Customer Reviews


91 Reviews
5 star:
 (62)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets me excited for Dragon Age 3
Alas, David Gaider goes a bit George R.R. Martin, as all of the three Dragon Age tie-in books so far, including this one, just has to involve a group of people traveling somewhere in order to do something. Which I suppose is fitting for a book based on a video game world--you go off and do quests and whatnot. It's a very fun read though.

Fans of the game...
Published on December 20, 2011 by B.W.

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the Dragon Age you love, but little that is new or interesting
When I read David Gaider's first Dragon Age novel, The Stolen Throne, I was completely blown away. From the heartbreaking "love quadrangle" between Maric, Rowan, Katriel, and Loghain, to the Deep Roads, the darkspawn, and the ever-ominous Witch of the Wilds, Gaider's characters, plotting, and world building stand head and shoulders above most game novelizations. The...
Published 15 months ago by David M. Slagle


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets me excited for Dragon Age 3, December 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Kindle Edition)
Alas, David Gaider goes a bit George R.R. Martin, as all of the three Dragon Age tie-in books so far, including this one, just has to involve a group of people traveling somewhere in order to do something. Which I suppose is fitting for a book based on a video game world--you go off and do quests and whatnot. It's a very fun read though.

Fans of the game series (and if you're reading the book, you probably are one) will probably enjoy:
- The backdrop - centered around the Templar/Mage conflict, with a healthy (unhealthy?) dash of demons thrown in. You'd be surprised (or maybe not so surprised--more details-oriented fans have debated this for a while actually) who they can possess.
- The events of Dragon Age 2 are mentioned. This book begins approximately one year after the finale in Kirkwall.
- A little more background info about what we had previously only seen in in-game codices and brief mentions, including some interesting but not really in-depth tidbits about the more powerful Chantry figures.
- Cameos! Yay. It takes place in Orlais, so you might be able to guess who makes an appearance. Someone else does too, at the same time resolving a small but quite long-standing debate about a detail in the "canon" Dragon Age storyline.

If you've never played the game then I don't think this book will stand out at all. It is well-written, but those who come in not already knowing a bit about the world of Thedas would probably feel a bit lost.

Another little tidbit in the Kindle edition that I found annoying is that apparently the book refuses to write the verb "lie" (as in "lie down") in past tense. Numerous times I see things along the lines of: "Her head hit something hard. She lie there, the world spinning..." and "Then, in the darkest moments when he lie there starving and thirsty...". Not sure if this is in the print version as well but it bothers me. Still, this is an excellent book if a flaw such as this bears mentioning.

I did read the other two tie-in books as well, Stolen Throne and The Calling. I was pretty excited about this book being released, and I pre-ordered it. It's a pretty quick read, and I finished it in a day.

TL; DR:
As this book is obviously intended to be a bridge between DA2 and DA 3, read it if you loved Origins, maybe-liked-a-little-bit DA2, and still have high hopes for Dragon Age 3!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow-up to Dragon Age II, December 31, 2011
By 
Jose Diaz de Leon (San Antonio, TX United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Paperback)
Dragon Age: Asunder is probably the more nuanced of the three Dragon Age books thus far. I had a more difficult time putting it down and I enjoyed it the most. A major inherent reason is because the book is a sequel to the current Dragon Age chronology, as it is set after the events of Dragon Age II. One strength of the book is Gaider's strong characterization of the protagonists, some of the major characters, and what was by far the most lovable-to-hate villain in the Dragon Age franchise thus far. The ending was the most climactic of the three Dragon Age novels released to date. It also gives the sense of build up to events and characters that I hope will be part of the Dragon Age III story tapestry. One negative aspect of the book is the presence of some graphic violence and immersion into the disturbing point of view of a major character who is essentially a serial killer. In the end, these elements are more palatable given the plot developments. The struggles of one of the protagonists to understand the motives of the killer seemed weak. On the other hand the author's apparent intent to portray moral tension gives a complexity to said protagonist, ultimately making the character more human. Gaider does an excellent job with the evolution of another protagonist, a Templar whose perspectives and beliefs are challenged as the story develops. So while Dragon Age has some disturbing themes, it is a Dragon Age story, a fictional setting that is officially dark fantasy geared to mature audiences. On the other hand, the strength of Dragon Age is its intensity that retains the elements of good fantasy stories we grew up with and played through. Dragon Age also provides the extra juice for those of us past childhood and perhaps of an age to have families of our own... the Atari via Baldur's Gate generation that will still look for a good fantasy story and RPG. Dragon Age: Asunder is a welcome taste of Dragon Age awaiting Dragon Age III, best appreciated by Dragon Age fans and players familiar with the setting. Asunder is a good read and a welcome addition to the best fantasy franchise since D&D's Forgotten Realms.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Age 2 as it should have been, February 6, 2014
By 
Andrés Rodríguez (Montevideo, Uruguay) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Kindle Edition)
Time to write another review.

Welcome to Asunder, and a world that has received the news of what transpired in Kirkwall and is, understandably, none too happy about it. As you may recall, in Dragon Age 2, our psychopathic companion known as Anders decided it might be a good idea to stuff some TNT in the Chantry because "fireworks are cool." The templars, however, didn't get the joke and decided to put everyone through the blade.

If I'd had my way, the Qunari would be ruling Kirkwall now.

Anyway, this event has served to rile up the mages throughout Thedas and put the templars on high alert in case anyone tries for a repeat. The mages, as usual, demand more freedom, even if some of them don't know what that is, while the templars would be more than happy to tighten the noose all the way to the Maker. Between them stands the Chantry and Divine Justinia V who has her own agenda to try and bridge the gap between the two and is at least ten times more proactive than Elthina, thank the Maker!

In this volatile situation, Wynne, one of the Warden's companions from Dragon Age: Origins, recruits mages Rhys and Adrian, along with a reluctant templar by the name of Evangeline, to find a Tranquil that may or may not have found a way to undo the Rite of Tranquility. As if the templars didn't have enough on their plates already.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

First, let's talk about the Templar v Mage conflict. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author actually addressed this subject quite skillfully. Yes, you do have the expected zealots on both sides but, and this is the important bit, you can empathize with them even if you don't necessarily sympathize.

Lord Seeker Lambert is dead set against giving the mages more freedoms but he makes his case to Evangeline and it's a good one. He tried to help them initially and got burnt for it by the same people he was trying to help. To be sure, I felt that, in his own way, he was trying to prevent events coming to a head. Naturally, within the constraints of his own beliefs.

On the part of the mages, Adrian is an easy character to hate though perhaps hate is too strong a word. Adrian is Lambert's mirror, in the sense that she is a zealot as well, a strong advocate for the mages' freedom and she's willing to do anything to achieve that goal no matter the cost. Indeed, she comes across as very manipulative and eager to forego the only friend she has for the sake of "the cause." So even if I didn't particularly like her as a person I can understand where she's coming from because she's giving voice to a group of mages that feel the same way.

To counterbalance these characters we have Evangeline, the templar, and Rhys, the mage. Initially, their views resemble those of Lambert and Adrian somewhat but, as the story progresses, they realize that things are not quite so black and white and they acknowledge something needs to change if war is to be averted.

Personally, I think I liked Evangeline more than Rhys, even though I liked them both. Rhys' character, while very perceptive, isn't quite sure what he believes in until, perhaps, the very end of Asunder. I suppose it's understandable given how both Adrian and Wynne try to win him over to the Libertarians and the Aequitarians respectively. His occasional outbursts, which he blames on his temper, only seem to be there in order to drive the plot. Evangeline, on the other hand, is a character who knows who she is (if that makes any sense). She sincerely believes in what the Templar Order stands for and, confronted by the reality that its purpose has been corrupted through time, she forges her own path, always clinging to that core belief.

Nonetheless, there are a few things that disappointed me somewhat.

First of all, I truly wanted to know more about Pharamond's research. I understand nobody really cared about that beyond the Divine, but I was intrigued. There seemed to be a connection to what happened in Dragon Age 2 when Anders tried to rescue Karl. Will it play a part in Inquisition? I hope so.

Second, the attempt on the Divine. Unless I missed something, it is never explained how a mage managed to get so close to the Divine. It is hinted at that he could have been helped by the templars so they'd have an excuse to beat the crap out of some mages but the issue of how he got there is never resolved. I suppose in the large scheme of things it matters little but I would've liked to know nonetheless.

Finally, and this really took me by surprise, there's the small matter of what transpires between Evangeline and Arnaud when Wynne and company exit Adamant fortress with Pharomond in tow. Considering Lambert had given Evangeline strict instructions to ensure Pharomond's demise (and possibly everyone else's), and seeing as he didn't trust her enough that he sent Arnaud with a bunch of templars, I honestly expected a fight to ensue. Truly, it could not have gone any other way and I fail to see how it did. Arnaud wasn't exactly reasonable throughout the story and he certainly shared in the Lord Seeker's views so it would have made more sense if he'd decided to kill Evangeline and the mages rather than let them go. This was probably the only moment where I felt the author had done something out of character.

Asunder ends with a conclave where the mages decide what's to become of them. Like I said before, Rhys' character comes together at this point and, consequently, it's a shame we don't get to read more of the aftermath of said meeting. For the templars' part, they decide they've had enough of the Chantry's platitudes and break apart together with the Seekers.

War is coming, there's no doubt about that. Will we read some more of it before Inquisition or will it become Inquisition? Only time will tell. For now though, if you're a fan of Dragon Age, there's no doubt in my mind you should read this book. This is Dragon Age 2 as it should've been: a nuanced and balanced approach to the conflict between templars and mages with strong, relatable, characters whose actions make sense within the narrative.

There's also this guy named Cole...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome in-between story for Dragon Age!, April 15, 2013
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Kindle Edition)
Of the three books that are out right now in the world of Dragon Age, I believe this one is the best for both gamers and people who haven't played the games yet. For gamers, it takes place after the events in DA2, and makes you really excited for what DA3 has in store. For non-readers, because it takes place after the events in the currently released video game, the book does a good job of explaining what's going on in the fictional world so you won't be left in the dark. For everyone, it's a fascinating story and has some really great twists. Give it a try!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, even if you didnt like DA2 there is a LOT to like here, October 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this novel, gives me hope that Dragon Age 3 will be a worthy sequel to Origins. As with The Stolen throne and The Calling this can be enjoyed even without playing Dragon Age. Highly recomended to both Dragon Age fans and anyone who loves fantasy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the Dragon Age you love, but little that is new or interesting, July 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Paperback)
When I read David Gaider's first Dragon Age novel, The Stolen Throne, I was completely blown away. From the heartbreaking "love quadrangle" between Maric, Rowan, Katriel, and Loghain, to the Deep Roads, the darkspawn, and the ever-ominous Witch of the Wilds, Gaider's characters, plotting, and world building stand head and shoulders above most game novelizations. The Stolen Throne was a good read on its own merits, and it didn't hurt that Dragon Age Origins was 70 hours of awesome.

But since The Stolen Throne was published, both BioWare and your humble reader have changed. Dragon Age 2 was released to critical acclaim, but considerable player frustration. Completely removed from the events of Dragon Age: Origins, the game trapped fans in an unremarkable city, forcing them to play as a predefined character, and through a story they had limited ability to change. In other words, it felt like a pale reflection of the first game's rich lore, conflicts, and setting. In many ways, Asunder is no different.

Limiting itself (for the most part) to a single location, a Mage tower in the capital of Orlais, the novel fails to bring its setting to life, leaving readers to fill in the blanks. For example, from the novel you would never guess that the Orlesians have a unique culture, manner of speaking (i.e. French-inspired accents), and general aristocratic je ne sais quoi. There's less world building here than in a single conversation with Leliana in Dragon Age: Origins--beyond a scene where the nobles wear masks, and a brief discussion of the Orlesian "game," anything that would meaningfully set the city apart is quickly forgotten in favor of the broader mages vs. templars conflict.

The novel's protagonist is ostensibly Rhys, a Senior Enchanter (read: mage) suspected in a string of impossible murders. But he never really develops into a well-rounded character. Instead, 100 or so pages into the novel, the spotlight moves from him to a series of familiar faces from the first game. Suffice it to say, be prepared to be told that YOUR version of Thedas is no longer canon. Depending on players' actions, at least one of these characters could already be dead (and another is DLC)! This is a step back from Gaider's first two novels, which focused exclusively on characters that players would never (or could not yet) control in the games.

Also paling in comparison to Gaider's previous efforts is Asunder's half-hearted love story. Gaider telegraphs who Rhys will end up with from the first time you meet him. There is never any tension, so all of the story beats devoted to romance largely fall flat. Beyond that, there are very few moments where Gaider sticks a knife into your gut and then slowly TWISTS, like, well, every decision made by Loghain in The Stolen Throne. What used to be a hallmark of the franchise (it is, after all, DARK fantasy), is present only in the broader atmosphere. Add in lackluster battle scenes and action, and there is very little to recommend the book to all but the most hopeless Dragon Age addicts. It's more of what you love, but somehow less than what you would expect.

Fortunately, if the previous novels are any indication, you can expect to see more of Rhys, Cole, and their friends in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Here's to hoping that the Mage/Templar conflict can be resolved there, paving the way for more compelling stories in the future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Churned off the fantasy novel mill, October 10, 2012
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Paperback)
Asunder is an atypical fantasy novel set around the premise of a quest (necessary for the fantasy video game genre it is targeting) which means an eclectic group of people travelling out from the Orlaian city of Val Royeaux, with its magisterial White Spire, into the wastelands of the Fade in order to save a mage who has become an Abomination. The group is made up of the mages: Rhys, his mother, Wynne, his friend and sometime lover, Adrian plus a deeply suspicious Templar, Ser Evangeline, who has been tasked by the head of her Order, the Lord Seeker, to keep a strict eye on them. Along for the ride, but hidden from plain view, is a unfriendly and frightened "ghost" - named Cole - who spends most of the novel either apologising for murdering hapless people or dealing with his social anxiety.
The journey's premise is the focal point for the inevitable political machinations that fuel the rage of a land. The people of Thedas fear the mages, a point driven home by the assassination attempt on the Divine early on the book; and so they are bound to the White Spire, watched by the Templars, mistrusted by all. It is a world where they fight so that all understand "not all mages become abominations."
The journey is one which commences as an uneasy fellowship with its typical tavern meetings (described in a manner you can read in a hundred other fantasy books), then proceeds into one-to-one chats away from campfires (resulting in attacks by darkspawn), trips into battle-blasted towns guarded by zealous Golems, the usual run in with hapless bandits, several quick steps across the Veil into the Fade so they can interact with Cole in his reality, a dragon, an elf named Pharamond, a mighty invading army, etc. etc....all of which leads to our Fellowship to their ultimate goal of discovering if the Rite of Tranquillity has become flawed.
Of course, not all journeys are physical and at the soul of the story are the voyages of self-discovery for both Rhys and Cole. The former to understand his place in the world, the depths of his magical ability; the latter to be resurrected, redeemed, yet ultimately betrayed, despised and sent away....all for a new novel to come. It is a story of many betrayals, of the sacrifices a mother will make for her child, of the inevitable fight for power and thrones and the right to rule.
This is a lengthy novel at four hundred plus pages of small print. David Gaider weaves a story that clearly follows the need for transferal to video games. As ever, novels of this type owe much to the phenomenon that has been TSR since the mid-80s; it ticks all the vital ingredients to keep its teenage audience interested, ensure the nostalgia of an older generation tugs at us as we read. The dialogue comes across as screen-play; the action is episodic as it has to be; at times the sentences uttered by the characters are too often proclamations of intent rather than genuine personalities. Yet, for all this, essentially it is a well done version of this sub-genre of fantasy novels. It is a novel that nestles safely and mediocrely in the bosom of its fantasy parents. If you like the concepts of Asunder give it a read. If you're looking for a great fantasy novel...there's better out there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Bridge to Dragon Age: Inquisition, December 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Kindle Edition)
Picking up where Dragon Age II left off, Asunder gives us a glimpse of the chaotic Orlais that the player will be facing in the third installment of the Dragon Age game series.

Of the three DA novels by Gaider, Asunder is surely the best paced, though its original cast of characters (Rhys, Cole, Evangeline, Adrian) fall flat in comparison to cameos from beloved Origins party members. All the same, it is an enjoyable look at the Circle from the inside as it tears itself apart in a time of civil war.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, August 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Kindle Edition)
If you are a fan of Dragon Age then this book is a very good read. Some of the characters from the first game make a return here and it is nice to see what they have been up to since they destroyed the blight. Interesting characters mostly, though some of their motives seemed too convenient to make the story move forward. All in all a good book and made that much better if you are a dragon age fan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Immersive story set in the Dragon Age world, August 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age: Asunder (Kindle Edition)
David Gaider, head writer of the wonderful Dragon Age video games, offers hints in this story on what to expect in the next installment of the franchise, Dragon Age Inquisition.

This story happens immediately following the events of Dragon Age II, in which the iron grip of the Chantry over the mages of Thedas is showing signs of slipping and a new order - the Inquisition - is rising to regain control. The setting is the White Spire Mage Circle in Orlais, in which we the readers are re-united with some characters of the game and acquainted with new, engaging characters in Rhys the mage, Evangeline the Templar, and the enigmatic Cole. Through the experiences of these characters Gaider further fleshes out the strife among three major powers - Magi, Chantry and Inquisition - and how these events are effecting everyone in Thedas, from the most humble of Spire prisoners to the Reverend Mother herself. It has the feel of a prequel and I am eagerly anticipating the rest of the story. It is helpful to have played the game - or to at least have read Gaider's other published work in the Dragon Age world - but not necessary in order to enjoy this rich and sometimes darkly portentious story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Dragon Age: Asunder
Dragon Age: Asunder by David Gaider
$7.69
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.