It just occurred to me, probably because I just posted about A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV, that 30 years seems like it might be a standard flashback or prequel time frame. Star Wars: Episode One does the roughly-30-years-thing, too. That’s not really relevant to any of what’s to come, just something I noticed as I was about to type out the first sentence of this post.
Anyway. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne. Takes place an ever-convenient 30-ish years before the opening of Dragon Age: Origins, the actual introduction many if not most of us at this point had to the series. Where each of the games in the series can more or less be experienced without the other installments first, this book needs Origins and vice-versa. I’d played both Origins and Awakening before reading either book, and without the game I wouldn’t have been able to place myself in the text as well as is really fair. But it works much the same the other way around: there is so much about the game that I didn’t really appreciate until reading this book well after the fact.
The book, of course, is all about how the then-exiled-Prince Maric reclaims Ferelden from Orlais. Going into my first read of the book, that’s literally all I had to go on. Looking back before starting my re-read, the biggest impression it left on me was my entire view of Loghain. From almost the first moment, he was actually relatable; completely unlike how he’s presented to us in the main game without any meta knowledge from this book or any other sources. We get to see him as a human, instead of the has-been Hero of River Dane of the game; it’s just one thing that could have/should have been part of the game itself, if not for pacing and resource budgets.
The second biggest thing I remember is being confused by the geography mentioned throughout. It doesn’t help that the map used in the book is an earlier version of Ferelden’s map, one that was changed before the final game was released. Even Redcliffe is in a different position than it is on the games’ maps. But between the book’s map’s differences and the book mentioning Very Important Events happening in places I’d never heard of, it was all very confusing. But in the time since I last read this I’ve done some tinkering with all the versions of all the maps that I think will help me out this time.
And so? Into the book I go. I don’t plan on pushing myself through this process at a rate that’s going to burn me out, so I only have the post formats I plan on using set up and not a schedule. Book posts, at least, will cover whatever meaningful chunks of content I’ve reached by the time of the post. That could be a chapter or chapters, it could be a day’s or week’s worth of reading, or it could be something else entirely. It’ll all depend on that moment. Game posts, later, I have a little more structure for, but as I said–that’s later.