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.
I had been so excited when I found this book back when it first came out. Thrall has always been one of my favorite Horde leaders, with Lady Sylvanas and Cairne Bloodhoof being the other two I absolutely loved. So to find another book that focused on this character was a great thing. Not to mention the fact that it was written by Christie Golden, who also wrote Arthas: Rise of the Lich King and The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, both books I fully enjoyed and have read more than a few times.
Sadly though my excitement was quite quickly dashed with this. Thrall was a weak character right from the start. Sure he is no longer Warchief of the Horde, something a lot of people agree on as being a bad decision, especially since it meant Garrosh Hellscream now leaders the faction, but I didn’t expect his character to be so broken. This was not the Thrall I have come to love over the years and it disappointed me completely. But I told myself that it would get better, for surely his character would rise to the occasion and show himself to once again be the strong Orc everyone knows his to be. In a way he did, but even so it just didn’t feel right.
Now the book wasn’t all terrible. There were a few portions of it that I did enjoy, however they were so minimal compared to everything else that I didn’t feel they made up for the overall bad feeling the rest of the book gave me. I think the big issue for me, outside of Thrall character seeming so weak, constantly second guessing himself, seeming lost no matter what he did, was that he also was the solution to everything. That just seemed like poor writing to me. I get it, it was trying to show how ever though his role within the world had changed and perhaps even lessened in a way, lets face it going from the Warchief of an entire faction to a simple shaman is a huge change (even if his role among the shaman was important), that he is still important to the world even if he himself doesn’t realize it at first.
Though I had hoped that he would grow into something more like the character I have known him as in the past I was fairly disappointed with the end result. Now I will admit, that I wasn’t one hundred percent up to date with all the lore in the game since I had quit the game for a year and a half so several aspects of the lore were unknown to me, something felt very off about the lore inside this book. I don’t know if it was the writing style or just the rest of the book affecting my opinion but I did not enjoy it like I should have.
Overall I am glad I read the book as it did help fill in the gaps of lore that I wasn’t up to date on, even if I don’t know whether they were entirely accurate or not. Sure it wasn’t what I was expecting and no where near as good as it could be, but I managed to finish so it wasn’t so downright awful that I had to throw it against the wall and never finish it.