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Book Chat Review: The Shattering

December 8, 2010

Now that Cataclysm is officially here, I’m finally going to talk about its pre-reading, The Shattering by Christie Golden. Huzzah! (Better late than never, right?)

In The Shattering, Golden rises to the task of  telling the complicated story of how an already broken world due to human (and elfin and draenei-an and dwarven and orc-en and tauren and undead-en and gnomen..you get my point) warfare, prejudices, and hubris is further complicated when the world they know is–quite literally–being torn apart. Golden’s simple, vivid prose style eases the reader through the unhappy, distressing story and you really see her talent shine in the passages containing battle scenes. Never have I read more thrilling descriptions of battles (and that includes the epics). Golden captures the adrenaline, focus, and horror that war brings with it,  and brilliantly balances the different ideas of war through the perspectives and attitudes of four different characters–Garrosh Hellscream, Cairne Bloodhoof, King Varian Wrynn, and Prince Anduin Wrynn, respectively.

But despite the seriousness of the subject matter and themes of this fantasy novel, it’s a super fun and quick  read.

Now that we have my more formal overview out of the way, let’s talk about my personal reactions to the book, shall we?

So maybe it’s because I’ve mostly played Alliance characters (I do have Corynne, my baby Hordie alt–you forgot about her didn’t you?!) but I didn’t find myself as engaged with this book as I was with Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. And the parts that I found myself really enjoying were the passages involving Varian (and his rogueys), Anduin, Magni Bronzebeard, and Jaina. However, what this book has taught me is that even within the Alliance lore I have major gaps–there was a lot of talk about how Varian was trapped in some sort of nightmare realm or something and how Anduin had to rule Stormwind for awhile, and all of that business was a) totally intriguing and b) really confusing to my poor overloaded brain.

But speaking of Anduin, let’s talk about how much I love him. Which is a lot. I just want to give him a  hug , pat him on the head, call him a good little diplomat, and give him a cookie.

Anyway, despite my talk of Alliance, this book is heavily Horde-related, and it definitely highlighted the fact that I know a whole lotta nothin’ about  Horde lore. What I can say is that my favorite Horde-centric storyline involved the Taurens–I really, really like Cairne and Baine Bloodhoof. So much so that when Nick said “Let’s go attack Thunder Bluff!” I responded with, “Why would you do that?! Cairne and Baine live there!” He had yet to read the book (supposedly he’s reading it right now) so he was highly confused.

The only thing I didn’t love about this book was that there was absolutely zero talk of Deathwing. The book is supposed to be the prequel to Cataclysm, and while there was a lot of “Why are there earthquakes and floods?!” and Thrall going off to commune with the elements, there were no dragons–which means that I’m still clueless as to why Deathwing is pissed off. Does he control the elements? Are he and the elements connected? Or are they both angry for different reasons and decided to freak out at the same time in the classic “ain’t-that-somethin'” style?

Alright, so those are my thoughts. What are your thoughts? 🙂

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 9:48 pm

    A little background on dragons:

    There are 5 “aspects” which are 5 really powerful dragons:

    1. Alexstraza. She’s the Aspect of Life and the red dragon. She’s chilling with Krasus in Dragonblight, and kind of the one in charge.

    2. Ysera, the Aspect of Dreaming. She’s green. I think you mentioned seeing her. I believe she is also in Dragonblight.

    3. Nozdormu, the Aspect of Time. He’s AWOL in the games, but they talk about him sometimes and I *think* he makes an appearance in one of the Dragonblight quests. And his in charge of the bronze dragonflight.

    That’s where the good dragons stop.

    4. Malygos, the Aspect of Magic, is in charge of the blue dragonflight. He was manipulated by Deathwing and went crazy, which is why people killed him in game. I’m not sure what his deal is now, though, and if lore-wise he’s okay. I think he might be good now. Not sure.

    5. Neltharion is the Aspect of Power or something. He’s in charge of the black dragonflight and turned into Deathwing. Deathwing was basically corrupted by the “Old Gods” who made Azeroth and basically are pissed off because they need some reason to cause drama.

    As for the elements, he doesn’t control all of them, but he does have some power over them, especially the land elements. So he’s the one freaking everything out.

    Read some of the other books! They’re all really, really good!

    • December 10, 2010 10:09 am

      Thank you so much for this!

      And a lot of the other books are in my stack right now. 🙂

  2. Silvr permalink
    December 11, 2010 1:06 pm

    Hey its been awhile since i commented, just wanted to correct/clarify some descrepencies with Neltharion. His title is “The Earthwarder” he was the aspect of earth(stone metals gems anything from the earth) He was one of the more powerful of the 5 aspects and Malygos and he were the closest. He was corrupted over time with an object called the dragonsoul. Without going really long into it, if you really want to know about how he became Deathwing, read the WoW books War of the Ancients 3 part book series. He tricked the other aspects into give a little bit of thier power into the Dragonsoul, which gave him control over them to a degree. Ysera, Alexstraza, and Malygos along with the head consort for the Bronze Dragonflight and all of there flights along with Malfurion Stormrage and couple others fought against Neltharion and routed him but did not kill him. (Nozdormu was trapped in time parts in the past present and future) Really good read if you can pick it up and tells you alot of history about Deathwing/Neltharion. sorry for the run ons and poor prose 🙂 at work and had to write quickly

    /cheers

    Silvr

  3. Silvr permalink
    December 11, 2010 1:10 pm

    ohh forgot Malygos went insane because Neltharion, his closest friend supposedly, ended up betraying him and killing most of his flight. The “mad with grief and betrayal” syndrome. Anyway… its been a year or so since i read those books might have to go back and read them again 🙂

    Silvr.

  4. Silvr permalink
    December 11, 2010 1:13 pm

    last ohhh i promise,

    The book Stormrage, about Malfurion Stormrage and what is happening just before the Shattering, also gives you a hint, a lead in if you will, as to Deathwings return. The books bad guy is being influenced and helped by some other presence….ohhhh ahhhhh eeee (eerie sound effects) 🙂

    /cheers

    Silvr

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