients have been mentioned twice in the list, since both feature heavy time travel within. You can either choose to read them first or later. Personally, I would recommend reading them later in the timeline if you are new to the lore since they contain spoilers for later books. If you are already familiar with most of the story, you can read them first.

  1. Dawn of the Aspects: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  2. War of the Ancients Archive: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    1. The Well of Eternity (Bk. 1): (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    2. The Demon Soul (Bk. 2): (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    3. The Sundering (Bk. 3): (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  3. Rise of the Horde: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  4. Unbroken [Short Story]  (Read here)
  5. The Last Guardian: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es) [Also found in Archive - (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)]
  6. Tides of Darkness: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  7. Beyond the Dark Portal: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  8. Day of the Dragon: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es) [Also found in Archive - (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)]
  9. War of the Ancients Archive: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    1. The Well of Eternity (Bk. 1): (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    2. The Demon Soul (Bk. 2): (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
    3. The Sundering (Bk. 3): (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  10. Road to Damnation [Short Story] (Read here)
  11. Lord of the Clans: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es) [Also found in Archive - (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)]
  12. Of Blood and Honor [Only found in Archive - (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)]
  13. Arthas: Rise of the Lich King: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  14. Vol'jin: The Judgement [Short Story] (Read here)
  15. Cycle of Hatred: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  16. War of the Shifting Sands [Short Story] (Read here)
  17. Illidan: World of Warcraft: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  18. Night of the Dragon: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  19. Lor'themar Theron: In the Shadow of the Sun [Short Story] (Read here)
  20. Garrosh Hellscream: Heart of War [Short Story] (Read here)
  21. Sylvanas Windrunner: Edge of Night [Short Story] (Read here)
  22. Stormrage: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  23. The Shattering: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  24. Gelbin Mekkatorque: Cut Short [Short Story] (Read here)
  25. The Council of Three Hammers: Fire and Iron [Short Story] (Read here)
  26. Tyrande and Malfurion: Seeds of Faith [Short Story] (Read here)
  27. Gallywix: Trade Secrets of a Trade Prince [Short Story] (Read here)
  28. Baine Bloodhoof: As Our Fathers Before Us [Short Story] (Read here)
  29. Genn Greymane: Lord of his Pack [Short Story] (Read here)
  30. Wolfheart: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  31. Velen: Prophet's Lesson [Short Story] (Read here)
  32. Varian Wrynn: Blood of our Fathers [Short Story] (Read here)
  33. Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  34. Charge of the Aspects [Short Story] (Read here)
  35. Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  36. Dawn of the Aspects: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  37. Quest for Pandaria [Short Story] (All parts linked below)
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 4
  38. Li Li's Travel Journal [Short Story] (Read here)
  39. Death from Above [Short Story] (Read here)
  40. Bleeding Sun [Short Story] (Read here)
  41. The Trial of the Red Blossoms [Short Story] (Read here)
  42. Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  43. The Blank Scroll [Short Story] (Read here)
  44. The Strength of Steel [Short Story] (Read here)
  45. The Jade Hunters [Short Story] (Read here)
  46. Over Water [Short Story] (Read here)
  47. The Untamed Valley [Short Story] (Read here)
  48. War Crimes: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  49. Hellscream [Short Story] (Read here)
  50. Code of Rule [Short Story] (Read here)
  51. Apocrypha [Short Story] (Read here)
  52. Dark Mirror [Short Story] (Read here)

The Warcraft movie universe operates on a different lore timeline due to changes made in the story, so I have added them below separately in case you want to read them as well. 

  1. Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  2. Warcraft: Durotan (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  3. Warcraft Official Movie Novelization (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)

There are also a number books that don't fit into any kind of lore, since they were written either as a light-hearted, non-canon book or they are intended for other purposes. You can find them below separated from the rest.

  1. World of Warcraft: Traveler: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)
  2. World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook: (Amazon.com, .co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es)

Happy reading!

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Posting to quite an inactive thread but hoping for a reply nevertheless. :)

Blainie, or anyone else, what do you think about the quality of the books? I've read Rise of the Horde, The Last Guardian, Beyond the Dark Portal and Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. I'd say those books are quite good reads - nothing too special, but not bad either. Good reads for one interested in Warcraft. I have, however, heard bad things about Knaak's books and thus haven't read anything from him. It would be interesting to hear opinions from people who have read the books.

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1 hour ago, Barbon said:

Posting to quite an inactive thread but hoping for a reply nevertheless. :)

Blainie, or anyone else, what do you think about the quality of the books? I've read Rise of the Horde, The Last Guardian, Beyond the Dark Portal and Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. I'd say those books are quite good reads - nothing too special, but not bad either. Good reads for one interested in Warcraft. I have, however, heard bad things about Knaak's books and thus haven't read anything from him. It would be interesting to hear opinions from people who have read the books.

As for books, I've read plenty of them by Golden, they are totally fun, I loved Rise of the Lich King or Prelude to Cataclysm, but anything Knaak touches is just too boring. Golden can describe the plot vividly, you can imagine the things while reading what makes you hungry for more, whereas Knaak is just dull explaining and stating facts, but this is just my personal opinion.

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On 11/3/2016 at 0:01 PM, Barbon said:

Posting to quite an inactive thread but hoping for a reply nevertheless. :)

Blainie, or anyone else, what do you think about the quality of the books? I've read Rise of the Horde, The Last Guardian, Beyond the Dark Portal and Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. I'd say those books are quite good reads - nothing too special, but not bad either. Good reads for one interested in Warcraft. I have, however, heard bad things about Knaak's books and thus haven't read anything from him. It would be interesting to hear opinions from people who have read the books.

Missed this, sorry!

I loved the books. With Knaak's work, I think if you love the content of the story itself enough, you can look past what is a worse writing style. I definitely wouldn't say his books are bad though. I loved everything I read from the series; there have been times where I have read books in other genres where I simply stopped reading because I hated it enough. That has never happened with any of the Warcraft books, regardless of the author.

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Wow, I'm glad I found this. Very useful! I've just finished Chronicles 1. Working on 2 now! Very interesting.

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12 hours ago, Quickly said:

Wow, I'm glad I found this. Very useful! I've just finished Chronicles 1. Working on 2 now! Very interesting.

I'm happy that it's helping people! I've done a revamp of the list in the past few days, so hopefully this updated order with the short stories will help even more!

How did you find Vol. 1? 

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I'm glad I found this! I really want to start reading into the lore. I find the story interesting and would like to really dive deep into the lore. I will be ordering the first two books for my birthday in a few days :) thank you for the list.

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3 hours ago, Mesty said:

I'm glad I found this! I really want to start reading into the lore. I find the story interesting and would like to really dive deep into the lore. I will be ordering the first two books for my birthday in a few days :) thank you for the list.

Enjoy them! The Warcraft series of books are such a wonderful experience to travel through and you can really start to understand all the little cues and snippets in the game itself! It's worth noting that some parts aren't exactly canon to the game universe (Chronicles books are completely canon) given how diverse the roster of writers is, but the stories are all definitely still worth reading.

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Thans you for the great work here, you saved me! :D

I have a sugest for you: add in your readlist the warcraft 1, 2 and 3 stories too... they fit very well on the list...

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On 11/9/2017 at 10:58 PM, Baroli said:

Thans you for the great work here, you saved me! :D

I have a sugest for you: add in your readlist the warcraft 1, 2 and 3 stories too... they fit very well on the list...

Do you mean where the games fit in? I can definitely try!

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Hi there, i see this is an old thread but i still hope i can get an answer. Recently through playing HoTS and seeing the the different WoW trailers i have started to have an immense interest in the wow lore, but dont want to involve myself in another rpg. Would reading these novels be a good way to learn the lore, the backgrounds and interactions of the characters?

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Hi guys! I just ordered the first Chronicle but since I checked a few other recommendations about the order one should read the novels, I was wondering which novels does the second Chronicle covers? Below you can find the order, recommended in the Blizzard forums.

1. WarCraft Chronicle Volume 1 
2. Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden 
3. The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb
4. Tides of Darkness by Aaron Rosenburg
5. Beyond the Dark Portal by Christie Golden & Aaron Rosenburg
6. Day of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak
!! The War of the Ancients Trilogy takes place before Rise of the Horde but it is highly recommended that you read it after having read Day of the Dragon which is why I have the trilogy listed as 6,7,8 instead of 1,2,3.
7. War of the Ancients: The Well of Eternity by Richard A. Knaak
8. War of the Ancients: The Demon Soul by Richard A. Knaak
9. War of the Ancients: The Sundering by Richard A. Knaak
10. Lord of the Clans by Christie Golden
11. Of Blood and Honor by Chris Metzen
12. Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden
13. Illidan by William King 
14. Cycle of Hatred by Keith DeCandido
15. Night of The Dragon by Richard A. Knaak 
16. Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak
17. The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden
18. Wolfheart by Richard A Knaak
19. Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects by Christie Golden 
20. Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War by Christie Golden
21. Dawn of the Aspects by Richard A. Knaak
22. Vol'Jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael A. Stackpole
23. War Crimes by Christie Golden

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On 11.4.2018 at 10:53 AM, Vaultish said:

Hi there, i see this is an old thread but i still hope i can get an answer. Recently through playing HoTS and seeing the the different WoW trailers i have started to have an immense interest in the wow lore, but dont want to involve myself in another rpg. Would reading these novels be a good way to learn the lore, the backgrounds and interactions of the characters?

Definitely, these books act as a way to learn the lore that surrounds the game pretty solidly. Keep in mind, however, that if you're just looking to learn about the characters of HoTS, you might be better off using videos from Nobbel87 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX34tk-noBVC4WVC9qQGyMw

You can normally just search for a video on a character you want to know about. The problem with going via the books is that you will learn about many characters that, while in terms of the story are very important, are useless for learning more about the specific character you wanted to know. 

A good example is that, to learn the full story of Tyrande, Illidan and Malfurion, you will have to go through heaps of extra story that fills the War of the Ancients trilogy concerning the war, the dragons, the elves, the humans that are with the elves, the orc in the story and so on.

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On 12.4.2018 at 6:18 AM, Youli said:

Hi guys! I just ordered the first Chronicle but since I checked a few other recommendations about the order one should read the novels, I was wondering which novels does the second Chronicle covers? Below you can find the order, recommended in the Blizzard forums.

The problem with the Chronicle volumes is that they are essentially encyclopedias of WoW lore. This means that they have a very different way of telling the tales and they encompass massive amounts of book lore in small, condensed passages. In my opinion, you should treat them as separate from the novels.

The novels seek to give an enjoyable book to read for the fun of reading it, while providing small bits of lore that were unknown from the game. Chronicle is there to give a single source of canon lore, meaning you will find conflicting lore all over the place if you try fit the novels into the Chronicle volumes.

My advice would be to read Chronicle for straight facts about lore and to fill in the story, the novels to read as normal books.

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Hey Nice list, my brother ! :) I have done similar stuff, but I included all the media available into the story, to add a bit more detail :)
I can link it if you want to modify yours, and add them as well... but I don't know if it's allowed :)
Cheers, and nice work... I know just exactly how much time, doing list like this can take, so just wanted to give the props!

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On 6/19/2018 at 2:14 PM, UmrenTV said:

Hey Nice list, my brother ! 🙂 I have done similar stuff, but I included all the media available into the story, to add a bit more detail 🙂
I can link it if you want to modify yours, and add them as well... but I don't know if it's allowed 🙂
Cheers, and nice work... I know just exactly how much time, doing list like this can take, so just wanted to give the props!

Definitely, I can take a look and see what's worth adding! 🙂

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On 6/23/2018 at 12:29 PM, Blainie said:

Definitely, I can take a look and see what's worth adding! 🙂

Cheers for the reply brother. Feel free to use any resource, and let me know what you think :D
These are all the Best World of Warcraft Books, Novels, Comics, PDFs, Audio Books in Order for Reading or Chronological Order - Collection | List 2018 [129+ Media Resources]

If you have any feedback, I would appreciate it highly, so we can make perfect List for our community :)

Thank you!

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Hi Blainie, just wanted to ask for your advice here. I bought all the books on your list, and I have been using your suggested order, but it seems like I am missing some vital parts of information. For example, I read everything till War Crimes, but cant find the explanation on why the Blood Elves are part of the Horde. Am I forced to play WoW to understand this events, or can I buy a book or comic where this is explained?

Thanks in advance and cheers from Argentina!

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