Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War by Christie Golden

World of Warcraft fans - new and old - will love this book.
Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War book cover

I am in almost every regard your stereotypical nerd, not the least because I’m about to review a fantasy book based in the world of a video game. I should remind people that I am actually a rather larger proponent of franchise fiction these days, as it has gained a larger mindshare than ever before and, therefore, a greater level of quality has been focused on it.

‘World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore – Tides of War’ by Christie Golden is the latest book in the World of Warcraft series of books and is definitely the best yet.

Many of the other books have had a sort of fan-fic element to them in the way they have used the world around them: using people and places from within the video game to remind people they’re reading a book set in a video game world. It’s disorientating and goes a long way to living up to the reputation franchise books have.

Tides of War didn’t do this (much) and was the better for it.

One of the most impressive parts of this book was just what the author was allowed to get away with. Obviously with editorial oversight, but nevertheless, Christie Golden was able to kill off a lot of characters and leave the world in a lot of turmoil, and more than anything makes you a) want to go play the game and b) read more of these books.

So from that point of view, I’m betting Blizzard is pretty happy.

There are some fantastic characters in this book, but nothing was as impressive as the evolution of the relationship between Jaina and Kalecgos: romantic after a while, beautifully naïve at times, and devastating by the end.

In fact, their relationship is mirrored by the fate of Jaina’s life and responsibilities, which climax in a really sad manner by the end of the book. There are real consequences in play here, and given the attachment we went into the book for Jaina and the depth that attachment reached through reading the book, you leave the book feeling really despondent for Jaina.

World of Warcraft fans – new and old – will love this book, and won’t need to have read anything that came before. I’d even go so far as to say you don’t even need to have played the game recently; you’ll enjoy it regardless.

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