The Last Guardian, by Jeff Grubb
This book tells a story of a young but prominent wizard that goes by the name of Khadgar (Trust in Dwarven). Khadgar was sent by his master’s in the Kirin Tor (an association of scholars and wizards) to Karazhan, a colossal tower home to the Guardian of Azeroth and the most powerful wizard at the present time. His name is Medivh.
Khadgar was sent there in order to be able to become the Guardian’s apprentice, a thing that no one thus far was able to become, and if successful, would later heir the power of the Guardian.
The story follows Khadgar all the time as he explores the mysterious tower of Karazhan, visions of future and the past, some trips into the marshlands of Black Morass, Elwynn Forest and Stormwind itself! He comes across notable characters such as Lothar, King Llane Wryn, Garona Halforcen, Aegwynn, Moroes and even the Lord of the Burning Legion himself, Sargeras.
Chronologically, the book begins just some time before the first war and ends before the death of the King. The reader develops sympathy for Khadgar as he struggles to understand his mentor through his strange behavior, constant mood swings and countless days of disappearance in between their encounters in the tower. A tower that is more sinister than what it should be if it was to be home to the Guardian of the realm.
There are mentions of many names and even short appearances such as Nielas Aran, Medivh’s father. Gul’dan and his Stormreaver Clan. The Bleeding Hollow and Twilight’s Hammer clan which were not even mentioned in Rise of the Horde. And lastly, the Blackrock clan led by Blackhand himself.
Now as you are probably aware, this opinion comes from a fan of the games and movie as well, so when I was reading I was already picturing the places, characters, and monsters right at the start of their description. A lot of the scenes and characters were quickly recognized while some of the action sequences felt hard to be understandable. In this book we have some more knowledge about magic and how the Guardian of Tirisfal came to be, as well as how the orc clans function from within and how they operate as the Orcish Horde.
Related to the upcoming expansion, Legion, Khadgar experiences a vision of the battle that Aegwynn faced versus the avatar of Sargeras and that she imprisoned his body in a tomb beneath the sea. That same tomb caused the death of Gul’dan during the second war and was also raised (and then sunk but not) by Illidan (or by some entity that was on league with him) to claim the Eye of Sargeras to destroy Northrend and the Lich King with it. That same tomb is also where the Broken Shore scenario plays at (or nearby) and is probably the reason why Gul’dan from the alternate universe was able to summon so many demons to invade Azeroth aligned with the energies of the Nightwell.
In this book more than before, I also noticed several differences related to the movie. Medivh’s death was below Karazhan in a twisted reflection of the tower, and not at its top.
Lothar was an old bald man, although highly respected and powerful. Medivh nor Khadgar had taken part in a negotiation with the Orcs (Frostwolves). Garona had a vision where she and Khadgar witnessed herself from the future, assassinating King Llane in the command room at Stormwind when it was under siege. Not a single mention of Lothar’s son nor the Queen of Stormwind either.
Chronicles of War contains four books within it! Rise of the Horde, The Last Guardian, Tides of Darkness and Beyond the Dark Portal.
The book is very well written akin to the others that I’ve already read. There were some humorous scenes that surprised me in a positive way. The scenes and the pace were also well put together and it felt great to know more about Medivh and Garona who I knew so little about, as well as Khadgar, Lothar and even Aegwynn to a certain degree.
Next one I’ll pick is probably the Lord of Clans book, which I assume is the following piece in the timeline.
I’ll see you sometime soon. Be well!