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<div align="center"><img src="http://www.xtimeline.com/__UserPic_Large/4369/ELT200801052113354826964.JPG" width="200" height="300" alt="Starcraft: Queen of Blades Review"></div><div><br></div><div><div><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: left;line-height:11.25pt;direction:ltr;unicode-bidi:embed"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial"><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; ">Any long time gamer knows just how rich and deep the story in Starcraft is - enough to spawn a series of very decent novels, starting with <i>Libertys Crusade</i> back in 2001.<i>&nbsp;Starcraft: Queen of Blades</i>&nbsp;is written by Aaron Rosenberg and follows Episodes 2 and 3 of the original game from the eyes of Jim Raynor, as Sarah Kerrigan is reborn as the leader of the Zerg Swarm.</span><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; "> After Raynor breaks away from power-crazed Emperor Arcturus Mengsk, he starts having visions that direct him to a burnt out ash planet called Char. Raynor later learns that those are telepathic signals sent by Kerrigan, whom Raynor must now watch become the enemy. Not all is lost, however, as Raynor makes<span>&nbsp; </span>two very powerful friends.</span></font></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: left;line-height:11.25pt;direction:ltr;unicode-bidi:embed"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial"><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">Some video game novels, like</span><i><span style="font-size:9.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:" arial","sans-serif";color:black"="">&nbsp;</span></i><i><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">Halo: The Flood</span></i><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">, just regurgitate what we've already played through. This is not the case with</span><span style="font-size:9.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:" arial","sans-serif";="" color:black"="">&nbsp;</span><i><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">StarCraft: Queen of Blades</span></i><span style="font-size:9.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:" arial","sans-serif";="" color:black"="">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">- it truly expands on what we have already seen by adding a few elements that help the story, but wouldn't work in a video game. The fact that this is Jim Raynor's perspective alone is enough to make this a good read even if you finished Episodes 2 and 3 of the original StarCraft. A lot of video game novels tend to focus on fanservice instead of good plot <span>&nbsp;</span>- that problem is absent in <i>Queen of Blades</i>. True, few things are more fanservice than a duel between the Dark Templar Zeratul and a naive Conclave-brainwashed Tassadar, but it actually contributes to the story by helping establish the history between the Dark Templars and the Protoss Conclave.&nbsp;</span></font></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: left;line-height:11.25pt;direction:ltr;unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); "><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial">Speaking of Tassadar, <i>Queen of Blades</i> provides a very deep look at his<span>&nbsp; </span>mental transformation . He arrives on Char as a young and nave Tassadar who is blindly loyal to the Protoss Conclave. He leaves the same Tassadar who would later become a martyr and hero to his people by using both light and dark energies to take down the Overmind, at the expense of his own life.</font></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: left;line-height:11.25pt;direction:ltr;unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); "><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial">The godlike depiction of the Protoss may seem a little cheesy to some, but this is more than acceptable. Even though few things should rattle Raynor, the first man to make contact with the Zerg and live to tell about it, he is making first contact with the guys who eradicated all the Zerg on Chau Sara, along with Chau Sara itself. From Raynor's perspective, referring to Tassadar and Zeratul as gods isn't much of a stretch.<o:p></o:p></font></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: left;line-height:11.25pt;direction:ltr;unicode-bidi:embed"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); "><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">Unfortunately,</span><span style="font-size:9.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:" arial","sans-serif";color:black"="">&nbsp;</span><i><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">Queen of Blades</span></i><span style="font-size:9.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;font-family:" arial","sans-serif";color:black"="">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">also makes some sacrifices to distance itself from the game - accuracy is one of them. The death of Cerebrate Zasz is totally different than it was in the game and [<b>Spoiler, highlight following text to view]</b></span><span style="font-size:9.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:" arial","sans-serif";="" color:#999999"="">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: rgb(204, 204, 204); background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">the final battle ends with &nbsp;a Protoss/Terran victory, rather than Zerg.</span><span style="font-size:9.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;font-family:" arial","sans-serif";color:#cccccc"="">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; ">Still, Queen of Blades predicted a few things in StarCraft 2 correctly - the Dark Templar armor, Artanis becoming the new Executor and the character of Matt Horner second-in-command to Jim Raynor and captain of his flagship battle cruiser Hyperion.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: left;line-height:11.25pt;direction:ltr;unicode-bidi:embed"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 12px; "></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: left; line-height: 11.25pt; direction: ltr; unicode-bidi: embed; "><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial"><span style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); font-size: 9pt; color: black; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; ">Action is&nbsp; an important part of any video game-based novel and Rosenberg writes that up with a lot of detail and emotion. The feeling of desperation is always present when Raynor and his followers are getting overrun by zerglings and hydralisks, while the duels Zeratul, Tassadar and Kerrigan have are enough to excite plenty of fanboys. [<b>Spoiler, highlight following text to view]</b></span> <font class="Apple-style-span" size="2" color="#666666">Some of the said fanboys may not take kindly to Kerrigan getting the better of Zeratul and Tassadar not only in a 2 on 1 battle, but separately as well. Still, she is the titular character, so It's only natural for Rosenberg to make her look like a bigger threat. </font></font></p> <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); "><br>Seeing Episodes 2 and 3 of the original Starcraft through the eyes of Jim Raynor makes Queen of Blades familiar enough to relate to, but fresh enough to be interesting. This is definitely a novel that any Starcraft fan should check out.</span><p></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: left;line-height:11.25pt;direction:ltr;unicode-bidi:embed"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 12px; "></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); ">Written by: Denis Ivanov</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 12px; "></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: left; line-height: 11.25pt; direction: ltr; unicode-bidi: embed; "><font class="Apple-style-span" face="Arial"><br></font></p><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="right" dir="RTL" style="text-align:left"><span dir="LTR"><span>&nbsp;</span></span></p></div><div><br></div></div><br><div style="position:relative; border:1px solid #aaa; font-family:helvetica,tahoma,arial,sans-serif; color:#333; width:480px; height:270px;">

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Rating: 2.9 / 5 (424 votes)

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