Sunday, February 19, 2006

World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred Review

World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred is another novel set in Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft universe. It is set after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and prior to World of Warcraft, and its primary purpose is to further explain the renewed hostilities between the Alliance and the Horde.

In the first and second Warcraft titles, the Orc Horde was sent to the world of Azeroth to ravage its denizens in preparation for an invasion of the Demonic Burning Legion, however ultimately the Orcs fails and were placed in camps and enslaved by Humans.

Due to these wars, Humans and Orcs have always hated one another, however in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos they ultimately allied with each other and the reclusive Night Elves to defeat the invading Legion and their Undead minions, the Scourge.

Now free of Demonic corruption and Human enslavement, the Orcs and Humans developed an unwritten truth and settled close to one another on the western continent of Kalimdor.

However it would appear that old hatreds die hard, and World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred centres around increasing hostilities and trade disputes that threaten to lead into all out war with the two factions. The Archmage Jaina Proudmoore, leader of the Human refugees that settled upon Theramore island, and Warchief Thrall, leader of the Horde, are faced with what at first appear to be petty conflicts, but soon find that a larger, more sinister force is plotting to turn the Orcs and Humans back against one another.

The novel features many of the creatures and indeed some of the key characters from the Warcraft series of games, and it's interesting to read a universe generally focused on war and huge scale battles shift to one of mystery and almost a detective styled plot. Interestingly enough, we even have some questions regarding the Warcraft universe answered that have been around for about a decade, questions I thought that would never be addressed.

If your looking for a good fantasy novel, and happen to be a fan of the Warcraft franchise, than World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred is a good read. Furthermore, it really does do an admirable job of explaining the re-newed hostilities between the Orc and Human factions, an important topic I felt was brushed upon much too lightly in the games that the main story line takes place in.

Also note that Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred features a preview of the upcoming novel, StarCraft: Ghost - Nova. The excerpt is well written and I am looking forward to this book. Night Dragon has posted half that excerpt in the comments section of this post here, if you feel so inclined.

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