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Asunder (Dragon Age #3)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,914 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
Return to the dark fantasy world created for the award-winning, triple platinum game, Dragon Age: Origins in this third tie-in novel!

A mystical killer stalks the halls of the White Spire, the heart of templar power in the mighty Orlesian Empire. To prove his innocence, Rhys reluctantly embarks on a journey into the western wastelands that will not only reveal much more tha
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Paperback, 448 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alison Dellit
Jun 16, 2012 Alison Dellit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sf
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
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Amy
Dec 02, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kristalia
Final rating: 5/5 stars

Dragon Age is the series of well done high fantasy games. Every game is so well done that you have a feeling you are reading a book instead of playing it. This book is a prequel for Dragon Age III: Inquisition.

I believe people who never heard of these games would be a bit confused as to what is happening and who the characters are, because you do see most of them through the games. Wynne from the first game, your companion and a mage. Shale, a stone golem, also one of you
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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
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Mayesha
Jul 02, 2014 Mayesha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
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
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Jenn
Dec 25, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Annie
Aug 30, 2015 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's funny how a simple change of perspective can alter your entire impression of a book. I went in on this novel preparing for the worst, having read reviews both here and elsewhere that made "Asunder" out to be lacking.

And was it really? As a standalone novel: yes. The story expands upon the events taking place between the second and third instalments of the Dragon Age games, specifically the political upheaval for the civil war that sets the stage for Dragon Age: Inquisition. And for the uni
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Wendy
Dec 19, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, series, gaming
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
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George Collier
Jul 23, 2012 George Collier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne
Jun 09, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
So far the best of the tie-in books. It gives so much color to Inquisition, where we're otherwise left mostly in the dark about just how the war between mages and Templars came about (other than Boom!Kirkwall started it all). And I loved the characters -- Evangeline and Rhys are both rational people in the middle of chaos, and Cole is pure bananas. Honestly, he's got a pretty dark past and in-game Cole reads a bit *softer* to me. More cutesy crazy than kill 'em in the dark.

I wish Evangeline and
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Aurora
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.
Joseph
Dec 30, 2011 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tom
Dec 23, 2014 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jeremy
Mar 28, 2015 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin with a statement that has no context, and likely no meaning to someone who hasn't either read the books or played the game: "Lambert van Reeves is a bag full of dicks."

That having been said, I have mixed feelings about "Asunder," but those mixed feelings are themselves a product of the depth into which the story pulls you in. I'm always waffling on how to best to rate a book that annoys me not because it is badly written, but rather because the characters in it and their boneheaded
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Five
Feb 16, 2015 Five rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knowing his history does not make me love Cole any less. He is still fantastically precious to me!!
Richard Lewis
Jan 25, 2015 Richard Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Illise Montoya
Dec 07, 2014 Illise Montoya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kelly
Jan 29, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘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
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Gina
Jan 27, 2013 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nichole Lynn *BOOKWYRM BABE*
Aug 28, 2015 Nichole Lynn *BOOKWYRM BABE* rated it it was amazing
Some books that are based on games are really crappy, this is not one of them. It is well written and the characters have depth. The whole 'verse that is Dragon Age is pretty awesome, and being a lover of the game I was very worried that this book would not live up to my expectations. I can't believe I waited so long to read this. It gave me feels. Like picking up heavy metal chairs and throwing them kind of feels. So many feels. It was frustrating but beyond worth it. It was so easy to get lost ...more
Susanne
Aug 16, 2012 Susanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Martina
Apr 30, 2016 Martina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I never had particular faith in the quality of game related books, but I decided to give Asunder a try because the events described in the book interested me, and because I appreciated Gaider's writing in the games.

Unfortunately Gaider's writing was nothing special, in fact I found it rather mediocre, the characters were one dimensional and uninteresting, the only notable exception being Cole.
Rhys, the main character, was ok at the beginning, and it was nice to see his introversion played again
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Marci
Mar 29, 2016 Marci rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Dragon Age: Asunder on the way home from a trip. It took about three and a half hours to read, give or take. I wouldn’t say that there was anything especially amazing about the style of writing, and it did have some moments where the writing was even slightly lackluster, but the plot was amazing, and the details into the world state of Thedas more than made up for the writing. Most all of the characters were amazingly done, with the only two I wasn’t quite sure about being Rhys and Evange ...more
Rasheta
The good about this is that it's a solid story. It is set before Dragon Age Inquisition and after Dragon Age II. It is also around the same time as "The Masked Empire" takes place this just happens to be in a different area of the Empire. So you'll notice some similarities reading the two.

Character wise, it was great to see Shale and Wynne again. Shale was everything I hoped she'd be. The appearance of Grand Enchanter Fiona was also nice. Her character was not as developed in this go around as
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Avery Teoda
Aug 10, 2015 Avery Teoda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The best part about this book is Gaider's voice, which, if you're familiar at all with DA, is unmistakeable. The second best part is the three main point of view characters: Rhys, a mage in the White Spire, Evangeline, the Knight-Captain of the tower, and Cole, which, if you've played DA:I, should be familiar to you by now. They're all fairly well-developed characters--especially Evangeline, IMHO. You can really feel her decisions. Rhys was a bit more of an enigma to me, which is a shame given h ...more
Zam
Jun 24, 2015 Zam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Dragon Age related book I've ever read. I am a big enough fanboy of the games and their lore to have seen this on the store shelves and gotten all excited, so I figured it was worth a try. I'm glad I did.

At the same time, this is a peculiar novel to review. Indeed, a large portion of why I enjoyed the book was for all that juicy Dragon Age lore, setting, and characters, and as expected, Gaider did not disappoint. But would somebody else, someone who has had no prior attachment
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Sam
Jan 15, 2015 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Ronald Tobin
Sep 14, 2014 Ronald Tobin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel Stewart
Mar 15, 2014 Daniel Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fantasy
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
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Dylan
Aug 06, 2015 Dylan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man... that was an incredible surprise. I wasn't sure how much i'd enjoy a book based on a video game franchise, but i should have known better, considering how great the stories of said video games actually are. This book was just as chock full of the difficult moral and ethical choices as the games are famous for. nothing is quite so simple as "good vs. evil" or "right vs. wrong". there are protagonists and antagonists, and while the "villain" of the story is a righteous dick, he also has a po ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Dragon Age: Asunder by David Gaider 1 6 Dec 07, 2015 11:44AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Delete/combine editions request 2 14 Jan 29, 2014 05:27AM  
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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)

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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”
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“And worse, there was the music. He didn’t know what it was, but it seemed to come from far, far off. It called to him, but not in a pleasant way—it had an urgency that sped his heart and made his blood burn.” 2 likes
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