Last September 14th I bought two books from Booksale SM Mall of Asia branch. The first book is the 3d part of the Star Trek: Invasion series which started in the days of The Original Series, then continued on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, which ended on the Gamma Quadrant with Voyager. The second book is Blizzard Entertainment‘s WarCraft Day of the Dragon.
This is the story that truly changed the course of history of the Humans, the Elves, the Dwarves, and all the other races that now lives on the Planet of Azeroth, including the Dragons. This story shows us how different ordinary individuals embarked on a perilous quest (an insane quest at that!) which saved the Alliance, the Red Dragonflight, and returned the full power of the Dragon Aspects. A journey which at the end, added to the rage of the Black Dragon Aspect – he that will cause a cataclysmic devastation on Azeroth in the future… in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
This is not just their story but also the story of Deathwing himself…
I already read the Star Trek: Invasion series years ago but it was only last Monday that I bought the third book, but what I really enjoyed no matter how much of a Trekker I am, is being immersed and seeing the world of WarCraft in a deeper and detailed experience or perspective. I first entered the world of WarCraft way back 1994 when the first game of the franchise was released – WarCraft: Orcs & Humans, I was a 12 years old, Grade 6 Elementary student at that time. I continued playing each WarCraft release, all for the sake of the story since then. There was WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness and WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal; then WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos and WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. Of course I played World of Warcraft, the MMORPG version of this IP.
But, after all that, after controlling the heroes and after meeting them in-game, it was all just not immersive enough. I still know that these characters I see on my screen monitor are nothing but static NPCs (by that I mean, they are limited to the programmer’s parameters). There is no depth. They are all just a shell. Standing and waving in-front of my character to give me quests so I can level up. At the end, I do not know who these important figures are and why they have the authority to order me around instead of me ordering them.
That is what made Day of the Dragon very powerful to me. Richard A. Knaak did not fail in bringing the world of WarCraft alive and breathing! But also for the first time ever, I have entered world of Warcraft through the eyes of the heroes, and I have met their enemies by swinging swords that can truly kill and by weaving deadly magical spells that will surely not bring anyone back to life. Graveyards are for real, it is gameover.
“Yesss, we have come! And if thisss party takesss much longer, perhapsss I shall go, too! I’ve much to gather, much to catalog—”
“Much to babble about, much to babble about!” mocked Malygos from high up.
Nozdormu raised a withered yet strong hand toward the jester, who flashed his daggerlike nails at the hooded figure. The two looked ready to come to blows, both physical and otherwise, but the ghostly woman came between them.
“And this is why Deathwing has nearly triumphed,” she murmured.
The two reluctantly backed down. Ysera turned to face everyone, her eyes still closed.
Richard A. Knaak brought his expertise in dragon and fantasy story-telling from DragonLance, and he surpassed his DragonLance works with this one, which further added to the whole magic. He was able to put into words and add more detail to what you and I have seen in the game, details that only a person who is literally standing in that world can see. He was able to capture my imagination and materialize this world, a world that I have known and yet it is not; and feel what these characters felt and relate to them.
I can say today, after reading this magnificent book, that I now know who Rhonin is and why he is deserving to be the leader of Dalaran and the Kirin Tor today. I can also say that I witnessed the formation of the love that will bind Rhonin and Vereesa Windrunner together (which gave birth to twin Half-Elves). I have also seen more clearer than ever how and why the Alliance always bicker amongst themselves (which ironically, the Alliance players unknowingly role-play).
There is now also a depth to the characters who played a role in this book, a depth that I will remember every time I see them in-game. Their virtual shells and limited capabilities will cease to be just another bit of zeroes and ones. Instead of seeing what Neo sees in the Matrix, I now see the person (or the dragon) that they are. They are real people.
And of course, a new deeper knowledge about the enmity of Alexstrasza towards her brother Deathwing was gained, which will prepare me to better understand and enjoy the story and events that will ultimately lead to the Cataclym. The whys and whos answered, all in this one book Day of the Dragon.
This is a must read book. Putting it in the DragonLance tradition, this is the first in the Classic core novels. After this, one should read (and I am stll going to buy these) the following: Lord of the Clans, The Last Guardian, and Of Blood and Honor. Then continue with World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon, Richard A. Knaak’s sequel to Day of the Dragon.