We now deviate from our usual diet of Film material to deal with a book. Specifically, this one - the latest in a line of WoW novels. Having spent a couple days wading through it in the store, I can only say that I'm glad I didn't purchase it; Stormrage is a master's class in how writing fantasy fiction isn't easy. Why, you might wonder? Since I don't have the book in front of me, allow me to create wholesale an example of the kind of writing you will see in this book:
"Reaching deep down inside, <protagonist> allowed himself to open fully to the profound mystic powers for the first time - putting aside all fear - and began channelling them deep into the earth to draw forth that which he needed to his aid. Slowly, surely, nature began to respond to his calling; growing, expanding... reaching for the surface until...."
Oh, for fuck's sake, just scream "Entangling Roots!!" and get it over with!
Seriously, I began skipping and/or skim reading entire pages of text because nothing happened but long winded "channeling" and "counterspelling" for paragraph after paragraph. This is bad fantasy writing because it's both bloody boring and self-important. Not only that, but the entire book feels crafted around situations that call for it: throwing the characters from trouble spot to trouble spot with little to no breaks in between. Finally, everyone explains/describes everything in similar excessive detail; lavishing praise on the smallest plant through to the Glaive they picked up from the BS yesterday for 50 silver and a stack of light leather....
It's fucking painful to read and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. So, I'm going to summarize everything you might need to know happens between the end of LK and until somewhere before the Cataclysm occurs just to save the world more suffering. Yes, I'm Spoiling shit. Deal with it.
1) That pompous ass Fandral_Staghelm, current leader of the Cenarion Circle, was slow poisoning Malfurion Stormrage with all that Morrowgrain you were collecting. He's quite mad and controlled by a dream shadow of his long dead son. He's also responsible for the corruption ravaging Teldrasal; having grafted a twig of the tree Malfurion turned Xavius into onto the new world tree and tricked the CC into channeling corrupting energies from an unknown force (*cough*<insert old god here>*/cough*), into the tree itself.
By the end of the book he can be found in Camp Crazy Town for Elderly Druids having suffered a complete mental breakdown at the second loss of his "son" and defeat by Stormrage.
2) Malfurion Stormrage returns to Azeroth from the Emerald Dream; having largely purged the Nightmare from the Emerald Dream and defeated the Nightmare Lord - Xavius extending himself into the dream through his connection to Azeroth as a tree and, again, the backing of an unknown force. Which is an Old God. Place your bets. Him and Tyrande Whisperwind - you know, that priest... in the middle of the rest.... on the upper level of the Temple... who's your leader.... that you let die every other day or so.... 'cause no one cares about that shit? - finally get around to tying the knot after she's been griping at him for a few millennia for his colossal failure to commit to anything but plants, forest animals, and the Emerald Dream.
"We've been living in Sin for 1000 years! When are you going to marry me!!!"
"I'm sorry... what... err... just a sec.... yes... the Birds are calling!!! BRB".
"Fucking commitment-phobe. If it wasn't for the cat tongue..."
While she remains leader of the people, he's also now the co-leader, replaces Fandral at the CC and is, apparently, more powerful than any other Druid ever. Ysera suggests he's as powerful as, if not potentially more than her..... So, that's a 60 man city raid then?
3) Ysera was temporarily captured and corrupted by the Twilight Lord and freed by Malfurion. Just in case they need an excuse for why she's avoiding the dream in the future.
4) Teldrassil has been purged of it's corruption, finally blessed by at least one Dragon - Alexstrasza after being impressed by how "full of life it is" when the Druid's heal it from the damage done in the Malfurion/Fandral fight as well as Malfurion removing the Xavius graft - as well as double blessed in some way by Alex. and Ysera in the final act at the Stormrage/Whisperwind wedding. Hopefully this leads to an interesting new starting area for Cataclysm.
Bet it won't.
5) The Emerald Dream is purged of the Nightmare. Save one corner that Mal could only wall off... that seems attached to a mighty font of evil... that's definitely not an Old God... Honest....
6) A bunch of stuff happens to characters you've never heard of unless you've either waded through the other novels/comics or spend your days reading WoWWiki instead of doing something productive. Someday you'll see them have models in the game and go: "gee it's...."
No, I'm lying, you really won't give a shit about this bunch of Mary Sues. At all.
Flintlocke's in the game now though. This is far more important news!