The best I can say about "The Silent Grove" is also the worst. Its decent. Its a safe comic, that doesn't take any risks and satisfies any "Dragon Age" fan without ever being, or even trying to be anything more than average. The art is good enough, shining especially in the details in the armors, Isabela's attire and Varric's Bianca but with no moment of brilliance or any really amazing pages that stick in your mind. The story deals with Alistair and Maric and has huge lore potential but things always seem by the numbers, tepid, with no real flair or charm. I found the script surprisingly flat, with Alistair in a perpetual brooding state of mind, without any of his famous humor. Isabela seemed to lack her wit and naughtiness and Varric... well Varric was just there with no real function in the plot and more as fan service than anything else. There are a few funny moments, some lines relating to the games and a few well drawn fights but it all seemed to lack energy and excitement. Of course I still loved the comic but that's because i'm a huge "Dragon Age" nut and just seeing Antiva makes giggle like a little girl. But even for fans I thought there was something almost unforgivable about "The Silent Grove" and it was its portrayal of the "Antivan Crows". The most deadly assassins in all of Thedas are used as nothing more than cannon fodder and represented as incompetent fools, lowly henchman who pose little or no threat. This was just a horrible representation of something the games have been hyping as an organization more feared than even a powerful army. This is just the start of what promises, and has the potential, to be an epic quest and as a beginning I suppose it set up things rather nicely and made me hyped for the next volume. There's nothing really wrong with it but there's nothing really great either. For a hardcore fan, as I am, this is still highly recommended, especially if you've read David Gaider's books and witnessed other adventures with King Maric. Its worth it for the lore alone and its a highly enjoyable quest. It just never really manages to achieve its potential.
The Silent Grove is an interesting tale set two years following the events of Dragon Age II and continues the high quality writing of DA Lead Writer David Gaider. The graphic novel contains a number of tie-ins to the previous games while also extending the story of 3 of the previous companions: Alistair, Isabella and Varric.
One point of note, however, is that the story may not follow the same canon established in some players' games. Certain characters that may have died in a player's game are referenced, as well as actions that some may not have chosen (Although, it has been stated that if the story conflicts with a player's canon, then said story should be considered to take place in an Alternate Universe and have no impact on the player's story).
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I received a digital copy of this graphic novel from netgalley and whilst I had a few troubles as mentioned in other graphic novels read this way I didn't have so many this time because most of the font was large enough to not be over pixelated. Any how obviously I'm a fan of Dragon Age and even though I didn't complete the game (it's not my fault, I'm a hoarder, it's a disease!) I had played enough to let my inner nerd completely devour this book page by page and end up pretty wowed by it all. The art work is also beautiful and its a lovely touch that it was in colour - a lot these days go for a black and white theme so this was a refreshing change - especially because the colours were so bright and vibrant, even for the darker characters. This graphic novel follows King Alistair on a long and dangerous quest to find the answers of his fathers disappearance, I guess its also to find some inner peace as he's only King because there is no one else left, I loved this story as we got to see a few different settings each one more beautiful than the last, and of course a wonderful dragon that was breath taking. At 82 pages this book is a little on the short side for me BUT it is only part one, I hope to stick around for the sequel because its certainly set up a great adventure to follow with many questions that I want answered too!
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This book was short yes but gave the reader an even deeper insight into the lore surrounding the dragon age world and the events that take place in this wonderful but slightly dark in certain areas the company who designed this book should consider the possibilities of writing even more novels surrounding the characters of this epic saga Vw69bfl@hotmail.co Ltd
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In reviewing this graphic novel, I am fully aware that I will be revealing myself as a world-class geek! I am also aware that I'll be alienating a few readers here. However, I feel it's worth coming out of the nerdy closet just so I can be a bit of a video-game fangirl in my excitement over this!
I love the Dragon Age games. I like video games in general, and I have ever since I was a kid. I used to love watching my brother play games like Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid. I loved the stories and could forgive even the corniest dialogue!
Things have moved on a bit since Lara Croft's boobs were hexagonal and the voice actors of games like Resident Evil were so bad that your ears would bleed. These days, there are some games which are like stepping inside a good book and becoming the main character! The Dragon Age games are like that, and because I love their stories, I'm guilty of having spent far too many hours playing them!
Unfortunately, DA3's release date is still being posted as "To Be Announced". This means that fans like myself figured we were whole way away from being able to immerse ourselves in the world of Thedas again.
But, bless David Gaider's soul, Dragon Age has come to the printed page! I have the prequel novels on My Goodreads Wishlist, but could hardly believe my luck (or my eyes) when I saw this! A graphic novel following Alistair, Varic and Isabela on a whole new journey.
Alistair is the king of a land called Fereldan, and he is a character in Dragon Age: Origins. Isabela is a pirate hussy and Varic is a lovable dwarf and both appear as companions in Dragon Age 2. This GN takes place "almost a decade" after the Fifth Blight (the catastrophe that the first game is based around). In this book, Alistair is looking for his father, in search of answers to questions which have haunted him all his life.
Now, I'm a fan so while reading this I was able to sink quickly into the world depicted. I knew the voices and mannerisms of the characters like they were old friends! And yes, I know that's uber-geeky! However, while I read, I tried to imagine what it would be like for someone unfamiliar with this world to read about it. While I think the story had plenty going for it, I think the mentions of other in-game characters and events might leave a lot of readers floundering. But, that being said, I feel like these books are probably designed to appeal to the existing fan base.
The illustration was good, though I would have preferred Isabela and Alistair to be more in-keeping with their game-selves as I feel Freed "uglied them up" somewhat. Varric was a little different, but cool.
Overall, I loved the opportunity to see some of my favourite characters kicking butt and buckling some swash again! I'm not sure how much scope there is for a series as there are so many different possible endings to both of the games (the first more than the second...) that it seems like there might be a few elephants in the room after a while. In my games, for example, Alistair married my character. In other people's games, he ran away and never became King of Fereldan at all. I guess reading this GN is like playing a sequel to a game and loading a default save. The decisions and outcomes of the prequel are just the most typical outcomes.
And yes, I know just how geeky that last paragraph made me sound. I may as well go ahead and give this a well-deserved four and a half stars! Then maybe I should go and watch reruns of Star Trek while trying to to learn how to write in Tolkien's elvish...
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Dragon Age: The Silent Grove is one of those graphic novels that take the reader on a long but beautiful journey into the not so bright worlds of the creators' imagination.
In this dark tale one can find just about everything, apart from romance, but maybe that's to come in a future volume.
This is the story of King Alistair, an unwilling King, and his quest to discover the whereabouts of his missing father, King Maric. Alistair never wanted to be a king, he wasn't supposed to be one either and he: "never asked for an easy life - fruit every morning, servants cleaning my feet, bedclothes free from crawling things. I certainly wasn't raised to expect it."
Why not? Because his mother was nothing but a servant. As for the rightful heir to the throne, King Cailan, he died a decade ago. But can a reluctant king be a good king? Well, perhaps he can, since for the past few years his homeland, the nation of Fereldin had known an unprecedented period of stability and prosperity. That, however, was not enough to make Alistair happy.
And now, for the first time in years, he may at last have a chance to set things straight, for one and for all, as he receives some information about his father. In order to find out more he has to travel to the northern port city of Antiva. Instead of ordering an army to follow in his footsteps, or take along some faithful soldiers, he decides to hire a ferocious and beautiful woman that goes by the name Isabela, who's a pirate, and her traveling companion, the dwarf Varric Tethras, to accompany him.
Antiva though is not going to be their final destination, since once there they receive yet another piece of info, by Prince Claudio Valisti, a man with an agenda, that will first lead them to Velabanchel prison and then forwards to the Silent Grove, an enchanted place, where they are destined to meet Yavana, the Witch of the Wilds, and confront their worst foes and fears.
During the long journey the authors and the illustrator, do a great job in describing to the reader how Alistair, the center of this special universe, feels at any given moment, and what one sees is a sad man. What can he do to get over his melancholia? Is it possible for him to embrace his destiny? Can he depend on anyone else but himself? And can he remain true to his purpose from beginning to end?
This is a story of quite a few twists and turns that keep it going unperturbed from the first page to the very last. The passions of the protagonists come alive on the page, through wonderful words and beautifully drawn images, which make us empathize with them. And if there's a message in here it's this one: people can sometimes pleasantly surprise you, as they, for better or for worse, surprise Alistair.
If you love fantasy you will love this graphic novel.
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This is a perfect start to the Dark Horse series of Dragon Age Comics. Written by the lead writer of the Dragon Age games and novels with some truly amazing art by Chad Hardin it really captures the feel of the world of Thedas and the voices of the characters. It's so good that I can imagine the dialogue being spoken by the respective voice actors from the games. The story is the first in a trilogy that brings together characters from both of the currently released Dragon Age games. It follows King Alistair of Ferelden on a quest to uncover the fate of King Maric and is a story really worth reading as it full of great intrigue, action and humor. It also has allowed Bioware to expand the Dragon Age setting away from the core games. The involvement of Dark Horse comics is a really strong sign of quality as they have over the last few years done some really good Mass Effect comics and it's a real pleasure to see them do the same with Bioware's other massive franchise.
Although I did enjoy it, I expected something a bit more in depth. The book overall was good, getting insight into the dragon age world and the characters Varric, Alastair and Isabella, the price I found was a bit too much as I would have rather paid the same price for a full length non-graphic novel. But any insight is better than none.