Dragon Age is pure fun! What’s not to like about it—magic, great art, epic battles, magical critters and characters and environments that are drawn exquisitely. I’ve never played the game this story is apparently based on, but you don’t really have to to get into this series. Dragon Age: Those Who Speak, written by David Gaider and Alexander Freed (Star Wars) and illustrated by the oh-so-talented Chad Hardin, gives us a closer look at our heroes, in particular the pirate Isabela a.k.a The one who shall not be named.
Kidnapped by cultists and held in separate cells, King Alistair and his allies wait to learn what their captors want from them. First to face questioning is the pirate Isabela, in a deadly battle of wits that reveals many tragedies from her past! With Isabela near her breaking point, Alistair’s quest to find his father seems lost!
This band of minstrels is at it again as King Alistair leaves no stone unturned in pursuit of his father’s killer or killers. The story gets going quick as the three are sucked into battle with the Magistrate Titus (one of King Alistar’s suspects), whose unscrupulous behavior at a grand dinner leaves much to be desired. It isn’t long before they are throwing down with the magistrate’s men. What ensues is a lot of blood and magic, the magic coming from Maveris Talani, widow to Alistair’s friend the dwarf Varric’s cousin Thorold and badass magister/soceress. Her part although brief and sexy is huge, but I’ll assume it’s much bigger in the Dragon Age universe. It goes from there to Isabela’s ship, where they are hewn down on the seas by a boat load of Draenei….no wait Qunari, a race of blue elf-like people with goat horns. The leader of the group, a high priestess named Rassan, is hell bent on getting revenge for a wrong that was done to her by Isabela in the past. That and converting her to their religion that, without giving too much away, was the reason Isabela (which by the way isn’t her real name) became a pirate…sorta. So as you might’ve guessed, some shit’s about to get “unearfed” as Isabela is forced to come clean about her transgression against Rassan in addition to a slew of other horrendous shit she now regrets.
It’s a great read as we are essentially brought up to speed with at least one of our main characters’ back story, and that’s quite enough for me. I love the time they’re taking on the art and the story and how they are being very selective about who they are introducing. Every character in Dragon Age has so many layers, layers that can be gently revealed given the pace of the story. DA is not forced, that may be because this seems to be the only story the writers and illustrators are focused on right now, but I may be wrong. Whether this is the case or not, Dragon Age has heart, and I very much look forward to it’s next installment.