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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to the Deep Roads...
With the November release date of Dragon Age: Origins (PC) coming ever closer, the Bioware/EA hype machine has spun into overdrive and has spawned a second prequel novel in the form of Dragon Age: The Calling. Having been pleasantly surprised by the quality of The Stolen Throne (Dragon Age), I decided to try this novel with little hesitation.

After the events...
Published on 28 Oct 2009 by Mystic Mark

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for DA fans!
"DA: The Calling" is the second prequel to the amazing Bioware game, "Dragon Age: Origins" written by David Gaider. Its decent "high fantasy" but if you have no knowledge of the game and/or have not read the previous book, "The Calling" will have little interest for you. The book is clearly destined for the hardcore fan of the universe.
As in "The Stolen Throne",...
Published 13 months ago by Joao Cardeira Jorge


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to the Deep Roads..., 28 Oct 2009
With the November release date of Dragon Age: Origins (PC) coming ever closer, the Bioware/EA hype machine has spun into overdrive and has spawned a second prequel novel in the form of Dragon Age: The Calling. Having been pleasantly surprised by the quality of The Stolen Throne (Dragon Age), I decided to try this novel with little hesitation.

After the events at the end of the previous outing, King Maric has become rather emo and longs for an escape from the humdrum of governing his kingdom. Lo and behold, a rag-tag band of mysterious Grey Wardens turns up in his throne room and presents him with the perfect opportunity for escape - a return to the death and decay filled Deep Roads he managed to navigate in the first novel. One of their own has fallen into the hands of The Darkspawn, and they must get him back before he can reveal to them the obligatory Terrible Secret. Thus begins another compelling journey into (or beneath as the case may be) the land of Ferelden.

Whereas the first novel was set against an epic backdrop of kingdoms at war, this time around we are treated to an intensely plotted dungeon crawl in the corrupt tunnels and ancient ruins of the Deep Roads. The rather nondescript Darkspawn of the first novel are explored indepth and brought to life much more successfully this time around, and now seem like a palpable, coordinated threat rather than stock monsters. Much of their history and motivation is fleshed out and forms the core of the novel, especially where the main antagonist of the novel, The Architect, is concerned. The "star" characters are well written and mostly likeable, with their inner conflicts and shifting motivations creating an interesting counterpoint to the more small-scale and fast paced battle scenes. The motivation and methodology of the Grey Wardens themselves is another interesting theme that runs through this novel, and the effect it has on the characters lives is a compelling part of the plot throughout.

However, it's not all positive with some of the characters coming across as rather generic and suffering from a lack of development (Utha, Nicolas & Julien in particular). In the latter stages of the novel some very questionable snap decisions are made by people that seem to go against everything we are told about them previously (Utha again and Genevieve). There is also very little closure at the end of the novel. The pre-requisite showdown in itself is well written and entertaining enough, but none of the threats and themes in the novel are actually concluded. The last quarter of the book seems to scream "play the game to find out what happens next!", which might be a cunning marketing ploy but doesn't make a particularly satisfying ending.

In conclusion, Dragon Age: The Calling gives us another competently written and genuinely engrossing portrait of life in the land of Ferelden, with only a few flaws not serious enough to mar the overall enjoyment of the novel. Lets hope they continue with this book series long after the release of the actual game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Dragon Age fans., 26 Jan 2010
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M. Jackson (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
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I actually really enjoyed this book, maybe even more so than The Stolen Throne. There are the odd parts where it isn't wonderfully written and sentence structures can sometimes really lack, but at the end of the day I found that that just didn't really matter. I found I could easily get swept along in the story and it was a very fun read. I think this is a must for all fans of Dragon Age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Adventure, 29 April 2012
This review is from: Dragon Age: The Calling (Kindle Edition)
A good follow up to 'The Stolen Throne'. Explores some aspects of Thedas not seen in other material. With a compelling villain(?) in the Architect and a well crafted story arc. A rewarding experience if a little short.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Calling - more quality fantasy, 26 Oct 2009
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Just like "The Stolen Throne", the previous book to this one, the Calling is set in the land of Dragon Age: Origins and focuses on a quest to try and rescue a captured Grey Warden. Full of action, conflict, and some very personal character conflicts and developments, the Calling is a great piece of drama in a fantasy setting.

If you've not read "The Stolen Throne", you will be able to read this one still, but I would recommend you read that book first, but you'll be filled in on all the revelent story points in the Calling. A recommendation for everyone who wants to read up on some of the backstory to Dragon Age Origins, or for fans of fantasy or action-drama in general.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked the previous Dragon Age book you'll love this, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Dragon Age: Calling (Paperback)
It has a slow start but quickly picks up, but after getting through the start of the book it really picks up. It's a really good book even if you've never played a dragon age game, but i'd recommend it to people who have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Sequel and a Great Prequel, 11 Aug 2013
By 
Rory HJ (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dragon Age: Calling (Paperback)
"Calling" follows on well from "The Stolen Throne", exploring a bit of what happens after you have freed the kingdom and have to deal with the cost of your winning. It has the same well-written characters as the previous book but the writing of action scenes has improved quite a lot. Being set closer to the games more of the events were already known, but at the same time it was interesting to see some of the different characters from a different perspective and have those events fleshed out. Like "Stolen Throne" I would strongly recommend "Calling to fans of the Dragon Age games, probably even more strongly.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great for DA fans!, 13 July 2013
By 
Joao Cardeira Jorge "A Bad Man" (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dragon Age: Calling (Paperback)
"DA: The Calling" is the second prequel to the amazing Bioware game, "Dragon Age: Origins" written by David Gaider. Its decent "high fantasy" but if you have no knowledge of the game and/or have not read the previous book, "The Calling" will have little interest for you. The book is clearly destined for the hardcore fan of the universe.
As in "The Stolen Throne", Gaider has a talent to create complex and likable characters. The book follows almost the game's structure, with a party of heroes and a seemingly impossible quest to complete. The majority of the book is spent in the dreaded "deep roads" with brutal battles against Darkspawn but there are a few moments in the "circle tower" with the magi and even a sequence in the "fade". The plot works for the book just as easily as it would have worked for a DLC for the game. Speaking of DLC if you've played "The Awakening", get ready for amazing insight into the fascinating "Architect". Maric is back and there are huge revelations about him which any Alistair fan cannot afford to miss. He's charming and a very likable lead character and after the previous book's ending with Maric acting completely out of character to serve Gaider's plot its nice to see the writer returning him to his true self here. If anything Maric is a bit of a "Mary Sue" since in this book he seems to have no flaws at all. I don't fault David Gaider for it because there are two characters in the book which are so unlikable and so important to the plot that they could have destroyed the whole book without Maric to counter them. The first is Duncan. At first I was happy to get to see Duncan in his youth because even though he's not much in the game he's a pivotal character in the universe. Like Loghain in the first book, we get to see an important but underdeveloped character come to life and we get to explore his motivations and see what made him become the character we see in the game. Unfortunately Duncan acts like a spoiled brat for most of the book and only gets a bit of redemption in the last third. He's also very one dimensional and not very interesting. To be honest I could not recognize in him the game's Duncan and any subtle changes or growing up that Gaider attempted with his character to turn him into the Grey Warden we all know... failed. But the really big problem with "The Calling" is Genevieve, the Grey Warden's Commander and the character that is the whole drive of the plot. She is one of the most annoying, unlikable and quite frankly despicable characters in the "Dragon Age" universe. She lacks any redeeming quality and worst of all, any interesting features. What makes the whole thing worse is that she is the "catalyst" (Mass Effect fan private joke :D) for the whole plot and as such poisons the story almost irrevocably. The plot deals with Maric agreeing to lead Genevieve and her party of Grey Wardens through the deep roads using his knowledge from the first book, to find her brother, the previous Warden Commander who has knowledge of the locations of the "old Gods" which will allow the Darkspawn to begin a new Blight. This happens after Genevieve has a vision of her brother and she senses that he is close to sharing this information with the Darkspawn if he is not found in time. The problem is that Genevieve is so unstable and so distant right from the start that its hard to accept that anyone would follow her into a suicide mission based on "a vision" of hers, just out of loyalty. She simply inspired none and as such the plot quickly falls apart. Another problem was the lack of Loghain. He is only in a few pages and to be honest Maric isn't the same without Loghain and after the way the first book ended I hoped to see some much needed resolution to their tale and there simply was none. The ending as Mordin would say is also problematic. There is a twist and suddenly a new antagonist appears and hijacks the climax and the final confrontation and the conclusion just seemed to lack the proper weight after the journey we'd been through.
But there aren't only problems here. There is much right in "The Calling" too. David Gaider has an easy and enjoyable writing style which makes the book at 444 pages a surprisingly quick read. The other characters that form the party are highly likable with Kell, a quiet and lethal "hunter" and his hound, Hafter being the highlights. Fiona, an elven mage is another highly enjoyable character and one that has a huge importance in the universe.
There is also a superb piece of lore in the final pages that is of huge consequence and unmissable for the hardcore fan.
The book has amazing battles, magnificently written by Gaider, all tense and very exciting and there is something compulsory in the tale which makes you devour page after page.
The absence of Loghain and the missed opportunity with Duncan's character are important flaws but for a fan of the game this is a fantastic piece of "Dragon Age" history and a chance to go along a wonderful quest with Maric and get a really big lore revelation which is a huge treat for the really loyal fans.
Just like "The Stole Throne", "The Calling" is a very satisfying fantasy tale and an epic adventure for the people who have spent countless hours with "their warden" on "Dragon Age: Origins".
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2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible. But sort of so terrible it's funny., 10 July 2013
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This review is from: Dragon Age: Calling (Paperback)
The book arrived promptly and in good condition. Bought because I am a huge dragon age fan. Writing is so hilariously bad that the main use I got from this book was reading passages from it aloud to friends for comedy purposes. Now living in a charity shop.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 27 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Dragon Age: Calling (Paperback)
all i can say is read it, as a dragon age fan these books explain so much behind the game and they are deep and exciting reading beatyful adventure ... brilliant story ... i wont tell about the book as if i did it would contain spoilers and i wont do that i give this book 10 stars out of the 5 possible lol :D
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Dragon Age Book, 5 May 2013
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Mark Kaye (Leeds England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dragon Age: Calling (Paperback)
Great book, give some good back ground on what The Calling is, on Alistair and his Family, and on the Dark Spawn. Read this if you are a Dragon Age fan.
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