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The Calling (Dragon Age, #2)
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The Calling (Dragon Age #2)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,912 Ratings  ·  207 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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Bookdragon Sean
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dark fantasy lovers
The Dragon Age series is one of my favourite video game franchises (second only to the Elder Scrolls.) Playing immersive role playing games like this is what drew me to epic fantasy fiction in the first place, and eventually into a love of all things literature. So for me this is a rather special world to dive into.

Centre to it all are the Grey Wardens, and when they reach a certain age they are driven mad by the corruption that infests their blood. The corruption is their greatest weapon and,
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
Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, game-based
In Dragon Age: Origins, we got to spend precious little time with Duncan, and I don't know about you, but I never really grew attached to him for that very same reason.

In "The Calling", we get to know the (tragic) story of Duncan's life, and witness what he was like before becoming the famous Warden-Commander.

Then there is Alistair. Have you ever wondered at how he truly came into existence and what his father's relationship to his mother was like?
"The Calling" answers these questions.

The book c
Augusta Li
Jun 24, 2011 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 22, 2016 rated it really liked it

"And so is the Golden City blackened
With each step you take in my Hall.
Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting.
You have brought Sin to Heaven,
And doom upon all the world."
- Canticle of Threnodies 8:13

Buddy read with Layla at Buddies Books and Baubles!

As good, if not better than the first book. I certainly enjoyed it more because it was a story I really cared about (Alastair!). As it's been the case before, the strength of the Dragon Age books does not lie with the plot, but with the characters.
May 21, 2013 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.
Don J.
Sep 06, 2011 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
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Man, I went back and forth on this. On the one hand, its poorly-done tie-in genre fiction. It isn't going to be 5-star material. On the other hand, it is so much better than the first book.

The characters in this are far more complex than what we see in Stolen Throne. The action is more interesting (and only a small portion of the text). The Calling looks at more interesting places, organizations, and problems than Stolen Throne does.

But it is what it is. The prose is still simple and redundant
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Calling contains the most gratuitous and improbable dragon fight I have ever seen, that's 4 stars in my book.

(Sorry I'll write a serious review later, but overall I've found it much better than The Stolen Throne, especially if you like character studies, because there's not a lot happening here. But that dragon, though.)
Apr 14, 2015 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.
Beryll Brackhaus
Jul 11, 2012 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
Aug 02, 2015 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
Oct 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, 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
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Today in Adventure Time: Thedas Edition, King Maric is an adorable idiot, again.

I have to take off my hat for David Gaider's writing. I really have to. And I hate him, because he has the ability of making me love characters that I know for certain that are not going to have a good ending. In this particular instalment we follow the adventures of Maric, who joins a group of Grey Wardens heading to the Deep Roads in the search for the brother of the Warden-Commander. It sounds like a mess, and it
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Just as with "The Stolen Throne", my enjoyment of this book was enhanced by my love of the Dragon Age series of video games by Bioware. This book is another prequel story to the games, taking place after "The Stolen Thone", and was an improvement.

The author didn't have any moments of complete failure, as with the ending to book 1, although a few points of canon felt stretched.

(view spoiler)
Ty Wilson
Apr 15, 2016 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
Dec 20, 2009 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
Aug 07, 2014 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
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Many a tear was shed during this... And I'll really miss Maric now that the books don't centre around him.
The writers did themselves a massive favour when they created The Fade as the place where you go when you're dreaming. Here you see what many characters long for, and to see them battling with what they really want vs reality is heartbreaking.
I just can't deal with such raw emotion. Such emotion that is really understandable.
Now onto Asunder...
Feb 28, 2016 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.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Another really enjoyable, exciting and gripping novel set in the world of the Dragon Age Game.
Recommended reading after Stolen Throne book & before playing the DA Awakening DLC as it concerns that story.
Further cemented my affection for Marric and I also became fond of other characters too.
Elia Princess of Starfall
Yup, you guessed it my friends!

It's another Dragon Age novel!

This time its The Calling by David Gaider, the Bioware writer behind the Stolen Throne and the Dragon Age series.


The Calling focuses on Maric Theirin, now King of Ferelden, and his adventures with an experienced yet motley gang of Grey Wardens, from the neighboring country of Orlais, into the dark, dangerous depths of the Deep Roads, once home to the proud Dwarven empire and now the nesting grounds to terrifying, disease-ridden dark
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
BABY DUNCAN!!!!!!!!!

I would add more to this review but I think that speaks volumes tbh. If you are interested in reading about snarky baby Duncan doing stupid adolescent things then you will absolutely enjoy this.
Dec 25, 2015 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.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
mind blown
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This took me FOR-EV-ER to get through, which is strange because I'm pretty obsessed with Dragon Age and I thought I'd be really into this novel. I'm not really sure what the issue was? It was a little slow, I suppose, and a lot of it took place in the blasted Deep Roads which is a location I already dislike based on the games.

It was interesting to see Duncan's background, although he was almost unrecognisable to the Duncan you see in Dragon Age: Origins. He was obviously younger, but he felt lik
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, fantasy
3.5 stars - For anyone who hates the Deep Roads in the game, thankfully Gaider is able to make darkspawn infested caverns a lot more entertaining in book form. While the vast majority of the book does take place within the Deep Roads, there's also enough departures and distractions to keep things from feeling one-note the whole time. There's new beasties to fight this time around, and even an emotionally wrenching Fade sojourn. We get our first real glimpse (book wise) into the Grey Warden order ...more
Sarah Goodwin
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
So far, my least favourite of the collection, mostly because it is about things that we already know about (the Architect) and adds very little to the lore, aside from revelations on Alistair's parentage, which don't crop up until the final pages. Was however interesting to learn a bit about Duncan.

I feel like the Architect in this book doesn't match with the one in the game, as his plan seems very different. So it feels a little retconned.

(Also, I have just realised that I am reading this enti
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's always hard to review a book that is part of a larger franchise, like this one for the Dragon Age game series. How much I actually enjoyed this for its writing is hard to pin down as the important context that The Calling gives to Dragon Age lore is unmistakable. So, I'll start off with saying that any fan of the games will thank themselves for reading this - once more we enter the dark past before The Blight, the story slowly inching towards building the scene we all know and love from Dra ...more
Rachael C
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a companion piece to the Dragon Age video game series, and a prequel to the first game, Origins. If you're a DA enthusiast, like myself, I highly recommend reading this novel which explores the nature of the Grey Warden order. We're also introduced to a young Duncan and some previously unknown details, history, and spoilers for the future of the series. For as little as Duncan is seen in the original game, he made quite the impact on gamers, and it was interesting to see him in his ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Calling by David Gaider 1 11 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)
“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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