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World of Warcraft: Sylvanas
Warcraft Sylvanas cover
Author(s) Christie Golden
Artist(s) Evyn Fong (cover)
Pages 400
Publisher(s) Penguin Random House
Publication date March 29, 2022
Format(s) Hardcover, Digital, Audiobook
Retail price US: $24.49
UK: £14.99
ISBN 10 0399594183
ISBN 13 978-0399594182

World of Warcraft: Sylvanas is a novel by Christie Golden chronicling "the epic, definitive story" of Sylvanas Windrunner.[1]


Ranger-General. Banshee Queen. Warchief. Sylvanas Windrunner has borne many titles. To some, she is a hero . . . to others, a villain. But whether in pursuit of justice, vengeance, or something more, Sylvanas has always sought to control her own destiny.

The power to achieve her goals has never been closer, as Sylvanas works alongside the Jailer to liberate all Azeroth from the prison of fate. Her final task? Secure the fealty of their prisoner—King Anduin Wrynn.

To succeed, Sylvanas will be forced to reflect on the harrowing path that brought her to the Jailer’s side, and reveal her truest self to her greatest rival. Here, Sylvanas’ complete story is laid bare: from the breaking of the Windrunner family and her rise to Ranger-General; to her own death at the hands of Arthas and her renewed purpose in founding the Forsaken; to the moment she first beheld the Maw, and understood the true consequences of what lay beyond the veil of death. But as her moment of victory draws near, Sylvanas Windrunner will make a choice that may ultimately come to define her. A choice that’s hers alone to make.[1]


Major Supporting Minor Mentioned



  • Woundwood

Retcons and discrepancies[]

  • Master Apothecary Faranell was originally described as the leader of the Royal Apothecary Society.[2][3] However in Sylvanas, he was described as being Grand Apothecary Putress' subordinate, and it was Putress that convinced Sylvanas to create the Royal Apothecary Society in the first place.[4]
    • It should be noted that there were two Grand Apothecaries, the other being Doctor Sintar Malefious (who was deployed directly alongside Putress), and two Master Apothecaries, the other being Master Apothecary Lydon (who was promoted). These ranks' relation to each other was never explained before this.
  • Sylvanas originally sought to use the Soulcage to enslave Eyir and her Val'kyr in order to ensure that the Forsaken would never die out.[5] However, in Sylvanas, she intended to use the Soulcage in order to enslave Eyir and send the Val'kyr and the souls within the Halls of Valor to Helya, who would then turn them to the purpose of Zovaal.[6]
  • Anasterian Sunstrider appears atop the gates of Silvermoon to rebuff Arthas' demand that the elves surrender. In response, Arthas sends Sylvanas into Silvermoon to massacre its civilians. In previous versions of the battle, it was Grand Magister Belo'vir who first beheld Sylvanas' twisted form and rejected Arthas' call to surrender from Silvermoon's inner gate. It's possible the confrontations occur sequentially–in Blood of the Highborne, Arthas mentions having given the elves ample opportunities to surrender before dispelling Ban'dinoriel, by which point Belo'vir has taken Anasterian's place as the battlefield commander–but still peculiar that Arthas would twice unveil Sylvanas before the same gates, and her second appearance to come as a surprise.
  • Archimonde is mistakenly referred to as a dreadlord instead of an eredar.[7]
  • According to the Warcraft Encyclopedia, the blood elves rejected Sylvanas' offers of Forsaken aid at first, either because they feared a trick or were still overcoming their dislike of the rest of the Horde. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3 restated the former and revised the latter: Quel'Thalas initially spurned an alliance with the Forsaken, as the blood elves feared their claims of free will were an insidious machination of the Scourge, but desperation drove them to take the chance on Sylvanas' goodwill. Lor'themar was receptive to allying with the Horde, as he recognized that Thrall's Horde was not the monstrous entity he'd fought against in the past.[8] In Sylvanas, both circumstances are altered again: Lor'themar accepted Sylvanas' offers of aid as early as their first correspondence, yet "politely but firmly" declined Thrall and Sylvanas' offers to join the Horde, as he believed it had caused too much harm for the elves to see them as allies. Sylvanas, knowing how dire the situation in Quel'Thalas was, waited for time to change the elves' opinion.
  • Sylvanas claims the blood elves, in their desperation for arcane magic, had taken to "siphoning energy off the naaru". Only the Blood Knights tapped into M'uru's energies, and this was only to empower their paladin abilities, not for magical sustenance. Ironically, feeding upon the naaru actually was the reason Kael'thas first sent him back to Silvermoon, but the Magisters devised the Blood Knight order as an alternative.[9]
  • Sylvanas returns to wrest command of the invasion of Gilneas from Garrosh while accompanied by her Val'kyr.[10] To keep with chronology, in Edge of Night they were not visibly present for this confrontation, as Garrosh does not learn of their addition to the Forsaken's ranks until Silverpine Forest questing.
  • In her inner narration, Sylvanas misquotes Genn Greymane's parting words upon smashing the Soulcage: "You took my son's future. And now... I've taken yours" becomes, "You stole my son's future. Now I'm stealing yours."
  • In Wrath of the Lich King, Varimathras originally pulled his coup d'état on Sylvanas on behalf of the Burning Legion.[11] However, in Sylvanas, it was implied that he was acting out of jealously and sought to be the one to herald Zovaal's victory instead of Sylvanas.[12]
  • In Tides of Darkness, Vereesa told Alleria that their parents should be in Silvermoon consulting with the elders, shortly before the burning of Quel'Thalas.[13] However, in Sylvanas, both of their parents were killed and buried before the Second War had reached Quel'Thalas.[14]
  • Throughout Shadows Rising the passage of time is noted, such as when Visrynn was noted to have traveled with a group of Horde refugees for half a day a week past.[15] However, in Sylvanas the events within Visions of N'Zoth and Shadows Rising were declared as taking placing within "A few hours."[16]
  • In the novel Tides of Darkness, Khadgar was described as being present at the burning of Quel'Thalas.[13] However, in Sylvanas, he is not mentioned as being present.


  • The audiobook version is read by Patty Mattson, Sylvanas' voice actress.[1]
  • As a full-life retelling of a character's history, Sylvanas is similar in theme and purpose to Golden's 2009 novel Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. According to Golden, Blizzard were aware of the similarities between the two and wanted to make sure that Sylvanas was "its own thing, unique to her" while also being mindful of what worked in Rise of the Lich King.[17]
  • The novel's release date was originally announced as November 9, 2021.[1] It was later pushed back to February 2022, with Golden stating that Blizzard were taking some extra time to ensure that the book is "the best it can be",[18] and later to March 2022.


Cover art sketches


  1. ^ a b c d Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2021-04-21. Warcraft®: Sylvanas Now Available for Pre-Purchase. Retrieved on 2021-04-21.
  2. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 152
  3. ^ World of Warcraft: Game Manual#Undead (Forsaken)
  4. ^ Sylvanas, chapter 20
  5. ^ Before the Storm, chapter 2
  6. ^ Sylvanas, chapter 25
  7. ^ Sylvanas, chapter 13
  8. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 150
  9. ^ Official The Burning Crusade website
  10. ^ World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, pg. 337
  11. ^ Battle for the Undercity
  12. ^ Sylvanas, chapter 20
  13. ^ a b Tides of Darkness, chapter 14
  14. ^ Sylvanas, chapter 9
  15. ^ Shadows Rising, chapter 9
  16. ^ Sylvanas, pg. 364
  17. ^ Christie Golden on Twitter (2021-04-21). Retrieved on 2021-04-22.​ “Yes it is! We are aware of that and wanted to make sure this was its own thing, unique to her, but also to be mindful of worked in that other book too.
  18. ^ Christie Golden on Twitter (2021-06-17). Retrieved on 2021-06-17.​ “Hi all, many of you have contacted me re the date change to Feb. 22 for the Sylvanas novel. I'm sure you all can appreciate that a book of this magnitude & significance should be given the dedication it's due, so we're taking the extra time to make sure it's the best it can be!

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