Book Review: Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaak

Another Warcraft novel, finally done! I’m working my way through all of them, and now I only have 4 left before I’m done.

To me, Warcraft is probably the greatest fantasy universe ever created. Even next to The Lord of The Rings, and A Song Of Ice And Fire, and so many other epic stories, Warcraft still remains number one to me. It’s just so incredibly vast, having played the RTS games since I was a kid, having spent countless hours playing the MMO, and now nearly having read all the books, there’s still always just so many cool new stories to learn. There’s ancient creation lore, there’s histories of massive wars that happened 10,000 years ago, there’s mythologies and legends, as well as all the stories of the minor characters that happen in the present. And it’s constantly evolving, constantly changing and moving on and on and on. I just never get sick of it.

This book is Alliance centered. (For those of you who doesn’t know the Warcraft universeand I promise I won’t go on about itbut the Alliance is one of the large factions, comprised of humans, dwarves, gnomes, worgen, draenei, and night elves. The opposing faction is the Horde, which consists of orcs, trolls, tauren, the forsaken, goblins, and blood elves.) Personally, I find the Horde much more interesting, but I don’t mind reading about the Alliance now and again, they have some good stories.

There’s a few different story lines going on here. First, there’s a gathering in Darnassus, home to the night elves. All the races of the Alliance are invited, and they have much to discuss. At the same time, Jarod and Maiev Shadowsong run into some trouble. Variann Wrynn, King of Stormwind does some soul-searching in the forests of Darnassus, as do his son, Anduin. Some night elves stationed in Ashenvale run into unforeseen trouble. All the while, orc ships are making their way from Northrend to Kalimdor, carrying some dangerous and valuable cargo.

I think that’s all I’ll say about the plot, because going into detail will start spoiling it. But just know that there’s lots of stuff going on, plenty of mystery, intrigue, drama, and fighting.

There are many authors who write Warcraft novels, and usually, Knaak isn’t my favorite. In my opinion, due to my tastes, Christie Golden does them best. There’s just something about her writing that I respond to, compared to Knaak’s which I tend to find a bit drawn out, and slow-going. It’s the same with this book: great set-up and intriguing plot, but the middle feels drawn out and slow. It comes together really well at the end, when the pace quickens though.

I enjoyed that I learned a lot of new things about the Warcraft universe from this book, things I don’t think I’ve heard of from the games (though, I am quite out of the loop on that front). Maybe it’s because I’m not that fond of the Alliance, because there’s much of the backstory of Varian, Jarod, Maiev, and Genn Greymane that I didn’t know at all.

In conclusion, this isn’t the strongest of the Warcraft novels, maybe because I don’t particularly like Knaak’s style and the Alliance, but it’s still a hefty story that fires on all cylinders and even took me by surprise.

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