Posts Tagged ‘novel’

The Novel Post: World of Warcraft: Wolfheart (Excerpt) Review

15 September 2011 | No Comments » | Randy Denosha

Wolfheart Novel

This excerpt-review of the upcoming World of Warcraft: Wolfheart novel by Richard A. Knaak is of the mild-spoiler variety.

For the people that don’t know Richard, he has written several novels set in the world of Warcraft before, which include The Sunwell Trilogy and the War of the Ancients. Before I get into it I will warn for some spoilers. If you want to read the excerpts before reading the review head here. I will be giving my thoughts about the two excerpts Blizzard has posted.

After reading the first excerpt, I was impressed with the writing style of Knaak. The long-time Warcraft wordsmith created a bond between common orcs and  their new Warchief, Garrosh. It was obvious that the orcs, whether brownskin or greenskin, would would do everything for Thrall’s successor. This becomes more apparent when Briln, the elderly orc captain, tells the reader that the orcs would have readily given their lives for their legendary overlord of the Warsong Offensive.

To be fair, I haven’t actually read any of Knaak’s novels yet, but these excerpts certainly caught my eye and I am looking forward to digesting his older works. This excerpt kept me intrigued throughout. I really wanted to find out what the cargo is that the orcs carry and what its purpose is. I had the idea that they captured some worgen, seeing the name of the novel, but after a second thought I am not so sure anymore. Briln informs us that they will be using this cargo against the Alliance. The worgen maybe an aggressive race, but they wouldn’t attack their own allies. More engrossing is the idea that the Cataclysm is the first sign of their “day” coming. What does Garrosh mean by that…

The second excerpt entertained from start to finish, largely due to heavy emotions. I read how disheartened Genn became with losing his land and city and how he doesn’t like having this curse. He blames himself for everything that happened. Again, the writing style remains slick (not surprising, given that it’s one book). Other staffers have routinely criticism Knaak for his dialogue and descriptions, but he made me feel the heartache and internal struggles Genn is living with. Just consider the weight of the last line, why would it be Malfurion’s fault that the Gilneans got cursed?

Before I go I really want to know what you guys think of these two excerpts? What kind of creatures do you think are in those cages? Why could it be Malfurion’s fault the Gilneans got cursed? Last but not least, are you going to buy this novel? I certainly am!

Darn previews sucking me in. will have a full review shortly.

The Novel Post: World of Warcraft: The Shattering – Prelude to Cataclysm Review

15 November 2010 | 2 Comments » | Heartbourne

World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden has perhaps the longest name of any WoW novel to date, and definitely the largest amount of colons. The Shattering tells the story of the events leading up to “the shattering,” the event where Deathwing emerges from Deepholm and causes mass destruction across Azeroth. This is the first time a WoW novel has been released to advance the story in preparation for an expansion (namely Cataclysm), and seeing the events of The Shattering occurring in parallel with in-game events is quite exciting.

The Shattering is the first of three novels describing the events of the Cataclysm. We learn about the politics of the Alliance and the Horde leading up to Cataclysm and how the Twilight’s Hammer cult and other evil organizations seek to cause havoc in preparation for Deathwing’s arrival. The story alternates between Horde and Alliance events, intertwining them at times when the events happen to overlap.

As the Horde withdraw from Northrend, Garrosh is welcomed home as a war hero and celebrated by all the orcs an Thrall, but Cairne and Eitrigg have their doubts about the young hero. As Thrall feels the unrest of the elements, he takes leave from his seat as warchief to investigate and appoints Garrosh to lead in his absence. Meanwhile, skirmishes ignite Varian Wrynn, and his son Anduin and Jaina Proudmoore try to cool his temper. Anduin discovers his fate in Ironforge and helps mediate some heated discussions.

I have to say, this is one of the few Warcraft novels that really compelled me to keep reading it. Some of the other novels have felt slightly dry and arcane, but WoW players who are eager to transition from worrying about Arthas to Deathwing will find this content extremely relevant and exciting.

Many heroes from each side that players have interacted with or read about in other volumes play big roles in The Shattering. Golden makes each of the characters real and compelling while driving forward a cohesive narrative. There are a couple new characters introduced that really don’t feel relevant except to advance the plot, but I felt right at home in the world painted by the novel.

Much like Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, this is a must-read for WoW fans, especially those who will be picking up Cataclysm at release. You can pick it up from Amazon for $16 for the hardcover, or $8 if you don’t mind waiting until May for the paperback.

If you are rusty on your WoW lore and want to refresh before Cataclysm, consider picking up some of the other recent tomes:

The Novel Post: The War of the Ancients Trilogy and its Connection to the Coming Cataclysm

11 August 2010 | No Comments » | pixiestixy

Warning: this review may contain spoilers for Cataclysm or to anyone who hasn’t already read the War of the Ancients trilogy and who is not familiar with that area of lore. Read at your own risk.

A few weeks back I took up the fun task of telling all of you about my first experience reading a Warcraft-themed novel, and how it had as a result made Azeroth feel much more alive and personal. That was upon my finishing of The Well of Eternity. Now, I’ve completed the remaining two books of the War of the Ancients trilogy by Richard Knaak — The Demon Soul and The Sundering — and am happy to say that they have not only continued to strengthen my understanding of WoW lore, but also of the Cataclysm that is soon to come.

Knaak’s writing style isn’t always my favorite, but I get sucked into the story firmly enough that it doesn’t bother me — especially when it means that I’m getting an intimate view of some of the characters who will be playing major roles in WoW: Cataclysm.

I’ll point to three characters who share two things in common — they all play key roles within the War of the Ancients and are heavily explored within the trilogy, and also all three will play a role in the coming expansion.

  1. Neltharion the Earth Warder / Deathwing the Destroyer
  2. The last two books of the trilogy provide a nice glimpse into this character much beyond the surface traits with which many of us are familiar. Several sections are told completely from his point of view, and we see first-hand-accounts of his completely self-obsessed, power-driven, maniacal thoughts as he has been slowly driven insane, at least partially from the voices of the Old Gods who plan to use him as a tool in their efforts to reclaim the world.

    We see and feel his impatience as he counts down the hours and seconds until his ultimate treachery against the world, and we witness how he relishes the thought of every living creature bowing to him — be they from the Burning Legion, the masses of night elves fighting against them, or even his own kind. We mourn the deaths of the blue flight when Deathwing turns his power against them, and are pained by the futility of the other aspects who can do nothing to stop him.

    We even hear his tortured cries as he affixes to his own body plated armor that is driven through his scales and into his flesh. And when two thieves take advantage of this time of his distraction to steal his ultimate death-device, the dragon/demon soul, we understand his mad pursuit of sweet revenge.

    Perhaps the single-most telling aspect to his story within this trilogy, in my opinion, was the extent to which Deathwing was willing to endure through anything to win back the demon soul, just before the sundering of the well of eternity.

    Check this excerpt from near the end of The Sundering, and tell me you’d like to face THIS madness in battle:

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The Novel Post: Delving Deep into Warcraft Lore, Starting with The Well of Eternity

19 July 2010 | No Comments » | pixiestixy

Yeah, I’m only, like, a few years late. After buying the War of the Ancients trilogy months ago, I finally actually picked it up and started reading, and now have finished the first book in the trilogy, The Well of Eternity. You’ll hear my thoughts on the writing style in this week’s WoWCast, but for the purposes of this post, I thought it’d be fun to talk a bit about the lore I’ve picked up so far.

As a preface, you should know that this was my first time reading a novel based in the Warcraft universe. Some of you reading may be thinking, well, of course you’re going to pick up lore and back story when reading Warcraft-themed novels. And I did. But it was more than that — at least, much more than I expected.

The telling of this story has a beautiful way of interweaving the past and the (relatively) current eras of Azeroth. The story is told through the eyes of some characters whose names you’ll at least recognize, and some who you’ve probably even encountered in-game, either in World of Warcraft or earlier iterations of the story — Illidan Stormrage, Korialstrasz / Krasus, Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion Stormrage, Broxigar, Cenarius, Rhonin, Mannoroth — all play significant roles in the telling of the tale that leads up to the first coming of the Burning Legion.

But I would argue that, when you truly allow yourself to be taken in by the story, it becomes a matter much greater than just knowing the detailed lore surrounding the events. Author Richard Knaak allows readers the privilege of peering into the thoughts of each character. Not only do we see what they do, but we also learn the intimacies of their motivations, their secrets, the happenings that not even others in the story may understand.

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