The Shattering: Review and Insights

This will be our first book review, so please bare with us as it might be a little clumsy have some spoilers…. Therefore if you plan on reading this book think again about going through this topic.

The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm

The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm is the latest World of Warcraft novel written by Christie Golden. The events presented in this book take place between the Fall of the Lich King and the start of the new expansion, Cataclysm.


The main plot of this novel takes you, the reader, to the shores of Northrend, to the Orgrimmar and Stormwind, to Ironforge and Thunder Bluff and also let’s not forget about Nagrand, deep into the Outland.

The main characters you’ll meet here are: Thrall and Garrosh, who just returned from his Northrend campaign, Varian and his son Anduin, who is grown up and learns how to be a future king and Cairne and his son Baine who struggles to keep the tauren’s safe.


After Garrosh‘s return form Northrend and his welcoming ceremony, Thrall must name someone else Warchief of the Horde, because he needs to go back to Outland to find answers about the latest uncooperative elements. As a shaman he has to do something to protect his people and the entire world of Azeroth.


After consulting with his friends Cairne and Jaina, he takes the decision to leave Azeroth and to leave Garrosh in command, even if most of the people do not agree, because of Garrosh‘s age and temper.

Soon after Thall‘s departure, a friendly druids meeting between night elfs and taurens goes terribly wrong when a bunch of orcs kills every single one of them. Cairne finds out about it, blames Garrosh for this and challenges him to a death match. Grimtotem tribe manages to deceive both Garrosh and Cairne, so Cairne looses his live in that battle. Right at the same time an attack starts in Thunder Bluff and other tauren settlements, the main objective being the death of Cairne‘s son, Baine.

After a double treachery he manages to escape.

Baine, helped by the remaining taurens, Jaina, Anduin and goblins manage to retake Thunder Bluff and banish the Grimtotem tribe.

Even if Garrosh killed his father, Baine, guided by Jaina and Anduin, decides to listen to reason and does what is best for his people and for the Horde.



On the other side, Alliance struggle with its own problems with elementals and with some rumors that Horde broke the just signed treaty and slaughtered some Silverwing Sentinels in Ashenvale. Almost everyone, including Horde people suspected Garrosh to be behind this incident.

Varian sends his son Anduin to his aunt Jaina at first and afterwards to King Magni Bronzebeard in Ironforge. There Anduin assists to some violent earthquakes where he looses his trainer and friend. Magni decides to give the young prince an ancient weapon, Fearbreaker.

Later on, a ritual takes place below Ironforge, in the Old Ironforge, conducted by King Magni. He wanted to speak with Azeroth and find answers regrind the last events. The ritual might have worked, he actually managed to hear something, but at the same time he was crystallized and lost his life in the process.

Everyone was shocked by the loss and all the races, including the Horde, set their representatives to honor the King of Ironforge.

Moira, King Magni’s daughter, returns with a bunch of Dark Iron dwarfs to take her rightful place in Ironforge after her father’s death. The way she did that, by closing up the city and by throwing some innocents in jail made Varian angry. He wanted to infiltrate the city and assassinate the princess, but Anduin manage to return in time to stop his father. Everyone agrees to watch the new Ironforge Queen, guide her and split her power between dwarf clans.

Thrall returns, after his shamanic initiation in Nagrand and after he finally finds his soul mate. The lost of his friend Cairne hurt him deeply, but he decides to leave Garrosh in his place while he travels towards Maelstrom to try to tend the world wounds and to find out who will be responsible for the World Break.

Personal Review

I’ll try not to compare this book with the old ones, even if you can see it as a new volume created in addition to everything that was before.

This is the kind of book that you will struggle to stop reading to grab something to eat. It took me about 8-9 hours to finish reading it and take notes for this review, and I must admit I’m not an English native speaker.

The plot keeps you alert all the time and you are always eager to find out what will happen next and to see how things will work out.

If I’d make a Book vs. Game comparison I’d say I love the book better. There are simply a lot more elements in here. I admit there would be kind of impossible to see them all in the game, in the pre-Cataclysm event that takes place in-game. Most of the elements are there, of course, but to fully understand what is going on you really should read the book.

The quality of the book is pretty good and the cover and the artwork is AWESOME. It is an easy read, nothing really challenging, even as a foreign reader. I’d suggest everyone to read it in English, even if I have non idea if there are some translated versions of it, because this is the way you can “feel” the story exactly how Christie Golden wrote it.

It was nice to see Horde and Alliance, working on the same task, even if they are so different, but I think after their efforts against the Lich King this is not so strange anymore.


Even if you are not a Lore fanatic I warmly suggest you to read this novel. Think about it as a first Epic you get in Cataclysm. 😉

Have you already read the novel or do you plan to? What do you think about it? Tell us your opinions about this book.

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  • Goht

    hm why i have the feeling your playing alliance lucifer?^^(ok i know it already but assume i dont know it) *thinking about* 😉

    *spoilers incoming*

    actually i dont know if this is in the novel or not(didnt read it yet) but it would be good to mention specially for “horde lore freaks” that garrosh is not really a bad guy(like the most people think), as far as i know he is shocked about how the fight against cairne ends because he didnt know that his blad was poisened by magatha and he refuses to help her on the thunderbluff attack to kill baine(actually i dont know if he helps to defend thunderbluff)

    maybe you can add this to the horde part to a more complete round up if this is all right what i wrote^^

  • Loky

    Yes, he had no idea what Grimtorem did and he did not helped on Thunder Bluff attack. But he did not helped Baine either on Thunder Bluff siege, he just wanted to see Magatha's head on a pike or something like that telling her that she is on her own…

    He also had nothing to do with the killing of those druids and those sentinels, but the others were sure he was behind all that. That's why Cairne challenged him.

    I don't think I say he is a bad guy, but everyone except Thrall was against Thrall's decision on allowing him to rule over horde while he was gone.

    Oh and I don't play only alliance. I dps as Alliance and heal as Horde 😀