World of Warcraft came out back in 2004, however the first Warcraft game was released in 1994. It was one of my go to games that I played with my brother. You can imagine that a game that has existed for over 30 years, will have a lot of history and stories.
This is one of the things that has drawn me to Warcraft and also kept me playing it.
With each game and expansion, this story grows and develops even more. It’s no wonder that this story has been expanded into a series of warcraft books.
If you’re wanting to read any of these books, it’s not always easy to know where to start. This is even more true with the World of Warcraft books, as there are well over 20 different novels.
The Warcraft books have been some of the best books I’ve read and I’d fully recommend them to anyone that wants to explore the lore more.
Warcraft and World of Warcraft Books In Order
Below is a complete list of warcraft books and the order in which I would recommend reading them. Later on in this article, I’ve split the books that came out before World of Warcraft and those that came after the MMO was launched.
- Book 1: Of Blood and Honor (Warcraft Archives Collection)
- Book 2: Day of the dragon (Warcraft Archives Collection)
- Book 3: Lord of the Clans (Warcraft Archives Collection)
- Book 4: The last guardian (Warcraft Archives Collection)
- Book 5: The Well of Eternity (War of Ancients Trilogy)
- Book 6: The Demon Soul (War of Ancients Trilogy)
- Book 7: The Sundering (War of Ancients Trilogy)
- Book 8: Cycle of Hatred
- Book 9: Rise of the Horde
- Book 10: Tides of Darkness
- Book11: Beyond the Dark Portal
- Book 12: Night of the Dragon
- Book 13: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- Book 14: Stormrage
- Book 15: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
- Book 16: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
- Book 17: Wolfheart
- Book 18: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
- Book 19: Dawn of the Aspects
- Book 20: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde
- Book 21: War Crimes
- Book 22: Illidan
- Book 23: Traveler
- Book 24: Traveler: The Spiral Path
- Book 25: Before the Storm
- Book 26: Traveler: The Shining Blade
- Book 27: Shadows Rising
Warcraft Books In Order
Prior to World of Warcraft launching, there were 7 books published;
- Of Blood and Honor (2001)
- Day of the Dragon (2001)
- Lord of the Clans (2001)
- The Last Guardian (2002)
- The Well of Eternity
- The Demon Soul
- The Sundering
Now many of these are not available as individual books. They have however been published as combinations. These are;
- Warcraft Archives
- War of The Ancients
Warcraft Archives (2007)
The Warcraft Archives was released in 2007 and contained the first 4 Warcraft books. (of Blood and Honor, Day of the Dragon, Lord of the Clans and The Last Guardian)
This series of books is very much focused around Orcs vs Humans and the arrival of the Burning Legion. It does however feature other races such as the Dragons, Goblins and Trolls.
Blood and Honor is very much focused around the Paladin Tirion. Ever since the Orcs had arrived, he’s always considered them the enemy. His beliefs become questioned when an act of compassion and betrayal makes him ask who are men and who are the monsters.
Day of the Dragon is set during the second war and Rhonin, a maverick mage, is sent by the wizards of Dalaran to venture into Orc controlled lands. Alexstrasza is being held captive by the Dragonmaw Orc Clan, helping to keep them in control of Khaz Modan.
Rhonin is sent on a mission to free the Dragon Queen and free the red dragons. Is there more happening behind the scenes?
Even if you’ve only played World of Warcraft for a short time, you’ll have come across Thrall. Lord of Clans is a book that shares the tales of his life, and a traumatic one it’s been. Starting off as a slave, becoming a Gladiator, connecting with the elements and becoming a powerful Shaman. Then eventually becoming Warchief of the Horde.
Follow his journey from being subject to the cruelty of humans, finding a way to break the bonds and discover the traditions of his people.
The Last Guardian is the last book within the Warcraft Archives. It follows the Guardian Medivh, a descendant of Champions that had godlike powers to fight the war against the Burning Legion. Medivh was however the most powerful and the greatest of all previous Guardians.
He was however corrupted and battled against the evil that was inside of him. Charged with protecting Azeroth, this darkness places a shadow over the fate of the world.
War of the Ancients Trilogy
The War of the Ancients is a collection of 3 books, set 10,000 years before the Burning Crusade expansion pack. It very much tells the story of what happened to the blood elves, and the story of Malfurion, Illidan and Tyrande.
The first book in the trilogy is The Well of Eternity. It sees Krasus the dragon made, Rhonin the human wizard and the Orc Broxigar fall into a hole in time that takes them back 10,000 years. Back to when the well of eternity provided the elves with their magic. This makes Rhonin even stronger and for some reason makes Krasus weaker.
Soon they would find themselves trying to ally themselves with a demigod, whilst showing the Night Elves that their queen was a traitor. All while trying to prevent them from changing the future…
In the second book known as the Demon Soul, we learn that the Burning Legion has come to Azeroth. Queen Azshara and her Highbourne has joined Sargeras’s side, who has sent Archimonde and demonic Soldiers to destroy Kalimdor.
A Young druid known as Malfurion Stormrage joins Krasus to stop the Burning Legion, but do they have the strength? Neltharion, one of the dragon aspects, has a plan to create an artifact known as the Dragon Soul to stop the Legion, but will that be all it will do?
In the 3rd and final book for the War of the Ancients trilogy, the final battle is closing in. Neltharion has claimed the Demon Soul, Archimonde has almost taken over Kalimdor and only Krasus and Malfurion can stop them. Are they willing to risk everything?
This conclusion sees many races joining forces to stop the Burning Legion but will it be enough to stop them?
World of Warcraft Books In Order
Below are the books that are based around the timeline of World of Warcraft. Perfect for those that want to expand on the lore of the game and characters.
Some books even lead into the story of upcoming and previous expansions.
Cycle of Hatred
The Cycle of Hatred is based after the Burning Legion has been defeated. Warchief Thrall leads the orcs of Durotar, whilst Lady Jaina Proudmoore leads the humans of Theramore.
After the fighting, they agreed to a peace between the Orcs and Humans. Although there are many that do not wish to keep this peace. Traitors on both sides have planned random attacks against each race, in an attempt to ruin the peace talks.
Jaina believes something is suspicious about the attacks and therefore searches to uncover the truth.
Rise of the Horde
Rise of the horde takes us back to answer many questions about what originally happened to the Orcs and the Draenei.
How the Draenei arrived in Azeroth as well as the influence of The Burning Legion and how Nar’zul was deceived.
Told from the perspective of Durotan and Velen.
Tides of Darkness
The Tides of Darkness is based during the second war and features some of my favorite characters such as Khadgar, Turalyon and Alleria.
Orgrim Doomhammer has taken over control of the Orcs, after killing Blackhand who was the Warchief. His goal is to make a new home for the Orcs by conquering the rest of Azeroth. After an attack on Stormwind, Anduin Lothar takes his people across the sea to Lordaeron.
After forming an alliance with King Terenas and other human nations, they continue to battle the onslaught of the Horde. Even with the help of the Elves and Dwarves, the alliance finds it hard to stop the Horde’s tide of darkness taking over.
Beyond the Dark Portal
An Orc shaman known as Ner’zhul has reopened the Dark Portal back to the orcs homeworld of Draenor. This allows for more Orcs to enter Azeroth to take down the Alliance. Turalyon leads the humans and continues to work with the elves and dwarfs to stop this invasion.
The orcs of the horde however seem to have joined forces with the black dragons, but why?
The alliance decide to take the fight to Ner’zhul by entering the dark portal and invade Draenor to put an end to his plans.
Night of the Dragon
Night of the Dragon is a follow up to Day of the Dragon and provides a little backstory to Wrath of the Lich King.
Previously Krasus had stopped the Orcs of Grim Batol from forcing the red dragon queen Alextrasza from breeding corrupted dragon hatchlings. Helping to free her from their control.
Now, something potentially worse is happening at Grim Batol. Krasus is therefore determined to find out what it is and put a stop to it himself. Others do however also venture to Grim Batol and there is a shocking truth that could put all of their lives at risk.
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
The Lich King, feared by all, had not always been so evil. He had once been known as Arthas Menethil and was prince of Lordaeron as well as a Paladin of the Silverhand.
When his home was attacked by a plague of undead, he would stop at nothing to put an end to it.
This desire had driven him to look for a rare runeblade, one that he felt could save and heal his homeland.
He was mistaken, instead it was the start of his journey into damnation, venturing to the Frozen Throne and taking the place as the Lich King.
Malfurion Stormrage has always been one of my favorite characters in World of Warcraft and this book focused around Malfurion and a mysterious place known as the Emerald Dream.
The emerald dream was a place very much like Azeroth but a primal version of it. It was protected by the green dragonflight and was often visited by druids.
However, areas of the Emerald Dream have become corrupted. This corruption has caused Green dragons to leave with shattered minds and many druids have found it impossible to escape the nightmares.
Now we must follow the quest to uncover what has happened to the Emerald Dream and rescue the Archdruid from falling victim to this nightmare.
The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
The Shattering is a story based around the Cataclysm expansion and leads you into the events of that expansion.
The Alliance and Horde are still fighting against one another, with the Orcs’ hostility growing towards the night elves.
These tensions are causing Varian Wrynn to consider responding with violence against the Horde.
However his son Anduin feeling alienated wants peace between the races, this causing him to go on his own path and potentially going to have big implications.
Thrall the Warchief of the Horde, not only has the Horde to control but as a shaman is struggling to also control the elements. Once they would listen but no longer. This concerns him and therefore sets out to find out why. Could this lead to the cataclysm?
Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
Twilight of the Aspects is a sequel to The Shattering and offers even more lore and backstory to the Cataclysm expansion.
It goes into detail about how the five dragonflights were appointed by the Titans to protect Azeroth. Although it was 10,000 years ago that their relationship was destroyed, thanks to the black dragon aspect Deathwing.
Now Deathwing has tried to rip Azeroth and the only thing stopping the Maelstrom from destroying Azeroth is Thrall and a collection of other Shamans. Although he is struggling to focus on the task at hand.
Ysera from the green dragon flight sends him on a task that brings him into contact with the other dragonflights. Trying to gain their trust and help, to prevent the vision that Ysera saw happen known only as the Hour of Twilight.
We now have to deal with the aftermath of the Cataclysm. Thrall is no longer the warchief of the Horde as he continues to help heal the planet. In its place is Garrosh Hellscream, who have started to move into Ashenvale as they need more resources.
Much of Wolfheart is focused around Varian Wrynn, as he looks to control the wolf inside of him. As well as struggling to accept the Worgens of Gilneas into the Alliance. The only way that Varian will help keep the Alliance together and keep control of Ashenvale is to get his own feelings in check.
Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
Set between the events of Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, this book is very much focused around Jaina Proudmoore.
She starts by trying to mend relationships between the Alliance and the Horde, but do they want to mend relationships?
Soon enough Jaina receives word in Theramore that a powerful artifact known as the Focusing Iris has gone missing. Kalecgos, the former Blue Dragon Aspect joins her to try and investigate the artifact.
Garrosh Hellscream has his eyes set on Theramore and even though some of the Horde do not wish to attack because of Jaina, this doesn’t stop Garrosh. Even with the support of the Alliance, Theramore cannot stop the attack.
The devastation turns Jaina from a peacekeeper into wanting vengeance and to destroy the Horde and all of its members once and for all.
Dawn of the Aspects
This 5 part ebook series is believed to be set after the destruction of Theramore. Since losing their powers after defeating Deathwing, the dragon aspects are trying to find purpose.
Kalecgos is struggling most of all, as the youngest of the aspects.
He wants to make a difference to the world but cannot see how that is possible.
With flashbacks to a time before the aspects had their power and were proto-dragons, Kalecgos learns the history of the original aspects.
Prior to becoming the great dragon, they needed to stand against Galakrond. Kalecgos will soon learn the truth and this could change everything he knew about the aspects, will it help him find his place in the world?
Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde
Shadows of the Horde is very much focused around the start of the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
Garrosh, still Warchief of the Horde, sent his assassins to attack Vol’jin, resulting in him at death’s door. He was however saved by brewmaster Chen Stormstout, who moved him to a monastery in Pandaria.
Whilst recovering, Vol’jin begins to get to know a human who is also recovering. As Vol’jin recovers a tribe of trolls known as the Zandalari launch an attack on Pandaria, led by the Thunder King. They make an offer to Vol’jin to join them, something that tempts him because of Garrosh’s attack.
Where does his loyalties lie? focusing on his own destiny for his people or letting them suffer under Garrosh’s rule.
During the Siege of Orgrimmar, Garrosh Hellscream was taken captive by the Alliance and the Horde. Now in chains, both sides are deciding what must be done with him. This book covers the gap between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor.
All of the faction leaders have joined to put him on trial for his crimes. It features Thrall, Jaina, Varian, Anduin, Sylvanas and the new Warchief Vol’jin.
Garrosh is being prosecuted by Tyrande Whisperwind and reluctantly Baine Bloodhoof wants to give him a fair trial.
In order for them to gather the needed evidence, The bronze dragonflight uses their power to show key points of Garrosh’s past.
Illidan is one of the most misunderstood characters and also one of the most powerful. First infiltrating the Burning Legion 10,000 years ago. However instead of being honored he was instead outcasted.
Branded as the betrayer, he was bound for 10,000 years. Until he is needed again…
With the Burning Legion coming back, there is only one person that can stop them. Illidan has been freed from his bonds and returns to Outland. He prepares for the final confrontation by gathering an army of Naga, blood elves, fel orcs and even demon hunters.
However his old jailor Maiev Shadowsong still believes he is scheming and looking for power. She won’t rest until he is back in chains or dead.
Traveler is a book a little different to the other warcraft books, as it does not feature the main characters of World of Warcraft or any big bads.
Instead it follows the adventures of Aramar Thorne, the son of a well-known explorer.
This is the first in a series of books that follow young characters on their adventures to uncover the mysteries of Azeroth.
Unlike other books, it features fill page illustrations and sketches.
Traveler: The Spiral Path
Traveler The Spiral Path continues where the first book finished. Aramar Thorne’s father and well-known explorer Captain Greydon Thorne and reappeared. Taking Amamar with him on the high seas.
During the voyage, the ship was attacked by the hidden and only Aramar and his friend Markasa were left.
Not only were they left alone but left with many questions. Who exactly were the Hidden and why did his father give him a compass that doesn’t point North.
Now his adventure begins, coming face to face with the undead, trolls and even mysterious gods.
Before the Storm
Before the Storm is a novel set leading up to the expansion The Battle for Azeroth. It is set after the Burning Legion has been defeated, dealing with the consequences to Sargeras striking Azeroth with his sword.
This final act has resulted in Azeroth dying….can our heroes save Azeroth whilst preventing more bloodshed?
Anduin Wrynn is now king of Stormwind and Sylvanas Windrunner is the new Warchief of the Horde. Both have discovered a new material known as Azerite, which has the power of creation as well as destruction.
Both races are looking to learn more about this material, however Anduin is keen to strike a new peace with the Horde. Sylvanas however does not trust him and has her own plans.
The truth is, peace is not possible on either side as both factions have ambitions and both want the power of Azerite. Could this strange material result in an all out war and the end of Azeroth?
Traveler: The Shining Blade
The Shinning Blade is the third and final book in the Traveler trilogy. Since Aramar received an enchanted compass from his father, he and Makasa have had their fair share of trouble. Traveling through much of Azeroth to find shards of a legendary weapon.
The pair need to keep ahead of the hidden, who are keen to get their hands on the compass. Luckily the two have built up their own allies such as Goblins and Druids.
They will need all the help they can get to stop the darkness and chaos consuming Azeroth.
Shadows Rising takes us from the end of Battle For Azeroth to the start of Shadowlands.
Sylvanas has broken the vow she made to serve the horde, not only that she has betrayed and abandoned them. No one knows her next move and even her sister Alleria, along with Turalyon is looking for her.
There is no longer a warchief in the Horde, instead they’ve formed a council. This council includes Thrall, Lor’themar, Baine and many others.
However, as a new council, there is a lot of distrust and it derailed quickly.
A young shamen known as Zekhan is tasked to help Talanji find out who tried to assassinate her. Soon discovering that Sylvanas is wanting to kill the toll Loa of death. Zekhan and Talanji work together to try and save the loa of death known as Bwonsamdi.
Failure will certainly destroy the horde, however if successful then the Horde could become stronger than ever.