While some of the events of this book will be making it live in patch 5.0.4, we don’t know to what extent it will be covered in game, or what kind of context the in game event will get as compared to the book. I will start off be saying that even if you play the Theramore scenario, I still recommend reading the book to get the full beginning to end story of what happens.
Christie Golden, in her 7th Warcraft based novel, has done what she had made a name for herself doing, writing truly compelling characters which make you care deeply about them in a very short time. Christie began writing mostly about the Orcs, with Lord of the Clans and Rise of the Horde, and continued by writing the events of Warcraft 2 and it’s expansion, before becoming the first novelist to write a New York Times bestselling novel in the Blizzard universes with Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. She has since gone on to write 2 more bestselling novels in the Warcraft universe, and now has written World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, which I am certain will become another bestselling novel for Golden and the folks at Blizzard.
The opening of this book is clearly laid out. The Aspect of Death has been slain. The world is healing, slowly, from the Cataclysm he wrought. The events of the end of the Cataclysm expansion are coming to a close. We are moving on, and also moving forward. The drums of war, Horde drums, are sounding.
While the Blue Dragonflight slowly dwindles as their numbers eventually venture forth, now that they no longer have an Aspect, the few who remain at the Nexus are rocked by a plan gone awry, as one of their most powerful artifacts is stolen, with five of their best members slain in the process. The leader of the flight, and its former Aspect, Kalecgos must venture into the world in search for it while he can still sense the artifact’s presence. However, the thieves are one step ahead and before he is able to find it and take it back, the object is lost to his senses.
Jaina Proudmoore, leader of Theramore and one of the most talented mages on Azeroth, spends her time in the island city mentoring a new apprentice, and managing the Alliance city closest to the heart of the Horde, Orgrimmar. With Garrosh Hellscream as the new Warchief, and Go’el no longer willing, or able, to intercede in the name of peace and for the sake of Azeroth, Jaina finds herself precariously situated between the unforgiving ocean and a blood thirsty Horde. Then arrives a stranger bearing a letter with the seal of the Kirin Tor, a letter written by Rhonin himself, asking that she give aide to the cloaked traveller, who it is quickly discovered is Kalecgos himself in his half elven form.
These events, and the fact that Garrosh has summoned the leaders of the Horde races to Orgrimmar to plan an attack on several major Alliance outposts in a bid to claim Kalimdor in the name of the Horde, lead to one of the most heart wrenching, anger infusing, and emotionally demanding novels I have read in the Warcraft universe. The author has done what she has proven time and again that she does best, writing characters we become invested in and making us care about them in very short order, but in a very deep way. Expect this to happen here.
The connections to plot threads in the Shattering and Thrall novels, as well as in game events are strong, to the extent you feel bad for some characters in what they have to do. The foreshadowing for the future of the Mists of Pandaria expansion is incredible, making this a perfect lead up to the next patch, and the new expansion. The knowledge we have about what is coming in the Theramore event for 5.0.4, and the events in the early part of the book give a sense of foreboding and dread that is realized far earlier, leading to the emotional and comforting ending that leaves the world of Azeroth, the continent of Kalimdor, the entirety of the Horde, and the world’s once greatest peace broker changed forever.
Please stay tuned to All Things Azeroth as Medros and Greyseer of Lorecrafted interview Christie Golden.