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Dragon Age: The Calling Paperback – Oct 13 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Oct. 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324092
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Clifford Dutka on Nov. 30 2009
Format: Paperback
If your interested in seeing why a lot happened in the game read this book, a lot of the undertones explain why the king was abandoned at Ostagar
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 66 reviews
78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
From man's worst enemy to man's best friend Oct. 7 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Full disclaimer: As someone obsessed with the DAO universe, my review is biased because I already have an attachment to this world and its characters. I devoured the first book and loved it, but this book just had me fluttering about like an excited if demented pigeon.

On the surface, the story seems simple. A King guides a motley crew of Grey Wardens through the treacherous Deep Roads to help them find a missing Grey Warden. But what it is, is so much more. It is about loss and regret, it is about trust and friendships. It is about how far a person will go to do the right thing, and how far a person will go to correct his or her mistakes. It leaves you with a feeling of uncomfortable uncertainty about the nature of evil and of good. And if you are a dog lover, it has a scene that will leave you misty eyed if not a complete emotional wreck.

In the end, it leaves you with a satisfying sense of closure, but you will see the Thedas universe with new eyes. No longer will you see the darkspawn as pure evil. No longer will you see those who defend humans against them as pure good, and suddenly, everything in the Dragon Age universe just acquired a patina of nuance that was until now not quite obvious.

And even if you are not into the Dragon Age universe, it is still an entertaining, action packed fantasy romp. Mr. Gaider's style is very confident and assertive in this book, his story is very expansive and lore filled, and yet he never loses his strengths- great interactions, a very intimate sense of story telling and characters that you will feel for strongly whether you want to hug them, or slap them silly.

I really enjoyed this book.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Tremendous success Nov. 2 2009
By M. Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Gaider did a tremendous job on this story, surpassing The Stolen Throne in all respects. The storyline will engross you and make you want to keep reading, and you find yourself truly wondering about what you really know about this world, the darkspawn, and the Grey Wardens. It should be required reading before playing Dragon Age, and also stands on its own as a worthy novel for those who enjoy adventure. Highly recommended.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Another Great Read Oct. 9 2009
By Morganic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the story seems simple enough for a fantasy novel, David Gaider's excellent writing style pulls the book through. Character interactions and an extensive lore are appearing as major strengths in his writing. I would heartily recommend reading this to anyone, not just fans of Dragon Age: Origins.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Good for a Fantasy Game Novel Jan. 27 2010
By Matthew - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a fantasy novel and have not played and enjoyed Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins game, avoid this novel. If you fit this category, I give this novel two stars. Without the game's support, the novel cannot stand on its own. The characters are flat, the setting is not well fleshed out, and the story itself is uninspiring.

On the other hand, if you a Dragon Age fan, and are looking for more back story about the world of Thedas, then this is a pretty good read. If you're looking to expand your Dragon Age experience, then I give this novel 4 stars.

Averaging out the two ratings, I give this one a 3 overall.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A New Hope Dec 30 2010
By Annihilatrix1138 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've never been so conflicted while reading a book. On the one hand, this is one of the most tedious things I've ever read, but on the other, it's given me a greater understanding of the lore of Dragon Age. And it's made me appreciate the game a lot more, as well. I feel satisfied, frustrated, happy, sad. I love and hate this book.

As a brief intro: THE CALLING is a novel based in the Dragon Age RPG setting created by the fine folks at BioWare. This is also the second novel in a series: a series primarily created to complement the video game. Because this book draws so heavily upon its prequel, and even more so upon the video game, there is almost no chance that someone who isn't a fan could pick up this book and know exactly what is going on. This book occupies a very limited niche.

But onto the story itself. It chronicles the return of the Grey Wardens to Ferelden, after the Orlesians were forced out of the country over a decade ago. We're introduced to a young Duncan (who fans of the game will definitely remember), his commander, and a few others who comprise the group. Their purpose in returning to Ferelden is to ask King Maric's assistance in tracking down one of their order, who was captured in the Deep Roads. Maric agrees to help them out, since it's possible they could put a stop to a Blight in the process. So, the group ventures into the Deep Roads, where they run into darkspawn aplenty, and a few mysteries that will definitely leave fans intrigued.

I would call myself a hardcore fan of the Dragon Age property. The game is one of my favorites, and the world (while derivative in some regards) is well thought out with a rich history to it. I read Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne and liked it. THE CALLING nearly made me rip the book in half, thereby separating the tedious part from the intriguing part.

The first half of the book is bad to the point of hilarity. The setup for everything is so forced that I couldn't believe it was happening. The Grey Wardens need Maric or Loghain to lead them through the Deep Roads. Never mind the fact that it's been fourteen years since they rather hastily made their way through the ruins. The Wardens need them, even if they don't remember anything. They make that resoundingly clear. And Maric actually agrees to this?

Combined with how Duncan - the stoic, noble and steadfast leader from the game - is set up as the book's comedy relief (which I did NOT see coming), that most of the first 200 of the 400 pages of the book are spent retelling events from the last book, and that most of the characters are hardly even provided personality...I was ready to put the book down.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: David Gaider is a great writer. While being the Lead Writer of two games back-to-back, and then writing two novels on top of that, he puts out fine work each time. But the main problem with this book (to me), like the last one, is that he spends far too much time laying on the exposition. The book jumps the story ahead by days at a time, but then goes about recapping those missed days anyway. Backstories are added in at random intervals. And the characters spend many pages thinking about things when the mood is supposed to be tense. All of the recapping, history lessons, and the lengthy internal narrative really broke up the action.

But things really started to pick up in the last half, when there was a little less conversation and a little more action. The book stopped trying to make me privy to all of the innumerable relevant details (most of which I had already known) and just tells the story. Characters begin interacting, the story speeds up from a crawl to a sprint, and the lore is expanded upon massively. I actually had some emotional investment in some of the characters in the end, which I didn't have in the first half.

And the epilogue will have fans of the game grinning, I can almost guarantee it.

So, I think I can safely recommend this book to fans of the game, but that's about it. There are some heartfelt moments, genuine tear-jerking scenes, and some times where the book really captured the spirit of the game. It gets three stars for me, because no book should take 200 pages to hook a reader, but when it finally did, it felt like it was worth the wait.

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