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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Dragon Age:The Stolen Throne by David Gaider

Author: David Gaider
Paperback:400 pages
Publisher: Tor Books(March 3, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Ebook
"Vengeance can change the world"

What do you get when a video game writer tries his hand at writing a novel? In all honesty, a novel overflowing with horrid plot pacing and unrealistic characterization.

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne serves as a prequel to the video game Dragon Age Origins. The Stolen Throne intrigued me mostly because it was written by David Gaider. Gaider has been a blessing to the video game community for his work on Baldur’s Gate and Knights of the Old Republic. Sadly, Gaiter does not understand that writing for video games and writing a novel are to entirely different beasts.

The novel follows the generic plotline of a rebel prince and his compatriots, trying to reclaim his rightful place on the throne. To befit such a generic plot premise, Gaider decided to make the prince as generic as possible. Prince Maric has all of the trappings of a storybook prince: handsome, idealistic and he even gets a mystical sword towards the end of the novel. Maric leads his army through poorly written battles and obstacles. The biggest issue I had with Maric was that he must suffer from some sort of undiagnosed bipolar disease because at the beginning of the novel he is the picture perfect/idealistic prince, but at the end of the novel he turns into a cold-blooded murder.

Like Maric, the setting of the Stolen Throne suffers from a disease, Tolkien disease to be exact. The symptoms of Tolkien dieses include long bearded dwarves who live in tunnels, pointed ear elf archers, and a gallant prince with a mystical sword. There is even a segment of the novel when Maric, and his compatriots, travel through a tunnel that is a carbon copy of the Mines of Moria.

            There is one saving grace to The Stolen Throne; it comes in the form of the character Loghain. While Maric gets all of the glory, Loghain stands in the shadow and formulates and executes all of the rebel army’s battle plans. If it was not for Loghain being in the book, I would have most likely stopped reading the Stolen Throne, but he held my attention the whole novel with his realistic viewpoint on life.

            The Stolen Throne, as a fantasy novel, is a complete mess that will haunt book stores and libraries for years to come. Even as a video game novel, it fails to expand on the story of Dragon Age Origins. I end this review as a sorely disappointed fantasy reader and a jilted gamer.

The Stolen Throne review score: 19/50

Characterization- 4/10
World Building- 5/10


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