Shadows Rising: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Book Cover Shadows Rising: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Book Three
Madeleine Roux
Gaming Epic Fantasy
Del Rey
July 14, 2020

An all-new official prequel novel to Shadowlands, the next expansion for Blizzard Entertainment's legendary online game World of Warcraft.
"The Horde is nothing!" With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Alleria, race to uncover her next move. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas’s whereabouts.
The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest. Thrall, Lor’themar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof, First Arcanist Thalyssra, and many other familiar faces rise to this new challenge. But the threats are numerous, and the distrust runs too deep.
When the council is derailed by a failed assassination attempt on Talanji - the Zandalari queen and a key ally - Thrall and the rest of the Horde leaders are forced into action. They empower the young troll shaman Zekhan, still grieving the loss of Varok Saurfang, with a critical mission to aid Talanji and help uncover the rising threat against her.
Meanwhile, Nathanos Blightcaller and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked by the Dark Lady with a terrifying gambit: to kill the troll loa of death himself, Bwonsamdi.
As Zekhan and Talanji work to save Bwonsamdi, their journey will be a key turning point in bolstering the Horde against the coming darkness and finding themselves along the way. Failure to save their allies and the trickster god will surely doom them - but through success, they may rediscover what makes the Horde strong.

Reviewed by Charlayne Elizabeth Denney
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

The third book in the World of Warcraft series carries forth the story of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. The story lore is slowing down in the game in preparation for the next expansion, Shadowlands is wrapping up loose ends.

I loved this book. I have looked forward to the novels when the old expansion winds down and the new one is soon to release. I play the game as much for the lore as anything so the books fill in some of the parts we would miss without them and gives us hints to what is coming next in the story.

Madeleine has a very easy style, the story flows without a lot of overwhelming details. With such established characters, the challenge is to make sure the story meshes with the lore in-game. She’s managed to get this balance right. I hear the voices when I’m reading, nothing is out of character. She makes us care about Talanji and really hate Nathanos, if that is possible since he’s been one of the bad guys for many expansions now.

This book also gives the player the story of the side they don’t play. I have characters on both sides, Horde and Alliance, so I’ve kept up with the story. Some players don’t do that and this book will fill in the holes within their game experiences from the side they don’t play much or at all.

I liked the story of the Loa Bwonsomdi. The loa, or the god of death has been a fun character in the lore and even being one of thebosses in the Daraz’alor raid that groups of players have to fight. The cadence of the Cajun accent just makes him seem more life-like. It’s one of the voices you will hear in your head when you read the book. She’s got that one down correctly.

The newest change in characters is the story between Si-7 master spy Mathias Shaw and the free spirit ship’s captain Flynn Fairwind. They were fun in the run into Daraz’alor to get the Abyssal Sceptor, griping back and forth like an old married couple. It was out of that one quest that fans started putting the two together in memes and fan fiction. That the story now is official, a somewhat controversial move. Some people like it, others are not quite as happy. I love it and am looking forward to seeing where the story with them goes in the next expansion.

Overall, the story and lore from Shadows Rising is solid and well-told. It’s a good way to get ready for the next expansion, which is slated to come out sometime in the fall of 2020. It’s also just a plain fun read and can be read and enjoyed even if you don’t play the game.

Pick it up and see where we’re heading next. It’s worth it.