Photo courtesy of the Dragon Age Wiki
When Dragon Age: Origins was released by BioWare in 2009, they launched a pretty impressive ad campaign along with it. I became intrigued by the game and I can confidently say I’ve played that game through more times than any other game I’ve ever played.
The writers at BioWare created the wonderful world of Thedas, world in which humans, elves, and dwarfs all coexist, but not harmoniously. The story took place in the nation of Ferelden, as do the events of The Stolen Throne, which is a prequel book to the video game.
This book details how King Maric (King Cailen’s father) came to power and overthrows the oppression of the Orlesian Empire.
The story starts swiftly as it begins with the murder of Maric’s mother, the rightful queen of Ferelden. At the time, she was the leader of a group of Ferelden rebels whose goals were to retake the Ferelden throne from the Orlesians. It then slows down for a bit after Maric escapes the ambush and stumbles upon Loghain, a sort of ruthless warrior who, for reasons he doesn’t know, assists Maric with his escape.
The two eventually make it back to the rebels and they continue with their mother’s plan. They battle the Orlesians for years as Maric tries to become the king he is meant to be.
Maric eventually becomes a capable warrior and leads his rebels to an unlikely victory on a coastal city. This leads the Orlesians to slip a spy into Maric’s midst, and he doesn’t recognize the lies or betrayals.
A sound defeat handed to the rebels at the hands of the Orlesians sends Maric, his best friend Loghain, and his betrothed warrior princess-to-be Rowan, along with an elf they’re not sure they should trust, into the Deep Roads to escape the Orlesian army. There, they face the perils of the darkspawn and find unlikely allies as well.
Obviously, Maric makes it through the Deep Roads and reclaims the throne otherwise the events of Dragon Age: Origins would have happened quite differently. This book was released before the game and was meant to be read prior to playing the game, but I only found out about the book a month or two ago.
The book, written by lead writer David Gaider, is well crafted. The story is interesting despite the fact that the outcome is not in question. The story, aside from much of the first half of the book when Maric is trying to find his footing as the rightful king of Ferelden, is action-packed and fun to read. It also delves deeper into the character of Loghain, who is the main protagonist in the video game. It also does a great job of showing Maric grow from a naive boy into a king who learns that certain things must be done whether he likes them or not.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the video game or who enjoys reading fantasy novels.