Updated Wed, Jul 27, 2011 by Xerin
Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
“Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects” is the latest novel in the World of Warcraft novel series. It is written by Christie Golden, a current WoW novel veteran, and covers the story of Thrall (before patch 4.2) as he rushes to both heal and save Azeroth along with the various dragonflights. Is the book worth your weekend or is this one doomed to sit in the “maybe another time” list? Let’s find out.
Let’s face it; Thrall is the poster Orc for WoW, nay, the Warcraft franchise. He is the single most important character in the story right now and has been since Warcraft III. He’s been involved in most of the wars, gone on several major adventures, and most recently involved with the Earthen Ring after giving up position of Warchief to Garrosh.
So it would make a lot of sense to give him his own book, right? Well, Blizzard and the geniuses behind their novel franchise thought so and in turn gave us “Thrall” which many of us now have sitting on our bookshelves. What is the book you ask? Well, it’s a lot of things, but it’s mostly a mix between a love story and an epic personal adventure of one of the coolest Orcs in town.
For a Warcraft book though, it is a bit different, as it focuses only on Thrall from start to finish. There are no side plots, side stories, or anything else. It’s Thrall, his inner monologue, and the adventure he’s currently on. He’s on a journey to discover himself, yet again, and to help save Azeroth (yet again). This time though we get to see it from his point of view including his own personal thoughts, which greatly help flesh his character out beyond everything we’ve already seen.
The book starts out with a brief recap of the Cataclysm book (you know, the one where he went and meet Aggra) and then takes us through a journey across Kalimdor, Northrend, and time itself. You’ll get to see guest appearances by Medivh, the dragons, and tons of other famous WoW characters as Thrall works his way through his encompassing adventure.
Like I said though, this is a book focused purely on Thrall. If you’re not a big fan then you might be turned off by the sheer amount of content focused on him. Fans of the Dragons will be glad to know that they plan the primary part in the book and the entire Dragon cast is involved from start to finish (including some major revolutions, such as the new Blue Aspect).
So, let’s take a look at the book. I’ve tried so far not to spoiler anything, so we’ll just reference the key points. Is this book a good book? Yes, it is, but there are a few things you need to know. First, this book is short (like many of the WoW novels). It is at about 300 pages and rather pricy. It retails for $26, but you can pick it up for about $15 online (or it’ll usually be on sale when you get it at the book store for about $20ish). So you’re not going to get a lot of bang for your book.
Thrall has changed a lot throughout the years.
What bang is there is good, though, and well worth reading. I found myself engaged and in love with the storyline and even as Thrall was moving through time I didn’t get confused, which is normal for any book that starts talking about time travel. More importantly, you don’t even need to read Cataclysm to understand the story; the start does an amazing recap of events up until now.
Yet, the book does come a bit rushed. You’ve got a huge journey, spanning time and Kalimdor, and just 300 pages for it with a huge chunk dedicated to just starting off. So if you’re the kind that wants a very verbose book this isn’t for you. However, I feel that it’s one of the best traits of the book. I love things that move quickly and keep me engaged and this book hits the spot.
So, in summary, if you’re looking for a good book with a good story that moves at a very hasty pace then this is a book for you, especially if you’re a Warcraft fan. If you want a long, verbose book that covers a broad number of subjects and plot lines then you’ll be better off checking out Cataclysm which is a much more generic, all-encompassing book.
As for the quality of the writing style, I would say (and some may argue against me) that it's superb. The book flows naturally, although it is very rushed, from page to page. The details are written well enough to give you a sense of the action without drowning you in boring details. Compared to other books in the WoW series this is defiantly less fan-fiction and more real fiction, but again, it's short and fast, which for some is a big downfall.
What are your thoughts? Think that Thrall shouldn’t get his own book or have you read it and can’t wait for more? Leave your questions, thoughts, or comments below.