When you see the title Wolfheart, coupled with piercing human eyes, you think "My name is Varian Wrynn, but I am also Lo'Gosh." And you would be right, except Varian's story is not the plot of this book. The plot is the Horde's encroachment into the Night Elves' Ashenvale led by Garrosh Hellscream. Varian is a major player and even the key to saving Ashenvale, but he is in the book much less than one would think. Varian's story is more focused on his interactions with the worgen and his quest to fully embody the spirit of Lo'Gosh.Wolfheart is action-packed. Lots of death and destruction. A large subplot revolves around Maiev and Jarod Shadowsong. It seems Maiev has sunken further into madness than anyone new and is at the heart of a major deception concerning the Highborne. She is a bizarre character and very enjoyable to read.Other Warcraft characters of note are: High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage of Darnassus, and Genn Greymane of GilneasI gave it max stars because it kept me engaged and it was so action-packed I didn't have time to be annoyed by whiny characters or Knaack's writing style.
There is a mighty battle between Varian with his sword Shalla'tor the Shadow Render and Garrosh with his father's ax Gorehowl. (However, in my opinion, the fight between Jaina and Thrall in Tides of War was far more exciting and poignant.) There is a lot going on in that battle scene and I have to give Knaack's props for keeping it all together.
I super enjoyed Scott Brick. He has a magical way about him. A few of his female voices made me smile.
It is oddly wonderful to see Jaina, who always plays the goodie two-shoes diplomat, really go off the rails. After the destruction of Theramore, Jaina is hellbent on the complete annihilation of Orgrimmar. (Yes, there are civilians and even an orphanage there; she doesn't care.) The magical battle between Jaina and Thrall (arguably her most kindred spirit in all of Azeroth) is shocking and epic. The love story between her and Kalecgos is believable and overdue for her storyline. All of Jaina's past "relationships" have been questionable, if not utterly horrific--Kael'thas, Thrall, Arthas...Talk about unlucky in love!
Lots of solid Warcraft characters span the pages: Thrall and Kalecgos, as I've mentioned; Anduin and Varian Wrynn make short appearances; Kinndy Sparkshine, Tervosh and Pained in Theramore; and Vereesa Windrunner and Rhonin. There are also a number of familiar locations: Tidefury Cove, Theramore, Northwatch Hold, and Fray Island.
The Horde, of course, complete the puzzle with their own cast of characters, most notably Garrosh Hellscream, Baine Bloodhoof, and Vol'jin. You can very much sense how trapped Baine and Vol'jin feel by Garrosh's increasing madness and megalomania.
Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War is the best Christie Golden novel that I have read in the Warcraft series. I loved her style first in Rise of the Horde. And, frankly, I prefer her style to Richard A. Knaack.
Justine Eyre had quite a feat ahead of her narrating Garrosh, Baine, and Vol'jin and she did it well.
I was getting bored with the War of the Ancients Archive, so I skipped ahead to Tides of War due to the release of Mists of Pandaria and it's scenerio for Theramore. Now, I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment of the Warcraft novels! And it's inspired me to read Wolfheart and Stormrage ASAP.
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