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World of Warcraft: Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde par [Stackpole, Michael A.]
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World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde

1


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Brewmaster Chen Stormstout couldn’t think of anything he didn’t like. There certainly were some things he liked less than others. For example, he wasn’t terribly fond of waiting for his latest brew to ferment and mature to the point where he could sample it. That wasn’t because he was anxious to know how it tasted. He had that figured out already—it would be fantastic. What he liked less about waiting was that it gave him all sorts of time to think of new brews, with new ingredients, and he wanted to dive right in and work on them.

But brewing took time and care. With the equipment at the brewery fully involved in the last batch, waiting to develop a new batch was his only option. That meant he had to find something to do by way of distraction, otherwise waiting and planning and brewing things up in his mind would drive him crazy.

Out in the world, in the lands of Azeroth, finding distraction had been easy. There was always someone who didn’t like you, or a hungry creature that wanted to eat you—and discouraging both did wonders to occupy an idle mind. And then there were places that had once been, or were becoming, something else that might be again what they were. On his travels he’d seen many of those places and more, and had even helped make some into something.

Chen sighed and looked toward the center of the sleepy fishing village. There his niece, Li Li, was entertaining a dozen of Binan Village’s cubs—most of them residents, some of them refugees. Chen was pretty sure she had intended to tell them stories of her travels on Shen-zin Su, the Great Turtle, but this plan had gone awry. Or maybe she was still telling a story but had enlisted their aid in acting out a scene. Clearly the story of a fight, and one that apparently involved her being swarmed over by a pack of young pandaren.

“Is everything going well, Li Li?”

The slender girl somehow surfaced from amid a boiling sea of black and white fur. “Perfectly well, Uncle Chen!” The frustration in her eyes belied her words. She reached down, plucked one scrawny boy from the pack, and tossed him aside, then disappeared beneath a wave of shrieking cubs.

Chen thought to step in but hesitated. Li Li was in no real danger and she was a strong-willed girl. If she needed help, she’d ask for it eventually. To intervene before that would make her think he doubted she could take care of herself. She’d sulk for a bit, and he just hated when she did that. She’d also be outraged and then would go do something to prove she could take care of herself, and that might land her in even greater trouble.

Though that was his primary line of reasoning, the whispers and tutting from the two Chiang sisters gave him further cause to hold back. The two of them were old enough to remember when Liu Lang had first departed Pandaria—or so they said. Though their fur ran much more to white than black, save where they darkened it around their eyes, Chen assumed they weren’t quite that old. They’d spent all their lives in Pandaria, and very little of them in the company of those who had lived on the Wandering Isle. They’d developed opinions of those who “chased the turtle,” and Chen had taken a delight in confounding them by acting against type.

Li Li, in their eyes, was purely one of the turtle’s wild dogs. Impulsive and practical, quick to action and a bit prone to overestimation of her own abilities, Li Li was a fine example of a pandaren accepting the philosophy of Huojin. It was people of such an adventurous spirit who had departed on the turtle or adventured in Outland. Such conduct, in the minds of the Chiang sisters, simply was not to be condoned or given any credit.

Nor were those who did such things.

Chen, were he of a nature to dislike things, certainly would dislike the Chiang sisters. He’d actually taken a liking to them. In addition to fixing up the Stormstout Brewery and concocting fantastic beverages, he’d wandered Pandaria to learn more about the place he’d determined would be his home. He’d seen them, two maiden sisters, struggling with a small garden patch that had gone untended during the yaungol siege, and had offered to help.

They’d not so much as replied to him, but he’d pitched in anyway. He repaired fences and weeded. He laid down new stones for the path to their door. He entertained their great-grandcubs by breathing fire. He swept, hauled water, and piled up firewood. He did that under their disapproving stares and only because, beneath it all, he read disbelief in their eyes.

He’d worked long and hard without their speaking a word to him before he first heard their voices. They didn’t speak to him or with him or even really at him. They spoke toward him while speaking to each other. The elder had said, “It is the sort of day that tiger gourami would be nice.” The younger merely nodded.

Chen knew it was a command, and he complied. He did so carefully. He fished three gourami out of the ocean. The first fish he threw back. The last one he kept for the sisters, and the largest he gave to a refugee fishwife and her five cubs because her husband was still one of the missing.

He’d known that giving the sisters the first fish would have been seen as a sign of his being hasty. To give them all three would show he was prone to proud displays of excess. To give them the biggest, which was more than they could eat, would show a lack of discretion and calculation. But in doing what he did, he demonstrated reason, consideration, and charity.

Chen did understand that his exercise of dealing with the sisters wasn’t likely to win him friends or patronage. Many others he’d known in his travels would have considered them ungrateful and ignored them. For Chen, however, they were a means through which he could learn about Pandaria and the people who would become his neighbors.

Maybe even my family.

If Li Li was an exemplar of the Huojin philosophy, then the Chiang sisters represented believers in the Tushui. They were given to far more contemplation. They measured acts against the ideals of justice and morality—though both could easily be a narrow, parochial, small-village version of those grander notions. In fact, grand notions of justice and morality might seem far too ostentatious for the likes of the Chiang sisters.

Chen liked to think of himself as being firmly in the middle. He mixed and matched both Huojin and Tushui, or so he told himself. More realistically, he tended toward Huojin when adventuring in the wider world. Here, in Pandaria, with the verdant valleys and tall mountains, with most people enjoying a simple lifestyle, Tushui seemed just the thing.

Deep down, that was what Chen needed distraction from. It wasn’t about new brewing projects but the knowledge that someday, at some point, he would have to choose one philosophy or the other. If he did make Pandaria his home, if he found a wife and started a family, the days of adventuring would vanish. He’d just become a roly-poly brewmaster, armored with an apron, haggling with farmers over the price of grain and with customers over the price of a mug.

That wouldn’t be a bad life. Not bad at all. Chen neatly stacked firewood for the sisters. But would it be enough?

Cub shrieks again attracted his attention. Li Li was down and wasn’t getting up. Something sparked inside him—that ancient call to battle. He had so many stories of great conflicts. He’d fought alongside Rexxar and Vol’jin and Thrall. Rescuing his niece would be nothing compared to those battles (and recounting those tales would make his brewery very popular), but taking action fed something within him.

Something that defied Tushui.

Chen jogged over and waded into the roiling pile of bodies. He grabbed cubs by the scruff of their necks and tossed them to one side and the other. Being mostly muscle and fur, they bounced and rolled and twisted around. A few bumped against one another, with parts pointing up that should have pointed down. They untangled themselves and scrambled to their feet, ready to dive back in.

Chen growled with just that right mix of gentle warning and true menace.

The cubs froze.

The elder pandaren straightened up, and by instinct, so did most of the cubs. “What exactly was going on here?”

One of the bolder cubs, Keng-na, pointed toward a recumbent Li Li. “Mistress Li Li was teaching us to fight.”

“What I witnessed wasn’t fighting. It was brawling!” Chen shook his head, exaggerating the action. “That will not do, not at all, not if the yaungol return. You are to have proper training. Now, look smart!” Chen snapped to attention as he gave the command, and the cubs mimicked him perfectly.

Chen fought to hide a smile as he dispatched the cubs, singly and in groups, to fetch more wood, to haul water, and to get sand for the sisters’ pathway and brooms to smooth it down. He clapped his paws sharply, and they sprung to their tasks like arrows loosed from taut bows. He waited until they’d all disappeared before he offered Li Li a paw.

She looked at it, her nose wrinkled with disgust. “I would have won.”

“Of course, but that wasn’t the point, was it?”

“It wasn’t?”

“No, you were teaching them a sense of camaraderie. They’re a little squad now.” Chen smiled. “A bit of discipline,...

Présentation de l'éditeur

A brand-new novel set in the universe of the record-breaking, internationally bestselling video game World of Warcraft!

WAR IS COMING.

Vol'jin, courageous leader of the Darkspear tribe. His strength and cunning are unmatched even among the Horde's most exalted champions. Now on the legendary continent of Pandaria, the troll chieftain faces his greatest trial yet, one that may redefine his purpose in the…

WORLD OF WARCRAFT®

Warchief Garrosh's assassins strike at Vol'jin, leaving him at death's door. But fate smiles on the wounded Darkspear leader when renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout transports him to the safety of an isolated mountain monastery. There, Vol'jin wrestles with old hatreds smoldering between the Alliance and the Horde as he struggles to recover alongside a mysterious human soldier.

Yet this is only the beginning of Vol'jin's worries. Soon, he becomes embroiled in an invasion of Pandaria launched by the Zandalari, revered trolls driven by dreams of conquest and power. This ancient tribe offers Vol'jin a chance to seize the glory that is the birthright of all trolls…an offer made even more tempting after Garrosh's brazen treachery.

Amid these troubling events, Vol'jin is rocked by intense visions depicting his race's grand history. As he questions where his loyalties lie, he knows he must make a choice about his own destiny that could save his people or damn them to languish under Garrosh's heel in the…

SHADOWS OF THE HORDE

© 2013 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., in the U.S. and/or other countries.

www.warcraft.com

www.blizzard.com

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4291 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 321 pages
  • Editeur : Gallery Books; Édition : Reissue (2 juillet 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008J4N4DO
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5 184 commentaires
31 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Warcraft Novel at It's Best 2 juillet 2013
Par Skuldren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde is Michael A. Stackpole's first World of Warcraft book, and it doesn't disappoint. In the far off land of Pandaria, an outcast troll, a Pandaren brewmaster, and a deadly human archer join together to stop a ruthless invasion. Yet the story dives far deeper than simple warfare. Against long odds, the characters must fight battles within themselves as they struggle with identity and balance. Alongside bloody battle scenes and amazing feats of combat, there's a rich exploration of the characters. If fan's of World of Warcraft have been waiting for a book that would do Vol'jin justice, then the wait is over.

The premise of the story revolves around Vol'jin and his examination of just who he is and where he should be heading. For those new to setting, Vol'jin is the leader of the Darkspears, an elite tribe of trolls allied with the Horde. The current leader of the Horde is an orc named Garrosh. Unfortunately Garrosh and Vol'jin don't see eye to eye, and the orc tries to assassinate the troll. But Vol'jin is no ordinary troll. He's a shadow hunter. Think of him as a mystical figure head for his people, a role model they look to for wisdom and guidance. He has a strong relationship with the troll spirits and in turn, he's a rather powerful figure. His near death experience, however, causes him to reevaluate his life. Why is he wasting his time serving a group that tried to kill him? What reason is there in following the will of his bloodthirsty gods? Who is he really? These questions and more are thoroughly explored through the novel. Stackpole does a great job of diving into the character's head and providing insight on Vol'jin's reasons and questions. But Vol'jin is not alone in this novel.

Alongside the mighty troll is a human named Tyrathan. Like Vol'jin, Tyrathan is seriously injured at the beginning of the story and forced to recuperate. During that rehabilitation, he too questions his purpose in life. Stranded in Pandaria, both characters have the opportunity to start over, to remake themselves as new people. In his past life, Tyrathan was a skilled archer for the Alliance. Yet he is haunted by his apt skill on the battlefield. When it comes to killing, he has a true knack for it. But that talent has driven a wedge between him and his family.

Then there is Chen. Chen is a Pandaren, a brewmaster and an adventurer. As his people like to say, he has chased the turtle, for the world rides on the turtle's back, and he has traveled across it to see what else is out there. Still, he has found himself back in Pandaria, and now he's thinking about making a home and settling down. With the arrival of Vol'jin, Tyrathan and unforeseen threats, Chen's plans get sidetracked. His serene conflict between adventure and taking roots is supplanted by a new dilemma: maintaining one's soul in the carnage of warfare.

Throughout the entire book, all three characters struggle through self-discovery and maintaining balance. Those themes often touch on philosophy. Early on, two concepts are introduced in the story. First there is the philosophical way of the Huojin, people who are quick to action, practical and adventurous. Then there is the Tushui, a practice of contemplation and measuring acts against ideals of justice and morality. For the Pandaren, they strive to find a balance between the two. For each of the three main characters, they have their Huojin and Tushui traits, and they must strive to find a balance if they wish to persevere.

For readers who aren't so concerned about rich character explorations or philosophical puzzles, there's plenty of intense action in the later chapters of the book. Ancient enemies invade Pandaria, and it's up to Vol'jin, Chen and Tyrathan to stop them. But for readers who like a bit more meat to their stories, you'll find plenty to dine upon in this one. Stackpole shows that there is plenty of storytelling potential left in the World of Warcraft franchise, and I dare say he breathes new life into it. Readers should be prepared to have some new favorite characters after reading this story. For exceeding my expectations and raising the bar for what a World of Warcraft novel can do, I give Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde a five out of five.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Delightfully Philosophical Look at the WoW Universe 9 juillet 2013
Par Jeremiah - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Unlike most of the other World of Warcraft novels, Shadows of the Horde is primarily focused on the internal conflicts of the characters, philosophy, overcoming cultural differences, friendship, and destiny. It is ANYTHING but a humble approach to these topics, however. At least one other reviewer here said that the book wasn't a "page-turner" compared to the more action-oriented Warcraft novels, but I believe that the lack of action sequences makes this one all the more worth reading.

This unique approach to the franchise was penned by Michael A. Stackpole, and this is his first entry into the WoW cannon of books. I honestly believe this is the strongest author Blizzard has snagged yet, and I wait with great anticipation for his further works in this universe. Please, please Blizzard, get this man back to write more. This was, by far, the most excellent entry in your line of books.

With some amazing lore tidbits for World of Warcraft fans, a deep examination of the Alliance and Horde philosophies, a humbling view of Vol'jin and his human counterpart, and a reminder that Chen is probably the most benevolent of the WoW main characters is enough to make this book more than a good read.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Impressive. 7 novembre 2013
Par rs.schulze - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This stackpole guy be writing good stuff. Very poetic. I never be reading a warcraft novel so deep,and intelligent..he Gonna be giving trolls a new respect.
spect. Hahaha. Thumbs up.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Troll history and action but needed more pandas 2 octobre 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
What does one do when one survives an assassination attempt by your leader, one who has proven willing to do anything to accumulate power and may use your species as cannon fodder in genocidal wars against other races?

Apparently, the answer is sit around and talk a lot.

This is perhaps unfair but this is a strange sort of novel that goes in an unexpected direction after its explosive beginning. There's no lack of action in the book. It's one of the bloodiest World of Warcraft novels ever, though still PG-13 in terms of content, but the obvious hook never materializes. Instead of desiring revenge against the person, Garrosh, who tried to kill--Vol'jin spends much of the novel feeling that his old life is over.

This is perhaps a more realistic reaction than most to having the head of state in a fantasy setting try to kill you. In real life, if the President of the United States tried to have you killed, most people wouldn't start thinking about how they might take him out instead. Still, it's an unexpected reaction from one of Warcraft's many signature heroes.

The premise of Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde is the titular character, Vol'Jin survives the aforementioned assassination attempt by Warchief Garrosh. Garrosh has determined Vol'jin is a potential threat, a fact which Vol'jin grudgingly admits was true.

Rescued by the peaceful Panderan race, basically Chinese panda-people (if the name wasn't clue enough), Vol'jin takes up residence in a monastery and tries to figure out what he's going to do now that he's an enemy of the state. He can't return to the Horde and his people, the Darkspear Trolls, are too weak to oppose Garrosh on their own.

Rather than try to figure a way out of this conundrum, Vol'jin decides he'd prefer to simply begin his life anew in the peaceful land of the Panderan. He's encouraged in this pursuit by a similarly wounded Alliance soldier named Tyrathan. Tyrathan has his own reasons for not wanting to return to his old life and believes he might find peace in adopting a new identity. Neither of them get their wish as Panderia is soon invaded by the Zandalar Empire. The Zandalar are aided in this by the Mogu, Chinese lion-people with dark occult powers.

On a basic level, I think the book spent way too much time ruminating about looking to your past life versus looking to the future. Michael A. Stackpole is a great author and I loved his Star Wars novels but I get the sense he believes he's saying something really profound but I'm just not feeling it.

It was hard to buy that Vol'jin would be so demoralized by his near-death experience given the constant battles he's had to endure up until this point. One doesn't become a leader of a group like the Horde without an iron will and a strong sense of self.

Oddly, I prefer the supporting cast in the book to Vol'jin himself. Chen the Brewmaster, Li Li, and Tyrathan are all interesting and nuanced characters. The Panderians are a lovable race and there were times I just wanted to climb into the book and hug them all. Michael Stackpole does an excellent job establishing their culture too, giving a real sense of a living world. I could have used more Li Li, though, because I absolutely adore her character.

The villains are kind of iffy as their motivations boil down to: we're a bunch of racist imperialists who want to take over Panderan because we want their stuff. Which, to be honest, is hard to argue with because that was the motivation for a lot of empires throughout history. There's also a nice parallel with Garrosh as the heroes all recognize something familiar about the Zandalar and Mogu's motivations with their own cultures.

In conclusion, this is a good book and I enjoyed it but all the naval-gazing detracted from the fun factor for me. I will say that Panderia was a fun place to be, the development of Tyrathan, and insights into Troll culture were welcome, though. I also thought the action in the book was extremely well-handled and had a very martial-arts film sort of feel.

7/10
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It's worth at least a second read through. 9 mai 2016
Par Eilonthay - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A good read--I actually started reading it second time because I liked it so much. Gives a lot of background on troll history, which is one of the few areas where there's not a lot of collected material on. It got a little corny between Chen and Yaliya, but it was cute and sorta normal for the high drama atmosphere that is Warcraft, so I just rolled with it. The book kinda left their future hanging though, which isn't so unusual for the Warcraft books because they're essentially a broken up series, but I found it a little disappointing all the same. I was really digging the relationship between Vol'jin and Chen--it was believable, and I LIKED it. They were comrades and they understood each other and it was great. The relationship between Vol'jin and Tyrathan, well, that was considerably less believable, but considering they were from opposite sides of the war, I understand that it's difficult to have two enemies just begin liking each other enough to fight a common enemy without killing each other in the process. It's hard to describe, but it almost felt like Tyrathan was supposed to be a stand in for a PC toon, even though nothing like what happened in the book happened in MoP. The fight scenes flow pretty well without a lot of gore and while I put that it had graphic violence, it really hovers more between "some violence" and "graphic violence"...I just put the latter because there was a LOT of fighting going on. I was suitably entertained and I'm glad I bought the book.
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