Series: World of Warcraft #11
Published by Gallery Books on August 28th 2012
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository • Bookworld
The ashes of the Cataclysm have settled across Azeroth’s disparate kingdoms. As the broken world recovers from the disaster, the renowned sorceress Lady Jaina Proudmoore continues her long struggle to mend relations between the Horde and the Alliance. Yet of late, escalating tensions have pushed the two factions closer to open war, threatening to destroy what little stability remains.
Dark news arrives in Jaina’s beloved city, Theramore. One of the blue dragonflight’s most powerful artifacts—the Focusing Iris—has been stolen. To unravel the item’s mysterious whereabouts, Jaina works with the former blue Dragon Aspect Kalecgos. The two brilliant heroes forge an unlikely bond during their investigation, but another disastrous turn of events looms on the horizon. . . .
Garrosh Hellscream is mustering the Horde’s armies for an all-out invasion of Theramore. Despite mounting dissent within his faction, the brazen warchief aims to usher in a new era of Horde domination. His thirst for conquest leads him to take brutal measures against anyone who dares question his leadership.
Alliance forces converge on Theramore to repel the Horde onslaught, but the brave defenders are unprepared for the true scope of Garrosh’s cunning and deceptive strategy. His attack will irrevocably transform Jaina, engulfing the ardent peacekeeper in the chaotic and all-consuming . . . TIDES OF WAR
Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War was released just before the launch of Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft‘s fifth expansion, and coincided with a scenario in-game in which players take part in the major battle from either the Alliance (Theramore’s Fall) or Horde (Theramore’s Fall) sides. By the way, if you’re still a player, you can currently still experience this scenario by visiting Lorewalker Fu in the Seat of Knowledge in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
If you listen to our podcast or have been reading this blog for a while, you might already know that Philippa and I played WoW for many years (and both blogged about Resto Druids, hence the “Treetops” in our blog name!). So, after having played through the event back in 2012, I vaguely remembered what was going to happen in this book, but I had forgotten most of the details. That made it almost impossible to put down in the second half, because I couldn’t remember who was actually going to make it out the other side of the major battles.
We hear the story of the fall of Theramore from several sides, both on the Alliance side with Jaina, from the Horde side with Baine Bloodhoof and from the blue dragon, Kalecgos. We see the development of the unrest within the Horde leading into the Pandaria expansion, and the start of the war that raged on that continent. It was an important part of the history of Azeroth, and I rather wish I had read this book at that time, to get the full story about the pre-expansion events.
Christie Golden’s writing does tend to be on the flowery and overly-dramatic side, but she does capture the emotions of the situations well. She also manages to bring out some of the day-to-day happenings in familiar settings. We usually only get to talk to Jaina or Thrall during serious quest lines or in the middle of a raid, but here we see Jaina sitting down to eat some conjured cakes and having a chat with Anduin through the magic mirror. We also see the very real effect the events have on her and the other characters on both sides, rather than just her suddenly erratic behaviour in later in-game quests.
My favourite fan-fiction from the late-Cataclysm era and afterwards is the Warchief’s Command Board, which is still going strong, blogging directly from the desk of Garrosh Hellscream himself! It’s rather hilarious, and paints the ex-warchief as more of a long-suffering commander surrounded by idiots. In Tides of War, Garrosh is portrayed more as a hot-headed and arrogant arse, which I suppose is how he’s meant to come across in-game as well.
Tides of War comes highly recommended if you’re a Warcraft fan. These books really help to enrich the lore of the Warcraft universe and are a great way to learn about it without resorting to reading WoWWiki pages. It was a fast read and made me want to pay a visit to the game again, after some time away!
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