So, I read the new book and.. [spoilers]

I really thoroughly enjoyed it. Enough that I’ve already bought another one of Roux’s novels, and thank Krag’Wa somebody had the bright idea to hire a horror novelist. WoW’s a lot of things but it’s never not horrifying. The cartoony graphics make you forget what a gruesome and cruel place Azeroth really is.

I’ve some criticisms but I’ll start with praises.

First off, I was so glad to see the Zandalari plotlines addressed. I actually thought the first chunk of BFA was pretty good storywise. The Zandalari were instantly fascinating to me and I enjoyed their whole story. But only the Blood Troll, G’Hunn thread was neatly tied up. I’ve said before it was odd Talanji’s arc stalled the second it seemed to be ramping up to a crescendo but the book addresses that complaint with her frustration and annoyance with the Horde.

Would’ve been better to see all of this in game. But BFA decided it had to be both a Black Empire expansion and a Shadowlands prequel so, is what it is, and what it is was a good read so /shrug.

Secondly; I loved most of the character presentations. Gazlowe’s shaping up to be the leader Goblins deserve, Zenkan is an everyman with the weight of the world reluctantly on him, Alleria & Turalyon’s Light cop / Void cop routine is fun, Baine actually gets to do something cool by basically one shotting a Dark Warden, Thrall desperately wants to be anywhere else, Anduin seems as frustrated with the Goldenboi ‘Chosen King’ narrative thrust upon him as I do - and his reacting to Jania catching him incognito out for some drinks like a kid getting caught with pot was cute, Shaw and Fairweather are just a great couple, Ji Firepaw reminds us he exists, Bwomsamdi continues to be the most entertaining character in the narrative and Tyrande seems to be channeling the rage of every Nelf storyposter who struggles to write complaints OOCly but you know, that but written with talent.

Thirdly; The story is well done. It can be somewhat predictable at times but tropes are often well worn narrative beats for a reason. I at least had FOR THE HORDE resonating in my brain when Baine, Thrall and Thalyrssa turned up with their squads. It really highlighted how the incredibly disparate nations of the Horde is it’s strength. We got some greenbois, zappy minotaurs, and these overdressed purple aristocrats to bail out your tusked El Dorado dinoriders.

I’ve seen some complaints to the contrary but I actually think in prose battles have to be handled with numbers you can easily keep track of. If it’s thousands upon thousands noting there’s X dead from team Y on the ground doesn’t really inform the reader of anything. Spectacle doesn’t really work in word form.

The other bits of the story I really enjoyed I think I covered in the character bits.

Now what I really didn’t care for was most of the undead portrayal. She had PoV bits and I still can’t remember the Dark Warden’s name. Pairing her with Nathanos, who’s also grim and growly, was just not a good move. Their bits were a chore to read. Thank God for the Zandalari rebels, they at least added some character clash chemistry to the proceedings. Like Shaw and Fairweather were fun as they were two drastically different men but they had chemistry and more differences than similarities.

Whereas with Moody Knife Girl and Moody Bow Boy, honestly you could’ve just wrote They growl in disagreement and plot something bad, next chapter and you wouldn’t have missed anything of value. Bwomsamdi’s interaction with Natty Blight was the only legitimately entertaining one for me.

But now unto my most beloved Forsaken. Well, I really thought Voss hit the nail on the head saying “The Forsaken have been cast aside, spat upon and ignored long enough!” but then the narrative, continues to ignore them. And said Voss has difficulty speaking at the Council, even though she had zero trouble back talking Talanji. Idk I got pumped for Voss and was let down. Calia says Nordrassil is pretty and that the Nelves are mourning so, if the Forsaken need a Captain Obvious anytime soon they know just the woman for the job.

I did really enjoy the one Forsaken Apothecary who was just a normal concerned doctor helping people. There were several Apothecaries like that before and then they all went Dr.Frankenstein. And I like my mad science dudes, Calder Gray could beat up Faranell, Lydon, Helcular and your dad for my money, but madness without a sane balance just becomes kinda dull pretty quick.

But other than that really enjoyed the read. I’ve seen some points to the contrary and, I think they’re wrong. This felt like professional fan fiction which is what WoW stories should feel like.


I was very pleasantly surprised with this book. Between Tyrande and Talanji’s characterizations alone, I really felt like this book did a good job addressing the hanging threads players have been afraid will be left forgotten, while simultaneously setting up the new expansion WITHOUT forcing the player to read the book to gain ingame context.

Genuinely was a joy to read. I hope Madeline sticks around.


My only real complaint was Voss. Her and Calia seem to be the only heirs apparent for my favorite faction, and Voss is 200% more interesting to me. And she starts off with a bang. Shows up unapologetically late, covered in muds, highlights my concern that my beautiful dead bois must be so miserable in the Durotar sun, looks about ready to come to blows with Talanji then…

She gets, one other line of dialogue and two references to her existence. I counted. And then in the battle scene, quietly hoped she’d turn up to do something cool but, nah.

Idk hopefully the Apothecary turns up later and paves the way for the Forsaken to have weird facial hair.


laughs in Warhammer 40K

But seriously, glad you enjoyed the book.



Honestly, it seems the non-Knaak/Golden books are a cut above the rest.

I thoroughly enjoyed King’s Illidan, and I’m loving Roux’s Shadows Rising so far. I even loved the little nod to possible tension between the LFDs and the Velves. More than we got in game, that’s for sure. Also, Tyrande dropping the mic on Green Moses was a delight to read, and one of my favorite scenes in any WoW novel so far.


I do genuinely believe Golden is talented but she writes Sci-FI, or more to the point Star Trek books. And WoW is many things but it’s not Star Trek. The Horde and Alliance are not going to join together in some Federation and resolve conflict so thoroughly they have to sail into the depths of the Nether to find something interesting.

You speak with such frivolity about the domain of the Immortal Emperor? Stay stuck, heretic, until the Inquisition has arrived to determine the nature of your guilt.


Can’t say I caught that one. I know a Lightforged Draenei passing through a Void Rift was shell shocked by the experience, but the two groups worked together in Arathi just fine. In fact, both seemed to be disturbed by Alleria and Turalyon’s use of the Light and Void when it came to the smuggler when Jaina found them. Although I can imagine its for different reasons.


If we’re talking about the same book I think her shock was over the Velf actually coming out of it.

Bottom of page 84, going into page 85.

1 Like

Touche I thought it was talking about the LForged’s reaction.

Kinda weird Jania’s reaction to the Void is appropriate but LForged are willing to hop on into the tentacle portal.


To be fair if you gloss over one or two minor sentences, it’s easy to miss.

I mean, the Lightforged seems pretty disgusted with it, but they’re also soldiers, and quite used to obeying orders. I know in BFA if you’re Alliance and complete the Zuldazar incursion the LFD officer you turn the quest into says that the Horde cannot stand against the powers the Alliance has at it’s disposal. Seems to be about the only comment they make regarding Umbric and his Void T-Rex. My guess is the LFD are disciplined enough to accept the use of the Void, believing that it’s being used in service of the Light through the Void Elves. Doesn’t mean they have to like it, of course, but why not use every advantage against your foes?


I agree with all of your points, Roux did a really good job. She clearly understands what the fans wanted and how to write for this genre. While the final battle was not descriptive enough for me all in all the book was great. They need to keep her around for a long time.


I enjoyed reading both authors. I liked War Crimes and I thought the writing in Before the Storm was good, but the storyline was lacking.

I think Golden spends more time on character development and inner dialogue and Roux jumps into the action without a lot of development. Then again, players already have a pretty good understanding of these characters.

They are both talented. I think both writers were constrained by the parameters Blizzard gave them. I’d love to see them write a story with complete creative freedom.

Alright if that’s the case this will be my reaction to any Tauren Druid or Orc Shaman suggesting the Forsaken are ‘ruining’ their racial fantasy with some mild crimes against nature and humanity.


Personally, I think she hasn’t produced anything good since Tides of War. Even the two Thrall-wank novels that happened around Cata weren’t that good either.

Golden’s best, imo, were the Arthas and Tides of War novels.


I’ve only read War Crimes and Before The Storm. I think Golden’s a talented writer and genuinely believe the new Star Trek would have been great in her hands. I just don’t know what she’s doing here.

War Crimes in particular was weird. Like, when ever in game are we even given the option to take someone alive for fair trial? Nah you just lop off their heads, bring them to a dude, get your money and EXP and never think about Garret Footpad or the countless Scarlets you cut down for their armbands.

But warcrimes mcgrime gets a fair trial?


I enjoyed the book as well but mostly for the Zandalari / Troll elements.

Jaina came off a bit irritating as her reticence with (Supreme Commander) Turalyon and Alleria’s actions is forcibly naive considering her not-at-all-distant past. Her thoughts convey her understanding and she is still needlessly petty. (Especially as Anduin condones what she tattles but is free of her contempt.)

More contrived cracks in the Alliance?

Loved Zekhan, though. His bumbling good fortune was quite charming.

1 Like

This book had many moments that I enjoyed: Dinner with Katherine Proudmoore, the Forsaken apothecary standing up for the people, Zekhan putting himself on the line for the kids, the two shaman kids being adorable, Talanji’s anger towards the Horde, Nathanos displaying genuine doubt and guilt, Anduin getting plastered, Thrall doing his best to NOT take point despite everyone wanting him too, Kiro being a doof, every scene with Bwonsamdi… Krag’wa’s toad spies…

But you know what really sold this to me as the best WoW novel?

Ji Firepaw. Every sentence, every action, and every page he was involved with oozed personality and fun. He’d go from dispensing vague wisdom one moment to passively trashing someone the next. Sometimes both! No one was spared his sass. I won’t even go further than that just to not spoil his grandeur for anyone who hasn’t read the book.

What I’m saying is… Can Roux write Ji from now on? Like for good? And more? Lots more? I need a short story of him punching dinosaurs. Pronto.


Im a bit annoyed I can’t get the Novel on audible in Aus.

However reading these comments do make me concerned that the writers are really making jaina a peace loving pansy again. How does one character go from being prepared to flood an entire city to eliminate the horde to being concerned about some random smuggler who is protecting Sylvanas.

I really think Golden has settled herself into taking on the role of Jaina in the story And because of that won’t let her charcter be a bad person and always on a good guy next to Anduin(her son). Likely stopped Roux writing Jaina as being realistic.

Honestly war hawk Jania was just really weird to me. With Theramore in mind it made sense to a point but really her pulling an ethnic cleansing in Dalaran and threatening to drown orphans seemed needlessly grimdark and pretty out of character.

And all in all the message of that beat was kind of gross. Remember kids; Your racist dad was right, endeavoring to find common ground for a better tomorrow with people of different cultures is a futile endeavor - kill the savages.

Genn works in that role better. He’s ya know a werewolf so, gets a pass on being a bit fighty. Trollbane would also work fine for that.

Honestly Shaw remains my favorite Alliance character. He’s gruff, clever, worldly and while he’s ruthless he’s not cold blooded. You don’t get the sense he enjoys back stabbing, just he believes it’s a dirty job somebody’s gotta do and he’s pretty good at it.