Everything had a solid start and perhaps for our generation the beginnings were represented by Hercules, Tarzan and the Warcraft games.
Blizzard Entertainment has succeeded, through the World of Warcraft story, to create an entire universe that enthusiasts have been pursuing since 1994, when the Warcraft RTS: Orcs & Humans was released. Over time there have been several novels that featured various scenes in the world of Azeroth, but maybe the explorations for binding a whole lore will never end.
The answer to this “small problem” would appear … some years later.
In this context, Blizzard released on March 15, 2016, the first volume of the saga, World of Warcraft: Chronicle (ISBN: 978-1-61655-845-1). The creators are big names among the connoisseurs: Chris Metzen, Matt Burns and Robert Burns, with annotations by the famous author Christie Golden and other Blizzard Entertainment contributors. Launched by Dark Horse Books, with a price of 176 RON, the fantasy series includes the Azeroth prehistory in 4 chapters (Mythos, Primordial Azeroth, Ancient Kalimdor, A New World), sprinkled with artworks by Peter C. Lee and Joseph Lacroix, in 184 pages written in English.
Compared to other writings by Blizzard, World of Warcraft: Chronicle, volume I briefly includes the Azeroth prehistory lore, clarifying essential aspects that the fandom strongly debated through various “conspiracy theories”.
“WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CHRONICLE, VOLUME 1, IS A JOURNEY THROUGH AN AGE OF MYTH AND LEGEND, A TIME LONG BEFORE THE HORDE AND THE ALLIANCE CAME TO BE. THIS DEFINITIVE TOME OF WARCRAFT HISTORY REVEALS UNTOLD STORIES ABOUT THE BIRTH OF THE COSMOS, THE RISE OF ANCIENT EMPIRES, AND THE FORCES THAT SHAPED THE WORLD OF AZEROTH AND ITS PEOPLE.”
Therefore, let’s use our intellectual capacities and see the exact plan of ideas of this book that generated a fantastic vibe among Warcraft fans of all ages.
The foreword and the introduction fit the main idea of this volume.
The foreword includes Christ Metzen’s impressions on the purpose of this chronicle. He doesn’t forget to point out that this series was an opportunity to create a panorama of all the events and to polish the lore’s irregularities.
Next, there is a brief introduction of the mystical forces, the antithesis that shaped the Warcraft Universe. Light and Darkness, Life and Death, Order and Chaos, which, in their parallelism, govern the course of events. The vital force that animates the world is designated by Elements, a geek-like horoscope in other words.
Chapter I integrates the origins of the Universe as a result of the interaction of the mystical entities mentioned above.
The result is divided into the creation of the physical world and the Twisting Nether (from now on hold tight on this Hearthstone book, it’s deep, trust me). It is also described the beginning of the Pantheon, the Titans led by Aman’Thul to keep order in the Universe, such as: Sargeras, Aggramar, Eonar, Khaz’goroth, Norgannon, and Golganneth. The Void Lords come from Void and are also known as Old Gods. The energies of the two combatant sides will be the plot of this book.
Ah, I almost forgot, how many of us have heard about the Burning Legion Besides the lore exhibited in the WoW homonym expansion, there are many more here, briefly explained; ideal for a fan of the universe created by Blizzard.
The second chapter emphasizes the rule of the Elemental Lords.
Al’Akir the Windlord appears in the scene in a fantastic way (again, dears, after reading the details, you’ll want to craft the book at any cost, possibly in gold, ha-ha). It is also described the monumental encounter between the Titans and the Old Gods, which leads to the aforementioned plot. A very interesting moment in this chapter is when Aggramar discovers Azeroth. Azeroth, which at that time was … Uh. I’d better let you discover this on your own. Hey, hey, Sargeras will give you an idea with a shock.
The third chapter covers the action that took place 16.000 years before the Dark Portal and the Ancient Kalimdor space appeared.
The origins of the Trolls (Tazdingo, mon …) and their war with the Aqir species are narrated. Reading the origins of the Mogu Dynasty and the details about the first emperor, Lei Shen, is a delight. While reading these parts I recommend you listen to the Zandalari tribal soundtracks, because guess what? They will also be involved. Them and … the Pandaren Revolution. Who remembers the case of the first game of the Warcraft RTS series? A dwarf was on it and … you got it right. A night elf. Well, in this chapter is also written the history of the night elves until the War of the Ancients.
The last chapter contains an existential part of Azeroth’s history.
It starts from the end of the War of the Ancients, continuing until before opening the Dark Portal and the beginning of the First War.
Overall Perspective – World of Warcraft: Chronicle, volume I
As you can see, the subject of the novel is very consistent in details. It’s covering the events from the beginning of the Universe until the beginning of Medivh’s history. What I think is very important about the book, overall, is that it focuses on a part of the lore that, if we look at Christie Golden’s books, has not been explored.
The narrative is strictly objective, without being integrated into the perspective of a character in the game. Since it’s written in English, reading it may raise some difficulties due to the use of archaisms. I don’t want this to reflect a negative thought on the novel. These archaisms lead you directly into the respective era, creating an environment that accurately outlines the ancient, mythical atmosphere. Few dictionary checks should not prevent anyone from enjoying the reading.
But one thing has to be said. This chronicle actually includes some minor corrections to the lore. However, the changes refine the lore and adapt the events to a coherent line.
When it comes to World of Warcraft: Chronicle, Volume I, this book can by judged by its cover.
Ever since we were young, we were looking for pictures in a book. Ladies and gentlemen, this WoW Bible has fascinating illustrations that make you reading even the (few) slow, cumbersome parts. I would have liked even more illustrations, the people who did it really managed to get the attention in a great way. In addition to the Titans artworks and various landscapes in Azeroth, we can also find maps that illustrate the Azeroth world.
From the point of view of a WoW amateur, I will give it a 9.5 out of 10. The lore is great, the illustrations are breathtaking. It’s a must-have for anyone who would like to go through Warcraft’s history in an ideal way, chronologically speaking.
As we’re talking about a saga, I will come back with the other two volumes in the series. Until then, enjoy your reading!