I love Warcraft books. Not just because I love the Warcraft series, but because these books are to be the perfect idea of what a fantasy book should be. They flesh out what happens between takes of the MMORPG, World of Warcraft, yes, but they’re also their own adventure on their own (obviously).
The shattering sets up what happens between the third and fourth expansion of the game, The Wrath of The Lich King and Cataclysm. Without giving anything away, Cataclysm sees a lot of thing change in Azeroth, physically. (It’s kind of right there, in the name).
The Wrath of the Lich King left the world of Azeroth recuperating from a war, against (you guessed it), the Lich King. If you’re interested in who he is, you can go back and read my review of “Arthas, Rise of The Lich King.” But it’s not really important anymore when we get to this book. It’s over, The Horde and The Alliance are done fighting, they’re going home, going back to being at peace, mending their wounded, picking up their old lives.
But there’s strange things happening. Natural catastrophes–floods, earthquakes, you get the gist. Thrall, Warchief of the Horde, and Shaman of the elements, decides to go to his homeland of Nagrand, to figure out how he can communicate with element and learn what’s disturbing Azeroth. He leaves Garrosh Hellscream in charge of The Horde. If you know anything at all about Garrosh before this point, you’re probably thinking “oh-oh.” Garrosh is an incredible warrior, no doubt about it, he’s probably also a great leader on the battlefield, when steel is clashing against steel and everything is chaos. But in a world of peace? A world of diplomacy and discussion? Not my first choice.
At the same time, Anduin Wrynn, Prince of, and heir to Stormwind, would-be leader of the Alliance, is learning his way in the world in Ironforge, hosted by Magni Bronzebeard, King of the Dwarves. But when an old relic is discovered, and a ritual is completed, Ironforge is turned upside down, Anduin caught in the middle of all of it. The worst of it is, it seems, the Prince has no way out of it.
I knew a lot of the plot of this from playing the game, but I love the attention to detail, and the fleshing out of the plot that these novels give you. It two opposing factions struggle with both separate and yet shared troubles, at the dawn of what will come to be known as The Cataclysm. And it’s glorious.