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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2011
"Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects" is a book that might be unique in the WarCraft franchise in that it is a story about intimate, personal journeys. The tale centers around Thrall who, questioning his recent decisions and uncertain whether he is doing the right thing, finds his focus fragmented and his ability to contribute to the Earthen Ring's efforts at the Maelstrom hampered. Ysera the Awakened (formerly the Dreamer) comes to the former Warchief in this period of doubt and gives him a seemingly simple task to perform that, as Thrall learns more, morphs into something far larger with the fate of the dragonflights and the future of the world at stake as the Twilight's Hammer Cult prepares to awaken a new weapon of terrifying power. Only by standing together can the dragons defeat this threat, but the unity of the Wyrmrest Accord has been shattered following Malygos's death and the dragonflights and their leaders are in disarray: Ysera's dreaming has given her visions of the future that even she doesn't fully understand, Nozdormu is lost in the Timeways, Alexstrasza has succumbed to grief, and the Blues are divided over who should be their next Aspect. To save Azeroth Thrall must help the dragonflights overcome these wounds and their divisions and, in doing so, rediscover who he truly is.

Christie Golden is this story's author and quickly demonstrates that, nearly 10 years after first introducing Thrall to the WarCraft universe in the novel "Lord of the Clans," she still understands this character and that there is still space for Thrall's identity to change and grow. Moreover, Golden structures the narrative so that, above and beyond the basic plot of Thrall uniting the dragonflights against the Twilight's Hammer's dark scheme, the challenges the Aspects are struggling with reflect Thrall's own. Ysera is confused by how things are supposed to fit together, Nozdormu has become so obsessed with the past and future that he can no longer find himself in the present, Alexstrasza is paralyzed by her mournful sorrow, and Aspect-candidate Kalecgos is afraid that becoming something new will fundamentally change who he is. In helping and healing them Thrall has the opportunity to help and heal himself, and this multi-layered approach to storytelling where the external and internal mirror each other gives this novel an emotional power that few books in the WarCraft series have attained.

At the same time, while the Twilight's Hammer are in some ways secondary to the central and intrinsically personal heart of the story, they pose a legitimate threat to the protagonists that brings past and present elements of WarCraft history together in their new weapon. And, just as Golden did for Aedelas Blackmoore back in "Lord of the Clans," the main antagonist of this novel, a man known as the Twilight Father, is more than the sum of his parts. He is despicable but compelling, cowardly yet powerful, and unsettlingly intelligent and dangerous. The revelation of his true identity near the end of the book could have used more grounding in the story because those who don't play World of WarCraft might not recognize him, but otherwise he is an effective villain that stands out in a tale filled with such large and well-known characters as Thrall and the Aspects.

"Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects" is at its strongest when it focuses on the implicit parallels and relationships between its title character and those he encounters and lets actions and events speak for themselves, such as the unspoken yet poignant meaning of what transpires when Thrall meets Alexstrasza for the second time. It is at its weakest when these character explorations are rushed to advance the Twilight plot and when the story feels like set-up for future MMO Cataclysm patches because, for all that happens here, Deathwing and the climax of what began in Christie Golden's previous WarCraft novel, "The Shattering," are saved presumably for the current World of Warcraft expansion's conclusion. In a certain way, though, this is appropriate because this is a story of journeys, and while Thrall travels far in this book his journey -- both personal and otherwise -- is still ongoing.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2011
As Metzen said in a comment to another review, this obviously happens prior to patch 4.2. There is some parallel with the journey Thrall goes through in the 4.2 questline (in fact, it's kind of hard to see how he would have to deal with his issues yet again after the events of the book), but there are always going to be issues translating between the formats of book and game. That would also be why the character mentioned dead is still in the game in some places. You'll also notice you can go to Nagrand to Sholazar Basin to Sethria's Roost and see Hemit Nesingwary in all three places within minutes. Just because a character occurs in a previous part of the game doesn't mean the story hasn't advanced and things are different for them in the current storyline.

Issues of games versus books aside, this was a pretty fun read. If you're reading it, you're most likely a Warcraft fan who wants to continue to follow the story of the various characters, and Thrall is one of the most beloved characters in the Warcraft universe. The book delivers on that promise. More backstory is filled in and it certainly made me look at some in-game events in a different light. That said, it's extremely short. I finished over 90% of it during one single milling session. I'm a pretty fast reader, but even so, a book that takes me only two or three hours to read is definitely low on the value for my money scale. The Warcraft books need to be longer or the Kindle prices much, much lower. A physical paperback costs less than the ebook versions of a lot of these!
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2011
This is a heart felt powerful book that really delved into who thrall is, not just game plotting. I was very pleased. I actually do think it synchs nicely with the game unlike what others are saying. This book really tied together the shattering, lord of the clans, and warcraft 3, and thrall's story in game. must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 31, 2011
Thrall Twilight Of The Aspects by Christie Golden

This is another World of Warcraft novels. This time Thrall the Orc is questing for the lands of Azeroth and specifically for the green Dragon Aspect, Ysera.

Somehow I think books should come first and then the game but in the real world to get young boys to read you do what you can. If this series encourages boys to read then it is well worth the effort.

Never having played World of WarCraft I feel like I am at a serious disadvantage in reading this book. I am sure that advocates of the game will welcome the rich and colorful details that the can experience in a book focused on their favorite game. I do not care how careful and what level of expertise programmers bring to a rpg game, they can not expect to exceed the infinite expression of imagination. Reading this book can provide a more satisfying gaming experience with Golden's excellent character development and screen painting.

For me, the book wasn't particularly intriguing but for the World of WarCraft aficionado I suspect this will be a must have book.

I recommend the book for World of WarCraft gamers.
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on November 13, 2012
Another Christie Golden novel. That sums it up. No matter how many times I've said it, it will never be enough: Christie Golden is as boring as hell and is a taint on Blizzard's name. She manages to transform a magical universe with deep and interesting characters into a very simple and tasteless world.

I purchased this novel knowing all this because I am one of the craziest Blizzard fans. I knew what I was getting into, but at least I expected some insightful lore, for example some insight into Deathwing's feeling and motives, or at least an elegant story about the aspects and the dragons which meshes together with the lore found within the game itself; But I found none. No significant lore events, long boring conversations, and the usual moment in Golden's books where she keeps building up to a mysterious puzzle or prophecy, only to resolve it with a very silly and simple revelation that is treated like the ultimate 'Eureka'.

As usual the races all feel very similar and flattened. Golden keeps stressing on the fact that the dragons are different from the other races and have their own perspectives of the universe, but ironically she fails the most in giving them any sense of uniqueness. The dragons feel like very normal humans in regards to personalities and thoughts.

Unless you have a compulsive need to buy anything and everything that is remotely affiliated with Blizzard, avoid this novel at all costs.
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on September 27, 2014
Since I'm trying to get back into the game, I decided to read one of the books. Despite feeling my throat tighten as I read the first few pages, (for the most part) I really enjoyed this book.
The fight scenes fired me up since they are so well written. I continue to like Aggra since she's still willing to criticize Thrall. I really liked the part where Kirygosa managed to escape her imprisonment. I think some parts gave me a warm feeling as I read them.
The only part that I wouldn't want to say that I liked was when Alexstrasza first refused to return to Dragonblight. I could only sympathize with her since she had just lost her last consort, her eggs, and her sanctum. Even when she threatened to harm Thrall, I still sympathized with her.
Now there are three things that I didn't like about this novel. The first was that stupid phrase towards the beginning of the novel. The second thing was the two mistakes that I caught. However, they weren't big mistakes. The third thing was learning that there's a timeline when Thrall died. I was just worried that he wouldn't return to Aggra.
Overall, if you are a fan of the game or books, I definitely recommend this.
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on June 7, 2015
The title of this book is very misleading. Being a fan of Thrall, I was excited to jump right in and read more about him. However, after the prologue, there is never a mention of him again through the rest of the story. Instead the main characters are Kalec, Jaina, and the four Aspects.
Unwillingly using a mysterious artifact, Kalec's mind goes back in time to before there was the Four Aspects. Riding piggy back with Malygos, Kalec learns more about the ancestors of dragon- the protodragons- and how eventually four of them become the Aspects. Unfortunately, the artifacts has dangerous side affects that require the assistance of Jaina to counteract.
As a stand alone novel, this was interesting to read. However I fail to see how it fits into World of Warcraft story-line. It really did not do anything to progress the story as a whole forward. The prologue did not even seem to have anything to do with the rest of the book and in fact, made the first part of it rather confusing.
If you are just looking for a little side reading for entertainment, I would suggest this book. Otherwise, I would say just skip over this book entirely.
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on August 25, 2011
If you are a fan of the warcraft universe or series then I would say if you have money to spare go ahead and get this book. But overall as a reader I found many of the characters lacking draw to them either with over the top personalities or just to many dragons. This book was dragons dragons and more dragons with Thrall as the go between. It seemed to carry on rather then sweep the reader off their feet. Out of this particular author's work that I have read I would say "The Shattering" was a much better and entertaining book by her. I would say this book is something you check out read and move on it is not worth the money to own something you might regret later for purchasing.
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on July 31, 2015
Really well written, each of the main characters has a weight to them. Making them easy to relate too. The story was well thought out and contained plenty for the hardcore World of Warcraft fan to really bite into the lore, to have those moments of 'so that is what caused this'.or the 'I have been there and seen that' moment. It also provides enough of a story for the novice to step into that world.and still enjoy, maybe even create another fan of the content and or the author.

Over all it is a must read for the WoW fan community , and a worthy read for the fantasy oriented
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on August 21, 2011
As an avid World of Warcraft lore buff, I could hardly put this one down. Several monumental changes happen to the world of Azeroth, primarily focusing on the dragon aspects and next chapter of Thrall's life. The only dissonant mark I'd put against the book is the cruelly quick, undramatic and arbitrary death of one of the most iconic heroes in WoW novels, but I won't spoil it for you. If you're interested in the story of the World of Warcraft at all, read this book!
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