Christie Golden is hands down my favourite Warcraft novelisation author of the bunch. She has consistently produced quality novels that are head and shoulders above the rest, particularly the recently-released Illidan novel. So when I picked up this prequel novel to the upcoming Warcraft movie I had high expectations, and a whole crapload of anticipation.
Durotan is the story of a young orcish chieftain who is forced to choose between a relatively easy option, and fighting the very elements to keep his clan alive, during a cataclysmic event in the planet’s history. His name, and many of the other characters will be familiar to anyone who has played the Warcraft games – and this predominantly refers to the Real Time Strategy games, rather than World of Warcraft. Golden slides the reader easily into the world, filled with threats from magical and environmental sources, and does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters.
I’m not going to say that this is a novel that will reach most mainstream people. Let’s be honest, if you aren’t at least gamingly-inclined, you aren’t likely to be aware, or more than moderately interested in the world of Warcraft. (no pun intended) This is about as mainstream fantasy as I feel the Warcraft novels have gone, in my opinion. Although it helps to know some of the background, I had forgotten much of the ‘lore’ that it references, but at other times I could see what was coming, and was interested to see how we got there.
The ending was quite the cliffhanger – although as it’s a prequel, I guess it makes sense – and I am very keen to read the novelisation of the movie by this author, as well as see the movie when it comes out.