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Warcraft Expanded Universe(Books, Comics and Mangas)*Updated with Illidan*
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Table of Contents:
War of the Ancients
Rise of the Horde
Tides of Darkness
Beyond the Dark Portal
Day of the Dragon
Lord of the Clans
Of Blood and Honour
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
Cycle of Hatred
Night of the Dragon
The Shattering: Prelude to the Cataclysm
Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
Dawn of the Aspects
World of Warcraft: Monthly Comic
Curse of the Worgen
Warcraft: Death Knight
Shadow Wing: Volume 1: Dragons of Outland and Volume 2: Nexus Point
War of the Ancients
Rise of the Horde
Tides of Darkness
Beyond the Dark Portal
Day of the Dragon
Lord of the Clans
Of Blood and Honour
Arthas Rise of the Lich King
Cycle of Hatred
Night of the Dragon
The Shattering: Prelude to the Cataclysm
From what I can tell, Wolfheart actually happens before Twilight of the Aspects, as it states that the Worgen do not have a permanent home in Darnassus or were part of the Alliance yet; the war in Ashenvale also started here, so it looks like the book is meant to take place after the Shattering but before Cata starts in game. As with my review of Twilight of the Aspects, I'm breaking up this review in portions.
Over all, the books has three main story lines: The war between the Horde and the Alliance(well Night Elves for most of it) in Ashenvale and the secret weapon of Garrosh, the B plot is about the Worgen being accepted into the Alliance and the C Plot is about a rash of murders affecting the Highborne within Darnassus. So here we go:
The secret weapon of the Horde is being sent from Northrend, which is a bad idea; during the sea voyage, two of the ships in the fleet are sunk due to the weapons. While these are sent south, we see the forces of the Night Elves fighting against a very well organized Horde force, which are testing them constantly. As we learn, Garrosh himself is leading the army, and he makes quite a few successful strikes against the Night Elves, effectively cutting them off. It turns out though, unbeknown to us, that the Orcs have been using Red Proto-Drakes as aerial forces to deal with the threats of hippogryph riders....though, this happens once in the story.
During the conflicts, a scouting group of Night Elves are attacked by Goblin Shredders which are clearing trees....and the Gobs are pretty vicious(but we've seen that for years). For three quarters of the book, the Horde is winning in Ashenvale, and when Garrosh's secret weapon arrives, it seems like they can't be stopped, as they wipe out Silverwing Outpost. Shortly after this point, Darnassus learns about the war effort, and of course, they start planning a massive counter attack.
At this point, the B plot is merged into the A Plot.
Plot B: Malfurion and Tyrande are championing for the Worgen to be added into the Alliance after the fall of Gilneas. Genn Graymane and his people want to make up for the mistakes of the past, but other leaders won't allow that to happen....well, one leader at least; Varian, who let's his anger command him and he casts a vote against allowing them back in as he could not let go of the past.
I honestly enjoyed this plot line, as it did state that both the Night Elves and the Draenei are willing to do everything in their powers to assist their fellow Alliance members on Eastern Kingdoms who were hit harder by the Cataclysm and Deathwing then Kalimdor was. The best part was the interaction between Velen and Anduin, and after a falling out with Varian, the Prince of Stormwind leaves with the Prophet to train more in the Light.
Due to the conflicts between Genn and Varian, Mal takes matters into his own hands and tries to bring the two together. During one his schemes, which put Varian into a hunting contest against Genn, the two Kings end up fighting against a Black Bear, and they save each others lives during the course of it....but, afterward, Varian disappears as he can't stand the accolades from the Worgen for the kill.
After a few days of being in the forest, Varian approaches Genn again, and asks for help: He had heard about the ritual that all Worgen underwent to get their fury under control and he wanted it badly as during the falling out with Anduin, he had accidentally hurt his son and wanted to make sure that would never happen again. Genn is cautious at first, but then takes the King of Stormwind through the Ritual...which, works. Varian is able to come to term with his past and finally conquerors his Lo'Gosh personality.
After the Ritual, the King of Stormwind, Gilneas and the Worgen head for Ashenvale to join in the War.
Plot C: The murders was a very strange addition to the book, but we saw a reunion between Jarod and Maiev, as Jarod had returned to Darnassus because he had found a wife and had been off living with her; but because of the loss of immortality, she had caught an illness and had the 'luck' to be the first of the mortal Night Elves to die. When he returned home, we see a large can of worms opened up...since he had to deal with Shandris and Maiev.
Maiev was attempting to rebuild the Watchers, and begged to be the one to solve the murders...and when Jarod found another body, he was made into her assistant. The two try to find the killer, and question the Worgens of Darnassus as all of the Highborne who had died had been killed by two slash marks across their throats.
This plot wasn't as fleshed out, as it mainly had the murders occurring, the Highbourne complaining that it wasn't being taken seriously(which to be fair, it wasn't), and Jarod trying to be a detective. While investigating, Jarod get's trapped and is freed by Genn's second in command and he makes friends with the Worgen.
When another Highborne dies, Malfurion, who had been helping with the investigation as well, end ups being attack and kidnapped, and we learn who was behind the murders.....Maiev. Turns out, she went completely ape #$%^ after all the crap she experienced(being tortured by Illidan and all) and she was intent on wiping out all threats to the Night Elves....and break apart the Alliance if she could.
During the final battle between Mal, Jarod and Maiev, her fanatic Watchers are killed but she escapes. In the aftermath, Jarod is made into the new leader of the Watchers and he is also hunting for her as well.
The end of the book had the absolute best war battle in a Warcraft novel. It was truly epic: From the Magnataurs assaults, to the attacks between the Horde and the Alliance to Varian and the Worgen showing up at the end enmass to win the day, and the duel between Garrosh and Varian, it was just an excellent ending to the book.
As the 'hero' of Ashenvale, Varian calls for the vote again, and Genn and the Worgen are accepted into the Alliance, and Mal and Tyrande had a final discussion that perhaps Varian is a good choice for the champion of the Alliance.
The book had a lot of character growth for quite a few different people. The big one of course was Varian, as he finally conqueror his other personality and his rage, as well as coming to terms with his past: From the fall of Stormwind to the death of his wife, and realizing that he didn't need to smother his son to keep him safe.
The best part though, was with Tyrande; what started in Stormrage was completed here: Gone is the 'Save me now' maiden of WotA, and the return of the WC3 Priestess of the Moon is back. She lead the army of the Alliance during the battle at Ashenvale as well as being the main force for uniting the Alliance.
As said up farther, I enjoyed the scenes with Velen and Anduin; they were well written and showed both characters in a very positive light.
Mal...well, Malfurion has issues heh: He blames himself for a lot apparently. He blames himself for what happened to Illidan, and for what happened to the Gilneans that turned them into the Worgen because of what happened in the past....but by the end of the book, he was getting better.
Garrosh was actually pretty good in the book as well; he had plans that were working, but not much you can do against a Champion of the Wolf Ancient. The duels between him and Varian were exciting, and Knaak had his honour and desire to win the world for the Horde down pact. I know there will be people complaining about it, but Knaak didn't demonize the Horde here; this is still the war we've seen all through out Cata.
Also, for those who believed that the Horde was the 'evil' in the book...they weren't; not really. Again it was War. The real villain was Maiev and her attempt at killing all the Highborne and breaking the Alliance.
Over all, I liked the book(honestly, more then I liked Twilight of the Aspects), and it's a good addition to the Lore.
Thrall Twilight of the Aspects:
Please note, this book takes place shortly before Patch 4.2.
Thrall:When the book opens, our favorite world shaman is trying to help the other members of the Earthen Ring stabilize the world after the Cataclysm, but he is unable to work with the other shamans because he is feeling torn apart and drawn into multiple directions, unable to get over his past life as the Warchief and accept that he is now just a shaman and all that means.
After a particularly bad attempt, he stalks off and mopes that he can't pull it together, and Aggra follows and attempts to talk sense into him....and fails. Later on, he is given a task by Ysera, and Aggra makes him go and help her, through a few sappy moments. From there, the story begins, and life gets interesting for Thrall.
The first mission given to him by Ysera is to travel to Dreamer's Rest in Feralas and find out what has been happening there as flames are driven out of control. Once Thrall arrives, he ends up in some trouble with the local NE's, but because it's Thrall, they get it all settled. Turns out the Spirit of Fire was burning specific Trees; also known as Ancients, because they were remembering things wrong...and if they couldn't get their minds back, they had to be destroyed. Once Thrall figures that out, and stops Fire from burning them, the Ancients give him an Acorn which contains the memory of all the Ancients in that line for several thousand years.
From there, it turns out one of the first NE's Thrall met was actually a member of the Green flight, who, hearing about what the Spirit of Fire has said, suggests they travel to the Cavern of Time to find out what is going on...and see what they can do to help.
Wyrmrest Temple and a meeting of the Dragons:
In the early portion of the book, the main three Flights; Blues Reds and Greens, with the two Aspects show up for a meeting to discuss the world and try to assist the Blues with their 'problem'; the fact that Alexstraza helped to kill Malygos. Before the meeting, we got a tender moment between Krasus and Alexstraza, and I admit, I enjoyed it; was nice to see the Queen of Life in an unguarded moment. During the meeting, the Temple comes under attack by a force of Twilight Hammer members and Twilight Flight led by a being named 'the Twilight Father'. The battle ends when a massive explosion rocks the Temple...and we find out that Krasus has blown up the portals into the Sanctums as well as dying inside. This leads to a long mystery through the book.
After the fight, Alexstraza, driven by grief and rage, leaves the Temple, as do the other Flights, and the place is taken over by the Twilight Father, his special captive, and the Hammers...with a massive corpse dragged along.
The Cavern of Time
Arriving in the Caverns of Time, Thrall travels within and realizes that Time is fluid here, and the Past Present and Future all go past each other within it. Thrall and the Green had made friends, and found a location to mediate while they wait for the Bronze flight to bring someone to talk to Thrall...plans go wrong when someone takes off the Green's head while in mortal form and Thrall barely escapes...and is thrown into the Time Lines.
The first Time point Thrall visits is the time that Durotan and Drakka met with Doomhammer....and he is forced to watch their assassination. He speaks to his father while holding his baby self, and is then forced to make a hard decision and drive the attacker from the Caverns into the water, while Blackmoore finds baby Thrall.
The next Time point, Thrall meets up with the Prophet shortly before fleeing Lordaeron...and it turns out Medivh, like the Bronze flight, exists outside of Time, as the Ex-Guardian knows what is going on with Thrall's current quest. After that point, Thrall is sent into another Time Line....
An Old Old Enemy, and a Different World
This time, Thrall wakes up and is captured by an unlucky person......Tarethia, alive and not dead in this world. When Thrall explains about himself, we find out that he died when he was only a few days old and Blackmoore never ended up training him...but things go wrong: Blackmoore is no longer a drunk, but is a sane cruel and very powerful warlord, who ended up killing Doomhammer at the Battle of Blackrock...then turned on the Grand Alliance, gaining control of the Blackrock clan and using them to conqueror Lordaeron and instill him as the King.....and it turns out he stole the armour of Doomhammer and turned it into his own, which is the same armour of the man who was attacking Thrall in the Cavern and in the other Time Lines....yeah that's right; it's an alternate timeline version of Blackmoore who has been sent to kill Thrall.
We learn that Arthas, Varian and Jaina all fled south to Stormwind....and Arthas and Jaina are wed and have a child: Prince Uther Menethil. Beyond that, we don't learn much about this alternate time line. Thrall, believing that the way to keep his world safe is to wipe out Blackmoore...which isn't possible, as he has vanished. From there, Thrall get's an epiphany, and realizes that the fact that he holds onto the past is working against him, which frees Nozdormu from the trap he was stuck in....yeah, I don't get it either.
The Timeless One
Alright, just lightly touching on this part here: Turns out the Timeless One is responsible for the Infinite Flight, who are working with the ultimate Evil in Azeroth...but the Timeless One in the future is the one who created them and sent them back to the past to destroy the main timeline to make it easier to pull off the big move.
With the Timeless One back, Thrall is sent off to speak to the Blues to try to get help for what is coming.
Blood of Malygos and the New Aspect:
Alright, so after the assault on Wyrmrest earlier in the book, the Blues are arguing about how to choose a new Aspect of Magic, which causes a lot of internal problems. The primary choices are Kalec and the last son of Malygos, Arygos; Arygos believes that because of his bloodline, he is the ultimate choice for this, while Kalec wants another way to choose other then just a vote. We also learn that Arygos has a sister named Kirygosa, who has been missing for months, after her mate had died and she left with a full stomach of eggs.
Thrall arrives during this point, and Arygos wants to kill him right off the back...and his Bronze friend, Tick the Guard from the Caverns of Time. Because of Thrall, the Blues decide to wait for the 'Embrace' when the White Lady and the Blue Child form an eclipse. Before that occurs, Arygos travels to the Temple, and we learn that he is really a follower of the Hammer and wants to turn the Blue flight over Deathwing....and that he helped hand over his sister to the Twilight Father.
The Embrace occurs, and a new Aspect of Magic: Kalec who swells with power...and Arygos goes nuts, hiding in the Eye of Eternity, and meets up with Blackmoore, both deciding to go and kill Kalec and Thrall....when Blackmoore betrays him and kills him, unleashing his power, which leads to.....
A Dead Flight and War at the Temple
The Twilight Father, working for Deathwing, has gained control of the final experiment of Nefarion: Chromatus the Five Headed Chromatic Dragon, which is neither dead or alive, till the power of the Nexus, which was unleashed because of the death of Arygos, is used to give life to the frankenstein dragon. The Blues attack enmass, but the Chromatic forces them to flee.
With the Blues in retreat, they realize they need Alexstraza and send Thrall to try to get her back. Thrall who had had a final battle (again) with Blackmoore, had a vision of life when he lay there injured...and knew that this vision needed to be shown to Alexstraza as well.
Chromatus was steadily gaining new power, and realizing that they had a spare Blood of Malygos(Kiry); they decide to force her to breed to the behemoth, which makes her flee....and gotta say, for a woman that had been captured for a few months, her escape was laughably easy.../sigh
Thrall reaches Alexstraza again, and he tells her of his vision for her: We see that all of Kirygosa eggs were transformed into malformed Chromatic Whelps and none survived their births...and we find out, that just like the Life Binder, poor Kiry spent months as a slave and experiment for the Hammer, controlled by the same collars put on Kalec and Amveena during the Sunwell Trilogy.
But, as sad as what happened to Kiry, we find out what happened to Krasus and why he blew up the Sanctums in the beginning. All five of them were invaded by the Hammer cultists, who started a spell that was meant to corrupt all of the eggs within to transform them into Chromatic Whelps...and when Krasus touched one, the corruption spread to him as well. With his final breath, Krasus destroyed all of the Portals, to safe the world from the Chromatics.....and his last thought was of Alexstraza. With the truth out, the Queen of Life agrees to help them to destroy Chromatus, Twilight Father and the Cultists who had stolen their home.
Might of the Aspects
So, here we are, time for the final fight: On one side, Kalec, Ysera and Alexstraza and their flights...on the other Chromatus, the Twilight Flight and the Hammer. The battle starts with the Aspects fighting the Chromatic, while the Flights hold off the Twilights....and then things start to go bad, as the 5 headed beast is stronger then the 3 Aspects. The Bronze shows up towards the end of the first act, but rather then fights, they order a retreat, which the Flights do, heading back to the Nexus.
We learn that to defeat Chromatus, and stop the Hour of the Twilight, the Aspects must combine their powers...slight problem, no Deathwing. This sends everyone into a tail spin till Thrall steps up and tells them, while he maybe not be the Earth Warder, he is a shaman and works with the Earth. Realizing they have no choice, the entire group goes for it, as they are bolstered by the fact that Kiry is still alive. With a powerful spell, Thrall combines the power of the Aspects into one, and just in time.
From there...well, it's more or less beam spam between the Four Aspects and Chromatus; the Aspects eventually overwhelm the monstrosity and it falls... but it's not dead, and they can't destroy the body, so they make a choice to keep the body safe(hey Ma, we know a boss we'll be fighting in an upcoming raid!).
With the day saved, turns out the Hour of Twilight hasn't happened yet, but now that the Aspects are as one, when it does happen, they'll be ready for it. And to thank the puny orc who made this all possible, all four Aspects pledge friendship to Thrall and will come when he needs them.
The Twilight Father is....... Benedictus(yay! Another enemy revealed for another raid).
So, bad guys gone, Thrall goes back to the Maelstrom calm and collected, and finds his mate, and tells her he has shed all of his baggage, so he is only thrall to her..and his name is now Go'el...../throws up
Hour of Twilight
All through the book, we hear about the Hour, which is when the world is destroyed and reduced to lifelessness except for the Twilight Flight....and it's implied that it's all due to Chromatus, since even Deathwing is seen dead in Ysera's vision....impaled upon the spires of Wyrmrest Temple. Really looking forward to this if it ends up in game.
The Ultimate Enemy Revealed:
It's the Old Gods; everything, from the Sundering, to Nozdormu being trapped and the future leader of the Flight, Deathwing going nuts, the Emerald Nightmare and every other single piece of evil that has happened in Azeroth is all the fault of the Old Gods.....well, except for the Orc invasion; but that was needed to help save the world so yeah...../sigh
Alright so the newest book by Golden is out, the one meant to show us just how the war exploded like it does in Mists of Pandaria. I gotta admit....roughly half of the book, I couldn't stand at all; seriously, while the interaction between Jaina and Kalec was 'good' it was still boring 90% of the time, even after Jaina went off the deep end.
Rather then use spoiler tags, just going to go through what happens here, since really, I don't think it needs the spoilers this time around, as there aren't any huge secrets or betrayals like in Wolfheart or Twilight of the Aspects.
Over all plot: It's about war. It opens with Baine and the Tauren being called to Orgrimmar to discuss the newest actions of Garrosh, where we learn he's given amnesty to the Blackrock Orc clan, and has made one of them his second in command and over all leader of the Kor'kron, named Malkorok. The new grand plan is that Garrosh wants to start his conquest of Kalimdor and to do that, they have to crush Northwatch Hold and Theramore. Pretty basic eh?
From there, we swap to Kalec and learn that since the end of the Destroyer, the Blues have been spreading out trying to find a new life for themselves. But they find out that the Focusing Iris has been stolen, so Kalec heads off to find it, after finding out that some group apparently killed all 5 of the Blue Flight guards while they were still in their mortal forms(yeah I don't get it either).
After that, we swap to Jaina, and learn she has a new apprentice, fostered on her by the Kirin Tor; a great little gnome named Kinndy. We get a few scenes about Jaina's daily life, then Kalec appears, telling her what he's up to.....and the freaking romance crap starts right away, with both being attracted to the other even though they don't know why. /sigh
Back to the Horde; they attack Northwatch with a massive army, but just to dig in that Garrosh is heading down a slippery slope, they add in that his Dark Shamans(who they keep telling us look like Warlocks) are pulling the old control the elements game and summon up Molten Giants to attack and destroy it completely.
After that point, it's boring as hell, as it swaps back and forth between the Horde camp and Jaina's, while the mages hunt for the Iris and all we see are perspectives from Baine and Vol'jin. Oh and Malkorok? Apparently turned the Kor'kron into the Thought Police and anyone who speaks out against Garrosh happens to disappear or get roughed up.
Anyways, Theramore finds out that the army is on it's way, and we get a montage of Jaina going around, asking for help, which she gets, even from the Kirin Tor...and we get a strange scene were Rhonin looks at a bunch of prophecy scrolls he got from Krasus(yeah....). The Theramore forces get some heavy hitters including Marcus Jonathan, and a bunch of Tor members lead by Rhonin and the Sunreavers send somebody as well to fight.
Things go as they go in Warcraft; the Horde forces split up in the Marsh, and Malkorok's group is ambushed by hunters, rogues and druids while Garrosh's forces are attacked and nearly wiped out by gnomish grenades....and Garrosh lives after one goes under him.
The battle for Theramore goes about as well as expected, with the Alliance routing the Horde after being betrayed by the Sunreaver(who was really jsut working for the Horde).....and then the Mana Bomb, enhance by the Iris comes into play. Rhonin pulls off a self sacrifice to save Jaina, and all of those big names who show up to help? Jonathan and the rest? Yeah....their dead now, including the lovely little apprentice they did so much work on fleshing out. /roll eyes
After this, Jaina has her massive melt down and decides to channel Varian from the start of Wrath. She goes out and blames everyone else for the deaths, including poor Kalec who so far has only existed in the book to be a living lode stone for the Iris(which failed) and be there for Jaina to make goo-goo eyes at him(okay its not that bad, but really, they @#$%ed up his character). In her quest to get revenge, Jaina found the Iris in the ruins of Theramore and decides the only fair thing to do is to destroy Orgrimmar like what happened to Theramore, which she does by stealing a very special book.
From there, it swapping back and forth between the victory parties in Orgrimmar/Durotar and Jaina learning to use this book...oh and for fun, she goes to Fray Island and murders all of the pirates just for the hell of it, to show how 'mad' she is /roll eyes. Anyways, there is still an attempt to show that not all the Horde agrees with Garrosh's way, and they have Baine, Vol'jin and the forsaken and blood elf leader(not the faction leaders) try to figure out something to do....which of course, means that the Blood Elf who gets about 5 lines and the only Forsaken I've actually like get blown up by the Thought Kor'Kron.../sigh
Anyways, back to the story: The book Jaina stole lets her figure out how to use the Focus Iris(yes, Dalaran just happens to have something like that in their library) and her grand plan triggers a warning dream in Thrall, who shows up 3 times including this, that a big freaking tidal wave is going to wipe out all of Durotar, and because it appeared only to him, he hats up and heads off to figure it out....completely ignoring the fact that Muln, Noboduno and Rhegar were all there and could have helped..../sigh again
As for the Alliance, since Garrosh attempts to blockade every port in Kalimdor, a very calm cool and collected Varian leads the forces of good against the mad man. We get a nice rousing speech from him and Anduin as the fleet leaves and engages the Horde fleet...and we suddenly cut away from them as something big is coming out of the water.
While all this is happened, Kalec goes home, talks to the last of the blues, and in the same style as the sinking of the Thrall/Jaina ship, Kirygosa says she'll always love Kalec as a brother but there is another out there for him /gags.
Back with Jaina, her great spell is a tidal wave of water elementals she's enslaved, so Thrall appears to try to stop her...and this part I like: Jaina kicks the every living &*!@ out of him till Kalec shows up and with the power of grief, shows that what she is feeling is normal and she should stop being such a d-bag(god I wish I was making this up). So everything is happy, Jaina doesn't want to drown Durotar anymore, and Thrall summons a spirit wolf and rides off toward the Maelstorm, his job as living plot device over.
From there, we go back to the fleet...where it turns out that in addition to the mana bomb and the molten giants, the Dark Shamans have also got control of Krakens and they sent them after the Alliance fleet while Varian and Garrosh have yet another duel that doesn't go anywhere. But hey look, the fleet is running, the krakens are chasing, Varian is contemplating killing himself and here comes Kalec and Jaina show up, and using those same water elementals, she kills all of the Kraken.
So the Alliance fleet goes and takes back Northwatch with the help of Kalec and Jaina, and everyone is 'happy', as the two love birds head back to Theramore to have one last heart to heart where they both admit they love each other.
The epilogue is the funeral for Rhonin and investing Jaina as the new leader of the Six, especially since one of the prophecies talk about just this event happening in just this way and Kalec is formally inducted as a member of the Kirin Tor as well. The actual funeral was one of best scenes in the book in all honesty.
In the final pages, we learn that both sides are gearing up for war, and we have this wonderful message from Garrosh:
ATTENTION ALL ABLE-BODIED MEMBERS OF
THE HORDE: WARCHIEF GARROSH HELLSCREAM HAS
ISSUED A CALL TO ARMS FOR ALL CITIZENS:
MALE AND FEMALE ADULTS! YOU WILL
TRAIN TO FIGHT THE ALLIANCE IN A WAR
IN WHICH WE SHALL BE TRIUMPHANT!
CHILDREN AND OTHERS WHO CANNOT BEAR
ARMS ---- YOU WILL ASSIST IN CRAFTING WEAPONS
AND TENDING TO THE NEEDS OF WARRIORS!
ANYONE FOUND SHIRKING HIS OR HER DUTY WILL
BE ARRESTED FOR TREASON BY THE KOR'KRON.
FOR THE HORDE!No really, it's written in all caps and specific sentences are larger then others.
Over all, this is without a doubt, her weakest book. A lot of the action scenes were confusing, and the way they had her just kill off people for no real reason wasn't written well. Character wise...the insane Jaina was interesting, but she was too much broken bird to take it seriously, and like I said, the whole Kalec thing..../ugh.
But that's just my opinion; I'd suggest reading it for yourselves to figure out if it's really this bad or not.
Shadows of the Horde, coming soon.
So picked it up today and read it while at work(was a slow day). It wasn't as bad as Tides of War, but it also wasn't that good. Roughly 85% of the book was stuff we've already seen; seriously, all of those flash backs were things from the comics, previous books and the game itself. Of the remaining 15%, about 9 percent was completely and utterly useless and horrible. The last 6 percent? Actually pretty good.
Gonna score it now: 5/10, ahead of Tides, War of the Ancients, the Saga of Trag Highmountain and Cycle of Hatred.
Breaking it up based on the characters, because well..that makes the most sense. I will do spoilers, and the final 5 chapters will get their own section since it's the climax. Due to the break up though, things will be strange.
The Vision of Time
Hello massive plot device that is completely and utterly &*!@ing useless. This is the thing that shows the 'exact' moments in time that allows them to show the crimes of the past, and what the people were thinking when it sets up for certain memories. All of this was just scenes that were
lifted word for freaking word
out of the previous content; the Shattering, Twilight of the Aspects, Rise of the Horde, Tides of War, the Theramore comic summit, and quests from the game. Seriously, other then adding in reactions from the audience and the heroes, it was nothing but flash back after flash back after flash back....and it got old really fast.
Hamtastic and amusing, but also silent for roughly 95% of the book...which sucks, since he was actually the most interesting character in the book. The book opens with a dream where he is in front of his father, and he wakes up before he get's 'good job son' pat on the head. As things progress, and accusations are made...he says nothing. Even in his discussions with Anduin, which is part of the 6% of the book I like, he's calm and collected, only exploding shortly before his sentencing and when he is saved by Anduin from the poison plot.
Hello view point character who has the most screen time. Anduin is Anduin, and this book adds next to no growth for him. His time on the witness seat is mainly about what happened to him during the Divine Bell quest line, and is about him facing up to that. He was readable, but got annoying fairly quickly.
The one chosen to defend Garrosh, because he's the main member of the Horde who wants him dead so it makes sense to them I guess. Baine actually did a really good job all things considered; Garrosh's out come was known from the start, but seeing Baine fight against Tyrande, seeing him worried about things, and his incredibly freaking brief scene with Carine at the start was good. His final plea to Celestials was very good and shows that as much as he wants Garrosh dead on a pike, he can still go past that and do what is needed.
The prosecutor....and channeling pretty much every single DA you've ever seen in any court room drama. Way too much describing of how she moves and how she looks, and way too much tearing people apart for the purpose of proving that Garrosh is evil. The only witness she doesn't rip apart is Alexstraza. I will admit though, her final summation was very well written.
Oh hello living plot point who reacts badly to the 'secret' of Jaina and Anduin from the Shattering and Tides of War...seriously, that is all he does. He is the final witness for Baine, in an attempt to show that he was like Garrosh but changed...and Tyrande tore that apart fairly simply by listing the crimes of Garrosh and saying that Varian never did those. Main Vision scene, when he was threatening to kill Moira from the Shattering.
Go'el(Don't call him Thrall)
Hello view point character number who has third most screen time after Baine and Anduin. Seriously, most of the Visions were with him, most of the reaction shots to the Visions were from him....oh well.
Hello view point character with fourth most screen time. The final witness of Tyrande, we get to watch the scene from the Shattering with Baine and the long drawn out repeat of Tides of War; death of Theramore and Rhonin? Check. Insanity as she looks at the Crater? Check. Trying to muster aid to destroy the Horde? Check. Attempted assault on Orgrimmar? Check. Stupid useless %^&*ing romance plot that still goes nowhere with Kalec? God damn it, yes it's there.
Minor character who does nothing but tell Jaina she needs to get over things as he doesn't like angst, holds her hand and does nothing else....god damn it, give him back to Knaak already!
We know this, and it took up maybe 2% of the book...and it was confusing as hell. Her raging over not being made the Accuser, her raging over Garrosh, her wangst with Vereesa, and her weird mood swings regarding her sister was badly written. The 'kill Vereesa so she'd be like me' thing was incredibly creepy to how strange it made her. The poison plot could have been left out completely and not changed a thing.
The other half of the buddy comedy with Sylvanas, she had three settings: Rage, Cry, and Retarded....seriously, she acted so idiotic throughout the book that it was painful. Even with the death of Rhonin, they barely did anything with her, they shifted to her for a sentence then shifted back to Go'el/Jaina. Her part of the poison plot was also useless and could have been left out. Also the thing that makes her suddenly change her mind? The cook tells her to bring her wonderful boys to see her....yeah I don't get it either. The last scene with Vereesa and the boys at the Wishing Fountain in Dalaran was gag inducing.
Let me guess, you'd expect the new Warchief to do things right? Hahahahahahahaha....No. Vol'jin was a living plot point, a witness and they ignored scenes from Shadow of the Horde which would have been great to have as a Vision...but I'm not surprised it failed. His main Visions were his scenario and the original end of the Echo Isle quest line. Such a wasted character and she could not get his accent right to save her freaking life.
Also, a letter to Jaina:
It took some time for me to learn what happened in Dalaran. You used to be a woman of peace; you be that no more. Garrosh scorches earth, and the dead ain't the only victims. You got no blame or hate from me, no matter what you feel toward Garrosh --- or the Horde.
Yes....she signed the letter as V /shake head
Wrath had about 10 pages all told...and I liked them a lot...like a whole lot. Most of his scenes were with Anduin and it was interesting to see their friendship...though as said:
Anduin: Wratharion, are we friends?
Wrath: Yes*pauses* At least, as much as I can have a friend.
Is one of my favorite lines in the book.
Taran Zhu was the judge and the Celestials the jury...and lots of dialog and reaction shots. Though, seeing Zhu ruling the courtroom was very awesome.
Zaela, Shokia, Thalen and Harrowmeiser(the goblin for the daily in the Fjord); gathered by Kairoz to free Garrosh. Just a few pages here and there, and then the finale. Honestly...their opening scenes sucked, but the finale was good, I can say that.
1. Genocide: The attempt to wipe out Pandarens, Night Elves and Trolls.
2. Murder: Not Anduin surprisingly, no they blame the destruction of Razor Hill Inn from Tides by Malorakk on Garrosh.
3. Forcible Transfer of Population: Kicking the Trolls out of Orgrimmar.
4. Enforced disappearance of individuals: The people Malorakk makes disappear.
5. Enslavement: The Magnataur used in Wolfheart.
6. The abduction of Children: The Magnataur children in Wolfheart.
7. Torture: Too numerous to count.
8. The Killing of Prisoners: Apparently the Magnataur children were released on the beaches of Azshara....and were killed by Naga. This made the second in command of the Orcs from Wolfheart quit the Kor'kon and run away.
9. Forced Pregnancy: The forced breeding of Proto-drakes under the Dragonmaw, but that was when they had Alexstraza as the witness, mainly to set it up that she is willing to forgive anyone.
10. The wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages not justified by military or civilian necessity: The Stonetalon druid school, Theramore and the Vale.
This was worth the cost of the book. Yes it's 5 chapters but they are well done, I will give her that. So like I said, Vereesa chickens out on poisoning Garrosh and Anduin saves his life after facing down a raging Hellscream. After that, Sylvanas goes nuts, killing her way across the Forsaken lands because she's sad that her sister turned on her and didn't love her...so Sylvanas will never love again(actually from the book).
Garrosh is at his hamiest just before he is sentenced, where he tells them he would do it all again for the purpose of the Horde. Anudin, worried about things, goes to his cell and learns that Wrath set him free but did not kill any of the guards or Chromie, and just says that some day they will fight as brothers.
Then Kairoz drops the Vision and the Alternate Heroes appear and attempt to kill everyone, while outside, the Dragonmaw, Harrowmiester's zepplin and Thalen's mini bombs attack. The outside battle was very well done; seeing Varian actually admit that Warlocks are useful and part of the forces is great....but it was so rushed and swapping back to the Alternate Heroes which was boring as ^&*!.
Also, to defeat the Alternate Me, you don't fight them, you make them see the Truth about themselves. Kalec and his insane Alternate was the dumbest; Insane Kalec is insane because Jaina pulled off the Orgrimmar genocide and the resulting war killed off everyone he loved. He actually says to our Kalec: Jaina died. You have her alive...she loves you right? She loves you! and then after Kalec applies logic, he vanishes. Baine makes his Alternate Me remember their father and he disappears. We never find out what happens with Raging Jaina or Blackmoore Thrall which is a pity. King Anduin is a coward who somehow still has Fearbreaker, which our Anduin takes and fights off against Human-Killing Vol'jin..and manages a few good hits but just as HK Vo'jin is going to kill him, King Anduin grows a pair and jumps on him....then dies. At that point, Chromie throws HK Vol'jin away.
At this point, the Celestials who have done nothing, tell everyone to remember the Sha, which is how they figured out how to defeat Alternate Me..yeah made no sense to me either.
With the Alternates gone, the Heroes go out and fight...and oh noes, Jaina get's snipped and the Conspirators run away cause Garrosh got free with Kairoz with the Vision. But don't worry, even though Aggra, Thrall, Anduin, and Velen all tried to heal her, here comes the Crane who brings her back from the dead.
And we get the last 'shocker': The Trial was never about Garrosh. It was all about the Heroes showing that they need to be better then they were. Thrall dead pans that they will chase Garrosh.
Epilogue is Garrosh seeing his father, almost the same as the prologue.
I am not looking forward to her next book.
So...after War Crimes and Tides of War, this thing was actually well written. The only problem? It's Boring with a capitol B which is sad because there are some good action scenes but the author had no sense of pacing, timing, impact or even an attempt to get someone to care about these characters. The book is split up into four main plots, and covers a portion of the Frozen Throne and the lead up to Illy's death on the Black Temple during BC. So here we go.
The book opens on Illidan in his prison and mumbling about 9 steps(sadly these are arc words). Tyrande then breaks him out and he acts like a school boy seeing his crush again for the first time in 10 thousand years; he stumbles and mumbles and all that. She tells him that the world needs him and he sneers because it's not her telling him that she needs him. They leave the Burrow and Illidan being Illidan, decides to smash his brother and Tyrande away from him.
The next event is him invading the Black Temple with Vashj and Kael...and the writer tries to make the scene exciting but it's not; the Illidan force marches in and takes down the Pit Lord without breaking a sweat. They lock him up and we get the first sight of B and C plot: Maiev and Akama. Akama who had followed Illy because he promised to free the Black Temple and purify it, goes back on his word(surprise surprise). Learning that Illy is going to use Mag's for some plot, the Broken is understandably upset. We then get a time skip to Maiev and her group wandering Hellfire being pursued by a pack of ravagers...who are apparently raptors as they attack in a pack and make a trap for the Elves(god I wish I was kidding). Maiev and her team trounces the bugs and we get another time skip to them watching the Illidari drag Mag to Hellfire Citadel, and the Warden captain considers attacking as it will give her a chance to kill Illidan...but her more level forces talk her down and they decide that what they need to is look for allies: In this case that's Akama who gives her a stone that will keep them in contact.
Back to Illidan who is forcing Orcs to become Fel Orcs through a process involving magic and alchemy, to make them bigger stronger tougher and stupider. He's pleased with this for some reason, and moves off to his next task. This is the start of the D plot; and we meet Vandel the Night Elf who is attempting to avenge his family who were killed by the Legion. In one of the biggest bait and switch moves ever, it seems like he is out to kill Illidan...except he's not; he's there to enlist in the Demon Hunters that Illy has been creating from Night and Blood Elves. Try not to think too hard how Night Elves are on Outland because the book doesn't.
We go to Vandel's 'training' which means he fights a demon on his own, kills it and is forced to eat his heart. After he eats the Heart, he has a vision of the true scope of the Legion; an endless wave of devastation and destruction. We then get hallucinations of Vandel's family being killed by demons when his town was overrun by the Legion and Illidan showed up to kill all of the demons but the one that slaughtered his family; that was done by Vandel which is shocking because apparently mortals aren't meant to kill a Felhunter(again, I don't get this). Illidan tells him that if he wants revenge, to find Illy again. As this vision goes through Vandel's head multiple times, he realizes that he is fighting the demonic essence inside of him; when he is triumphant, he grows stronger, when he gives up, the demon grows stronger. Anyways, the battle finally ends and Vandel has passed...and in the process, tore his own eyes out. And just like every other demon hunter, he starts to mutate and become more demonic. He decides that slicing off the demon scales that are growing on his body, and nearly dies till Akama heals him. After that, he starts training with his fellow demon hunters...again this should be exciting but it's not; they mention other demon hunters but you don't actually care about them.
Back to B plot; so apparently Maiev has been traveling Outland gaining allies among the Broken and Draenei. She meets some friends, like the Kurenai and A'dal...but it's still boring. A'dal tells her that It can't help because there are other threats that need to be dealt with. She attempts to ally with the Aldor but again: More important threats and because Maiev is racist, she wouldn't dream of talking to the Scryers.
C Plot time: Akama watches the demon hunters, is mocked by the Illidari Blood Elves and we hear that Kael has stopped reporting in after traveling to Netherstorm. No seriously, Vashj and Kael, the two major generals are barely in the book /sigh. Akama is still thinking about how Illy is not doing as he promised and starts plotting even more so. He ends up being found out by Illidan who then does something to him(which we know what happens the whole Shade thing).
Plot A and C: So we find out that Illidan saw the same vision that his demon hunters saw, and that Vision has been the driving force of him for 10 thousand years....well in theory; supposedly Sargeras showed that vision to prove the strength of the Legion but it back fired and made Illidan want to destroy the Legion utterly. To do, he plots to open a portal to the homeworld of the Dreadlords. Akama tells Maiev about this and she leads her merry band of Outland forces there...and they get completely destroyed by Illidan who uses the souls of everyone who dies to open the Portal. Maiev is captured and threatened. Anyways, back to the plot: The Demon Hunters and illidan invade the world and again, this should be exciting as heck! but it's still boring as the Demon Hunters face roll the Dreadlords and their army, killing and eating as they go. Illidan then goes to the grand library of the city and finds the Seal of Argus, which tells where the planet is. Touching it causes dozens of felguards to appear that Illy mows down like it is nothing. Anyway, Seal in hand, they escape the planet and Illy collapses the portal, supposedly destroying the planet of the Dreadlords in the backlash a la the original destruction of Draenor..which isn't confirmed.
So from here, Illy experiments with the Seal and manages to use it travel in spirit form to Argus, which is corrupted and dark and gloomy and fits all of the standard tired tropes of a conquered world. Illy travels the planet and learns exactly where it is, then almost get's caught by KJ...but then 'something' saves him and throws him back to his body.
Once back in Outland, the Legion starts setting traps for Illy as he is still gathering items for the next part of his plan; which means he's going to Argus to kill KJ cause Argus is a corrupt world which means that the Demons can die there. During one of those traps, Highlord Kruul shows up and almost kills all of the Demon Hunters until Illidan attacks and Kruul walks away. While this cat and mouse is going on, we find out that the Legion is invading Azeroth under the order of Kruul...and then Azeroth invades Outland. During the initial Azeroth assault, Illidan and the Hunters kill Kruul and his forces who tried to stop the invasion.
Illy shows how arrogant he is and invades Auchidoun, intending on using a Soul Syphon to eat all of the souls of the dead Draenei to power his next portal attempt...and he almost dies to the forces of the Auchenai but managers to walk away, though he is weakened. After that, it jumps to the last day of Illy's life; he has finished his last spell and returned to Argus, creating the spell matrix he needed and he meets the Elder Naaru. Okay, I have to stop and say: What the !@#$ was this about? I mean really, a being of Light that had power above A'dal, the strongest Naaru known and the Elder gives Illy the 'vision' of him as an avenging Angel of Light; I wish I was kidding I really do, but that is how he is described; covered in golden light, a serene look on his face and is told this is his destiny. Surprisingly, Illy is skeptical of this, but the Elder touches Illy and leaves. He goes back to Outland and starts summoning his Demon Hunters. We also find out that all of the forces of the Illidari except the Temple have fallen and Akama took off to free Maiev. Illy does have a slightly funny comment about the fact that a Naaru is attacking him at the Black Temple, and maybe the destiny thing was wrong.
This part made me sad: This could have been epic of the Black Temple invasion...and they rushed through it. We see Akama get his Shade back, but that is the only boss fight. Illy finishes his spell and opens a portal, calling all of the Demon Hunters including Vandel. Maiev goes ape %^&* and murders a mountain of demons during the attack and while in the courtyard with Supremus, she faces off against Vandel who just happened to be there. They fight, Vandel faints because she's stronger then expected. Anyways; the final fight with Illidan and Akama, Maiev and the adventures of Azeroth kill him just like in game. After the battle, Maiev considers attacking the adventures but walks off instead. Akama mutters about purifying the Temple...then walks off. And we go to Vandel, who isn't dead but is considering letting the Allied forces kill him because he can't sense any of his fellow Hunters around or his boss...till he hears a voice in his head, that is Illy telling him to prepare. So Vandel walks off too.
This book was alright...Illidan remained his actual character and didn't end up with some stupid redemption plot line; at least till Legion that is. Over all though; so much of it could have been cut out, and wasn't really needed. The premise is good, to learn about Illy taking over Outland, but honestly, with Kael and Vashj being bit players, Vandel being completely bland and unremarkable, and just the lack of actual excitement over all, it's meh to lead us into Legion, even if we know what happened to the Demon Hunters. I'll recommend the book over Tides of War and War Crimes, but if you want a good book, Last Guardian or Shadows of the Horde would be better.
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