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Warcraft: Lord of the Clans [Mass Market Paperback]

Christie Golden
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2001 Warcraft (Book 2)
In the mist-shrouded haze of the past, the world of Azeroth teemed with wondrous creatures of every kind. Mysterious Elves and hardy Dwarves walked among tribes of Man in relative peace and harmony -- until the arrival of the demonic army known as the Burning Legion shattered the world's tranquility forever. Now Orcs, Dragons, Goblins, and Trolls all vie for supremacy over the scattered, warring kingdoms -- part of a grand, malevolent scheme that will determine the fate of the world of
WARCRAFT
Slave. Gladiator. Shaman. Warchief. The enigmatic Orc known as Thrall has been all of these. Raised from infancy by cruel human masters who sought to mold him into their perfect pawn, Thrall was driven by both the savagery in his heart and the cunning of his upbringing to pursue a destiny he was only beginning to understand -- to break his bondage and rediscover the ancient traditions of his people. Now the tumultuous tale of his life's journey -- a saga of honor, hatred, and hope -- can at last be told....

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Christie Golden has written more than forty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Among her many projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels and several original fantasy novels. An avid player of World of Warcraft, she has written two manga short stories and several novels in that world (Lord of the Clans, Rise of the Horde, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, and The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, and Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War). She has also written the StarCraft Dark Templar Saga: Firstborn, Shadow Hunters, and Twilight, as well as the most recent hardcover, Devils’ Due. Golden is also the writer of three books in the major nine-book Star Wars series Fate of the Jedi (in collaboration with Aaron Allston and Troy Denning). Golden lives in Tennessee. She welcomes visitors to her website: ChristieGolden.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Even the beasts were cold on a night such as this, mused Durotan. Absently he reached out to his wolf companion and scratched Sharptooth behind one of his white ears. The animal crooned appreciatively and snuggled closer. Wolf and orc chief stared together at the silent fall of white snow, framed by the rough oval that was the entrance to Durotan's cave.

Once, Durotan, chieftain of the Frostwolf clan, had known the kiss of balmier climes. Had swung his ax in the sunlight, narrowing small eyes against the gleam of sunshine on metal and against the spattering of red human blood. Once, he had felt a kinship with all of his people, not just those of his clan. Side by side they had stood, a green tide of death flooding over the hillsides to engulf the humans. They had feasted at the fires together, laughed their deep, booming laughs, told the stories of blood and conquest while their children drowsed by the dying embers, their little minds filled with images of slaughter.

But now the handful of orcs that comprised the Frostwolf clan shivered alone in their exile in the frigid Alterac Mountains of this alien world. Their only friends here were the huge white wolves. They were so different from the mammoth black wolves that Durotan's people had once ridden, but a wolf was a wolf, no matter the color of its fur, and determined patience combined with Drek'Thar's powers had won the beasts over to them. Now orc and wolf hunted together and kept one another warm during the interminable, snowy nights.

A soft, snuffling sound from the heart of the cave caused Durotan to turn. His harsh face, lined and held in perpetual tautness from years of worry and anger, softened at the noise. His little son, as yet unnamed until the ordained Naming Day of this cycle, had cried out as he was being fed.

Leaving Sharptooth to continue watching the snowfall, Durotan rose and lumbered back to the cave's inner chamber. Draka had bared a breast for the child to suckle upon, and had just removed the infant from his task. So that was why the child had whimpered. As Durotan watched, Draka extended a forefinger. With a black nail honed to razor sharpness, she pricked deep into the nipple before returning the infant's small head to her breast. Not a flicker of pain crossed her beautiful, strong-jawed face. Now, as the child fed, he would drink not only nourishing mother's milk, but his mother's blood as well. Such was appropriate food for a budding young warrior, the son of Durotan, the future chieftain of the Frostwolves.

His heart swelled with love for his mate, a warrior his equal in courage and cunning, and the lovely, perfect son they had borne.

It was then that the knowledge of what he had to do sank over him, like a blanket settling over his shoulders. He sat down and sighed deeply.

Draka glanced up at him, her brown eyes narrowing. She knew him all too well. He did not want to tell her of his sudden decision, although he knew in his heart it was the right one. But he must.

"We have a child now," Durotan said, his deep voice booming from his broad chest.

"Yes," replied Draka, pride in her voice. "A fine, strong son, who will lead the Frostwolf clan after his father dies nobly in battle. Many years from now," she added.

"I have a responsibility for his future," Durotan continued.

Draka's attention was now on him fully. He thought her exquisitely beautiful at this moment, and tried to brand the image of her in his mind. The firelight played against her green skin, casting her powerful muscles into sharp relief and making her tusks gleam. She did not interrupt, merely waited for him to continue.

"Had I not spoken against Gul'dan, our son would have more playmates with which to grow up," Durotan continued. "Had I not spoken against Gul'dan, we would have continued to be valued members of the Horde."

Draka hissed, opening her massive jaws and baring her fangs in displeasure at her mate. "You would not have been the mate I joined with," she boomed. The infant, startled, jerked his head away from the nourishing breast to look up at his mother's face. White milk and red blood dripped down his already jutting chin. "Durotan of the Frostwolf clan would not sit by and meekly let our people be led to their deaths like the sheep the humans tend. With what you had learned, you had to speak out, my mate. You could have done no less and still be the chieftain you are."

Durotan nodded at the truth of her words. "To know that Gul'dan had no love for our people, that it was nothing more than a way for him to increase his power...."

He fell silent, recalling the shock and horror -- and rage -- that had engulfed him when he had learned of the Shadow Council and Gul'dan's duplicity. He had tried to convince the others of the danger facing them all. They had been used, like pawns, to destroy the Draenei, a race that Durotan was beginning to think had not required extinction after all. And again, shuttled through the Dark Portal onto an unsuspecting world -- not the orcs' decision, no, but that of the Shadow Council. All for Gul'dan, all for Gul'dan's personal power. How many orcs had fallen, fighting for something so empty?

He searched for the words to express his decision to his mate. "I spoke, and we were exiled. All who followed me were. It is a great dishonor."

"Only Gul'dan's dishonor," said Draka fiercely. The infant had gotten over his temporary fright and was again nursing. "Your people are alive, and free, Durotan. It is a harsh place, but we have found the frost wolves to be our companions. We have plenty of fresh meat, even in the depths of winter. We have kept the old ways alive, as much as we can, and the stories around the fire are part of our children's heritage."

"They deserve more," said Durotan. He gestured with a sharp-nailed finger at his suckling son. "He deserves more. Our still-deluded brothers deserve more. And I will give it to them."

He rose and straightened to his full imposing height. His huge shadow fell over the forms of his wife and child. Her crestfallen expression told him that Draka knew what he was going to say before he spoke, but the words needed utterance. It was what made them solid, real...made them an oath not to be broken.

"There were some who heeded me, though they still doubted. I will return and find those few chieftains. I will convince them of the truth of my story, and they will rally their people. We shall no longer be slaves of Gul'dan, easily lost and not thought of when we die in battles that serve only him. This I swear, I, Durotan, chieftain of the Frostwolf clan!"

He threw back his head, opened his toothy mouth almost impossibly wide, rolled his eyes back, and uttered a loud, deep, furious cry. The baby began to squall and even Draka flinched. It was the Oath Cry, and he knew that despite the deep snow that often deadened sound, everyone in his clan would hear it this night. In moments, they would cluster around his cave, demanding to know the content of the Oath Cry, and making cries of their own.

"You shall not go alone, my mate," said Draka, her soft voice a sharp contrast to the ear-splitting sound of Durotan's Oath Cry. "We shall come with you."

"I forbid it."

And with a suddenness that startled even Durotan, who ought to have known better, Draka sprang to her feet. The crying baby tumbled from her lap as she clenched her fists and raised them, shaking them violently. A heartbeat later Durotan blinked as pain shot through him and blood dripped down his face. She had bounded the length of the cave and slashed his cheek with her nails.

"I am Draka, daughter of Kelkar, son of Rhakish. No one forbids me to follow my mate, not even Durotan himself! I come with you, I stand by you, I shall die if need be. Pagh!" She spat at him.

As he wiped the mixture of spittle and blood from his face, his heart swelled with love for this female. He had been right to choose her as his mate, to be the mother of his sons. Was there ever a more fortunate male in all of orc history? He did not think so.

Despite the fact that, if word reached Gul'dan, Orgrim Doomhammer and his clan would be exiled, the great Warchief made Durotan and his family welcome in his field camp. The wolf, however, he eyed with suspicion. The wolf eyed him back in the same manner. The rough tent that served Doomhammer for shelter was emptied of lesser orcs, and Durotan, Draka, and their yet-unnamed child were ushered in.

The night was a bit cool to Doomhammer, and he watched with wry amusement as his honored guests divested themselves of most of their clothing and muttered about the heat. Frostwolves, he mused, must be unused to such "warm weather."

Outside, his personal guards kept watch. With the flap that served as a door still open, Doomhammer watched them huddle around the fire, extending enormous green hands to the dancing flames. The night was dark, save for the small lights of the stars. Durotan had picked a good night for his clandestine visit. It was unlikely that the small party of male, female, and child had been spotted and identified for who they really were.

"I regret that I place you and your clan in jeopardy," were the first words Durotan spoke.

Doomhammer waved the comment aside. "If Death is to come for us, it will find us behaving with honor." He invited them to sit and with his own hands handed his old friend the dripping haunch of a fresh kill. It was still warm. Durotan nodded his acceptance, bit into the juicy flesh, and tore off a huge chunk. Draka did likewise, and then extended her bloody fingers to her baby. The child eagerly sucked the sweet liquid.

"A fine, strong boy," said Doomhammer.

Durotan nodded. "He will be a fitting leader of my clan. But we did not come all this way for you to admire my son."

"You spoke with veiled words many years ago," said Doomhammer.

"I wished to protect my clan, and I was not certain my suspicions were correct until Gul'dan imposed the exile," Durotan replied. "Hi...

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, and my favorite of the series Aug. 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many who have been long-time fans of Warcraft know about the 'Greatest Adventure Game That Never Was'. Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans was a complete departure from the traditional strategy formula of Warcraft. Becoming a point and click adventure, using cartoonish animated sequences, Blizzard Entertainment ultimately cancelled the ill-fated game due to quality assurance reasons. However, this story was far too important to the Warcraft Lore to ignore, hence it was transformed into a novel. And I must say, I am not only impressed with how the novel turned out, but I also personally feel that this is the best book in the series.
When a baby Orc, barely a year old, is found alone in the forests surrounding Durnholde, a cocky and scheming human named Blackmoore takes the baby in. Entrusting the baby to his servant, Blackmoore plans to use the Orc to his advantage. As 20 year pass, the Second War has long been over, and the once tiny and innocent baby grows up to become the mighty Thrall, raised in the care of cruel human masters, while his people whither away in deternment camps. This tale spans Thrall's life from his tragic beginnings to his final victory. Over the course of the book, familiar characters, such as the ferocious and mighty Grom Hellscream, play key roles in the development of Thrall and the story. While I do not wish to tell any more about the story than I already have, rest assured that many more familiar characters make surprising appearences in this book, as well as some of the new characters in this book making appearences in Warcraft III.
Although I must agree with what others have said about the book being somewhat predictable, I found it to be a very intriguing read. Much like Day of the Dragon before it, I found this book difficult to put down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, too short to buy March 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have played Warcraft since 1993 so I had to read this. If I had recognized the author's name I may not have bought it though since I hated her book "Vampire of the Mist" (1st book in the Ravenloft series). However I'm glad I read this since it provided depth and background that was sorely lacking in regards to the orcs. Instead of stupid savage brutes bent on destruction, Warcraft3 portrayed them as noble and civilized, but there wasn't too much story there (it was only a game though so I'm not complaining).
Thrall's character is completely revealed and I actually cared about him. The antagonist was well done also as I wanted Thrall to kill him, but the author didn't make him a cheesy villian type; rather he was just an abusive SOB alcoholic. It's too bad these types can't get the sword more often in real life because the author made his character so realistic that I believe she has had experience with these people.
Overall the plot was interesting, although it mainly just introduced a portion of the Warcraft world (just like the other two Warcraft books). The character development was excellent. The action was great too; it was exciting without the unbelievable heroics of a Jean Rabe character (yuck).
My only criticism is that the book weighs in at a palty 278 pages, which I blasted through in about 2.5 days (it's very easy reading). This to me was not worth the seven bones plus tax that I coughed up for it. Better to borrow it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but predictable Oct. 3 2001
By Nathan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Lord of the Clans," the second WarCraft novel (third if you count the eBook), is yet another worthy addition to the series. Taking place over a number of years, it takes place after "Day of the Dragon" and before "Of Blood and Honor." Basically, this book is just an adaptation of the cancelled adventure game of the same title that was in the works at Blizzard a couple of years ago. While Christie Golden doesn't have as fluid or readable a writing style as Richard Knaak, this book still flows very nicely, as it has a much smaller focus. Unfortunately, the story itself is very familiar - the outcast, in this case an orc, raised among humans as a slave and fighter, finds freedom, tries to fit in with his own people, and ends up, of course, excelling beyond all expectations.
"Lord of the Clans" really has nothing to do with "Day of the Dragon," but the direction this series of novels seems to be taking overall is that of a lead-in to the game "WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos," in which it seems that the Orcs and Humans, if still not friendly, are at least fighting together against a common foe. "Day of the Dragon" started out somewhat boring, with lots of expository writing, and served to introduce us to the various races of the Alliance at the end of the time of WarCraft II - namely Humans, Dwarves, and Elves. By the time of the beginning of "Lord of the Clans," the wars are over - the Orcs are essentially wiped out or being kept in large internment camps. This novel is about an Orc named Thrall, raised by humans as a gladiator, who has also picked up some other human traits - mercy, tactical thinking, and has also managed to pick up on the nobility of the Orcish clans before they were united by the evil Gul'Dan into the Horde.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal March 26 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Basically, this is a copy of Spartacus by R. Jovaniolli, if that's how you spell it, converted into the world of Warcraft. Spartacus was a Roman slave, trained to be a gladiator, who then ran away, and rose other slaves and gladiators to fight against rome. He actually collected an enormous army of these people, but then was defeated. Same stuff. Encampents are gladiator schools, etc
The only reason I gave this book 3 stars is because if you forget about originality, then you'll actually get quite a book. Although I dislike the idea of everyone coming to help Thrall. Sounds kinda stupid... maybe it's just me. Read this book if you want to.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel of one of my favorite characters.......
I rate this book a 5 because it is well written, on the spot details and captivating.
I recommend this book to all Warcraft fans and for the rest of the world. Read more
Published 13 months ago by RedRake
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars
Lord of the Clans is the second book in the Warcraft series. However, this book has no connection with the first book and is written by a different author. Read more
Published 16 months ago by SIKBookReviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Warcraft
Not only is Warcraft an amazing computer game it is now an amzing series of book. Of the books in this series this i byfar my favorite. Read more
Published on May 7 2004 by Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars This would make a great movie!
This is the first book I have read by Christie Golden and it was awesome! The story flowed perfectly, no boring parts. Read more
Published on April 6 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellently written book.
Whether you liked Warcraft the game or not, this is a good book. Written about the future lord of the Hoard who starts out as a slave to a cruel/power-hungry human, you almost... Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2003 by Creation27
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
There is nothing more to say but a great book , a fan of the game , or not . You'll totally enjoy this book , i had a hard time putting it down. Totally 5 stars
Published on Feb. 1 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't miss it for WarCraft III fans
Based on PC game "WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos", the writer wrote a whole life of Orcish WarChief Thrall, from his Da and Ma, his raise, his name meaning, his master of... Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2002 by "vegetalo"
5.0 out of 5 stars Expertly written book
This is an excelent book and I encourage others to read it. The story of an orcish slave tells so much about the other side. Read more
Published on July 27 2002 by Jonathan Castro
5.0 out of 5 stars great fantasy
This great book for any fantasy fan. It gives small glimpse of the Warcraft world. Also give great insight into the culture of orcs.
Published on July 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Good background for the game
I was a little reserved when i picked up the book wondering whether it was a dud or not.But as soon as i started reading, it did not let up. Read more
Published on June 19 2002
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