In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book through Netgalley.com
Bioware certainly knows how to add depth to their worlds and they have a way of feeding you the information so that you’re always hungry for more, which is exactly what David Gaider does with Those Who Speak.
Anyone familiar with the Dragon Age games immediately recognizes the names Alistair, Isabela and Varric; and though it does seem like a rather unlikely trio it works out perfectly. Alistair with his semi sarcastic/semi awkward humor, Isabela with both the street smarts and the fairly inappropriate quips, and Varris who is addicted to a good story and a good adventure. If you haven’t picked up The Silent Grove, I suggest you do so because Those Who Speak continues where that one left off.
This book mainly focuses on Isabela and it even uncovers some of her past for us. Alistair is on a mission to find out why his father was killed and unfortunately this leads them through contested waters, where they run into the Qunari. If you’ve played DA 2 then you know Isabela has a bit of a history with the Qunari and it’s none too pleasant, so this unfortunate run in with brings forth some interesting truths about our scantly clad pirate queen; like her real name, why she took the Tome that started the Kirkwall incident, and events that truly haunt her. This alone makes reading this worthwhile because while we know some thing about Isabela she’s pretty tight lipped on any serious subject and will divert with a witty quip on her sex life. Alistair and Varric are not really in this one too much but the parts that they are also pretty great, and they have an encounter with a familiar face from DA 1. Anyone remember Sten? The original Qunari who was incredibly quiet and also quick to say something rather impersonal, he was my least favorite of the group but it’s great to see him again. He still looks the same which I’m kind of happy about since redoing his physical appearance would have brought down the initial shock factor of seeing him again. Also you get to see a female Qunari which is pretty awesome and she has some great scenes with Isabela.
Overall this has some great background info and it’s really cool that they are really pulling the two games together more. It doesn’t really progress the storyline as far as Alistair goes but it sets it up so that you know the next release will give you that much needed information. This is definitely a must for anyone who really loves the Dragon Age games and characters.