Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media



Lotte: As we eagerly await the release of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, Jop and I thought it would be fun to finally see what the Dragon Age companion novels are all about. But before we start, we should probably pause and discuss what we know about Dragon Age, and what we expect and hope to see in the books.

Read our reviews of the Dragon Age games here:

Dragon Age and Us

What is my history with Dragon Age? Well, this franchise has been in my life for over 15(!!!) years, something I’m only just now realizing is quite long. Though I didn’t keep count, I think I’ve done at least five full playthroughs of Dragon Age: Origins and two and a half playthroughs of Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Ironically, it wasn’t until Inquisition that the lore of Thedas completely clicked for me, resulting in me diving into the Dragon Age wikia to explore every codex of the games once again, Oh, and I should probably also mention that the long waiting for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf recently drove me to writing Dragon Age fanfiction. To say I have a great passion for Thedas, would probably be an understatement….

I played Dragon Age Origins for the first time in college, on Peter’s xBox 360. It was the first real game I’d played as an adult and I was HOOKED. I played the game two more times – because it is that good – and have since played Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. I love these games. There’s something about the World of Thedas that feels like home to me. Though I’ve never personally written fanfiction, I’ve read my fair share of Dragon Age fanfic over the past years. I keep wanting to go back to Thedas, and that’s one of the reasons why the spin-off books intrigue me so much, and why we wanted to challenge ourselves to read them.

Our Expectations

What does it mean to write a book based on a roleplaying game where it’s all about player choices?

Before we start our challenge, we should probably discuss our expectations. I think there’s several things to talk about. First, there’s the quality of the books, whether that is their writing, their plot, or whatever else we might judge any other book on. I’m also really interested in which characters will show up in the books (especially considering how some characters can have different endings based on player choices in the games). The final thing I’m intrigued by is how much the books contribute to the games, as well as how much knowledge of the games you need to enjoy the books.

So many dimensions to discuss! To start of with writing and plot… Well, I must admit that I have some reservations. This might be an unfair overgeneralization, but in my experience spin-off novels of games and movies tend to lack the quality you expect from other books. Though I think people like David Gaider and Patrick Weekes have done masterful work for the Dragon Age games (and in David Gaider’s case, also Stray Gods), writing a good book is a whole other skill set. Additionally, trying to incorporate in another medium what people love about the games is a challenge in itself. However, I’m very willing to be pleasantly surprised.

Oh that’s definitely been on my mind as well. I have read two other video game novels before, and I will say I was pleasantly surprised. Not too much, though. Both books still left me wanting something, probably wanting to go back to actually playing the games, haha.

Now let’s talk characters. Who are you most excited to read more about? 

Oof, good question. I’d probably say the Architect. I know he appears in one of the Maric prequels, though I don’t know any other context. When playing the Awakening expansion for Origins, this mysterious antagonistic character always stood out to me. With the appearance of Corypheus, my interest in the Architect only grew. To learn more of Loghain and Maric would also be neat, though. Also Cole’s background. And I would love a Flemeth appearance. What about you? 

Oooh, those are some really good choices! I really want to know more about King Maric. I think with the first two books being prequels, there’s a lot of room to explore this character who is so important in the first game, but barely really makes an appearance in any other media unless it is to get mercilessly killed. However, I am also very intrigued to read more about any main characters that might pop up in the books. After all, you really want to read about the Warden, Hawke, the Inquisitor and their companions. However, I’m not expecting to see much (or any) of them because they’re much more likely to have their story influenced by the player, leaving little room for a potential writer to write a novel about. 

Yeah, that’s actually always been one of my main gripes with Dragon Age spin-off media: they are often centered around our companions after the events of the game. However, seeing as the fate of these characters is dependent on the choices we make in the games – with death being a possible outcome – it’s almost a guarantee you’ll upset someone’s canon worldstate by focussing on one of these companions. At the same time, anything that happens to these characters won’t likely impact the lore of future games, because of their variable status. This has a huge impact on the stakes of the story. Why should someone care about Wynne and Shale’s travels when both of them can die in the game? It’s much safer – and probably more interesting anyway – to write about other characters, or to write prequels to expand on the lore in the games. 

Ok, now let’s address the obvious. You’ve read all of the codices and know everything about these games. I, on the other hand, haven’t read a single codex and will forget any information handed to me within the hour. Who do you think will enjoy these books more? Do you think you’ll know how every story ends from the start?

Hmm, interesting questions. For some of these books I know the broad strokes of where the plot will (have to) end. Still, the roads to these endings still hold surprises for me. Hard to say who will enjoy them more, though. Perhaps you’ll have an advantage because you can just take everything at face value? 

That’s definitely possible. Though I do think that, if the quality of the books ends up disappointing (which is definitely possible), you might still get more out of them. Think about it: you’ve read all of those codexes, right? What is a book if not just… one extra long codex? 

The Plan

Alright! Now we’ve discussed our expectations, let’s talk about the plan. We want to read all the Dragon age books, not including the comics, in order of publication. So, the list looks as follows:

  1. The Stolen Throne by David Gaider
  2. The Calling by David Gaider
  3. Asunder by David Gaider
  4. The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes
  5. Last Flight by Liane Merciel
  6. Hard in Hightown by Varric Tethras (and Mary Kirby)
  7. Tevinter Nights by various authors.


For each book we’ll post a discussion where we talk about the topics above, as well as a separate review. The first book we’ll be reading is The Stolen Throne by David Gaider!

Let’s see how we feel about Loghain after this one…

Have you read one of the Dragon Age companion novels? What did you think of it? Let us know on our social media!

Share this post: