I finally got my hands on Chronicle 1 and read it. It was very enjoyable and easy to read. The lore is presented in a clear and relevant way. I think I am starting to see the purpose of these books.
For some background, I SWEAR I head in an interview at some point that Legion, Warlords, and the next unnamed expansion were conceived as a trilogy, and there was some debate on which order Legion and WoD should occur in. (Once/if I can find a source I will link it.)
That would make a ton of sense with the Chronicle trilogy. Chron 1 has a ton of info that becomes relevant in Legion, and Chron 2 has a ton of info that was relevant for WoD. I think these books are intended as primers for the expansions, but that story flow changed after the books had begun production.
If that’s is true, it means that the next expansion will be heavily influenced by something that happened during the 3rd war, but that we were largely unaware of during the game Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos. That does make Kul’tiras far more likely, as we haven’t seen anything from them in a long time.
The book was not exactly what I was expecting, or more accurately, what I was hoping for. I Thought these would be something that would help supplement role-play and character histories for WoW. It’s kind of painful how light the background information on some races is, especially when you know this was it. In a way, these books close the door on developing the history of the world further.
It felt bad seeing gnomes as a footnote to the dwarves in every chapter that mentioned them. Dwarves have a section and interesting history and events that make zero mention of gnomes, but the reverse is not true. Even the chapter called the ‘Exodus of the Gnomes’ is as much about what is going on with dwarves in Uldaman as it is about gnomes, and it literally establishes that gnomes have no culture or history. They mention a gnome female who saved the entirety of the dwarf race, but the book doesn’t give her a name, and the dwarves are ignorant to her sacrifice, so it’s unknown and unknowable by anyone, which really undermines the significance of it. The section on Goblins is even worse. Their origins are glossed over so vaguely as to be non-existent, then they are slaves for 1,000 years, then Kaja’mite. It doesn’t feel meaningful or informative because it’s so curt.
I am aware that largely those are not problems with the material, but a misalignment between my desires and the goals of the material. The parts that were not about gnomes/goblins I was actually able to enjoy more because I was less invested and therefore I could just relax and take it at face value. I am looking forward to reading Chron 2 and 3, especially if Chron 3 has build up for the next expansion!