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Asunder (Dragon Age, #3)
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Asunder (Dragon Age #3)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,704 ratings  ·  154 reviews
A mystical killer stalks the halls of the White Spire, the heart of templar power in the mighty Orlesian Empire. To prove his innocence, Adrian reluctantly embarks on a journey into the western wastelands that will not only reveal much more than he bargained for but change the fate of his fellow mages forever.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published 2011 by Titan Publishing Company
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Richard Lewis I'd have to say, no, the game is better than the book, but this is a different place and later time than DA:O and DA2 and in Orlais rather than…moreI'd have to say, no, the game is better than the book, but this is a different place and later time than DA:O and DA2 and in Orlais rather than Ferelden, but I still enjoyed it. As to the comic idea, there are comics featuring Alistair, Isabela, and Varric that take place after the first game.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alison Dellit
This is the first, and will probably be the only, Dragon Age tie-in novel I have read. I thought I'd give it a go because a) Gaider is an exceptionally good writer of characters (for those readers who don't play story-based video games, yes video games have characters, and plots, and stuff. And they have around 60 hours of screentime to play with to do it); and b) rumour was it had important background info to bridge the gap between Dragon Age 2 and 3.

Both were valid enough. The characters are s
I loved it. I just loved it. I loved most of the characters and even wanted to shake them by their shoulders sometimes for being SO stupid. And at other times, I wanted to hug- nay, KISS- them.

(view spoiler) I love the dark fantasy world he created. I love how REAL the characters are, how believable their actions and mistakes ar
Dec 02, 2014 Amy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: game
As a reasonably big fan of the Dragon Age series, I thought it might be prudent to read Asunder, which takes place not long after the second game, and offers some insight into what might be happening in the third game.

While I have a lot of respect for what goes into the making of video game worlds, and I think Thedas is actually a really fantastic place with a great and well-written culture and history, I think Gaider should avoid writing novels at all costs.

The book had some interesting insight
Mrs Giggles
I don't remember purchasing Asunder, so it is a good thing that I stumbled upon it in my pile of unread books, just when I was thinking of getting a copy. You see, the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming out later in 2014, and as one of the few people who enjoyed both the games that came before it, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, equally, I wanted some Dragon Age meat to sink my teeth into while waiting for that game. Okay, that sounds obscene, but I am an impatient person.

As this
Being a huge fan of the Dragon Age series of games and books, I had high hopes for Asunder, and Mr. Gaider delivered.

Although I enjoyed the first two books Mr. Gaider wrote (The Stolen Throne and The Calling), my interest was mostly due to the history and lore of Ferelden and the Grey Wardens imparted by the story. The characters and stories themselves were all right, but not the main draw.

With Asunder, that changed. I found the lore intriguing, but the real plus to this story is the characters
Georgina Collier
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was an OK read. The story takes place right after the mage rebellion in Kirkwall, but is set in Val Royeaux (Orlais). It's definitely no big work of literature, although it had some interesting plot points (the reversion of Tranquility, some new lore about demons and spirits, Wynne's past, etc.). Unfortunately, the main characters lack any serious characterization and reminded me of characters I met in DA:O and DA:II.
This is probably the best of the Dragon Age tie-in novels; paradoxically(?), it's also arguably the least accessible to someone who hasn't played the games. It takes place a few years after the events of Dragon Age 2 and deals, in part, with repercussions of the events in Kirkwall. If you've played the games, you'll be happy to spend time with familiar faces and to see what I can only assume is the groundwork being laid for Dragon Age 3. If you haven't played the games, you won't have the contex ...more
Richard Lewis
If you're a fan of the Dragon Age game franchise and want more story of the world of Thedas, by all means give it a look. It doesn't really matter if you've read The Stolen Throne and/or The Calling, Gaider's other DA books, to read this one, as those take place before Dragon Age: Origins and this one takes place after Dragon Age 2. In spite of that, playing Dragon Age Origins, it's expansion Awakenings, and Dragon Age 2 will give you a lot better background to understand the world in which Asun ...more
If you're still clinging to the hope that your Warden and Darkspawn will show up in Dragon Age: Inquisition, this book should remove that silly hope. Darkspawn did make a brief appearance (though sadly, no random ogres) and the Hero of Ferelden is mentioned a few times, but otherwise, Asunder firmly establishes the Mage/Templar War as the new focus of this age.

Taking place a year after Anders blew up the Kirkwall Chantry, things are not particularly good for mages. Not that they were good before
‘Dragon Age: Asunder’ by Bioware’s lead writer, David Gaider, is third in a series of fiction set in the same world as the ‘Dragon Age’ video games. Set a year after the conclusion of ‘Dragon Age II’, ‘Asunder’ explores the repercussions of the cataclysmic end to that game. Instead of Kirkwall, however, the setting is Val Royeaux, home of the Chantry and the Divine and the White Spire, which houses the Orlesian Circle of Magi.

For the uninitiated, mages in Thedas are collected as soon as their p
I always imagine these type of stories to be like coloring books for an author. They've got this very established world to work in with certain larger events going on in it, and their job is just to tell this very specific story with specific people in a specific place (was I too specific there). So they have to stay within the lines as they write. The result is a pretty nice picture but one that is kind of unsatisfying. At least it was well told.
It is hard to know how to rate this. I think it is tighter and smoother than the previous game novels, The Stolen Throne and The Calling, but for me it felt like there was less heart. Loghain and Maric had more sparkle and more tension than any character combination here. However, it is still a readable and entertaining tale, if you are a fan of the setting. Cole is an interesting character and his story is heartbreaking. There is some development of lore that a DA geek would appreciate, such as ...more
If you're thinking about playing Dragon Age 3, you should probably read this book. Actually, you should play Dragon Age 2 first. Then read this book.

In fact, if you haven't played Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Awakening, and Dragon Age 2 then you really need to stop what you're doing and go play them.

Yes. Now.

I'll wait.

Of course I'm serious. You'll enjoy the books ever so much more if you've played the games. And the games are practically in a class of their own. Try 'em.
Things I liked about this book:
1. Cole. Cole is a treasure. "Cole felt vaguely disappointed. Could Rhys really turn them into toads? He wanted to see that."
2. Perspectives on the Mage-Templar conflict. "The sad truth, she supposed, was that every templar had their reasons, and they were all good. At the same time, they all sounded like excuses."
3. Old friends. It was good to see some of the old gang from Origins, and it was better to see how the intervening time had changed them. (Or not changed
Ronald Tobin
Asunder is indeed a fitting prelude, showing events that happen in Orlais after the great debacle at Kirkwall portrayed in Dragon Age 2, leading up to the next game, Inquisition. I am a fan of the computer game series and I am among those who liked Dragon Age Origins much more than Dragon Age 2. After Kirkwall, in which psychopath Anders blows up the Chantry and the insane Knight Commander Meredith of the Templars has all the mages there put to the sword, relations between the mages and templars ...more
C.T. Phipps
One of the most intriguing struggles depicted in the Dragon Age universe is between the Circle of Magi and the Templar Order. The basic premise is that mages are kept locked up in the setting, forbidden from using their talents save under the careful supervision of the anti-magic trained knights of the Chantry (Thedas' equivalent of the Catholic Church). The mages, naturally, resent this treatment as they can't help how they were born.

What saves this from being a clear-cut metaphor for oppress
Daniel Stewart
Did you read earlier works by Gaider? If so, did you like them?

If the answer was yes, then buy this book & don't waste your time with this review.

I read this in two days.

I really felt like this was Gaider's best thus far. Not only was it more meaningful to the game's storyline (the rest being prequels) but it has some of the best language I've seen gaider use. Medieval fantasy writers tend to fall into a bit of a trap where they go out of their way to give us the wardrobe tour of every char
Julia Winegeart
Short version: Ok, so the other books were good for what they were, paperback-Fantasy-video-game-backstory-quick-reads, but this one was legitimately a page turner.

Long version: I think Gaider got the hang of "show don't tell" in his narration finally and he was already great with the character development. It's not perfect, obviously. There's still a lot of evidence that he was not trained as a writer, but I really enjoyed reading this book, so I don't feel the need to nit-pick. But if you are
Zie Renea
More excited for Dragon Age: Inquisition than ever now that I've read Asunder. Asunder bridges the gap between DA:2 and DA:I, expanding the rebellion of mages that began in Kirkwall in DA:2, taking that rebellion worldwide and shattering the balance of power that players were used to with DA: Origins and DA:2.

The strong suit of Gaider's writing isn't really his technicality; there are some unedited bits and a couple unfortunate uses of "lie" when it should be "lay." But as the lead writer of th
Jenny McD.
Not as good as the first but much better than the second.

The story has Wynn from DA1 in tow plus a few cameos from other favorite characters. But we also have a new person to join in on the adventure. Wynn's son who is also a mage.

Any diehard DA fan will enjoy this book but I would be hard pressed to recommend it to someone who knows nothing of the series.


Okay, okay, I know that this is a novel based on a video game, but damn was it good! I love the character development, (which the games are also well known for) and the pacing was amazing! It was a four hundred page book that felt like a whirlwind! I thought I was done with the whole Mage versus Templar conflict, but Gaider has definitely rekindled the fire.
Lee Ann
UGHHH SO MANY FEEEEEELS. Wynne ;( ;( ;( I was hoping she'd make a cameo in Inquisition but then I reread this book and realized she couldn't. I have such an insane amount of love for Cole. He is by far my favorite companion in the third game. Him and his creepy ability to detect the dead. And his relationship with Solas in the game is so cute.

Not to mention, though I do think this is certainly a flawed story (heteronormativity, all-white cast), the topic it deals with feels pretty relevant. Oppr
Illise Montoya
Dec 07, 2014 Illise Montoya rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, dragon age fans
Shelves: fantasy
David Gaider is the lead writer for the fantasy game franchise, Dragon Age. Up until Asunder I had been unaware that there were any books published for the game series, but as I understand it, none of the other novels were as directly important to the main storyline as this one. Not only does it feature several characters from the first game, Dragon Age: Origins, it sets up the events of the latest installment in the franchise, Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Since Asunder was written by Gaider, the nov
Mina MacLeod
The problem with BioWare tie-in novels is that at some point, plot concessions must be made. Ergo, the world you created with your Warden/Hawke/Shepard may not jive with the world Gaider chooses to work with. Still, if you're willing to accept an alternate personal canon, the DA tie-in novels can satisfy your hunger between games.

Old beloved characters return and new characters take center-stage. Gaider is great at writing character interaction--so good, that even plot elements that seem forced
Jeremy Weiss
Decent story but only for Dragon Age fans.

I've read the previous Dragon Age novels, and I think this is the best story of the three. Asunder tells the story of what occurs after the events of Dragon Age 2 and sets the stage for Dragon Age: Inquisition. For that reason alone it's a worthwhile read for fans of the games. The story itself is pretty good and really fleshes out the political and personal tensions that the mages endure in the Dragon Age universe. The story also ties up a few loose end
Spoilers for Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age II, and The Calling.
(view spoiler)
Oh god, Dragon Age 3 is going to be very exciting. Hope we get to see a few of the new characters, like Rhys and Evangeline, again.
Fun little romp into the Dragon Age universe. I only read it to find out what the deal with Cole was for the next game, since I'm not usually inclined to read tie-in books, but I found the writing well done (except for the action scenes which dragged a little) unsurprisingly since it's Gaider. Enjoyed the returning characters, really liked Adrian, was neutral on Rhys and Evageline. Rhys is a good protag, but he doesn't really get too much of an in-depth character exploration other than "generall ...more
Renee Phillips
Fascinating vision, debatable execution

The world of the Dragon Age franchise is absolutely fascinating and this book's focus on the Templar-Mage conflict cements the strength of the tension. David Gaider's writing style is a bit immature, and there are times where it is obvious he hasn't done any research on subjects that could severely impact the plot--such as the effects of dehydration, starvation, and internal bleeding. The plot specifically would do better as a 2-2.5 hour movie than a text-b
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David Gaider lives in Edmonton, Alberta, and has worked for video game developer BioWare since 1999. He is the lead writer on the upcoming Dragon Age: Origins role-playing game and has previously worked on such titles as Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Neverwinter Nights.
More about David Gaider...

Other Books in the Series

Dragon Age (5 books)
  • The Stolen Throne (Dragon Age, #1)
  • The Calling (Dragon Age, #2)
  • The Masked Empire (Dragon Age, #4)
  • Last Flight (Dragon Age, #5)
The Stolen Throne (Dragon Age, #1) The Calling (Dragon Age, #2) The Silent Grove (Dragon Age Graphic Novels #1) Those Who Speak (Dragon Age Graphic Novels #2) Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1

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“Being Tranquil didn't sound so bad to him. He'd been terrified of being swallowed up by the darkness for so long it seemed like it would be a relief to get it over with. You were only scared of becoming nothing until you were nothing.

Just like dying”
“Shale’s answers were, for the most part, sarcastic. When asked what kind of rock it consisted of, Shale answered “petrified nug droppings.” When asked how it was created, Shale responded with a long explanation of mother golems and father golems which Pharamond believed for five whole minutes. When asked how it could see through those points of lights in its eye sockets, Shale commented that it actually preferred tearing the eyeballs out of flesh creatures and using them instead—elven ones in particular.” 0 likes
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