Dragon Age and Mass Effect Tie-ins Examined

Spawn Kill brings us a closer look at the novels, comics, and other tie-ins that publishers and developers have been creating alongside recent big-name titles, including Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect.
Before I read The Stolen Throne, a prequel novel to Dragon Age: Origins by David Gaider, I basically wrote off all video game fiction as crap. I did this without a foundation, just simply assuming that it would be bad. For the most part, this wasn't necessarily a bad assumption. What little video game-based literature we'd seen before was generally bad by all critical accounts. Then I read this review for The Calling, by our very own Tigresa, and I decided to give the books a chance. It stood to reason, after all, that a game with such fantastic writing and dialogue would spawn books of the same. And it did. Both books are great, and I am convinced that Gaider would be a good writer even outside the Dragon Age universe.

The Stolen Throne takes place during the time of King Maric's rise to the throne. Players might know Maric as the father of Alistair and Cailan from the game, and the book tells of his efforts to expel the Orlesians from Ferelden. He is also helped along by another famous name from Dragon Age: Origins, Loghain, whose beginnings defnitely foreshadow his nature in the game, but also make him much more likeable. The Calling takes place directy after The Stolen Throne and once again partially stars Maric, but this time sees him accompanying a group of Grey Wardens from Orlais, one of their numbers being none other than Duncan himself. Both books are do a fantastic job of setting up both the original game and its expansion, and seeing the familiar names in more active roles is definitely a guilty pleasure.