I actually finished this book a week ago but a lot has been going on at the Anslym household. I had minor foot surgery, yay for having it elevated for a while. I also had to read “The Handmaid’s Tale” for English. It was a pretty good book, I didn’t like the ending much though. I’m not a fan for the whole “pick your own ending” type of books, but thats not the book we’re going to be talking about in this post.
The book we’re talking today is: The Shattering, Prelude to Cataclysm, by Christie Golden.
I loved this book, I really did. I finished fairly quickly. I took a quick night trip to Chapters (Canadian version of Barns and Noble) to pick up a copy. After a stalking between the shelves for 15 minutes looking I was down an isle when I heard voices from the other side of the book shelf.
“Dad please?!” an unknown boy pleaded in desperation.
“It’s $30, that’s a lot of money for a book that your going to finish in 3 days. You’re going to have to wait for it to come out in paper back.” At this point the son proceeded to plea his case to his dad. I took another tour of the Fiction and Literature / Poetry section and looped back to fantasy section. I don’t know if the kid got his dad to buy him the book or not but here is my advice, “The book was definitely worth it!” I grabbed the book headed to the counter and purchased my copy, stopped off at Starbucks to grab myself an over-priced beverage and headed home. I started reading it after dinner and finished before lunch the next day. Here is how this post is going to be organized:
- Cairne / Baine
- Varian / Jaina
- Magni / Moira
I think Christie did a fairly good job showing how Garrosh progressed from the Northrend hot-head to a leader of Orgrimmar and the Horde. His progression started when the Vykrul attacked at Garrosh’s Landing and continued on when he attacked the Alliance ships (bastard) and mercifully let them go. This proceeds on to when Cairne urges Thrall to discuss with Garrosh about the horrors that his father committed instead of just focusing on how he saved them. Thrall decides to make Garrosh warchief and Garrosh declines. I would have thought for sure he would have jumped at the chance. He goes on to lead the Horde fairly well through out the book (lets see how long that goes for in Cataclysm) I have and irk how he invoked the old rules for the battle between him and Cairne. I thought he handled the his letter to Magatha fairly well, “Sends his most sincere wishes for a slow and painful death.” Genius! Before reading this book I felt that Garrosh was a bigoted, fat-head, little orcling with father issues, but after reading this book I feel I have a better understanding of him, and his horde pride.
His journey to Outland and how he dealt with the elements had an inspiring effect on me. You will definitely be seeing some of this in Anslym’s fanfiction soon. I like how he gave up the mantle of the Horde to get back to his Shamanistic roots. He learned who he was and how his skills would be best fit to help the world. He found not only someone who would help him save the world but also he found himself a life partner. I really hope we see more of Aggra in Cataclysm. Some thing that bothers me about who he decided to give up the Horde to was he was debating between Cairne and Garrosh but what about Vol’jin? Was he not the leader of the Darkspear trolls and he was with Thrall in Ogrimmar? Why wasn’t he a viable replacement?
Cairne / Baine
The story starts off with Cairne heading to Northrend to help Garrosh pack up and bring the Horde heroes home. Christie does a good job in showing and describing how old Cairne is and feels. Cairne is opposite of Garrosh: old, wise, merciful, this opposition quickly puts them at odds. When Thrall gives Garrosh leadership of the Horde, Cairne speaks with Thrall about is opinion on the matter. While Thrall is in Nagrand, Cairne acts as an advisor to Garrosh and things go relatively well. That is until a sit down of druids in Ashenvale forest (Hamuul Runetotem was present) are attacked and all of them but Hamuul were slain. All fingers are pointed toward Garrosh, but as it turns out the Twilight hammer cult are responsible. Hamuul sends a letter to Cairne which in turn blames Garrosh and they fight it out to the death for leadership of the Horde. Magatha Grimtotem poisons Garrosh’s axe, Gorehowl, and Cairne falls in one hit. That night Baine had to flee his home because the Grimtotems take over Thunderbluff and other Tauren outposts. When talking about who to turn to Baine puts for the idea that they are going to need help outside the Horde, from their neighbours. At this point I thought they we’re going to turn to the Night Elves but I totally forgot about Jaina in Theramore. As Jaina and Baine are discussing how to take back Thunderbluff Anduin hearths in and a meeting between them all takes place. Baine rally’s others to liberate Thunderbluff and it’s a success. He banishes Magatha to the Stonetalon mountains without her totems, and all is well. Garrosh arrives and both agree to help each other, and keep each other in check.
Varian / Jaina
We first meet Varian at the Cathedral of light, at a service for all that had fallen. Varian gets summoned outside when Night Elf sentinels arrive in to tell Varian of an atrocity that has happened in Ashenvale Forest. Some night elves were found slain and all fingers are pointed toward the Horde. Varian obviously wants to go marching into Orgimmar himself to confront Thrall, and Jaina opposes him. Anduin comes out of the Cathedral to scold his father for forgetting his people in mourning inside. Throughout the plot of the Novel we don’t see much of Varian, just a few times alongside Jaina. On the other hand we see Jaina quite a bit. She presents Anduin with a hearthstone to Theramore, which he uses the weekend he receives it, consequently he uses it to escape from Ironforge when Moira locks it down. Jaina provides Baine with a means to liberate Thunderbluff and she acts as an in-between for Thrall and Varian, obviously. Varian comes in again at the end of the novel, along side some SI:7 agents to free his son, and slay Moira.
Oh boy! I think I like this character in the book the most. He is the character that grows the most through the entirety of the novel. At first we meet him being a boy prince putting his duty before himself. This is really shown through Jaina’s feelings toward him as an aunt. That’s why she offers him the hearthstone, so he could get away from Stormwind and invoke what ever childhood he has left. Unfortunately his father has other plans for him, something along the lines of sending him to Ironforge to train as a warrior. This is where he meets Magni Bronzebeard / “Uncle Magni”. Anduin trains and travels around Ironforge and quickly finds himself in the The Mystic Ward. When Christie begins explaining Anduin’s reaction to the light, I thought he was going to go onto the path of Paladin-hood. But after the earthquakes happen and he loses his trainer in the collapse at the Thunderbrew Distillery (love the party about the Draenei shaman by the way) it becomes evident that Priesthood is what awaits our king-to-be, for the better I assume, remember what happened to the last Paladin Prince? *Cough Arthas Cough*. Shortly after Magni is turned to diamond, his estranged daughter turns up and lays claim to the high seat of Ironforge. But before Magni’s entombment he presents Aduin with a mace that has been in the Bronzebeard line for generations. After he escapes from Ironforge to Theramore and meets Baine, he gives the mace to Baine. I have a feeling that when Anduin becomes king this would work greatly with the Alliance – Horde negotiations. After his meetings in Theramore he learns of his fathers attempt to liberate Ironforge and slay Moira. Anduin hurry’s back to Ironforge to stop his father. In the end it all works out for the best.
Magni / Moira
The first time we’re introduced to Magni is when Anduin arrives to Ironforge, he seems like a jolly old Dwarf. We learn soon after about him and his daughters relationship, and why he treats Anduin like a son. I feel that Magni did wrong Moira just because she wasn’t born a male heir. Anduin was right, she wasn’t charmed into falling in love with the sorcerer, he respected her and loved her and that’s why she went after him. If Magni was more of a father to her like he was to Anduin maybe things wouldn’t have turned out the way they did. As for Magni turning into diamond, I really hope they open up Old Ironforge for that event in-game, maybe even an event for Moira returning to Ironforge (not the lock down though, that would suck). Speaking of the lock down, do I think what Moira was doing was right? Locking up Ironforge, putting all the magi in jail, and closing the Tram? Hell No! Was Varian justified at an attempt to kill her? No. Is the Council of Three Hammers a good idea? Yes. I look forward to the way Ironforge will be run in Cataclysm, but I also will miss Magni Bronzebeard.
Orgrimmar was the main setting for the Garrosh side of the story, obviously. A fire takes place while Thrall is still the Warchief and parts of Orgimmar need to be rebuilt. He leaves this to Garrosh. The main point I wanted to make was that when the Dev’s showed a picture of Orgimmar and said this should look familiar. Everyone jumped to the Ice Crown Citadel saronite conclusion but maybe the Dev’s were pointing to a Hellfire Citadel-esque kind of design.
Not much to be said here that I haven’t already covered. Old Ironforge opened. Yes. Thunderbrew Distillery collapsed. I’m iffy about it.
I thought this novel would have been a great place to introduce Troll druids and Night Elf mages into the picture, even a mention about Sunwalking Taurens but not even a mention about our long-eared frostbolting friends. I would hope that there is an even about this at some point in the game.
Well these are my opinion about the book. If you haven’t read it, I urge you to go pick up a copy even if you just read though this entire post and you know what happens. Christie did a fantastic job making it feel like your playing in Azeroth instead of just reading it. If you have read the book I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about it.