Monday, September 24, 2012

The Stolen Throne (Welcome to the Loghain Pity Party)

So, I went into this book pretty hopeful. After all, Dragon Age is one of my favorite video games and the writing for it is absolutely phenomenal. However, translating that to fiction didn't work as well. I felt like half the time I was skimming through trying to get past the dreadful pacing of the story with the action scenes that were kinda static. It felt like they were trying to describe the video game rather than reaching for something more.
On the plus side, it was a nice companion to the game. I learned a lot of backstory about Loghain and Maric that makes me want to play again, so did it achieve its goal? Probably.


Misery thy name is Loghain #1: While Maric is the main character, the one of real intrigue is Loghain. The entire book sets up a perfectly logical explanation for his behavior in the game. In fact, I think on replay, I'll probably be rooting for the poor bastard. So Maric starts off bumbling, like Alistair, but without the witty dialogue and any real charm. He's naive and innocent like a dumb puppy and his existence lends to a shitfest of problems to anyone around him. Starting when Loghain runs into him in the woods after Maric's mother was murdered. Poor Loghain tries to do a good deed by bringing him back to camp and gets punished for it by the outlaws who swarm his home looking for Maric, resulting in Gareth, Loghain's dad, biting it.

Misery thy name is Loghain #2: Spurned with a capital S. So, Maric has a betrothed named Rowan. They're BFFs of course, but dense Maric doesn't even see her infatuation and instead boinks some random elven assassin. Go Maric. Meanwhile, Loghain's been getting to know Rowan and comes to care for her deeply. He finally confesses his feelings for her, right when she finds out Maric found a new fuck buddy by way of exotic elven temptress. However, when Loghain tries to leave in the morning, fully mortified and embarrassed, Maric has a hissy fit until he agrees to stay.

Misery thy name is Loghain #3: This was the heart clencher and seals Loghain's future villainy. So, they're taking down the big bad usurper and Maric finds out his elven wench was a spy. Even though it was obvious to everyone else from the start, its all OH! BETRAYAL! WANGST! So to pull Maric out of his depression, Loghain gives up the one good thing he had, Rowan. Oh yeah, they hooked up. Fully in love. But Fereldan needs a queen and Maric's obviously not fit to rule. So Loghain convinces both of them to go for it, despite his own feelings for Rowan. And does Maric finally learn how to be a good friend and lets Loghain have her? Of course not. He marries Rowan and they sire Cailan.

I spent most of this story annoyed with Maric and sympathizing with Loghain. While it's not the best written thing out there, if you wanted an alternate perspective on the bad guy, it's worth it, just to feel for Loghain when you replay the game. Because knowing Cailan is the lovechild of his best friend and old flame, it really helps you understand why he's constantly annoyed with the kid from the start. Plus, Cailan has the same idiocy that plagued Maric throughout the story. Theirin family crest: But daddy, I want to ride the pony!

Rating: 3

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