Dragon Age: Asunder Review

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Novels, Other

Author: David Gaider

Publisher: Titan Books 

Genre: Fantasy 

Release Date: 20th Dec 2011 

RRP: £6.99

The Dragon Age universe is vast in scope with plenty of stories to tell and the great medium of literature is as good place as any to do this, whilst there are few more suitable people to write it than David Gaider the lead writer of the original game, Dragon Age: Origins. Dragon Age: Asunder is the author’s third novelization of the universe, though it’s worth noting that it’s self contained, so you won’t have to of read the other two to know what’s going on.

The fact that the Dragon Age games have a branching storyline means that it’s not the most fitting game for the novel treatment, with the first game in particular having many instances where you’re able to have influence over the direction that the plot courses in. This perhaps means that some points of the plot of Dragon Age: Asunder will differ from your experience in the games, with one example being a character who may not even have survived your journey through Dragon Age: Origins making an appearance.

In terms of setting, Dragon Age: Asunder takes place shortly after the events of Dragon Age II and the premise concerns a mysterious killer lurking around the White Spire. It introduces a fresh central character in Rhys, an adept and charismatic mage and that you’ll soon learn is the son of the memorable Wynne, an elderly and wise female mage who fans will remember appeared in Dragon Age: Origins and who here is one of the most major of characters. The enigmatic Cole is another key character and it’s the mystery surrounding his odd ability of being invisible to the eyes of most that is one of Asunder’s primary plot points.

Fans will also welcome appearances by the redhead priestess Leliana, the towering Golem Shale, as well as plenty of mentions of other instances of Dragon Age lore such as amongst other things the blight, the Warden, Anders and the Tevinter Imperium.

Unsurprisingly with many of the primary characters being Mages, including Rhys himself, magic and the stigma it carries in the Dragon Age series plays a big role throughout. Mages are kept a close eye on in the circle so that they’re not tempted by demons and as a result become a threat to not only themselves but to others. The author does a good job in making them appear sympathetic, but also allows you to see the point of view of the largely well intentioned Templar’s that are just trying to keep the potential dangers of magic contained.

Dragon Age: Asunder is a solidly written book based in Bioware’s vast universe, with a compelling storyline and being written by someone who is very familiar with the series has resulted in a book that is satisfyingly rich in the texture of many aspects of the grand universe, leaving it as a book that will be a welcome expansion of the franchise to many a fan.