First I want to thank blizzard for sending me a review copy and Christie Golden for putting her amazing creative efforts into writing this book. This review may contain some spoilers for the story at the end of Siege of Orgrimmar, and the story leading up to the beginning of Warlords of Draenor.
The War Crimes novel was revealed previously to be a trial of Garrosh Hellscream, deposed Warchief of the Horde, who was spared at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid by the sword of King Varian Wrynn, who stopped Go’el from ending Garrosh for all his many crimes. More than a few were surprised by that turn of events, players and lore figures alike, and those scenes led well into the story told in War Crimes.
Now we have known the result of this book since Blizzcon when we heard the premise of Warlords of Draenor, since the announcement and panels at Blizzcon. This can make it odd going into a book that tells the events that lead up to it without feeling like you’ve been spoiled a bit, but when I picked up War Crimes, I tried to just enjoy the process of getting to the known result. A wise person said once that “how you get there’s the worthier part” and that was my approach.
As was promised, this book covers the trial of Garrosh, which shows us as readers some of the greatest sins committed by the former Warchief, using some very interesting plot devices. It also shows us some of the reactions and thoughts, as well as the difficult truths and decisions that ave to be made by the members of both factions. Secrets are revealed, and motivations are thrown into question as the trial progresses to the final verdict.
Of course, it was hard to sit through the book and not anticipate the events that are the crucible to the adventure we will embark on next. Christie Golden did a very good job of mixing in the perfect combination of trial events, and the events that lead to the culmination of the book’s events, meanwhile leaving enough surprises that I myself was thoroughly surprised by the end and the events that transpired, because the entire book I was fairly sure that I knew what would happen.
I loved this book’s ability to make many of the characters we know so well from both sides of the factional divide question their thoughts, and make us as players think twice when we consider right and wrong, honor and justice, all the while making us think about these things through the frame of events we all think we know so well. I definitely recommend looking into the War Crimes novel, and checking out the preview of the War Crimes audio book, which is available for pre order from Audible now, and which is narrated by Scott Brick.