I bought Dragon Age: Origins a while ago but put it aside for a future day for two reasons. The first being that I have too many games as it is and not enough time to play any of them. The second being that I wanted to finish reading the prequel novel, Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, before diving into the game.
The Stolen Throne is not typical of the books I read, and to be honest, I didn’t really expect it to be any good. I picked it up on a lark, thinking it’d be interesting to get some more background info on the lore of Dragon Age. The reader reviews on Amazon were surprisingly positive however, so my hopes began to elevate a little.
I finished the book over the Christmas holidays and quite frankly, it’s kind of bad and I had to push myself to continue reading it. I will not be reading the follow-up novel.
There are a lot of problems with the book, but my biggest issue was the over-use of tired, old, fantasy clichés. There’s the prophesizing witch that lives in the mysterious foggy forest, the over-the-top evil guy, and the young, naive prince who rises to heroic stature seemingly overnight. I kept thinking that the book felt like the final project of a “How to Write Fantasy in 21 Steps” course.
I really hope that the game does a better job than the novel at providing a sense of scale to the world. In the novel, it apparently doesn’t take any time at all to travel from one edge of the map to the other, as the characters in the book end up criss-crossing the map seemingly at random.
Fortunately, the book has not dampened my enthusiasm for the game. Like I said, I bought the book thinking it’d probably be bad, and it lived up to those expectations.