Being a player of World of Warcraft for well over a year now, I feel as though Azeroth has become my second home. During my playing time, I have been a Night Elf priest, a Troll shaman, a Tauren warrior and finally, a female Draenei paladin, a male Blood Elf rogue, a female Blood Elf Death Knight and a male Worgen rogue and a female Goblin mage, thanks to the latest expansion named Cataclysm. Whew! Talk about having multiple personalities. In any case, I felt I owed it to myself to read some of the books associated with the game; after all, as a bibliophile, I have to partake in the book of whatever media/hobby I am currently enjoying. So, when I picked up a used copy of Christie Golden’s Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, I knew I was in for a treat. Arthas Menethil, the crowned prince of Lordaeron, was once a beloved member of royalty and a friend to all. However, thanks to circumstances very much beyond his control and his own refusal to accept his faults and move on, the prince resorts to being driven by vengeance and soon becomes a feared and hated creature beyond all level of comprehension. Because of his own shortsightedness, he becomes the Lich King, a ruler of ice, coldness and the undead known as the Scourge.
Golden shows her ability to tell a good tale as she spins the history of Arthas from his youth to becoming the most evil foe ever to set foot in Azeroth (until Deathwing comes along in Cataclysm). I began reading the book yesterday and, being a lover of all things WoW, I could not put the book down until I finished it only a couple of hours ago tonight. After closing the book, I felt as though I understood Arthas a little more and why he made those choices that ultimately led to his downfall. While reading reviews of this book on Amazon,com, I read one reviewer who claimed to compare Arthas the Anakin Skywalker. In my own opinion, I found that, while they did share similarities, they were quite different. Both were destined to be a force greater than what was known in their respective worlds. Both were loved by all. Both gave into their own faults and feelings of guilt. However, while Anakin made his choices in order to save everyone, Arthas made his choices to seek revenge on the one who had done his people harm. Also, Arthas willingly went to evil while Anakin truly thought he was on the side of the true good for all. When Anakin was dying in his son’s arms, he asked for redemption and forgiveness for all of the things he did. Arthas killed off the last piece of humanity he had left inside of him; he wanted nothing to stand in his way of becoming more and more powerful against his foes in Azeroth. There is no redemption in him, only a coldness that can never be warmed again. Now that I have finished reading my first sample of Golden’s work, I can’t wait to dig into her newest Warcraft novel, The Shattering, a novel that explains the events leading up to Cataclysm and the return of Deathwing. FOR THE HORDE!