An impressive book, let down only be necessity, really. Having never played the original "Warcraft" titles I was pretty unfamiliar with much of the lo...moreAn impressive book, let down only be necessity, really. Having never played the original "Warcraft" titles I was pretty unfamiliar with much of the lore so clumsily communicated within "World of Warcraft". When this book came along to try to explain how the current Lich King came to be, however, I was informed, excited and, to a certain degree, inspired. It tells so much more of course, as the Death Knight Arthas was such a key character in the sacking of Lordaeron and Silvermoon, and in the formation of the Forsaken. Each of these events has an exciting story to be told too.
Where the book is let down is in the way it skips whole chunks of history. Despite a good build-up and many occasions in which we're shown the characters' motivations, the story simply cannot seem to retell the events of the games themselves. In a few ways this feels right, as it keeps seasoned players from being bored and allows the other novels and comics their own space, but it also feels very wrong as a book with the potential to really motivate players who otherwise may fail to grasp the depths to Azeroth's story.(less)
The book is narrated to us by Warchief Thrall himself, and tells a winding and fairly epic tale of how the Fel Horde came to be. Beginnin...moreSuperb stuff.
The book is narrated to us by Warchief Thrall himself, and tells a winding and fairly epic tale of how the Fel Horde came to be. Beginning with the shamanistic clans who once lived harmoniously with the world around them, and weaving up to the Horde's emergence through Medivh's Dark Portal to Azeroth, the book basically fills in much of Outland's lore.
As with the other Warcraft book I've read, the most exciting prospect this held and delivered on was the way it fills in the narrative I'd ignored or taken for granted, particularly to a player for whom World of Warcraft was their only base.
More specifically, Rise of the Horde tells us how the orcs came under the demonic influence which pitted them against man and orc alike. It also documents just how Prophet Velen and his draenei came to be chased by their corrupted eredar brethren, from their own world to that they christened Draenor, and on to Azeroth. The realms of Nagrand, Hellfire Peninsula and the Black Morass (later Blasted Lands) form the stage, and it's through books like this we come to know just what Hellfire Citadel is, and the significance of many names a casual player may simply see as a target or quest hub.
Needless to say, I could not measure this book on how it may read for a non-player.(less)
This was an alright book, and a pretty good follow-on from Golden's Rise of the Horde. It felt a little rough though, and while none of the series wou...moreThis was an alright book, and a pretty good follow-on from Golden's Rise of the Horde. It felt a little rough though, and while none of the series would be universally appealing, dealing as they do with computer game lore, Lord of the Clans felt like the least acessible so far.
As I understand it, Rise of the Horde chronicles events up to the point of the first Warcraft game. Lord of the Clans describes what followed the Fel Horde's defeat, with Aedelas Blackmoore and Thrall as its chief characters.
I bought this book wanting to know more about Warchief Thrall's story, and certainly got that. There is also a pleasing amount of detail in regards to Orgrim Doomhammer and Grom Hellscream too, who despite being such key characters in the Warcraft mythology, were skimmed over in the earlier book, which described their demonic corruption. There are some plot inconsistencies too, just as between Warcraft's strategy and online world series. But really the sour note seemed to come from the book's vulgarity.
Unlike other works, which describe characters' origins and the ways of entire cultures in quite an amiable way, Golden's written quite a rough and, at times, gruesome tale somewhat at odds with the world I understood. The Horde is painted very much as an animal race down to its quite gruesome child-rearing techniques, while the man we see in other books as an unstable drunk turns out very violent indeed through the course of Thrall's liberation.
It felt a little refreshing, and enlightening too, but the shift in mood was not handled very well and I was left feeling tolerably disgusted. That said, I feel the author deserves praise for a thrilling depiction of the orcs' war; never have I longed to hear Grom's 'hellscream' more than in the setting painted here.(less)