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Dragon Age: Masked Empire (Dragon Age 4)
Dragon Age: Masked Empire (Dragon Age 4)
by Patrick Weekes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The" best dragon age novel to date, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This will be a preference thing for some, but for me, this novel was a best seller waiting to happen.

I wont spoil what happens for those looking for a spoiler free review, instead I will give a teaser synopsis of my own opinions of what exactly this book did right and why its the best of the dragon age novels to date:

The Characters:
The characters in this book are the most interesting since Maric's motley band of misfits in The Stolen Throne, it sets a similar pace with its main characters being very similar personality wise and feel wise to the crew of the book mentioned.

Celene, the main focus of the story, Empress of Orlais, is without a doubt one of Dragon Age's most developed figureheads throughout the course of this storyline, this tale tells her story, from start to finish, giving us a full perspective of what to expect of a character we have only had mention of up until this novel, and the upcoming DA: Inquisition.

In addition to Celene, there are three other major character perspectives:
Briala, an elven woman with complacent obedience to her empress, challenged by her patriotism to her people, and to define just who her people really are.
Ser Michel, Celene's personal Bodyguard and a knight devoted to his code of honor, who throughout the story is pressured to stand for it, while harboring a dark secret.
And Duke Gaspard, Celene's Cousin and the central antagonist of the story line, a Chevalier with a tactical cunning and a ruthless precision, who's sense of cruelty is matched only by his surprising sense of dignity. He is a man that takes honor, very seriously, and throughout his journey, may yet understand the meaning of the word better than he preaches.

There is also one secondary character in the form of Briala's Elven Companion, Felessian who is essentially a witty, dry humored apostate Dalish that may yet be more than he first appears to both Briala, and her comrades.

One might also consider Gaspards loyal companion the Duke of Lydes to be a secondary character, but his role is mostly one of an adviser that acts to reflect Gaspards own personal challenges and enhances them by being a test of his own character's morals personified.

However, the rest of the cast are while minor, still quite significant, and the story lacks nothing in its pacing and engaging scenes with all of them.

The Story Itself:

The story carries the political intrigue of Orlais day to day events while shifting later into the tensions of conflict, and the origins of the elves, its a very lore heavy book yet tells its story in a flowing, story driven pace that allows one to digest every moment of it with excitement and ease.

This near 400 page novel is a modest read for anyone looking for a good book to delve into in the Dragon Age lore, and its exciting enough that it pulled me into its depths all the way to the finish, I tended to it in less than a week of casual reading.

Simply put, some novels you cant put down, this one is the kind that will pull you in and make it hard to stop until you've finished. You really grow attached to everyone involved and this only increases the hype for every chapter leaving you hungry for every little taster of whats to come.

For some reviewers I noticed they didn't seem to share this sentiment, I find that difficult to fathom myself but perhaps its just not in everyone's tastes. This novel's strength is that it pulls a person into its story, not its description.

Those looking for novels with heavy description, long but rewarding reads with heavy interludes wont really be appeased by this adventure. Its designed for those interested in a modest yet rapidly paced set of events that chain together nicely and end on a beautiful crescendo.

I wont spoil the ending, but what I will say, is that it shouldn't have caught me off guard, but it did. Not only that, but it sets up enough cliffhanger hype that I am dying to know more, and longing to get my hands on DA: Inquisition sooner than later.

Over all, this entire book felt just right. It takes what The Stolen Throne did and perfects it, it almost feels like a unity of the previous three books concepts all unified into one, with just the right level of political intrigue, conflict, adventure, tragedy and triumph.

It balances itself better than any of its predecessors, taking what The Stolen Throne did well with its scaled battles, and perfecting it in little more than a few tense skirmishes.

It takes what the calling did with its adventure and journey into the realm of the fade, and perfects it by bringing us into mysteries of Thedas we previously did not know about, and now get to explore for the first time.

It takes what Asunder did with its political edge and perfects it with the tensions of who is fighting for who, and why? How loyal are their friends, their foes, their motives, their goals?

It also asks a question that no other Dragon Age novel has truly asked.

How long can love last?

Granted, things like this may feel nostalgic for those that read The Stolen Throne, the book feels very similar both pacing and destination wise, but its ultimate delivery is much more intriguing and to a degree, atmospherically darker than the former novel before.

Again, this is a must read for a Dragon Age Fan, it also features a minor Cameo from a certain Orlesian Bard though I am quite certain people will easily guess who 'she' might be.

Anyway, teasers aside, I really think this book deserves credit, as does the author for expanding existing material in an exciting new direction that sets the stage for Dragon Age Inquisition perfectly.

Hope to see more from this Author using this setting's expansive possibilities.

Neewer FC100 LED Macro Ring Flash for Canon DSLR
Neewer FC100 LED Macro Ring Flash for Canon DSLR
Offered by Happy Sales UK
Price: £19.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For tripod work only. Useless for hand-held macro., 5 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was bought for me as a birthday present after I'd just bought a macro lens.
The problem is that despite it looking really bright when it flashes, it's just not bright enough to allow the user to stop down the lens and keep the shutter speed high - which is exactly what you need to do with hand-held macro work. I like to shoot wild flowers and insects/butterflies. The construction is great, very good for the money. Sadly, it just won't do for me.
It was a bit disappointment, I'm afraid.

Fable III Limited Collector's Edition (Xbox 360)
Fable III Limited Collector's Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by gadgetsville
Price: £57.65

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Fable 2, not as good as Fable 1, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I liked this game, but I found it hard to become attracted to it, its got appeal but it just didn't pull me in the same way the original fable did. Peter Molenyeux spent way too much time trying to make his fantasy world "realistic" which is in itself a joke, instead of fleshing it out and making it more interesting as a setting.

Game play wise, it had appeal, but story wise, it isn't amazing. While you at least get an end boss this time, it still isn't quite the same as fighting jack of blades in Fable 1. Honestly this is proof of the dying breed of rpgs out there where the final boss fight is nothing but an anti-climactic attempt to make a boss.

It was unfortunate really, I actually liked this game, more than Fable 2, but I just didn't love it.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Collector's Edition (PC/Mac)
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Collector's Edition (PC/Mac)
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £28.30

2.0 out of 5 stars The worst of WoW's Expansions, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Honestly this game was bad, there is no excuse, this game was AWFUL.

The only redeeming feature is playable Goblins and Worgen, but the lore was terrible, so painfully star wars-esque and completely disregarded the previous storylines, and ignored the consistency of the plot entirely.

The antagonist was a joke, derp a dragon of dumbness wants to destroy the world, because plot armor. I could not be more offended at how much disregard was given to the lore to make this character and this storyline.

It was terrible, its awful and quite frankly, its only purpose is to serve as a transition to MOP, which is only just better for its better written story, despite the fact it effectively destroyed the MMO itself.

I honestly hated every expansion to wow for making the lore more and more ignored in favor of giving players epic loot and killing bosses that in realistic terms would flat out annihilate them. This was the worst culprit by far, with no exposition as to how you became strong enough to kill a primal dragon, and no explanation as to how you are suddenly the guardians of the world that is now threatened by the old gods...

Seriously, for people that actually respected the lore of Warcraft 3, this game will bring you to tears at how awful it was.

Dragon Age 2 - Signature Edition (PC DVD)
Dragon Age 2 - Signature Edition (PC DVD)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contrary to popular belief, this is a good game, and heres why:, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Some reviewers might be shallow because they judge this game for the content, rather than the time it took to make it. I argue that people forget this game was announced literally after Dragon Age Awakening had been finished and released.

People forget that Bioware had only six months to make this game, that's not a lot of time, they had to plan, design and build a world in a very short period that would satisfy fans, and to me, that's an admirable goal.

I wont deny, they failed, and they could have done A LOT more, but EA pushed for hard deadlines and the result is this, a wonderful, but not perfect game.

I felt a lot more attracted to dragon age 2 because of its plot, its story was darker, its characters deeper, and we had companion side quests that actually allowed us to "influence" our friends and define their futures.

I, personally loved this game because of the promise it holds, a third dragon age game, with the longevity of origins, could be fun with this games combat, and its darker story atmosphere.

Rift - Collector's Edition (PC DVD)
Rift - Collector's Edition (PC DVD)

3.0 out of 5 stars Good setting, not my favourate game, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When this first came out long ago I loved the story for it but I confess Ive not played it in quite some time. As a setting, Rift's universe has a lot of promise and is a really unique, promising start for a franchise, more than an mmo. Had this been an RTS or something else first, it might have done better, but as such, it launched with little more than a name to go with. Sadly, that wasn't enough to carry it along for me.

Unfortunately, this game suffers from the WoW Clone syndrome so many games of that generation went through. If your looking for something radically different, this isn't for you.

It did however have the unique dynamic event system in the form of invasions, which make the game that little bit more appealing than a regular wow clone, but not enough, I digress, for me to maintain long term interest.

Its a promising franchise, that needs some novels and even extended fiction like a board game, but as an mmo, it has a limit to where it can go.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (PC DVD)
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (PC DVD)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fun but Limited, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Story is good, though extremely cliche and as such not much to go with aside from a typical space marine story, especially what you'd expect from an ultra smurf plot.

Despite this, it was alright, The game play is a lot of fun for someone that likes a good old fashioned hack and slash with guns, its got its moments and the multiplayer is appealing.

Not something id honestly play frequently however, after a while, its fun, but it isn't overly repayable sadly.

Dragon Age Volume 1
Dragon Age Volume 1
by Mark Robinson
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of exposition but never goes anywhere, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dragon Age Volume 1 (Paperback)
This obviously was the start of something that never got finished, this series literally ends where it begins which is unfortunate.
Promise could have been made from this, the story tells us of a young Mage girl and her origin in the plot but we never see her in the games or even expanded lore, which is sad, she never gets a cameo or mention again.

This is good for extra lore, but that's it, sadly not much to say other than that.

The Fires Of Heaven: Book 5 of the Wheel of Time: 5/12
The Fires Of Heaven: Book 5 of the Wheel of Time: 5/12
by Robert Jordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My least favourate in the series, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ill be blunt, this was too long and too much unnecessary nonsense was clunked into it to make it longer for no reason than to make it long in the first place. I love wheel of time, but the pacing in this book was too slow for my tastes, while I love the rest of the series, this is probably the only black sheep in the family. Anyone that wants to get into WoT should be ready for a "Long" read, with very little development, Book 6 is better, but you do need to read this one to understand it, sadly.

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker [DVD]
Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker [DVD]
Dvd ~ Luci Christian
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £4.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Fans, and even Newcommers, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not perfect but enjoyable to watch, Dawn of the Seeker takes us into Dragon Age's political intrigue once more with the story of Cassandra Pentagast's origins, its a good plot, for anyone that liked Dragon Age 2, and also for anyone that likes Dragon Age in general.

Even for people unfamiliar to the series, you can get the premise of the plot easy enough, its an enjoyable watch, the development between the characters is actually quite good and believable.

My only major gripe was the villains in this story, you kind of figure out pretty quickly who the bad guys are, I wont spoil it but anyone that's watched anime before will be quick to pick up the signs and clearly know who's who.

Despite this..., I liked this film, it was good, it shows that dragon age can go far as a franchise, not just a video game series.

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