Book Review: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War

Note: I have played World of Warcraft for six and a half out of the eight years the game has been running. The big thing I have loved about the game is the lore and that’s why I go out of my way to read all the books published in this series. I play strictly on the side of the Horde and so I have a definite dislike of the Alliance, but I try to look at the books with a nonjudgmental view in regards to the two factions though my reviews may mention a dislike of this certain character or faction from time to time. I do try to not let my dislike of the Alliance from affecting the rating and review of the books as much as I can.

Jaina Proudmoore is one of those characters in the World of Warcraft universe that nearly everyone seems to like. It doesn’t matter if you play on Horse or Alliance side, Jaina is a well loved character. When this book was first announced I did a bit of a happy dance and pre-ordered it as soon as I could, which was about a year before it would be published. I was so excited that Jaina was finally getting a book all her own. She’s such a strong and important character that I was surprised it took this long for a book with her as the main focus to be published. When I finally got my hands on it I couldn’t wait to read it, even if it did take a couple months before I actually sat down to read this.

The first thing that stuck out to me was that the book didn’t start with Jaina, it started with blue dragons in Northrend. This kind of set a bad taste in my mouth and set off a few warning bells. I understand that even with the books focus on Jaina that there would be other characters and events happening that would indeed tie into the Jaina portion, but the fact that it didn’t even start with Jaina was quite disappointing. When Jaina did appear in the book I was relieved but still a bit hesitant to be excited that her story would finally happen. Turns out I had every right to be. Over half of the story doesn’t even have Jaina in it. Though I will admit the events in the book do eventually directly effect Jaina and force her hand to do certain things, such as going absolutely crazy and trying to wipe the Orcs out of Durotar.

Over all the characters were somewhat lackluster and felt flat to me. I had to shake my head at Kalcegos just as much as I did Jaina as it took them far to long to figure things out. And don’t even get my started on the romance between them. I did learn to hate Garrosh more though throughout the events of the book and really wanted to reach through the pages and punch his sorry orange hide. Baine Bloodhoof was probably my favorite character throughout this, as he reminds me so much of his father Cairne and only wants to do what is best for his people and sees the faults in what Garrosh was trying to do. It’s a shame that he had to follow orders just to protect himself and his people.

I did find the destruction of Theramore to be the thing that really made me like the book. I missed the initial introduction of this event in the game and so to be able to read about it and see how immense of a shock it was not only to those who were in Theramore at the time but to the Tauren and Darkspeak Trolls and the mages of Dalaran.

In a way I wish this book wasn’t about the destruction of Thermore, though it was a significant enough event that it certainly deserved attention, but instead to be on Jaina’s past. Now I realize some of it was touched upon in Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, but I would like to delve more into Jaina’s past.

The reason why I gave this book four stars instead of a lesser rating was based upon the planning and destructive force of Garrosh and his army. Not only did they wipe Thermore off of the map but also destroyed a number of valuable Alliance strongholds along the way. Garrosh’s brutal tactics and hatred of the Alliance show him as the great evil character in this story. Evil characters can often make or break a story and in the case of this book it was Garrosh’s presence that really made the book and pushed along the events leading up to and beyond the destruction of Theramore.

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