As an avid World of Warcraft player, this day was inevitable. I do not dislike licensed properties, and one look at my library will convince you of this. A love of sci fi and fantasy has seen my library take shape thanks to large donations to Star Trek, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Naturally, my money would eventually end up lining the pockets of the Warcraft creators, beyond that of my gameplay.
And so it was that I started in on the Warcraft Archive, and with it the first book, Day of the Dragon, by Richard A. Knaak.
These books are, unlike some being published recently, set in the greater Warcraft universe, beyond that of World of Warcraft. This one is set somewhere between Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the book focuses on Rhonin, an unfavoured wizard with the Kirin Tor, who is sent by a mysterious benefactor and member of the Kirin Tor.
For those who are Warcraft aficionados, this book has a lot of linkages. Rhonin and his companion, the high elven ranger Vereesa Windrunner, are prominent parts of Warcraft lore, as is Rhonin's mysterious benefactor Krasus. In fact, the majority of the characters in this book are involved, or referred too, time and time again through many of the Warcraft games, including World of Warcraft. It makes for a wonderful read for those of us who are looking to learn the history of some of the characters we encounter in-game.
The book itself is well written, but not spectacular. Rare occasions have the reader cringing at grammar or storytelling devices used, but on the whole it is a satisfactory read.
That probably doesn't sell the book to non-Warcraft players, but I don't think this book was meant to be. It is very much a story for those who want to know more about the characters in-game. It has also been labelled the least of all the Warcraft books written.
That being said, it does bode well for the other books, considering how much I did enjoy it, and how compelling it was. Mediocre writing does not always put me off, if the subject matter and story does a lot of the heavy lifting for me.
If you're not a Warcraft fan, then this book probably isn't for you (though, from what I hear, some of the other books definitely might be. Stay tuned for more Warcraft reviews). However, if you're a fan of the games, whether by dabbling a little in WoW or the original trilogy of games, or a hardcore World of Warcraft player, then this book will be a nice addition to what you know. Pick up the archive as well, as you get four books for the price of one.
Review by Joshua S Hill
6.6/10 from 1 reviews
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