While I may not play World of Warcraft as much, whenever there is a new book to read, I’m all over it. I really enjoy the additional information and time in the world without the daily grind of playing a computer game. Seeing past the code-generated speech’s programmed into characters and stepping into the way they think and see the world really makes these books worth their while.
This book takes place after the Cataclysm that shook Azeroth, the World of Warcraft, and sets us up with Thrall as he deals with some inadequacy issues brought to light by his new role a someone other than the Warchief of the Horde.
It starts out a little contrived, to be honest. I couldn’t quite follow why Thrall was upset or why he was having troubles with his shamaning. But he was and was, so I went with it, and soon I got lost in what turned out to be a really great thrill ride through the continents of Azeroth, through places I have trod myself, digitally speaking of course.
That’s one of the cool aspects of reading computer-game fiction. You can sort of get a better feel for a location, having actually taken your character through the lands being described.
Christie Golden, I think, really does have a good grip on these characters. Apart from certain ‘setting the scene’ issues – that are common to many authors across the breadth of fiction writing – she takes you inside the characters head and lets you understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.
More than that though, she understands World of Warcraft; understands the scope and the importance that this world has to people. The fight scenes and the fantasy elements to the story are always really captivating; especially in this book, with so many dragons being written and explored, you get a really great idea of one of the really cool races, not only in World of Warcraft, but in fantasy in general.
If you are a World of Warcraft player, then this book is for you. But even if you’ve never touched the game, I think that you could really enjoy this book. It’s got something for every fantasy fan.
Review by Joshua S Hill
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