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Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde

(World of Warcraft #12)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,268 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Shadows of the Horde follows Vol’jin to the lost continent of Pandaria, where the troll chieftain's loyalties are put to the ultimate test when a member of his own faction moves to assassinate him. . . .

Aided by the renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout, Vol'jin takes refuge in a remote mountain monastery to recover from his wounds. His time there, however, is far from peace
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  2,268 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Start your review of Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde (World of Warcraft, #12)
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, 2015, warcraft
"Shadow hunters have no betters."

His throat cut on the orders of his treacherous warchief, a troll washes up on a riverbank in Pandaria. He is Vol'jin, son of Sen'jin, chieftain of the Darkspear tribe, and he has been pushed the last step towards open rebellion against the leaders of the Horde.

I choose to hide behind the Goodreads rating system while justifying my rating for this book. This was okay. But it was actually a really good book.

The writing is ridiculously good for a Warcraft book. But
Ahmad Sharabiani
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde (World of Warcraft #12), Michael A. Stackpole
Shadows of the Horde follows Vol’jin to the lost continent of Pandaria, where the troll chieftain's loyalties are put to the ultimate test when a member of his own faction moves to assassinate him. ...
Vol'jin son of Sen'jin, takes refuge in a remote mountain monastery to recover from his wounds. His time there, however, is far from peaceful, as intense visions of the past assault the Darkspear chieftain, and the ancient Z
Sayomara Vesper
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
While reading this book, I was taken back to the classic science fiction series Babylon 5, which asks two very basic questions, "Who are you?" and "What do you want?" While Shadows of the Horde asks these questions in different ways, the basic idea is there. The book also has the feel of a Kung Fu movie right after the hero has been beaten by the villain for the first time. The hero goes to a monastery to heal and become stronger before he can strike at the villain again. In many ways this is wh ...more
Executive Summary:
I reviewed this for SFF audio. I doubt I would have read it otherwise. It might appeal to World of Warcraft fans, but probably no one else.

Audio book: This is the first book I've listened to by Scott Brick. Mr. Brick has a good clear voice. He also does a pretty good Cajun accent for the trolls.

My big problem is apart from that everyone sounds the same. The Trolls (both male and female) sounded the same. I couldn't really tell apart the human character from the Panderan either
Ian Eppenbaugh
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a very different WoW novel than we’re used to getting, but Michael A. Stackpole is a very different author from Richard Knaak and Christie Golden. I’ve been a fan of Stackpole since I first picked up X-Wing: Rogue Squadron back in middle school and, as such, was exceptionally thrilled to see him writing a WoW novel.

What we got in Shadows of the Horde was not what I was expecting. It was a much more serious, darker-toned WoW novel. Were there some light-hearted moments? Absolutely, Chen
Ellen Zacarias
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy

Vol'jin: The Next Karate Troll


With all the juicy drama and tension that has been boiling within the Horde, I couldn’t wait to read about Vol’jin, the leader of the Darkspear trolls. However, it left me disappointed from its lack of any believable tension. That’s probably the biggest weakness of the book—the characters are dull, the tension is dull, and even the “climactic” conflict against the Zandalari and Mogu forces is dull because I didn’t get a sense of urgen

Debbie Tails Prower
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every WarCraft fan
Shadows of the Horde was my very first Warcraft novel and I love it a lot.

While the story is mainly focused on Vol'jin and his personal struggles, we also got some insights into Chen Stormstout's life. Basically, Chen's few chapters are quite calming, sweet and funny which makes an excellent contrast to Vol'jin's chapters which are way darker. In general, this book was quite dark.

You can criticize this novel for not being as action-packed as you might be used to from other Warcraft novels. But r
Jul 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is the worst WoW novel, in my opinion. It is the epitome of telling, not showing. Normally WoW novels get my heart pumping with emotional highs & lows, but this was just a steady meh. I miss the richness of character & place that are usually present. The author seemed to place more importance on how blood drips off of various body parts than anything else. Very disappointed. ...more
Aug 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
... What the Hell did I just read?

Honestly, I used to love those books not five years ago, but this was just insufferable drivel from introduction to conclusion. And I still love the game, it's not a case of the whole world being uninteresting.

First, I think one of the most important things for books based of a video game/tv show is to relate to that video game/tv show, which isn't the case at all here. It's important to bear in mind that this is pretty much the Mist of Pandaria novel, an expans
Jul 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gaming
I've seen a number of people say that this is a darker toned book than we've had before. Personally, I don't know if I would agree. It's certainly not rainbows, kittens, and lollypops. But I feel that Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War was a much darker entry in the series.

I'm starting to think that Blizzard is reaching a point where they can't win in regards to novels. People that buy their games, want to play their games. They want to be able to take part in major events. They want to be able to r
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
This may well be the one of the best Warcraft books I've read to date, and I read all of them. It's not just because Vol'jin is one of the most underrated characters in the World of Warcraft universe. Somehow, Michael A. Stackpole managed to take the best things out of the Mists of Pandaria mythos, build two contrasting philosophies that draw heavily on in-game lore, and come up with a cohesive, well-written narrative that ties it all together.

I started this book because it was the only one I'd
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenges-2013
I was really excited about this book when I first heard about it coming out, because Vol'jin has always been one of my favorite characters in the World of Warcraft setting, especially since I actually have played the game itself. While this was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon at work, the story itself was a bit lacking. Having the background of actually playing World of Warcraft, some of the actions that are attributed to Vol'jin in the book seem out of character for him. I also didn't li ...more
Steve Cran
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tying in books to video games has become en vogue for a good many years now. This series is based on the online subscription game World of War Craft. The story centers around a troll named Vol’jin leader of the Dark Spears. The rest of the characters are dog like or furry creatures called Pandaren and of course they live on Pandaria, an island continent that kin of reminds me of Australia. The shado Pan are Pandarian monks ho practice martial arts that enhance their mental powers. These monks ar ...more
Michael Pate
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
In terms of the experience for World of Warcraft players, you probably will want to have done the Troll starting zone, watched the 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari trailer, and experienced the Dagger in Dark scenario. But if you haven't you can either watch the videos I linked to or just read the recaps in the story itself.

"Swear! Swear de blood oath with me!"

Like all of the modern novels, this very much takes place right within the (nearly current continuity). And like many of it's predecessors, this
¤Leila | The Fiction Pixie¤
Getting used to the writing style of Michael Stackpole was considerably interesting. The slow points in this book that were story and history based were on the slow side, this really captured that nature of the Pandaren but it also meant for a laborious read. But then in times of war and times of action his writing was action-packed and one blow after the other. This left me on a roller coaster of reading interest; while I absolutely loved this story and everything in it, I slugged through it at ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, the story is a lot bloodier and darker than the last few warcraft novels, which I think is a good change. The story definitely reminds me of a kung-fu movie.

Vol'jin is almost killed by an assassin. He is found half dead by Chen (an old character from way back in warcraft 3) and sent to a mountain top monastery where he is cared for by the Monks of Pandaria. Along with a human hunter, after growing to respect each other they work together with Chen and the monks to pr
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After Tides of War another pretty good WoW novel, one you enjoy reading without "he's gonna kill them all and then have a cup of coffee" feeling you might've gotten while reading the previous books (Stormrage comes to mind). It explains few things that Mist of Pandaria's quests were not able to, lore wise anyway. The only bad thing about this novel is that it was released too late. It should've been with us before 5.3 at least, preferably before MoP was launched. That detail aside, definately wo ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Strong characterizations, particularly Vol'jin, do not save this book from it's back half. I found the first part of the book incredibly enjoyable and Stackpole's writing is solid throughout. Unfortunately because of limitations (that I assumed were imposed by Blizzard) the plot shifts focus on Vol'jin's slow recovery and his anger towards Garrosh to a bunch of trolls I couldn't have cared less about. We are left to return to World of Warcraft to experience the true conclusion to the tale.

Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
As a Warcraft lore junkie I really wanted to like this book, but it really was a disappointment. It was so hard to even finish it.

I always wanted to know more about Vol'jin and troll/pandaria lore. The author did a pretty decent job portraying the characters, but there wasn't really one I could relate to. Chen was fairly interesting but the Vol'jin parts were either pretty good or downright tiresome to read.

If you like to learn more about the Loa or if you particulary like long philosophical tal
Sycamore Rockwell
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most thrilling Warcraft reads you could hope for and more!

If Mists of Pandaria encapsulated the exotic beauty and tranquil spirit of a new piece of Azeroth's landscape, then Michael Stackpole's 'Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde' goes a step further by exploring the moral values which drive Pandaria's denizens.

Parallels between Eastern philosophies on life and being saturate characters' dialogue, begging existential questions which transcend the pages and draw the reader into that though
Coral Davies
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe this is Stackpole's only WoW novel and he does an excellent job. He captures the serenity and philosophical nature of the Pandarian's to perfection and weaves the lore of the trolls into a detailed, coherent and enjoyable tale. This is less about the attempted assassination of Vol'Jin at the hands of Garrosh and more about understanding who Vol'Jin is, who the trolls are and the history of the Mogu, Zandalari and Pandarian's. I really enjoyed this tale.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't quite like the other Warcraft novels. I felt like the others were a bit more in depth whereas this one skimmed the surface. They didn't really get much done and the question of, "Who are you?" and "Who are you going to be?" kept coming up a lot. The ending was nice because of the battle scenes. Other than that, I was hoping for a bit more action going on.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The writing wasn't stellar, but once I got past that, I really enjoyed the story. The development of Vol'jin, Taran Zhu, and Chen were fascinating, as well as the look into the events leading up to the Throne of Thunder raid.
Michelle Gross
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not too bad. Would have liked more detail in the ending. Just kinda seemed to end quickly.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Warcraft fans, troll fans
I Be Not A Crab

First of all, you need to be familiar with the World of Warcraft universe and the storylines in the Pandaria expansion prior to picking up this book. Unlike past Warcraft novels, there is very little hand-holding involved in describing any of the World of Warcraft concepts. Monsters from the game just show up in the book (one of the Mogu summons Quilen, and the only description is "Quilen show up") and you're expected to know instantly what they look like.

As an avid World of Warcr
Trey Stone
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m not going to get into too much detail about Warcraft, so if you don’t know what that is Google is your friend, but it’s based on some video games from the 90s, and the online game World of Warcraft has been one of the world’s most popular for a few years now. The gist of is that there’s two factions, The Alliance and The Horde, both composed of different races like humans, dwarves, orcs, and elves, and they fight each other.

This book is centered on the troll character Vol’Jin, as the title p
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After traveling to Pandaria, Vol'jin gets attacked by assassins send by Garrosh. He narrowly survives and by luck is found by his friend Chen and taken to the Shado-Pan monastery to heal and recover. There he meets an injured human hunter and together with Chen and the monks they will attempt to save Pandaria from invasion when the Zandalari trolls invade and try to revive the Mogu empire. Vol'jin has to make difficult choices as he can seize glory with the Zandalari or do the right thing for hi ...more
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was awesome. What some might find boring I thought was good development and (back) story telling. This book really explained the backstory of Vol'jins' rebellion and subsequently the Siege of Orgrimmar. It also develops for all the see the huge difference between Vol'Jin and Garrosh. I was surprised by the choices made by the author at first but then came to see how it and so many things tied together. You also get a good look at Pandarian culture and especially the Shado-pan ...more
David Octavian
Sep 23, 2020 rated it liked it
So, I was really close to DNF'ing this, but I'm glad that I pushed through.
Unfortunately, the first half of the book is just a massive vomiting of pages and pages of exposition and infodump with unclear plot and dry characters used merely as plot devices. There is no grounding in the world or scene and 0 descriptions of the setting - the story suffers from the "white room" syndrome.

Luckily, that is the worst part, because the 2nd half of the book everything changes. Suddenly the characters have
Jan 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was not the book for me.

I did not enjoy the (imo slow and over detailed) writing style this book had. I was looking forward to the characters in this book (as a Warcraft player and lover), but things just.... did not move. Characters were... not interesting and things happen as they should happen but without any flare or colour to it.

Big note on this: I did not finish this book. I did not even make it half way. I said to myself that I would at least do that, but it has gathered dust for the
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