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The Calling (Dragon Age #2)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,199 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
This is another thrilling prequel to "Dragon Age: Origins", the hit role-playing video game from Bioware! King Maric has allowed the legendary Grey Wardens to return to Fereden. One of their own has aligned himself with their ancient enemy, the monstrous darkspawn. Maric agrees to lead the Grey Wardens, chasing after a deadly secret that threatens to destroy the Grey Warde ...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Video Game Novels/Trades
17th out of 247 books — 273 voters
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3rd out of 61 books — 34 voters

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Here lies the abyss, the well of all souls.
From these emerald waters doth life begin anew.
Come to me, child, and I shall embrace you.
In my arms lies Eternity.

-Andraste 14:11

Maric Theirin has sat on the throne of Ferelden for years since defeating the Orlesian conquest. But a new danger threatens from far below the ground, and dangerous secrets lie hidden in the Deep Roads…

Where The Stolen Throne fleshes out the backstory of Ferelden and its heroes, The Calling digs deeper (literally) into the my
Augusta Li
Jun 27, 2011 Augusta Li rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed The Stolen Throne but I absolutely loved this one! A group of Grey Wardens, once exiled from Ferelden, have returned to seek King Maric's assistance in locating a member of their order who is lost in the Deep Roads, the abandoned and Darkspawn infested former home of the great Dwarven kingdom. Maric, believing his intervention could prevent another Blight, agrees to help the Wardens.

A fresh recruit named Duncan is among the party that sets out for the Deep Roads. I liked Duncan in the
Jul 20, 2016 LaylaNoir is currently reading it
Shelves: fantasy, game-based
Buddy read with Sorina at Buddies Books and Baubles
Don J.
Sep 16, 2011 Don J. rated it it was ok
You know, after loving the game Dragon Age:Origins, as well as Gaider's first novel, "The Stolen Throne", I wanted to like this book far more than I actually did. Don't get me wrong, there are some good things at work here: exciting fight scenes, some good humor, and a fine cast of great characters, but where "The Calling" fails is the usual attempting to do too much and accomplishing too little.

Gaider presents us with an in-depth look into the Grey Wardens--the not-so-merry band of heroes who
Beryll Brackhaus
Jul 11, 2012 Beryll Brackhaus rated it really liked it
Shelves: rpg
Let me start out by saying that – despite my low hopes – I enjoyed this second Dragon Age book much more than “The Stolen Throne”.


Well, it has something that Stolen Throne is lacking – an actual story. Stolen Throne feels like the author tried very hard to somehow connect historical events into something resembling a novel. That almost never works.

Here we have a tight plot that is telling a linear story in a short timeframe – a lot simpler to accomplish and therefore better suited for a… u
Nov 09, 2014 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
As a fan of this world, I found this book utterly compelling. Ferelden is threatened by the possibility of a blight and we find out more about what the witch of the wilds tells Maric in the first novel, The Stolen Throne. In addition, we gain more insight into Loghain's manic obsession with Orlais (not that he didn't have reason before...) and see his relationship with Maric further erode. We learn about a particular baby that has special meaning for players of the game and most importantly, we ...more
Mar 23, 2016 Hesper rated it it was ok
Shelves: teh-gamez
Edging dangerously close to 2.5, in spite of Gaider's creaky prose, which is admittedly better here than in the other one. But hey, the token hot elf wasn't so keen on martyring herself for plot purposes. Yay, for not stuffing Fiona in a refrigerator next to Katriel.

Still, Gaider should probably just stick to game dialogue and internet bon mots.
Apr 20, 2016 Nic rated it it was amazing
First of all, I've played through all of the Dragon Age games and I loved each one so much that I had to get my hands on as much lore as I possibly could. I read The Stolen Throne and really liked it, but this novel I gave a full five stars. It gave me what I wanted, which was more of the backstory for the whole franchise. I didn't know things about darkspawn or the Blight as I do now. The characters, to me, were compelling and I really loved Duncan.

For me, it had a perfect crescendo throughout
Feb 04, 2016 Opie890733 rated it did not like it
Shelves: finished-bioware
The Calling is the second Dragon Age novel set before the video game Dragon Age: Origins and it does improve on some things where the previous Dragon Age novel, The Stolen Throne, failed, while continuing futility in other aspects. Don't let my rating fool you. I didn't like this book, but there were elements of it I did like.

The Calling focuses on King Maric (from The Stolen Throne), and, at the beckoning of a band of Grey Wardens, venture into the Deep Roads to prevent the threat of another Bl
Effie Perine
Mar 03, 2015 Effie Perine rated it liked it
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It was a really light read, I got to meet young Duncan, and the book only adds to DA:O's lore. But not by much. It goes through some of the same motions that Origins goes through, and the characters are a little bland, if only redeemed by their relatively likable personalities. Plot and plot twists were all meh, I really ended up not caring much for anyone except Duncan. But that's cause I know how he turns out in the future, which is almost nothi ...more
Jenny Masana
Jul 15, 2015 Jenny Masana rated it liked it
Shelves: dragon-age
For those looking for a deeper understanding of the lore of the Dragon Age series, this is a great read. Set in Ferelden before the Blight, it shows a deeply human King Maric on a quest with a young Duncan to discover what threatens his kingdom. Every character's motive for taking on this quest is personal, and as is typical with the Dragon Age series, there are political machinations going on behind the scenes that intensify the surface quest.

This book gives some good history to the land and th
Aug 13, 2014 Lara rated it really liked it
As with the previous book, this was an enjoyable read just to get more background on certain characters and events. It took a while to get used to young Duncan, he's very very different to the Duncan I know from the game - what a scamp!

It was also a lot of fun story-wise - lots of actions and surprises, the (view spoiler) in particular was SO GOOD.

And... (view spoiler)

I'm so glad I read these books - I'm going to start a new playth
Mar 29, 2016 Silver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The writing is much improved from the first novel The Stolen Throne. It's much smoother and much easier to engage with. I also feel that the plot and lore learned in this novel is more integral to the overall Dragon Age franchise. I would really recommend this novel if you are a Dragon Age fan. If you are not into Dragon Age and have never played any of the games I'm not sure that this novel would make much sense.
Oct 18, 2015 Carien rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2015 Charlotte rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, video-games, rpg
The second installment in the Dragon Age book series was a good read, but it wasn't spectacular or satisfying.

For me, it lacked a really important element to a book or story which was character development. Don't get me wrong, the few lead characters of the book had a decent backstory and element to them. But due to some of the other character's having bad development, I could tell that they were going to meet a untimely and bad fate. For some reason, it reminded me of playing Dragon Age Origin
Вторая книга куда сильнее и увлекательнее первой. Параллельно развиваются, чтобы сплестись к концу, две сюжетные линии.
Первая - история Серого Стража, отправившегося умирать на Глубинные Тропы, а вместо этого схваченного порождениями тьмы и обнаружившего нечто совершенно неожиданное.
Вторая - история группы Серых Стражей, которые идут ему на выручку, а для этого испросили помощи у уже повзрослевшего и теряющего вкус к жизни короля Мэрика.
Первая линия увлекает Архитектором, которому начинаешь даже
C.S. Carrig
Jan 25, 2015 C.S. Carrig rated it really liked it
It took me a while to fully commit to this book, but it was worth the read, especially for fans of the Dragon Age games. I must admit to being less invested when I realized the main characters were mostly characters I knew would survive, having played the games, and the supporting characters were initially more interesting than young Duncan or King Maric(who I suspect I would have cared more about if I'd read The Stolen Throne first), but there were some deeply affecting moments along the way, a ...more
Miriam Weiss
Sep 13, 2014 Miriam Weiss rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this. However, I didn't expect an epic fantasy story, but rather a little bit more background to the dragon age series. Like "The Stolen Throne" it depicts a certain series of events over a rather short period of time quite a while before the events of the game, yet giving lots of background to the game's characters, story and events.
As a fan of the game and the Dragon Age series I really liked reading this part of the overall story. I probably wouldn't recommend it as a
Sep 25, 2014 Mabari rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, tie-in, lgbt
Characters: 7/10
Concept: 8/10
Readability: 7/10
Writing Style: 6/10


For fans of the Dragon Age universe, there really is no reason not to pick this up and give it a read. Not only does it star some major and minor characters from the game, but it gives you a lot more to think about on your next play-through of Origins.

As for readers coming to this book without any prior knowledge of Dragon Age, I think you're going to be inclined to rate it a little more harshly. The writing is a bit fanfic-e
Tim Lucier
Feb 02, 2016 Tim Lucier rated it really liked it
A must-read for any obsessed Dragon age fan. A sequel to The Stolen Throne, but with much better pacing and a more precise storyline, The Calling provides wonderful backstories for beloved Dragon Age characters: Duncan, Fiona, the architect, and Utha are all given a chance to take centre stage, telling far more of their stories than one could possibly learn just from the game.
Maric is the main connecting piece to the first book in the series, reflecting often behind some of his regrettable actio
Ty Wilson
May 08, 2016 Ty Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure, 2016
My fascination with all things Dragon Age continues with this novel. Since finishing Inquisition I've been catching up on the prequel books and graphic novels I skipped earlier, and this one was very good. I liked it even more than The Stolen Throne. I just found the story more compelling. King Maric joining a party of Grey Wardens on a quest to save one of their own while at the same time keeping a new blight from beginning. Maric is still a great character, just as he was in the earlier novel, ...more
May 17, 2015 Amanda rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2015 Danial rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
While A Stolen Throne was nothing if not unremarkable, The Calling came in as a fantastic fantasy novel. While it suffers from the limitations of all fantasy novels (reasonably predictable characters), we not only get to see some deep insight into the icons of the Dragon Age universe (Fiona, Duncan, The Architect), and we get to connect with them on a pretty personal level.

The character development for Non Player Characters in the video games aside, we get to see a sullen King Maric again, as
Rebecca (agirlirlblog, bekkilyn)
I'm still a bit overwhelmed (in a good way) by the events in this book as I just finished reading it this morning and cannot seem to stop thinking about certain things and also how they relate to characters and events in the Dragon Age: Origins game. Now I really want to read the next Dragon Age book, but I can't yet because I still haven't played Dragon Age 2, and the next book takes place during that timeline. I'll just have to be satisfied with this book for now...though that's not necessaril ...more
Feb 09, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2015 Anni rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this a great deal. The book entertained me from beginning to the end and managed to thoroughly surprise me with its events even though somebody had managed to spoil some of its major points to me before I even started to read it.

After reading this book I'm no longer so surprised that so many characters in Thedas fear the mages. This definitely explains why Greagoir was so willing to kill the mages of that particular Cirle in the first game, since it seems to get taken over by EVIL quit
Réka Viczián
Mar 29, 2016 Réka Viczián rated it really liked it
Now I understand so much more, holy shit. I know why Loghain was such a dick and how it all started. Damn.
Sep 04, 2015 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fantasy
I confess, it took me months to finish reading this. It was just so boring...granted, it made up for the bland plot by the end but it was grueling trying to force myself to even get to that point. In the end I got through it. Got to the coveted action and character development, got some answers, and read about Fiona's miraculous recovery.

Then all at once I started to seriously question my choices in DA:O, feel worse than ever for poor Alistair, and realize an extremely annoying quest in DA:O was
Feb 07, 2014 Meg rated it it was ok
Gaider's second book expands the lore of the Dragon Age series and lets us go on another adventure with good king Maric. The combat scenes are described in such a way that it makes you feel as if you are playing the game.

We also get to learn a bit more about Duncan and some other interesting character backstory. There are a few really touching moments within the series between wardens. Unlike The Stolen Throne, this novel doesn't expound on Ferelden's grand history. Instead it focuses on the cha
Feb 21, 2015 Nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Calling by David Gaider 1 10 Aug 09, 2015 12:27PM  
  • Last Flight (Dragon Age, #5)
  • The Masked Empire (Dragon Age, #4)
  • Fable: the Balverine Order
  • Lord of Souls (The Elder Scrolls, #2)
  • Mass Effect: Retribution (Mass Effect, #3)
  • Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 2
  • The Second Draeken War (Combined Edition)
  • Mass Effect: Incursion
  • Anvil Gate (Gears of War, #3)
  • Mass Effect: Evolution
  • Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth
  • The Art of Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Dragon Age, Volume 1
  • Ghosts of Ascalon (Guild Wars, #1)
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)
  • Asunder (Dragon Age, #3)
  • The Masked Empire (Dragon Age, #4)
  • Last Flight (Dragon Age, #5)

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“Nicolas walked toward him. Ignoring the presence of the others nearby, he took Julien's chin in his hand and kissed him tenderly on the lips. Julien seemed chagrined at first, and then accepted the gesture. It was sweet, and had the air of a couple that had been together for a great long time.
Maric glanced away, embarrased by the intimacy, not to mention the fact that he hadn't quite realized the nature of the two warriors' relationship ealier. Not just comrades, then, and far more than close friend. The older Grey Wardens seemed unsurprised.”
“I see you're not dead." Duncan couldn't be sure from the man's tone if he was pleased or disappointed. Mostly he sounded annoyed.
"Good to see you, too, Loghain," Maric chuckled tiredly.”
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