Book Chat Review: The Shattering
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? 🙂