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Rushed ending taints a good book!
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!!!!