Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Technology has not been kind to me today. I waited patiently for the patch to deploy (these things take time) but some weird glitch prevented Vosskah’s install from patching correctly and so I spent a lot of time fretting about that. I wrote an entire blog entry that WordPress then ate. (This isn’t that post, that post is gone forever and you only get this post). I had just enough time to mess around with addons a bit before a guest arrived. I spent some precious moments with the target dummies after; long enough to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that FIRE MAGES ARE AWESOME. More about that later.

Meantime, the technology that worked most unfailingly for me today was my Kindle, as it happily delivered the new Christie Golden book, Tides of War, while I slept. I read it in bits and pieces throughout the day and then in one big gulp at the very end. What follows is part review, part synopsis, part reflection on the events in the book – and most importantly, it is chock full of spoilers.

Do not read any further if you don’t want spoilers for the new Tides of War book about Jaina Proudmoore.

I can’t say this more plainly.

Come back after you’ve read the book if you intend to, and you don’t want anything spoiled for you. If you are someone who is subscribed by e-mail, delete this e-mail before reading it!

If you 1) don’t care about spoilers or 2) have no intention of reading the book but want to know what happens in it anyway, then read on. I’ll put a big image here to keep people from seeing spoilers they may not want to see. If you scroll past the image and have things spoiled for you, I claim no responsibility.

Jaina Proudmoore art from the WoW TCG.

Okay. Are those folks gone? Now let’s talk about the book.

I’ve found the Warcraft books in general to be somewhat hit and miss. Arthas was a big miss with me (and I bought that one in hardcover). I like Rise of the Horde because it is the most information about draenei ever put in one place. This book continues more in the vein of the pre-Cataclysm book in that it’s closely tied with in-game events as well as published concurrently. The book itself opens about a week to a week and a half before the destruction of Theramore. The way it’s structured actually worked extremely well for me, lulling me into a false sense of security. In a way, even though I knew events would somehow lead to Theramore’s destruction, I was still deceived by the beginning parts of the book. Jaina is in Theramore, Jaina is generally happy, you get to meet Jaina’s new apprentice and all of her friends and staff in Theramore. They joke about conjuring cookies. I’m not even kidding.

So I started out really excited. This book is awesome! There are so many mages! They are my cookie-conjuring brethren.

Then things start to get real.

The initial conflict of the story begins with the blue dragonflight losing control of the Focusing Iris. You’ll remember it from such events as making it possible to use the surge needles in Northrend and channel the arcane power from the ley lines while under Malygos’ control. It also helped to animate Chromatus (in the Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects) book. This is an artifact of truly awesome power, and you’d think they’d keep a better eye on it. The Iris is stolen while the blue flight is attempting to relocate it – no word on how the Horde knew where and when to find it, incidentally. They were going to disguise and then hide it in the ocean but that didn’t pan out.

Things escalate from there, with Garrosh announcing plans to move against North Watch and subsequently Theramore and ultimately all of Kalimdor; he wants to use a victory against Kalimdor to isolate and eliminate all Alliance presence from it while helping himself to the resources and lands contained therein. Not everyone in the Horde is too happy about that, and it’s a subplot throughout the book that Garrosh’s methods and his Kor’krons grow increasingly violent. Orgrimmar is for all intents and purposes under martial law. Though this is understated, it’s understood that if someone isn’t cheering loudly enough for the warchief or if they dare to voice any discontent, they’re going to either quietly disappear or show up with a few more bruises than they had before. Baine and Vol’jin aren’t excepted from this, though Baine is the more outspoken of the two. Unfortunately for the trolls, their weaker position with the Horde makes it so that openly defying Garrosh is tantamount to suicide and Vol’jin’s hands are tied.

Baine is also victim to what happens here, because the Tauren need the Horde but Baine violently disagrees with Garrosh’s motives, methods and leadership. It’s made clear from the start that he feels ambivalent about what is happening but is caught up in events. Yet I think even Baine doesn’t immediately understand the depths to which Garrosh will sink.

This is actually worth mentioning here, before I forget, and it was Voss who asked me – do I think that Garrosh’s actions in ToW are out of character or forced? All along, people have been saying that Garrosh will need to do something truly horrific before it can be justified that he be the end-boss of an expansion. Heck, Rades and I did a comic about this very thing. Many people seemed to say “Yes, Garrosh is warlike, but he hasn’t really done much to warrant being especially targeted.” Well, the events in Tides of War sure change that in a shocking way.

Back to the actual synopsis of the book – so the blue dragonflight loses control of the Focusing Iris. It’s not known who has it, merely that it’s gone. Kalecgos is able to trace it somewhat but then his sense of it disappears. He’s lost and frantic about how the artifact could be used, and so he seeks aid which is how he winds up in Theramore and meets Jaina. (I believe this is the first time they meet). Jaina, Kalec and a crack force of mages try to discover how to uncover the artifact so that he can trace it. How they do so doesn’t really matter – the crux of it is that Kalecgos is eventually able to sense the Iris and it is zigzagging all over Kalimdor. This should have been their first hint that it’s somehow airborne, but this doesn’t seem to occur to anyone. It’s not being borne on a dragon’s back, so how is it doing that? Anyway, Kalec realizes he will just be exhausted chasing it all over the place so he goes back to Theramore.

Here’s where the romance part comes in. If you’ve read the interview WoW Insider did with Christie Golden, this romance is alluded to. I have some feelings about it. First, Jaina and Kalecgos as a pair isn’t too far-fetched, I suppose. He fell in love with Anveena, after all, and she was human(oid) and ended up being the Sunwell. So his romantic indiscretions with the ‘younger’ races are documented; he obviously doesn’t always have a thing for other dragons. It’s a joke in the book itself that Jaina isn’t exactly known for choosing the best romantic interests – Kael’thas (though they were barely involved, and Arthas…we all know how that one ended. Anyway, I don’t think Kalec is actually a bad choice for her. He’s a blue dragon so they have magic in common, and they’re both obviously powerful magic-users. In short, I like the romance but I think it was constrained quite a bit by the nature and length of the book. This is often my feeling about “one-book romances.” If you have a trilogy of books telling a story, you have time to do the more leisurely “maybe they’re starting to have feelings for each other” followed by the “something happens to keep them apart” that ultimately culminates with the satisfying “they’re finally together” feeling. In a book of this scope with this much story to tell, it’s tough to write a convincing romance but I think Golden did the best she could. You could also argue that in desperate times people will often turn to one another with feelings that are more quickly realized than would otherwise occur.

Personally, looking at him makes my heart go “pitter-patter” but maybe not for the same reasons. Mostly because: whoa big blue dragon teeth, scary.

Still, I tend to think of dragons as being less impulsive than regular people. They seem to love each other awfully quickly, which makes it less believable, but again – you work with what you have. So Kalecgos and Jaina are together by the end of the book, and throughout it he seems to flit back and forth a bit as he’s torn between his desire to recover the incredibly powerful artifact his people lost (whoops) and his twitterpated feelings towards Jaina. It’s rough, though. I feel for him. The guy only got to be a dragon Aspect for no time at all (to a dragon) and now he’s mortal again and his dragon buddies are all “Whelp, see you later” and he’s left holding the bag for having lost the Focusing Iris. So perhaps it’s natural that his attentions would turn strongly towards an engaging young woman – a powerful mage and extremely intelligent and powerful lady in her own right.

I feel like I’m dancing around the immediate facts of the book: the destruction of Theramore. It’s almost something I don’t want to put into words. I don’t want to talk about it, I’d rather talk about blue dragon courtship rituals. It was disgusting, and awful. Completely reprehensible and the opposite of honorable combat. This is how it happens: Jaina and Theramore have word of the coming attack thanks to Baine. North Watch falls easily as Thrall’s shaman harness the power of extremely dangerous molten giants (a power that could lead to another Cataclysm, according to the book). Theramore has time to prepare. Jaina calls upon the Kirin Tor, who send aid somewhat reluctantly and with the caveat that they will only defend and not be the aggressors. Stormwind sends a fleet of ships along with a number of great generals. One of them is a draenei! Rhonin is here too. Kalecgos himself comes to Theramore’s aid so that when the Horde come knocking, they’re ready for them. They’re able to repel the attack even though one of the Kirin Tor mages (a blood elf, naturally) is a traitor and was weakening the gates instead of strengthening them.

So it seems as if they’ve won at least the initial skirmish, although they’ve suffered losses – including all of their aerial defenses, down to the last gryphon. This is where the other shoe drops. Kalecgos suddenly becomes aware of the Focusing Iris again. It’s nearby, because it’s on a goblin ship. And underneath that ship is the biggest mana bomb anyone has ever seen. Kalecgos tries to detonate it in the air (where it won’t harm the city) but is repelled by the defenses on the zeppelin. In a last-ditch suicide effort, Rhonin draws the power of the bomb towards himself while sending Jaina through a portal to safety. The mana bomb explodes in Theramore, killing everyone in a really large radius. Jaina is teleported to one of the rocky islands surrounding Theramore, where she still feels a significant impact from the blast but isn’t killed.

I repeat: She’s not killed horrifically like every single other person, including Rhonin.

I’m afraid I can’t really do justice to the emotional impact of this part of the book, at least for me. Jaina’s sassy gnome apprentice, Kinndy, is killed. Everyone. It’s established earlier in the book that Kinndy is the only daughter of the gnome in Dalaran who lights the lights, Windle Sparkshine. I LOVE this gnome. I can’t remember how many times I have followed him around Dalaran, and gone out to help light the lights myself. Just giving this character a tie to an existing in-game character meant that when she was cruelly snuffed out I sobbed. I didn’t want Kinndy to die, or for her parents to lose their only daughter. I didn’t even want Rhonin to die, and goodness knows I’m no Rhonin fan. (Although now that he’s dead, maybe we can stop hearing about what a mage he is, a damn good one.) But for him to die like this, in such an atrocity, through such an act of treachery… it’s unconscionable. Going back into the wreckage afterwards drives Jaina to the brink of sanity, as I think it would for anyone. It’s not just that people died, it’s that they died in a way that is so fundamentally wrong. Grief-stricken, Jaina goes to touch Kinndy’s body and it dissipates into purple sand. The infusion of arcane magic fueled by the Focusing Iris has wrought awful changes on everyone it worked on. Bodies are floating, there are rips and tears in the sky itself.

Meantime, Garrosh is celebrating his flawless victory. It’s clear that he feels no remorse whatsoever for the manner of this massacre, and here incredulity and hatred for him begin to set in. Baine and other Horde-members with a conscience are sickened by what has been done. Whatever the Horde has become with this madman at its helm, they feel no connection to him or his further conquests. Without going into a tiresome conquest, the rest of the book plays out fairly predictably. Jaina takes the Focusing Iris with the intention of using it to level Orgrimmar in the ultimate act of vengeance. Anduin and Varian are both appalled by the change in her, and ultimately Kalecgos and Thrall manage to talk her out of making what would have been a mistake that would change her personally even as she achieved her revenge. There are a few other good moments – Anduin blessing the Alliance troops as they leave for Kalimdor, while reflecting on the necessity of war even when you love peace – and the fact that draenei were actually mentioned in this book a few times besides as “awe inducing shaman.” It seems the people of Azeroth have grown more used to draenei, or else the writers are sincerely trying to integrate them into the ongoing story. I would have only wished that one of the mages sent from the Kirin Tor had been a draenei (they had one of nearly every other race!) but we can’t have everything. Draenei are always shaman and paladins and that is just the way it is (brb, rerolling).

Tides of War was a good book. I appreciated as well the subtle integration of the in-game scenario, although I missed it at the time and had to go back looking for it. At some point, there is mention of “five people” helping Jaina and Rhonin. I can see where the scenario will fit, although I honestly have no idea how that’ll work for Horde players because it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever for them to help Jaina or Rhonin at that part of the book. Even friendly Horde aren’t going to be very welcome in Theramore at that time.

I’m also regretful that today’s From Draenor With Love won’t necessarily make sense in the context of actual events, although it could happen during the initial assault on Theramore! Anyway, we conceived and created it at a time when we didn’t have all of the information. I think it’s still a useful reflection on the horrors of war in general, especially when you have mixed allegiances and your feelings don’t lie with factions but with people. For this reason, Baine is one of the most sympathetic characters in ToW for me. What an untenable position he’s in. Jaina is the more obvious and sympathetic character because she’s just been through truly horrific things. Baine also lost his father at the hand of the orc he’s now duty bound to serve as he leads the Horde to ruin. I’m glad that by the end of the book he basically says, look buddy, eff you and don’t come around to Mulgore either.

This all paints Pandaria in a completely different light for me. I am happy to explore the new land and to see the wonders it has to offer, but there’s a sombre feeling. Where will all these struggles end? What more harm can Garrosh do to our people (and his own) before he’s finally taken down?

Another thought: wouldn’t it be awesome if the Let’s Kill Garrosh raid was the only raid that you could accomplish cross-faction, with both Alliance and Horde in your party? It makes sense, doesn’t it? You guys will want him dead, we’ll want him dead, why can’t we work together to do it?

Randomly: nice touch that when the Earthen Ring heard about what had happened with Theramore, a draenei starts to cry and she’s comforted by her troll friend. I like any emphasis that our races don’t necessarily determine who or what we stand for, and the Earthen Ring is one of those truly neutral groups wherein faction divisions cease to matter. See, draenei can be friends with trolls and orcs, too.

So, that is my huge ramble about Tides of War. If you made it to the end, you deserve a conjured cookie. Please feel free to say all that you need to about the book or the events in it or whatever you want in the comments. This is a spoiler-rife zone, so you don’t have to hold back. Everyone was forewarned!

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Comments on: "Tides of War (with spoilers galore!)" (18)

  1. That’s one way to get rid of a Mary Sue, I guess. (Rhonin, in this case.)

  2. …and, does anybody remember the time when the Kor’krons were full of people opposing Garrosh, like say Saurfang the Younger?

    Apparently that’s gone by the wayside, too.

  3. Throm of Stormwind said:

    Jaina’s neutrality by the end was disappointing, but ultimately unsurprising. She was never truly Alliance; expecting otherwise was setting false expectations. Her abandoning the Alliance that sacrificed everything it had for her speaks loads.

    It matters little. The Horde will fall, and all who stand with it shall pay the price for their loyalty.

    • Jaina? Neutral? Uh, hell no. At the end of the book, she outright states to the Kirin Tor that’s she’s dedicated to removing Garrosh from power. The Kirin Tor is neutral no longer as far as Garrosh is concerned.

  4. Just finished this book, and while I’m satisfied as a whole in terms of a “wow, this is really going to move the overall WoW story forward, and welp Garrosh as a raid boss makes a lot of sense now” I felt the Garrosh in this book was ridiculous. He is utterly unlike the Garrosh we see in-game, and even if you don’t play Horde and see his moments of growth, he’s a completely different person than the Garrosh we saw in The Shattering, who was hotheated and aggressive but DEFINITELY concerned with honor and pride.

    Frankly, the idea that Garrosh would actively encourage a sneaky, indirect BOMBING over hand-to-hand, direct conquest? Absurd. That’s a Sylvanas plan. That is NOT a Garrosh plan. I’m really disgruntled about this.

    My only vague consolation is the jarring, sudden insertion of this random Blackrock orc that is suddenly Garrosh’s best friend, with full trust and authority. I get the feeling that he’s going to – yawn – be some sleeper agent of Old Gods or Sha or something, explaining both how he’s managed to become Garrosh’s second, and WHY Garrosh’s personality went through such a radical shift. It’d also explain his eye-rolling prowess in battle and how he’s able to physically outmuscle Baine, which pretty much no orc short of Garrosh himself should be able to do.

    The Horde scenario for Theramore, I believe, is freeing the Blood Elf traitor (which was just briefly announced in the novel, like “oh damn, while we were looking the other way, a small squad broke in and got him!”) as well as disabling the air defenses, allowing for the dropping of the mana bomb.

    Like you, I did enjoy the characterization of the sympathetic characters. In two novels, Baine has become remarkably fleshed out, and we’ve seen him grieve and kind of accept Garrosh’s poor decisions. But I think that’s changed by the end of the book, and it’s really setting him up to be a major player when the rest of the world decide that enough is enough. Kinndy was also great – I basically felt from the very start that she was there to be the martyr figure that encapsulates Jaina’s grief, like the dwarf lady Anduin befriends briefly in the Shattering.

    However, Kinndy is a much stronger character than the dwarf, who really only existed to die. Kinndy is very well characterized and by the time the bomb drops, she’s not just a symbol of loss, but a legitimate character whose death really IS significant for reasons other than to motivate Jaina. The fact that she’s linked to existing NPCs, and not just random ones, but ones whose roles in WoW are woven into the novel very beautifully and sadly, was a really nice touch.

    Kalec and Jaina…mixed feelings. I like the pairing, there were some nice moments that captured both of their personalities quite well, but I can’t help but feel that romantic inclinations in WoW novels feel rather ham-fisted and clumsy. I dunno, I just think that you shouldn’t be able to spot the would-be couple in the instant they meet when one of them starts noticing how witty the other is, or how handsome they are, or how dirty/messy they look, all flushed and embarrassed.

    I was a bit shocked at the long-term repercussions. I definitely did not anticipate Rhonin dying (I also enjoyed him in this novel, and found him to be a good mix of his former hotshot personality tempered with experience and aged wisdom), nor did I foresee Marcus Jonathan also biting it. Not that Marcus is a major player, but still, he’s a pretty recognizable mainstay for Alliance players.

    Mists is going to be interesting, I’ll say that.

    • I never actually said this in that long sprawling comment, but I DID enjoy the book, and it was definitely a “can’t put this down omg have to keep reading!”. Would definitely recommend it. I just really found the Garrosh portrayal to be completely jarring and weird.

    • I (an Alliance player) wasn’t even quite sure who Marcus Jonathan was until Jaina heads for Stormwind and remembers he’ll no longer be there on his horse guarding the entrance. Then I did the Hogger questline on a low level alt, and he showed up to drag the gnoll off to the Stockade. I nearly cried!

  5. Quick Summary: Yes its flawed but worth reading. That said..
    The Apprentice was such a two dimensional character and obviously wore a red shirt. So I wasn’t able to get invested in her at all, in fact I was annoyed she took the screen time Pained could of gotten.

    the way the Blue Dragons were written irritated me to no end. They all just are in mass depression to the point they don’t care about anything at all even helping their once aspect? Preserving their artifact? That’s just..wow no. Its so ham handed a way of writing the flight ENTIRELY out of the story because they would be too powerful.

    Garrosh’s actions are out of character and they even have Bane thinking about the whole stone talon throwing a general off a cliff thing. Im with you that hes being manipulated by the “Evil Bad Guy”. Remember they never said we kill Garrosh only we’d defeat him.

    Jaina’s story irritated me. Hugely. She got a boyfriend so he can be the one to save her cause heavens knows a woman in the depths of grief needs a boyfriend to keep her sane. Or her platonic boy friend. Though to be honest how many female characters was she friends with that they haven’t killed at that point? The fact shes so powerful and then they strip all that power by shackling her to the Kirin Tor’s neutrality .. ugh. I can only assume she will be faded out like Ty as real men take care of things in Pandaria.

    I liked Kalec despite his origin as a special snowflake friend in that awful Manga. But really if he goes around falling in love and acting that rashly he was a horrid choice for the Aspect.

    The relationship is VERY two dimensional except one thing – they barely hold hands. Its some kind of weird vibe so I expect fully they will have some kind of wedding cerimony like the one that Knaak forced.

    Cross faction raiding? But then we wouldnt have WAR in WARcraft! Thats what people were screaming about outland when rumors started you could join the Aldor or Scryer as Outland factions and leave the old world behind. Am I the only one thats noticed every expansion they have promised to put the war back in warcraft?

    Rhonin was a special snowflake to the very end *sighs*.

    The book’s pacing left a great deal to be desired lurching in fits and spurts its best moments when it was unchained by quest dialog/comics/other books. I’m still FURIOUS their going with the alliance side of the Southern Barrens. Putting those words in Baine’s mouth damaged his character for me.

    Baine was the big bright spot in the book. Except for when he turns Fox News about the Southern Barrens he is believable and incredibly empathetic.

    One huge letdown is Thrall. He has more than enough time to go running around the world with his baby cannon but when it comes to his beloved Horde? Eh who cares. Thats not Thrall. He should of been involved but again they had to find a way to write him out of the plot ham fisted as it may be because he could of short circuited this just by spending a few hours in Ogrimar.

  6. I’ve never been particularly interested in the novels, but I do appreciate good reviews and summaries, so thank you. Doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, but my daughter has different tastes than me so she’ll probably be quite happy if I get a copy for her.

    I cannot help but notice that Jaina (A) becomes romantically involved in the only available guy on the whole planet with magical powers greater than her own, (B) is saved by a guy, rather than by her own abilities, and (C) has to be talked down from being too emotional by a couple of guys. There was a tremendous amount of backslapping and high fiving on the recent episode of The Instance with Metzen and Golden about Blizzard showcasing strong female characters, but I still think they have a long, long way to go.

    • Hmm, I guess I just saw that as Jaina being saved by her *friends*… who just happened to be male. Her female best friends (Pained and Kinndy) had just been killed, horribly, after all.

  7. Leonatus - SWC (US) said:

    As a primarily Horde player I really hated reading about Garrosh’s descent into epic douche-nozzleness. I should have realized that Kinndy would fall prey to the Chuck Norris Effect – Chuck’s best friend/partner always gets killed by the bad guy do that Chuck is justified in kicking all sorts of @$$. It still sucks tho…she was an awesome supporting character AND a non-annoying Gnome.
    I really liked that someone used Arthas to get Jaina ‘off the ledge’. It gave us an out from the usual formula of good character + power = new villain.

  8. Great review, Vid. I didn’t enjoy the book as much as you did, though a lot of that is because the Warcraft books aren’t generally a style or genre I am usually interested in. I read them because I want to know what’s going on in the game – and remain frustrated that I have to go out of the game to do this. But anyway …

    As Rades said above, I found the change to Garrosh jarring and totally unexplained. Likewise, I found the change to Varian jarring and totally unexplained. Varian is a reasonable human being now and Garrosh is a sneaky, murdering asshole. If you want to make that change to these characters’ very well established personalities, fine – but we need to get some kind of information about why and how it’s happened. I suppose we are meant to assume that Varian has calmed down thanks to the influence of his son and being home in Stormwind for a stretch of time now. But Varian being the voice of reason when Jaina demands revenge? Difficult to believe.

    I was disappointed overall because I expected to learn more. The major plot points (Garrosh is evil now, Theramore is destroyed, something bonkers happens with Jaina) all unfolded more or less as I guessed they would, and I was left with the feeling that I just hadn’t gotten very much new information. All of the “why” was missing from the story, save in Jaina’s plot, which I found to be the least interesting.

    I do *completely* agree with you about how sad and devastating Theramore’s destruction is. Dear lord, Kinndy and her amazing family. Pained, who I quickly grew to love as well. I wonder if the in-game questline will be able to recreate any of this emotion, and I wonder how it possibly could since we are unlikely to see much of either of those characters along the way. Regardless, I’m still looking forward to seeing how it plays out!

  9. Nice review. I ended up buying the hardcover and felt it wasn’t worth it. I’d have been content to pay $5 for this book.

    This is why:

    1) Garrosh – this is the guy who throws a general off a cliff for bombing a school. This same guy now bombs are town with women and children in it (he didn’t know they’d been ported out). If they’re going to do this, they need to add some events that explain the change in him.

    2) Malorak – He came in out of the blue. A little more background to make the changes in Garrosh be more believable. Please don’t make him another twilight cult member. Sick of them. Some more story before we see him as a raid boss. Please.

    3) Focusing Iris – so Garrosh uses it and isn’t concerned in the least that it has not been recovered? He is well aware of its power so why isn’t he trying to retrieve it?

    4) Dark Shaman. They were Garrosh’s, not Thrall’s. Why isn’t the Earthen Ring MORE concerned about this? Why isn’t Thrall going to Org to kick their ass as they are directly interfering with his “most important work”?

    5) Blue Dragonflight – Apathy and all is understandable. But why aren’t the more… power hungry… blues not looking for the Iris themselves?

    6) Varian is too different. A few more changes to explain the transition would have helped.

    7) Kalecgos – Jaina may be powerful and all, but it is a real stretch to make this romance work. They’re not the same species, they don’t have remotely similar lifespans, they don’t have similar frames of reference, physiology, feelings… everything is different. To me it sounds ridiculous. A tauren and gnome couple make more sense.

    8) Thrall the Superman – he can resist Jaina+Focusing Iris. Clearly he is far and away more powerful than other mortals if the Focusing Power is so powerful and Jaina is one of the strongest magi around. So would it kill him to take half an hour out of his schedule to have a chat with Garrosh’s shaman?

    9) Kraken – Where did Garrosh get them? Where is he getting Dark Shaman? The book says he has all these forces at his beck and call but spends no time in explaining how. This is extremely annoying.

    In conclusion I liked the book but mostly that was for how it moved the story forward.

  10. I gotta ask, because you say everyone in Theramore dies… but you left out one huge important WoW Lore character who resides in Theramore…. Aegwynn. Is she dead too?? That would really be the trifecta of offing Mages… First you kill Krasus, then Rhonin, and possibly Aegwynn? What’s Blizz got against powerful Mages anyways?

  11. Finally reading this post after getting my own thoughts up — though my thoughts are very much the same as yours anyway :) I enjoyed the book. I’m not a supercritical reader of anything I read for FUN, so I wasn’t bothered by a lot of the things other commenters are complaining about in the plot, et cetera. I loved Kinndy and was quite affected by her death. Being partial to the Tauren, I really appreciate the way Christie Golden writes Baine; he expresses my own difficulties with being Tauren in Garrosh’s Horde.

  12. Wow, what a massive character shift for Garrosh, didn’t he humiliate and then summarily execute an orc commander for doing THIS EXACT SAME THING to a town of druids in Stonetalon?

    He’s always been hot-blooded and overzealous, but this is too much, even for him.

    I’m betting on demon possession. Any time an orc goes super crazy-town there’s a 90% chance that demons are involved. Or perhaps the Sha have gotten to him? Or maybe Blizzard writers are just lazy and he’s gone evil for no reason.

    Either way, he’s going down. Nobody kills my favorite Mary Sue mage and gets away with it.
    NOBODY.

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