I've read 2 of her books. While they certainly werent the worst of Warcraft novels (Cycle of Hatred is the winner of clumsy writing contest), they are still pretty bad, in my opinion at least. In Arthas novel we had had mostly references to in-game events (even the dialogue was copy-pasted), with a few minor additions of totally pointless subplots. And Lord of the Clans... Hate this one. Take this book, replace orcs with deers and human with tigers and market it as a kindergarten book. The most basic "good vs evil" story you could imagine, with much effort put to make Thrall resemble a pussy ass whiny bitch and a world savior in one. That's what I call an unsuccessfull attempt to make a story.
Well, there are my opinions. I've read those books to practice my english, and was really disappointed. The question is - how much do they affect WoW lore and what are the ties between Blizzard and Golden? For example, who invented Taretha - Blizzard or Golden? Are the books based on WoW lore, or is Blizzard waiting for them to write a game based on them?
I fear that it's the second option, and my point is Garrosh. In Wrath and Cata he was quite similiar. He was brutal, but honorable. Easy-minded, but good strategist. Cruel, but empathic towards his race and allies. Even the Short Story, published on Blizzards site, was proving that. In fact, it was better written than any of the WoW books, and really showed the motives and character of Garrosh.
MoP changed everything. Pros in Garrosh personality vanished. Now he is just a stereotypical "Bad guy", unhonorable scum and egoistic beast. And he went there with not much developement, nothing really suggested that he will be going this way. And then, bang. I've heard about another Golden story, Tides of War, where (as far as I've heard) we have another "Good vs. Evil" plot, where Garrosh is just a bloodthirsty lump, and suprisingly Baine teams up with Anduin (did she even play this game?...). Sounds pretty lazy and bad to me, but im scared if Blizzard really took this story and think "yes, thats the direction we gonna take".
Is Golden the Master of Puppets, leading WoW where she pleases, or is she just writing stories based on actual lore, not yet released?
Firstly, Christie Golden is the best novel writer in the series. compared to all the others, her books have more indepth impact in setting the stage for the lore. From how the horde started and developed, to the harrowing events of tides and war, she manages to grasp me into the story that the other writers just fail to.
Your entitled to your opinion about lord of the clans, but for me this book was the one tat brought me into wanting to know about the horde, so I feel your opinion isn't even valid or empathetic. Also it set up Thralls character as engaging, giving a strong perspective on the state of things, and his own loss and grief, there was nothing whiny or pussy about him, he was raised as a slave, and despite what blackmoore did, he couldn't break him.
Also, Golden is a writer that is asked to write the books as the developers want, she does not write anything in the warcraft lore that is not decided upon by the developers as Metzen and Kosak. She writes the story within the limitations of what the devs ask her to write about, and for that fact she does a dam good job.