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Asunder

(Dragon Age #3)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,927 ratings  ·  356 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, Rhys 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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Lodane The story line of Dragon Age takes place across multiple medias. There are games, books, comics, and more. They're all unique, this is not a novelizat…moreThe story line of Dragon Age takes place across multiple medias. There are games, books, comics, and more. They're all unique, this is not a novelization of the game. This novel's story line actually takes place JUST before the events of Dragon Age Inquisition and features characters from Dragon Age Origins as well as Inquisition.(less)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  4,927 ratings  ·  356 reviews


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Sean Barrs
How do you stop a murderer who is invisible and doesn’t, technically speaking, even exist?

Not easily that’s for sure. Only one man can actually see him and he dare not give his perceptions voice because everybody will think he is utterly insane. Even a mention of the murderer’s name is forgotten by the hearer as some dark magic lingers over his words. Rhys knows he is not mad, but he can’t even communicate these ideas to anyone so he is forced to remain silent.

“And worse, there was the music. H
...more
Bear
Sep 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Alison
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, fiction
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
...more
Joseph
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
...more
Mayesha
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 a
...more
C.T. Phipps
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grimdark, fantasy
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
...more
Mrs Giggles
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Annie
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
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
...more
Jenn
Dec 20, 2011 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
...more
Anne
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Krista D.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Great for Wynne, Shale, and Cole fans. A little Fiona and Leliana, too.
Vicki
If I'm reading the publication date right, and if I'm remembering the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition correctly, the book came out before the game which makes everything surrounding Cole, Rhys, and Evangeline in the game — particularly in how it was handled — make so much more sense. I consumed the media the other way around: played the game first and then, years later, read this book, so I had a different experience than what was probably intended.

For better or for worse, I couldn't tell you
...more
Wendy
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, gaming, fantasy
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
...more
Gina
Jan 27, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Heidi *Bookwyrm Babe, Voyeur of Covers, Caresser of Spines, Unashamed Smut Slut, the Always Sleepy Wyrm of the Stacks, and Drinker of Tea and Wine*
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
Aurora
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kindle-reads
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. ...more
Tom
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Bic
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Knowing his history does not make me love Cole any less. He is still fantastically precious to me!!
Jeannette Nikolova
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

*** Actual rating: 3.5 stars ***

I liked this book just slightly less than the previous two, for two main reasons:

I was sorely missing the characters from the first two books.
I had issues with some of the characters in this one.

To start off, Asunder takes place right after the Kirkwall rebellion, in the White Spire circle tower in Orlais. The tensions between the mages and the templars are already a fact all over Thedas, and the appearance of
...more
Kaitlyn
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Well that sure was a video game novel.

Pros:
-Shale and Cole are some of my favorite characters in the series and I was delighted to see them again. While I already knew Cole's origin/past from DA:I, I still wanted more.
-This book focuses on the mage/Templar dynamic more than previous books.
-While some action is present, it was a 'quieter' novel than previous books in the series and feels less dungeon-crawl-y.
-Prose is technically better.
-Decisions made in this novel hold significant weight and
...more
George Mac
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just finished Dragon Age: Inquisition with Cole being my favourite character, I had thought it would be a good idea to pick up this book. I can say that I thought, while definitely not the best book I’ve ever read by any means, it was thoroughly entertaining and had many moments in it that I found to be incredibly engaging to read.

The descriptive writing can be somewhat excessively detailed, but for the most part does a decent job of painting a solid picture of the actions and surrounding
...more
Adrienne Barrett
The Dragon Age games are my absolute favorite console games. This book was only okay. I really enjoyed seeing the back stories from many of the characters in the most recent game. However, there were many times that I was confused about what was going on with certain people. I still have no idea what Cole is! Was that the point? Evangeline is awesome and entertaining in the game and in this book she was not herself half the time and seemed to wuss out much more than I would have expected. Rhys i ...more
Aless
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another helping of Dragon Age. This time not a prequel but an introduction to Cole, a companion from Inquisition who I didn't take much notice of while playing. There were some familiar faces included and overall I enjoyed it. ...more
Michelle
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Slow going to begin with and the main protagonist, Rhys, takes a while to warm up to. The book definitely gives some much-needed backstory to Cole and the events between the games, and brings back some familiar faces too.
florencia
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: dragon-age
SOMEONE PLEASE TELL DAVID GAIDER THAT SYNONYMS FOR "YOUNG MAN" DO IN FACT, EXIST. ...more
Kaitlin Kline
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Not gonna lie, it was nice to not read about the freaking Deep Roads for once.
Mariliis
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
As I read the first three books one after another in a very short time period (The Stolen Throne, The Calling and Asunder), I find this story less captivating (maybe I'm missing the old characters :D). Playing Dragon Age: Origins before reading this book would probably help to better understand the situation and the timeline. Nevertheless, great writing and storyline. ...more
Kelly
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
‘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
...more
Illise Montoya
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
...more
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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.

Other books in the series

Dragon Age (6 books)
  • The Stolen Throne (Dragon Age, #1)
  • The Calling (Dragon Age, #2)
  • The Masked Empire (Dragon Age, #4)
  • Last Flight (Dragon Age #5)
  • Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights

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  If you listen to NPR regularly, you’ve likely heard the voice of Shankar Vedantam, the longtime science correspondent and host of the radio...
13 likes · 2 comments
“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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“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.” 2 likes
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