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The Calling

(Dragon Age #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  5,036 ratings  ·  282 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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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,036 ratings  ·  282 reviews


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Sean Barrs
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,
...more
Markus
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Charlotte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
...more
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
...more
Sud666
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Having played and enjoyed Dragon Age Origins I was intrigued by this book. While it is by no means a major work, in fact, I might have given it 2 stars had I not known the basics of the plot. This is certainly a book where the knowledge of the game helps.

A group of adventurers get together to venture into the Deep Roads on the hunt for a missing Grey Warden. Along the way the learn a lot about themselves and the reader gets a glimpse into the stories of the characters from the game. From King Ma
...more
Chris Hall
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This is an interesting dark fantasy which kept me entertained. The prose is a bit clunky and wordy, but the story is sufficiently engaging to overlook this. It is certainly a better story than the first in the trilogy and it was pleasing to find a 'middle book' with a satisfying ending, although clearly more to come in part 3.
A good example of the genre and I was happy to wade through it!
Sorina
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
...more
Hesper
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.
...more
Laura
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW GOOD THIS WAS!!!!! ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO THE FIRST BOOK!!!!
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”.

Why?

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
...more
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
...more
Kaitlynn
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
...more
Charlotte
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
...more
Ainoa
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
...more
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
Kelly
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
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
Samhain
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Some fight scenes were a bit too long for my taste, but this is a very good DA book. It was really nice to see Maric and Fiona interact, to watch Duncan start is journey towards the wonderful man we meet in Origins, and I especially loved the fact that Gaider didn't focus solely on the characters fans already knew / favored. All the characters are more than what meets the eye, and it's quite easy to be invested in their respective arcs. Another interesting bit was to be at the heart of a Grey Wa ...more
Reading Lee
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: game-books
Well of course I'm going to read The Calling

Duncan is in it, what's not to love? (I miss my in-game father figure).

In all seriousness, it's a good book, perhaps better than the first. As always, David Gaider's writing is an easy read - I finished within 24 hours.

The book takes place several years after the events of Stolen Throne. It's cool to see how the characters have developed and the lives they are living (except Rowan, she isn't on the alive side). Maric is a bumbling idiot as always, but
...more
isobel
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ah what a great sequel to the first in the series... This book really gives a lot of context into the life of Maric and how his decisions and choices inevitably lead to the events of DA:O. A lot of prequel books often feel forced, like they have added in extra lore afterwards to patch holes in the story, but Gaider has done an amazing job of giving the story in Origins even more significance and meaning than it had before. It was also so interesting to learn more of Duncan, see how he matured fr ...more
Atsu
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.)
Krista D.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too much fighting, not enough deep roads banging.
Amanda
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.
Opie890733
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
...more
Lexine Higgins
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

"In your blood lies the key," it whispered. "Yours is the middle ground between human and darkspawn, the path to true peace."

The Calling is a medieval fantasy novel set in the world of Thedas, based off the videogame series Dragon Age by Bioware. Maric is called upon to save Ferelden once again, but instead of an Orlesian threat, it's darkspawn. He must travel down into the Deep Roads and back into his past in order to stop a rogue grey warden who has met his calling, with the help of a few fami
...more
Karl
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)
...more
Vixie
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Calling was a superb follow up to the previous story The Stolen Throne and a superb precursor to Dragon Age: Origins. The story itself focuses on a collection of characters, the Grey Wardens and King Maric. The main characters are Duncan, Guinevere, Nicolas, Julien, Fiona and Maric. Those who know the Dragon Age Series will recognise Duncan from Origins and Fiona from Inquisition, yes the pair knew each other, were comrades in arms during The Calling.

What made the story so great was the char
...more
Nic
Dec 11, 2015 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
...more
Wendy
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: gaming
Story-wise, this wasn't as good as its predecessor, with a somewhat shaky plot pushed a long by the questionable motivations of the characters. Fortunately, it was the characters that made me want to read these books in the first place in order to learn more about them, and Gaider again delivers, with the focus, this time, on Maric and Duncan. He adds a load of depth to both characters, making me love them all the more and feel for them and those that come after.

I also like Gaider's grasp of bat
...more
Phil
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, media-tie-in
While the "diverse party of adventures journey underground to defeat an ancient evil" plot is well-trodden ground in high fantasy, this novel is easily recommended to fans of the Dragon Age series.

King Maric returns, as does Loghain, and even more than with the previous book, The Stolen Throne, there are many appearances by characters from Dragon Age: Origins, including Duncan, Fiona, The Architect, Utha, etc. Fans of the series get to enjoy some additional backstory for these characters, as we
...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Calling by David Gaider 1 11 Aug 09, 2015 12:27PM  

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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)
  • Asunder (Dragon Age, #3)
  • The Masked Empire (Dragon Age, #4)
  • Last Flight (Dragon Age #5)
  • Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights

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Luster is the breathtaking and often hilarious debut from novelist Raven Leilani. The story follows Edie, a 23-year-old trying to find her way ...
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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.”
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“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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