Novels inspired by video games can add a lot to the playing experience. The tie-ins often expand on the world we’ve explored on screen and give us insight into the lives of characters we met along the way. Returning to the game again with this information can make it feel entirely different than it did before. I first realized this when I began reading the Dragon Age novels. As a result, the world of Thedas became an even more vibrant and interesting place.
BioWare’s fantasy RPG series is one of my favorite video game franchises, so it didn’t take a lot of convincing for me to give the books a try when I discovered them. There are currently five in all: The Stolen Throne, The Calling, Asunder, Masked Empire, and Last Flight. The books take place at different points in the Dragon Age timeline, from before Dragon Age: Origins to after Dragon Age II. They explain events we’ve only heard mentioned in the games, and what you learn about some characters might change how much you think of them as one of the good or bad guys in the narrative. They also show us areas the games have yet to take us that will have you hoping they appear in an installment soon.
I found myself hooked after I picked up my first one, and now all five grace my bookshelf. Each one offers a different experience in how it fills out the world of Thedas and how much it decides to tell us about its point in the timeline. I had a lot of fun replaying the games after reading these and keeping the information these provided in mind as I ran around as my Warden, Hawke, and Inquisitor.
These books aren’t the only way the world of Dragon Age has been explored beyond the games. There are also comics, a web series, an anime film, and more. Yet these were my first introduction to this world beyond the screen that made Dragon Age a richer, more fascinating experience to me, so they will always hold a special place for me.
Now a sixth book is on the way, as the fictional novel written by Varric from Dragon Age II will be brought to life in July. While that book will be quite different from the others released so far, I still expect to be among the first in line to check it out.