I love World of Warcraft. I am a huge fan of the video game and started playing during Cata in Sept. 2011. That being said, this book meant a lot more to me and resonated with me because I could relate the characters to their in-game selves. This review may in turn be a bit biased because of that recognition with the characters and eagerness to learn more about the lore. If you don't play the game and have never heard of any of the characters mentioned in this book, I am not sure what experience you will have when reading it.
It was so interesting for me to read about a time before Illidan became the Lord of Outland, before Alexstrazsa was made a slave by the Orcs, before Malfurion was trapped in the Emerald Dream and before Tyrande took over as leader of the Night Elves and High Priestess of Elune. I knew that the Night Elves had been the ones to cause the first invasion of the Burning Legion, but I didn't know how they had done it. I had heard of Azshara before, of course. I knew she was Queen of the Naga and I knew that there was a place in Kalimdor called Azshara, but I really had no idea who she was in the past. To find out that she had been the beloved queen of the Night Elves was shocking. I had also never heard of Broxigar or Xavius, so a lot of these characters were new to me and it was fun to fit them into the games current history.
I think Knaak did an excellent job with the battle scenes. I felt as if I were there while Rhonin was casting his spells against the Eredar warlocks of the Burning Legion and that I could feel the hands of Xavius around my neck as he tried to throttle Malfurion. I really think that when it came to the battle scenes and more epic scenery scenes that Krasus experienced on the back of Korialstrasz, Knaak did a fantastic job. He really has a knack (ha ha) for creating epic pictures in the reader's mind and I felt like I could see and feel Kalimdor with the characters.
I would recommend this book to all World of Warcraft fans who are interested in the lore. As for those of you who don't play the game, I can't be sure what your experience would be because I already knew most of the characters going into the book, but I would encourage you to try it out if you're a fan of high fantasy to see what you think!