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4.4 out of 5 stars54
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on 4 September 2010
After completing Dragon Age: Origins on X-Box 360, I was hungry to continue my journey into the world of Thedas, which led to me stumbling upon both this book and Dragon Age: Calling here on Amazon. Given the fact it's based on a computer game I didn't have very high expectations of either book, but given the relatively cheap price of both books, I thought I'd give them a gander anyway.

The Stolen Throne is the first prequel book and tells the story of how the rebel prince Maric, as well as his companions Rowan and Loghain, overthrew the invaders from neighboring Orlais and reclaimed the land for Ferelden. It is a fine basis for a novel and proves exciting from start to finish. The novels main strength, I thought, lay in the relationships between the four main characters, as well as their personal inner demons.

Given the novel is a prequel to the Dragon Age computer game, I suspect it will be readers who have played the game that will most enjoy the story, as it throws a new light on some characters they've met, as well as expanding on their experience in Ferelden. Highly recommended.
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on 10 March 2009
Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne is a prequel novel for the upcoming RPG computer game, Dragon Age: Origins. But does it stand alone as a decent novel or go down as yet another trivial game tie-in product?

Set primarily in the conquered lands of Ferelden on the world of Thedas, the setting itself comes across as pretty generic: Elves, Dwarves, and Humans with the requisite boogedy-monsters lurking below the surface of the world in the form of The Darkspawn. The humanoid races have some interesting touches, such as the second class status of the elves and the political machinations and rigid social structure of the Dwarves, but it's nothing that is explored too deeply as the plot rarely deviates from the core of the story long enough to give much insight into these things.

The Stolen Throne starts off right in the action, and rarely slows down the pace right until the very end, with the plot bouncing from action scene to battle to revelation at breakneck speed. Rather than seeming rushed or contrived however, it manages to weave a rather compelling and exciting narrative that grabs you and keeps you reading until the very end. What I enjoyed most about the book however, was the portrayal and relationships between the main characters.

The story follows Prince Maric, Ruler-In-Exile of the kingdom after the abrupt death of his mother, and his quest to win back his kingdom from the sadistic and hedonistic King Meghren, a tyrant placed on the throne when an enemy empire invaded the land. Teaming up with the taciturn and ruthless Loghain and the driven warrioress Lady Rowan, the three of them embark on a quest of war and betrayal to win back what has been taken from them. The interaction between these characters is always interesting and they are well developed as conflicted, believable hero's struggling with their own flaws as well as the responsibility of the rebellion around them.

Maric's evolution from a naive prince to a stern king who does what needs to be done is the heart of the story and can be seen coming a long way off, but it is written in such a way it never seems cliche. The same can be said for the inevitable espionage and love-triangles that spring up along the course of the novel - they all fit believably into the plot and what we learn of the characters, serving to create an engaging page-turner of a novel.

So in conclusion, The Stolen Throne doesn't do anything new or bring any unique ideas to the genre, but is well written and entertaining enough that it doesn't really matter, with compelling characters it's easy to get invested in. As a marketing device for the computer game, it's a definite success in my eyes, as I now can't wait to play the game and find out what happens next.
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I more or less fell onto this title by accident, purely as I wanted to play the game as I'd heard a lot of good things about it. What David Gaider has done however is create an interesting as well as pretty solid prequel that will not only enthuse the reader but also gives some great background to the world as a whole. The prose is sharp, the action pretty tightly stuffed within but above all its his characterisation alongside dialogue that really will have the reader enjoying the title. Overall, this is a great offering and one that has a similar sort of feel to the opening of Waylander 2 (In the Realm of the Wolf) by David Gemmell for the reader.
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on 19 January 2010
I highly recommend The Stolen Throne to anyone who has played Dragon Age: Origins. It is a very easy and fun read which gives a wonderful insight into the troubles Fereldan faced before those in DA:O. I also really enjoyed learning about young Loghain and getting an insight into who he was as a person and therefore his possible motivations behind what he did in the game. Reading The Stolen Throne truely adds great depth into an already fascinating world created by Bioware.
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on 6 January 2010
To say it up front, this is solid fantasy work and has to be judged as such. My 5 rating is for people who have or plan to play Dragon Age, it really gives the already rich backstory a whole new depth (and may make you reconsider some of your choices even).
Some criticise the way that certain parts of the book are mostly summarising the events that happen over a period of years at times, but personally I prefer this over having every single battle spelled out in detail.
The characters are written well and all in all it's very entertaining and like I said, a must for players of Dragon Age.
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on 9 April 2013
"Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne" is an enjoyable fantasy book, both for fans of the videogame and genre fans. The book is a great window into the whole universe Bioware created for its magnificent game and a wonderful adventure. It might be a bit light on plot as the story mostly deals with Maric, the main character, trying to win back the throne of Ferelden his grandfather lost to a foreign invader, the Orlesians, with the help of his future queen and his best friend, Loghain. Loghain is of course a pivotal character in the game, although his appearances are actually brief if you really consider it, so its great to get a chance to see more of him and his personality and how he evolved into the character we meet in the game. The book is divided between huge, well written, exciting battles and a sort of "unspoken" romantic triangle between the main characters. The romance does take up lots of pages and although interesting it can turn a bit tiresome and that is especially problematic towards the end of the book. The ending is as rushed as can be, going as far as skipping the last battle and even the final fight between Maric and the "usurper". All of this is recounted in the last page of the book. No, i'm serious! Yeah...
The villains are also badly developed with barely any scenes and even the plot and the three main characters take a turn for the worse by the last pages, taking actions and changing in a way that seems only for plot sake and not true to their nature. Loghain and Maric are very likable characters as is Rowan, the daughter of an Arl promised to Maric to be his future queen. You go on this journey with them and see them battle and bond between them and with you as the reader but suddenly they seem different characters. Suddenly they are not likable at all, especially Maric and just like that the book ends and it leaves you a bit bitter and sad.
Lots of important events are narrated in only a paragraph and the story just rushes to the finish line in a hurry. The feeling is that this is only half the book and in the end we have to consider that maybe the author should have spent less time in some of the earlier amorous developments and saved some pages for the epic climax the book is sorely missing.
The book is also heavy on the "Tolkien" tropes, as was the game to be honest but I suppose that's also to be expected.
For fans of the videogame this is a treat with a trip to the deep roads, the "Legion of the Dead", a visit to Flemeth and of course Loghain. For non fans, this is still a well written, fun adventure although with some serious problems in pacing and closure.
I guess Bioware just have a real problem when it comes to endings!!!!
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on 2 March 2013
I first came across the Dragon Age franchise in the form of Dragon Age: Origins, the video game on Xbox 360. What immediately struck me was how mature of a storyline the game held, it wasn't for children and it was a realistic tale told in a frontal assault on your mind as you played. So when I was browsing one evening on Amazon I came across the tie-in novels of the franchise, written by David Gaider who was lead writer of the video game. Instinctively I checked the reviews of those who bought the book first, and it struck me most of the buyers were fans of the video game.

Going by a few reviews that said the book was very well written, and was perfect for any fan of the game I bought all three novels from Gaider; (1) The Stolen Throne, (2) The Calling and (3) Asunder. The moment it arrived I jumped into the first book, The Stolen Throne. I immediately knew most of the characters from references in the game, and knew that this was a prequel to the game set about twenty years or more before the events of the video game Origins.

I was immediately intrigued to learn about events leading up to the video game, and I was thoroughly enthralled from start to finish. In fact I took the book everywhere with me in order to continue to read it, both at work and at home. I couldn't put it down, as locations and lore of the game were explored and expanded on. I have to admit that this series of novels is really for fans of the game, mainly to understand the setting and some of the characters you have to know of them beforehand. Very well written, not too long nor too short. I didn't feel cheated for the price I paid, which I found reasonable on the site and I would recommend this book to fans of the Dragon Age franchise.
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on 3 July 2012
I bought this on a whim, after completing Dragon Age: Origins for the umptienth time, and needed something to read for the summer. David Gaider is obviously quite talented and involved with his characters, as seen in DAO, but I was really taken back with how well it all translated into writing. It takes a lot more effort to suddenly put a world onto paper, rather than have it shown in a "living" world, where you have voices, sounds, and images to convey everything. Mr. Gaider nailed that.

I've been getting gradually more upset with fantasy as a book-genre, as it's been ages since I've read an author who took the responsibility of his world seriously. Everything only ever seems to exist from page to page, and it's not very fun or compelling to read something like that. Gaider cheats a bit, by having an already established world, with characters and events already known to anyone who's played DAO, but it really just doesn't matter. He still writes his story beautifully and you end up with a great, fast-paced fantasy epic, that draws you in. Only the epilogue seemed a bit weak to me, yet I was smiling as I read through it. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good fantasy read, just as much as people who are wanting more from the world of Thedas.

Actually reading on the war with Orlais was more than enough to get me hooked, but getting to know the characters involved was more fulfilling than anything.

As with DAO itself, the only real complaint I had, was that there wasn't more of it.
Now show your love, and buy this!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 September 2011
This summer I tried expanding the satisfying experience I have had with computer Role-Playing games with related fantasy novels. It worked greatly with The Witcher as two of the books that game was based upon (The Last Wish &Blood of Elves) were also excellent reads. With Dragon Age: Origins, however, I found the game to be must better than the spin-off books.

The STOLEN THRONE starts abruptly, placing you in the boots of the fleeing prince Maric, running away from a treasonous ambush that threatens to extinguish his bloodline's claims to the Ferelden throne. From one tense moment to the next, the urgency to avoid eminent defeat never seems to let go - and neither does Maric's luck. But it is not just rhythm problems this book has.

The writing is unpolished, mechanical and often juvenile, whereas the plot strains the limits of one's suspension of disbelief. And for a fantasy novel, complete with spell-casting magi and flying dragons, that is no small feat.

What is worse, the writer seems to have struggled to tame the story and fit it under the events set by the game. It almost worked with King Maric, mostly because his role in the game is so short. It totally failed with Loghain though. I do no wish to spoil it for anyone so let's just say, those who have completed the cRPG will find this novelized Loghain barely recognizable.

I am a huge fan of DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS and that is the only reason I rounded my rating up rather than down.
This is a book addressed mostly towards fans of the original game.
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on 28 March 2011
NOTE: This review does contain a few minor spoilers!

I am a massive fan of Dragon Age: Origins and the universe that Bioware created so I bought this book on the off-chance that it might be a decent read. I wasn't expecting much, it has to be said, but I thought it might be interesting to occupy my time for a few hours with a BOOK instead of a game... and I must say that I really enjoyed it! I read it in about 3 sittings, finding myself quite engrossed in the story, which in itself is very interesting.

The setting is Ferelden, a country in the world of Thedas, which is under the occupation of Orlesian invaders - think England and France in the middle ages for an idea of what a real life Ferelden and Orlais may look like. You are told the story of Maric, the last of the Theirin bloodline, whose mother (The Rebel Queen) has been murdered by her trusted "allies". Following Maric's escape from his mother's killers, by chance he meets Loghain Mac Tir and the two find what remains of the rebels and the army his mother built; what follows is the story of how Maric reclaims the Ferelden throne, taken from his grandfather by the Orlesian invaders. The battle scenes are well written, the pace is good and the characterization, like in all Bioware games, is brilliant and you really feel for them. The light brought to the character of Loghain, one of the main antagonists in DA:O, is very interesting and gives him a whole new dimension. My only complaint with it is that the ending came too fast - though how it was rounded off was quite nice! - and it could have easily been 50 pages more to finish things off.

All in all a good read for any fans of the Dragon Age universe, and a decent introduction to the series for anyone thinking of playing the games. It might not be as intriguing for those who aren't familiar with the games, as there are some references to characters from Origins, such as Flemeth the Witch of the Wilds, but it is still a solid fantasy story. I would definitely recommend it, particularly for such a low price!
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