Graphic novel review: Omnibus of “The Silent Grove”, “Those Who Speak”, and “Until We Sleep”
By David Gaider and Alexander Freed
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m mad-obsessed with Dragon Age. Seriously, I love the world that was built up in those games. The books and the comics are hit or miss with me, but this one (or rather, trilogy, collected into one) is pretty good. There were a couple things that bothered me, but largely the story is one that is interesting and is a worthy addition to the Dragon Age franchise. The games offer a fair amount of latitude as to how they end (particularly true with the first, Dragon Age: Origins, which is the only one that really plays into this comic). In the comic’s world-state, Alistair became King of Ferelden after the Blight. The comic is the story of his quest to discover what, exactly, happened to his father, who had disappeared years ago. Joined by a dwarven rogue and a Rivaini pirate (who might be very familiar if you’ve played the games), he travels to corners of Thedas that we have not yet seen in the games, following rumors and leads. Along the way, he has to battle mages and qunari and opportunists who either don’t wish for him to complete his quest or who see something in him they wish to use. It’s a good adventure and feels like a quest in the games, which should appeal to fans.
The art is typical comic art. My biggest complaints with it is that characters don’t look quite right. It seems nobody can get Alistair’s nose right. And he doesn’t have blue eyes, argh! But I’m not going to nitpick all the details like a neurotic alpha nerd. The art is decent; full-color, so that’s nice. The character designs are in keeping with who they are, and you can see the different nations’ styles reflected in clothing. It was cool to get a peek at Tevinter and Seheron, though if we ever go to those places in-game there’s always the chance the game designers will change how they look. For the purposes of the comic and visual story-telling, I think the art is fine and works, but I will admit that I wouldn’t buy a print of it. The style isn’t my jam and the characters just look a little too different from official artwork (possibly because of the comic style).
Violence. A little sexuality.