Last Flight (Dragon Age, #5)
Return to Thedas, the setting of BioWare's award-winning Dragon Age dark fantasy rpg, and discover what dark, forgotten secrets lurk in the history of the legendary Grey Wardens.The Grey Wardens are heroes across Thedas once again: the Archdemon has been defeated with relative ease and the scattered darkspawn are being driven back underground.  The Blight is over.  Or so it seems.Valya, a young elven mage recently recruited into the Wardens, has been tasked with studying the historical record of previous Blights in order to gain insight into newly reported, and disturbing, darkspawn phenomena.  Her research into the Fourth Blight leads her to an encoded reference scrawled in the margins of an ancient map, and to the hidden diary of Issenya, one of the last of the fabled griffon riders.  As the dark secrets buried in Isseyna's story unfold, Valya begins to question everything she thought she knew about the heroic Grey Wardens. . . . A division of Electronic Arts, the world’s leading electronic entertainment publisher, BioWare is the award-winning creator of some of the world’s best-selling video games, including the Baldur's Gate™ and Neverwinter Nights™ series, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™ and Mass Effect.  

Last Flight (Dragon Age, #5) Details

TitleLast Flight (Dragon Age, #5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 16th, 2014
PublisherTor Books
ISBN-139780765337214
Rating
GenreFantasy, Games, Video Games, Fiction, High Fantasy

Last Flight (Dragon Age, #5) Review

  • Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
    January 1, 1970
    There’s Griffin riders flying into battle, reason enough to read the book alone! Just look at the cover, says it all really for what this book is going to be about. For those that haven’t played the video games, The Grey Wardens have always ridden Griffins into battle which helped them immensely in defeating the Blights and slaying the Dragons (Archdemons) that controlled them. Except when you, the player, come to the world they have all died out. Why? This book has the answers and they’re not p There’s Griffin riders flying into battle, reason enough to read the book alone! Just look at the cover, says it all really for what this book is going to be about. For those that haven’t played the video games, The Grey Wardens have always ridden Griffins into battle which helped them immensely in defeating the Blights and slaying the Dragons (Archdemons) that controlled them. Except when you, the player, come to the world they have all died out. Why? This book has the answers and they’re not pretty. So this is the story of how the fourth blight was ended by the Elven warrior Garahel with the help of his sister, a mage of considerable power and intuition. Previously, their victory is only mentioned in lore references and it is always told with a tone of heroism and nobility. This is not the truth. This is not this tale because war is never that clean and certainly not when mindless monsters are involved that threaten to decimate the entire landscape. One of the things that makes this fantasy series so compelling is the way it demonstrates how easily heroic people can fall into depravity during dire circumstances. Desperation demands deeds that are evil and corrupt to insure the survival of all the races. To destroy the incoming darkness, powerful blood magic is needed as are decisive decisions that are cold and brutal. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, abandoning an innocent village to a murderous hoard is one of many sacrifices that must be paid to gain victory. This isn’t the story I expected, and I was glad of it. Many moral questions are raised as the “heroes” of the fourth blight, although ultimately victorious, loose much of what makes them who they are. And I loved seeing the complexity of their choices here, which is something I felt was missing from the previous dragon age books. It is, after all a large part of the immersion involved with the games.A great prequel!
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    If Gaider had written this it would have easily been from Garahel's pov, Garahel would have been a complete idiot (but it's OKAY because he's FUNNY and CLEVER and ATTRACTIVE!~~~~), Isseya and/or Amadis would have been shrill and horrible for no reason, and Garahel and Amadis would have had sex in the deep roads at least once for no reason. So no offense but I'm so so glad he did not write this book.I love that all the major characters were women -- and ELVEN women at that, something the series o If Gaider had written this it would have easily been from Garahel's pov, Garahel would have been a complete idiot (but it's OKAY because he's FUNNY and CLEVER and ATTRACTIVE!~~~~), Isseya and/or Amadis would have been shrill and horrible for no reason, and Garahel and Amadis would have had sex in the deep roads at least once for no reason. So no offense but I'm so so glad he did not write this book.I love that all the major characters were women -- and ELVEN women at that, something the series on a whole kind of lacks. And as much as I wanted Isseya and Calien to get together (I ship it so hard) it's refreshing to not have a (pointless -- looking at you Maric/Katriel) romance at the core of one of these books.I still kinda wish there was more though. So much time passed and a lot of the Fourth Blight was skimmed over. I NEED MORE.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    In 9:41 Dragon, the continent of Thedas is in turmoil, with the templars waging war against the mages who have rebelled against their oppressive guardians. A small group of mages has sought refuge at Wiesshaupt, hoping the Grey Warden's neutrality will protect them from the templars, even though becoming a Grey Warden is a deadly risk in itself.This is as close as Dragon Age fans will get elements of the game they are most familiar with. Unlike its predecessors, Last Flight steps away from the i In 9:41 Dragon, the continent of Thedas is in turmoil, with the templars waging war against the mages who have rebelled against their oppressive guardians. A small group of mages has sought refuge at Wiesshaupt, hoping the Grey Warden's neutrality will protect them from the templars, even though becoming a Grey Warden is a deadly risk in itself.This is as close as Dragon Age fans will get elements of the game they are most familiar with. Unlike its predecessors, Last Flight steps away from the immediate lore of the game by having Valya, a young elf mage, research historical records. That seems like a pretty dull concept, but at the crypt of Garahel, the elven hero of the Fourth Blight, Valya finds clues that lead her to the diary of his sister, Isseya, which goes into great detail about the struggles of the Fourth Blight.Wiesshaupt has been mentioned constantly throughout Dragon Age games, but players have yet to see the fabled Grey Warden headquarters. This book provides that opportunity, and more importantly, lets readers see the griffons that Wynne so cruelly denied us in her storytelling.Isseya's journal tells of the many years of hardship that the continent of Thedas suffered as the Darkspawn ravaged the land with their poisonous existence. The Fifth Blight, as experienced by players during Dragon Age: Origins, was nothing compared to this, having lasted only a year. Last Flight shows us the true hardships of war, and the horrible decisions that its leaders and heroes have to make. While players -- unless they wanted to be jerks -- could mostly play their game with minimal losses, making more friends than enemies, Field Commander Garahel and his sister had to make choices that often meant sacrificing the few to save the many. And some of those choices involved the dreaded blood magic.As enjoyable as it is to see all of our friends and experience the events of Thedas as players currently know it, the step into the past was a welcome change. With all the different choices available to players, current stories might not reflect our expectations and experiences. Last Flight is freed from these trappings, and is able to present us with all new and interesting characters upon whom we have no expectations, much less background information. I really liked the fact that, while her brother is the famed hero that has gone down in history, the story is told entirely through Isseya's eyes. That's not unusual in itself, but Garahel actually isn't involved much in her storytelling, save where necessary. His charm and bravery are evident through her words, and we already know that he is the one to defeat the Archdemon that controls the Darkspawn, thus making him the Hero of the Fourth Blight, but seeing the Blight through Isseya's eyes was very interesting, and at times, heartbreaking, especially when it comes to the now extinct griffons.The action and emotion ranges all over the place, as is to be expected in such a long, seemingly hopeless war. Merciel is merciless in her battle scenes, wasting few words on the fallen. This is a harrowing book, and perhaps a difficult read for those who enjoy happy endings. While it does offer a significant amount of hope at the end, a victory during a Blight can only ever be Phyrric, at best.www.BiblioSanctum.com
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    Last Flight concerns the fourth blight and the length to which the Grey Wardens will go to stop it.Listening to Alistair's deluded hero worshipping, and Wynne's fantastical stories, it was often easy to lose sight of what the Wardens really are. Which is why I found Last Flight interesting. There are no storybook heroes in Last Flight, even the famed Garahel loses quite a lot of shine. In the end the real heroes don't have flowing golden manes and charming personalities, and the ultimate sacrifi Last Flight concerns the fourth blight and the length to which the Grey Wardens will go to stop it.Listening to Alistair's deluded hero worshipping, and Wynne's fantastical stories, it was often easy to lose sight of what the Wardens really are. Which is why I found Last Flight interesting. There are no storybook heroes in Last Flight, even the famed Garahel loses quite a lot of shine. In the end the real heroes don't have flowing golden manes and charming personalities, and the ultimate sacrifice isn't much of a sacrifice once you consider the price others paid. I enjoyed the book a lot, especially for underlining the grey in the duty of the Grey Wardens. I was also impressed with Liane Merciel, she clearly did her research. Though it raised a slight question about the Qunari timeline, I'm not going to become that person. I hope Merciel and Bioware work together in future, I'd definitely love to read more about the pre-game history of Thedas.
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  • Rachael Sherwood
    January 1, 1970
    Last Flight, the newest Dragon Age tie-in book, uses a dual narrative to explore the history of the Grey Wardens. The frame narrative tells the story of Valya, an elf mage who-- along with several other Circle mages-- has fled to the Warden’s headquarters at Weisshaupt to escape the chaos of the mage/templar war. The Wardens welcome them into the keep, but for political and practical reasons, delay conscripting them into the order. Instead, Valya and her friends are given the task of assisting w Last Flight, the newest Dragon Age tie-in book, uses a dual narrative to explore the history of the Grey Wardens. The frame narrative tells the story of Valya, an elf mage who-- along with several other Circle mages-- has fled to the Warden’s headquarters at Weisshaupt to escape the chaos of the mage/templar war. The Wardens welcome them into the keep, but for political and practical reasons, delay conscripting them into the order. Instead, Valya and her friends are given the task of assisting with research into the usage of blood magic in the Warden’s history. While in the library, Valya discovers a hidden diary.This diary belonged to Isseya, whose story is the heart of the book. Isseya, also an elven mage, joined the Wardens just as the Fourth Blight broke out, and it’s through her perspective that we see the true devastation of the blights and the extreme sacrifices needed to end them. Isseya finds something that will help stop the Blight, but the solution is terrible and the cost greater than even she imagines. All of this is kept secret and left out of the history of the Wardens, and as Valya reads on, she must decide whether or not to reveal it. It’s going to vary depending on what you want out of the book, for to me, Dragon Age: Last Flight is easily the best of the Dragon Age novels. If you want big lore bombs that are sure to tie into the upcoming game and appearances by familiar characters, Asunder & Masked Empire are your best bets. Last Flight does have a few reveals that I am sure will play into the larger universe, as well as a fascinating and deeper look into blood magic, but it seems much more “standalone” than those books. But if you’re looking for a book that is set in the Dragon Age universe that tells a compelling, well crafted story…Last Flight is the book for you. It’s almost unfair to talk about the quality of Stolen Throne or the Calling, as David Gaider was clearly learning how to write novels with those books, but even compared to Asunder and Masked Empire (both very solid books), LF blows them out of the water in terms of prose, thematic concerns, and pacing. I suspect there will be people who aren’t as interested in the frame narrative, but I loved it. Thedas is wartorn, and as we know from the upcoming game, things are only going to get worse. Valya’s story is the melancholy pause before the storm, the chance to sit down and think about the mistakes and successes of the past. This book might not have as much plot relevance to Dragon Age: Inquisition, but its themes and atmosphere are the perfect lead in. The historical narrative is the strongest part of the book though, by far. Isseya is clever and sympathetic and I adored her. The ethical dilemmas faced by the Wardens have weight, and while the decisions they make are unthinkable, the world Merciel puts them in demands it. It is a very grim and dark story, but wonderfully...does not feel grimdark. Also, just because it bothered me in the other tie-ins...Merciel is very good at writing fight scenes so that they don't feel "gamey".
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  • Joseph
    January 1, 1970
    A bit of an odd duck, especially as a Dragon Age novel, but generally enjoyable -- it has griffons! I say it's an odd duck because most of the events happen far, far off-stage from where the events of the last two games have happened, and where Dragon Age: Inquisition will take place, even if the conflict that ignited at the end of Dragon Age II, and which will play a large role in Inquisition, is the proximate reason that these characters ended up in a fortress out in the ass-end of nowhere in A bit of an odd duck, especially as a Dragon Age novel, but generally enjoyable -- it has griffons! I say it's an odd duck because most of the events happen far, far off-stage from where the events of the last two games have happened, and where Dragon Age: Inquisition will take place, even if the conflict that ignited at the end of Dragon Age II, and which will play a large role in Inquisition, is the proximate reason that these characters ended up in a fortress out in the ass-end of nowhere in the Anderfells.So ... There are actually two narrative threads -- you have the present-day story, in which a number of mage refugees are coming to join the Grey Wardens. Their first assignment: Poke around in dusty archives for anything of interest. Valya, our protagonist, discovers a centuries-old diary left by Isseya, who was one of the last Grey Wardens to ride a griffon -- they mysteriously went extinct right around the Isseya's time, at the end of the last Blight. [BLIGHT: \ˈblīt\ , N -- a periodic event in the history of Thedas when the Orcs Darkspawn rouse an ancient god and go around the world wrecking stuff until a Grey Warden defeats the Archdemon and sends them all packing.]The bulk of the story is actually Isseya's tale (although it's not told in actual diary excerpts or anything); gradually, we find out exactly how the Fourth Blight was ended, and what happened to the griffons. (SPOILER: Not nice things.) Valya, for her part, is deciphering clues in Isseya's story to try to determine whether the griffons are reallio, trulio extinct.Another enjoyable visit to Thedas (although I wouldn't want to live there); definitely recommended to fans of the Dragon Age games. And I'll be very curious to see whether events from this book figure into the next game, or are addressed in subsequent novels.
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  • Rosu Aquabutts
    January 1, 1970
    1.5: "I didn't like it." / "It was okay."First Dragon Age novel not written by a member of the Dragon Age team and I don't know if that's what made it the worst one, but it is definitely the worst one. On a scale of "The Masked Empire" to "The Calling," this is worse than the Calling. So good news, we get to redefine the scale! And bad news, this is not a very good book.This book is a nested narrative, where Valya, an elven Tower apprentice who's put herself in for the Grey Wardens to get away f 1.5: "I didn't like it." / "It was okay."First Dragon Age novel not written by a member of the Dragon Age team and I don't know if that's what made it the worst one, but it is definitely the worst one. On a scale of "The Masked Empire" to "The Calling," this is worse than the Calling. So good news, we get to redefine the scale! And bad news, this is not a very good book.This book is a nested narrative, where Valya, an elven Tower apprentice who's put herself in for the Grey Wardens to get away from the Mage/Templar war, finds the journal of Isseya, an elven Tower mage who joins the Grey Wardens to distinguish herself from her double handicap. Isseya's story probably wouldn't be so remarkable, except that she's the sister of Garahel, the Hero of the Fourth Blight... and that she is a blood mage who is responsible for what eventually became the death of all the world's griffons.I liked Isseya fine. I liked Valya fine. But where it's the characters of the Dragon Age novels that usually shine, I didn't really care about anyone in this book. It's a competently written book, more narratively sound than any of the David Gaider novels, for example, but there's not a lot of life in it.There's also some... weirdness in here. I get that the Blight in Origins was the world's most discount Blight and was not in any way reflection of a real Blight. At first I thought it would be cool to actually see why, to see how the Fourth Blight was different. After reading 10 years of that dumb Blight, I think the answer is that because there wasn't an RPG party there to be a four man death dealing team. The problem with this book is that I, personally, fought a Blight. I went through the deep roads and killed like 600 darkspawn with just me and my three friends. It's game logic, but seeing these characters in the same situation, with a thousand darkspawn against them, and they have thirty Wardens riding thirty savage griffons, and the book is trying to tell me that's huge terrible odds, and I'm like, well, no, that's not REASONABLE. Even though this version is way more likely, it just seems like the reason it took ten years to finish the Fourth Blight is because nobody bothered to reload their save and go after the Archdemon in Antiva City in 5:19 Exalted. Most of the Dragon Age novels excel because they tie the conflict into characters. The Stolen Throne was mostly about the complex net of relationships between Maric, Loghain, Rowan, and Katriel. The Calling was mostly about Duncan and Genevieve, Maric and Fiona. Asunder was mostly about Cole and Cole's relationships with the others. The Masked Empire was mostly about the game of politcs and betrayal between Celene, Briala, and Gaspard, and about the mystery of Felassan.This book is just about a bunch of generic heroes fighting a Blight and doing a pretty shitty job of it. Not being involved in their personal stories, I just couldn't connect enough to divorce myself from the knowledge of how dumb the plot was. And then to build on top of that, not really caring about the characters in turn made me have ZERO TOLERANCE for that shit tie-in novels do when it's like AND THEN SHE EXPENDED THIRTY MANA AND CAST CRUSHING PRISON and it makes me cringe and want to hide the book from itself to protect it from how embarrassed it should be.Looking at this review I should REALLY go one star, but I just can't. I enjoyed it because it was full of Dragon Age lore and I learned some stuff and there were griffons in it and I'm a shill.
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  • Detya Auberta
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this book was quite the heartbreaker, but with a Grey Warden *mage* as protagonist, what would you expect?I think I cried a bit at the end. It's... okay, it's sad and tragic. But hey, it's dark fantasy!As DA book: 4.5 starsAs a regular dark fantasy standalone: 4 stars - if you like tragic ladiesDidn't feel like the Blight in Origins was scary enough? Love Griffons? Love Grey Wardens? Love Grey Warden mages? Love a tragic strong female lead? Then THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!!Andoral's Blight is fa Well, this book was quite the heartbreaker, but with a Grey Warden *mage* as protagonist, what would you expect?I think I cried a bit at the end. It's... okay, it's sad and tragic. But hey, it's dark fantasy!As DA book: 4.5 starsAs a regular dark fantasy standalone: 4 stars - if you like tragic ladiesDidn't feel like the Blight in Origins was scary enough? Love Griffons? Love Grey Wardens? Love Grey Warden mages? Love a tragic strong female lead? Then THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!!Andoral's Blight is far more devastating than Urthemiel's and you can definitely feel it here. There's no Witch of the Wilds to get you out from sacrificing a Warden's life when killing the Archdemon, and the devastation isn't just contained within one country - it's all over the continent! (okay, except Ferelden and Orlais in the south)This book also explores the risks of blood magic and the questionable things Wardens do to end a Blight, which I find absolutely delightful.Isseya is probably one of my favorite female protagonists right now. She is determined, very much devoted to her duties as a Grey Warden, has no useless romantic subplot to weigh her down, and she is quite tragic, like any proper Warden, and like a proper mage Warden she is *flawed* - she does questionable stuff and it comes to bite her back in the end! Yes, she suffers from consequences, and it's great (and so, so sad).(Also, she describes herself as plain and she is treated as such! In fact, she is very grateful that she's plain, as beauty is a curse in disguise for an elven woman in Dragon Age.)The author could've given her a romantic subplot with Calien, but she chose not to, and I'm glad. Instead, she focused of Isseya's role as a mage warden and her bond with her griffon, Revas, as well as her sadly waning bond with her twin brother, Garahel.And on Valya's side, this book also depicts the Mage-Templar war from the perspective of those running away from it, as well as likely setting up DA4 (because of a very special reveal in the end of the book). I didn't feel for Valya as much as I did Isseya, but I did enjoy her budding friendship with Reimas the Templar and Caronel, and I hope to see the three of them in DA4!All-in-all, I don't think I would've enjoyed it as much if I weren't familiar with the DA universe (there's a lot of inside jokes and references that would be missed), so I wouldn't recommend it to someone who's not familiar with DA. Also, I would definitely recommend reading this while listening to the Grey Warden theme or DA Origins' theme. It SOOOO fits the mood.--- buuuut if you like strong, -flawed-, tragic female leads with no romantic entanglements, I would still recommend it to you.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Yay, now I can play Dragon Age Inquisition. I think I rushed it a little bit as I'm very anxious to get onto the game.But, even so it was a well written book, giving an interesting background into what happened during the fourth Blight. It skips back and forth in time quite a bit but is easy to follow. Recommended to Dragon Age fans only.
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  • Cathy Keaton
    January 1, 1970
    While I can appreciate a Dragon Age story about griffons because they are freakin' cool, this book was SUUUUUPER boring. I barely had any reason to make myself read it, other than to find out what really happened to cause the griffons to become extinct. (That is revealed, thankfully.)
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  • Stefan Popovici
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I love the Dragon Age games and their world and characters and stories and everythingLast Flight tells two different stories.In the "present" day (concurrent with the events presented in Dragon Age: Inquisition) an elf mage takes refuge with the Grey Wardens in Weisshaupt and is tasked with researching previous Blights for odd Warden/darkspawn behaviour. Shortly after she discovers an old diary.The second story, as told from that diary, takes place during the 4th Blight and has its m Disclaimer: I love the Dragon Age games and their world and characters and stories and everythingLast Flight tells two different stories.In the "present" day (concurrent with the events presented in Dragon Age: Inquisition) an elf mage takes refuge with the Grey Wardens in Weisshaupt and is tasked with researching previous Blights for odd Warden/darkspawn behaviour. Shortly after she discovers an old diary.The second story, as told from that diary, takes place during the 4th Blight and has its main character Isseya, an elven Grey Warden mage who is also the sister of Garahel, the man who slew the Archdemon who caused the 4th Blight.The book is quite dark and dreary. It doesn't shy away from painting a very vivid picture about the realities of a Blight and the sacrifices that have to be made when fighting darkspawn. Isseya also gets quite the arc and very noticeable grows from page to page which doesn't really seem to happen often enough in video game tie-ins. There are some bits and pieces missing, some inconsistencies and small mistakes which maybe some extra editing could have prevented but overall it didn't really affect my enjoyment more than a few raised eyebrows.
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  • Samhain
    January 1, 1970
    There's not much to say apart that the Dragon Age books are, like their comic counterparts, surprisingly good fantasy novels of their own. I would recommend them without hesitation, even to people who haven't played the games. Especially to the ones who would like to start reading fantasy stories but feel overwhelmed when they research popular series. They're short, nice reads, and a good introduction to "Oh good gosh there's a mythical creature in my medieval times!"
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    The fact that it took me 17 days to read the previous book really worried me because I thought it would put me in a book slump. IT DIDN'T! It was the book's fault and not mine, because I read this in a day!This book tells the story of a mage named Valya during the time of Inquisition who is researching the Fourth Blight for the Grey Wardens. She stumbles across a diary that turns out to be written by Isseya, the sister of the hero of the Fourth Blight, Garahel. Valya thinks this is all pretty st The fact that it took me 17 days to read the previous book really worried me because I thought it would put me in a book slump. IT DIDN'T! It was the book's fault and not mine, because I read this in a day!This book tells the story of a mage named Valya during the time of Inquisition who is researching the Fourth Blight for the Grey Wardens. She stumbles across a diary that turns out to be written by Isseya, the sister of the hero of the Fourth Blight, Garahel. Valya thinks this is all pretty strange because there is no mention of Isseya anywhere, although her diary makes out that she was just as prominent a figure as her brother during the Blight. Most of the story takes place during the Fourth Blight, but it is not in diary form, it's told in third person like the rest of the story, but each chapter is marked with the year to indicate where you are. The lack of diary format was good because I hate that type of book, but it also got really confusing with the lore. For example, the book would mention Prince Vael of Starkhaven, and I'd think "Sebastian!" but then I'd have to remember that we were four hundred years before the birth of Sebastian and it was one of his ancestors. This happened quite a bit, and I don't like to think of myself as a stupid person who forgets that sort of thing...Now, let's talk about the real heroes of this book... The griffons. This book has griffons, and that's not a spoiler because there's five on the front cover and three on the back, and the book is called The Last Flight. This book fills in a lot of the lore on the Fourth Blight and how the griffons came to be extinct, or more importantly, how they became extinct so quickly that people forgot they ever existed and they became creatures of legend. Grey Wardens had a big bond with the griffons they rode to the point where some would choose to die if their griffon died. This obviously led to many tearful moments for me because if there's one thing that makes me cry; it's the friendship between a human and an animal. An excellent ending to my Dragon Age reading, and now I have to be sad that I have no more books, games, or graphic novels to read on the subject and my lore-knowledge will be left to get rusty until they publish something else.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a big fan of the Dragon Age series and read this mostly because I'm interested in learning more about the lore of the franchise. On that front, Last Flight delivers. There is a ton of interesting insight about the history of the Wardens and their motivations. However, I cannot say that the book is particularly good beyond that.Last Flight is a frame story: The main narrative occurs during the Dragon Age (basically present day as far as the franchise is concerned), but most of the plot comes I'm a big fan of the Dragon Age series and read this mostly because I'm interested in learning more about the lore of the franchise. On that front, Last Flight delivers. There is a ton of interesting insight about the history of the Wardens and their motivations. However, I cannot say that the book is particularly good beyond that.Last Flight is a frame story: The main narrative occurs during the Dragon Age (basically present day as far as the franchise is concerned), but most of the plot comes from the diary of a Warden from the Fourth Blight. This is part of the problem. Neither narrative is really developed, and so what should be some of the most dramatic topics of the DA universe (the extinction of griffons and end of the Fourth Blight) fall flat. Unlike other DA novels, the Last Flight does not (currently) tie in with any characters from the games. The characters in Last Flight do not have the benefit of additional development from codex entries, cameos, etc. These are new characters, and a new plot, and the former is horribly underdeveloped. I did not hate or like anyone. When characters died I was lucky if I remembered who they were, let alone cared about it. I should have been raging against the injustice of the events in the book, or amazed at the heroism. Instead I felt like I was reading one very long military report of events, and it was frankly pretty boring.
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  • Julia Winegeart
    January 1, 1970
    This book has a different author than the previous books and it takes place a little later so it's definitely a departure in some ways, but it actually steps up the game in many ways, especially in representation. There is a gender fluid character! There are women who are integral to the plot and have no romantic storylines! (The main character actually...) No fridging! There are characters of varying races! The tone was also a lot darker than previous books. It takes place over the course of a This book has a different author than the previous books and it takes place a little later so it's definitely a departure in some ways, but it actually steps up the game in many ways, especially in representation. There is a gender fluid character! There are women who are integral to the plot and have no romantic storylines! (The main character actually...) No fridging! There are characters of varying races! The tone was also a lot darker than previous books. It takes place over the course of a Blight which is just a siege war with evil essentially so yeah, it's bound to be a little less lighthearted than Maric being goofy on another road trip. Honestly it was kinda like 200 pages of watching a train wreck happen because the characters are in difficult positions that have no good options, so it was an uncomfortable epic page turner. And despite early appearances, the plot avoids being obvious and taking the easy way out story telling wise. So overall I definitely enjoyed it, and love the complexity it added to the DA world and am excited to see where the ending of this book leads in the upcoming products. It will definitely get you hooked and it's a good read but I can't say I was as invested with the characters in this as I was with those in previous books, though that may say more about my personality than the books.
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  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    A well crafted story in the dragon age unvierse. It is not really a tie in to Dragon age inquisition as the story takes place far away from the playable areas in the next dragon age game. It is more like a quiet time reflecting on the ruthless decisions of the past to ensure their would be future generations. The conflict may be differnt from the game but what people do in desperation is still the same. If you want that read dragon age asunder and the masked empire. Isseya was such a compelling A well crafted story in the dragon age unvierse. It is not really a tie in to Dragon age inquisition as the story takes place far away from the playable areas in the next dragon age game. It is more like a quiet time reflecting on the ruthless decisions of the past to ensure their would be future generations. The conflict may be differnt from the game but what people do in desperation is still the same. If you want that read dragon age asunder and the masked empire. Isseya was such a compelling character. She did everything to ensure the blight would not consume the world. She never pursued any romatntic relationship and always tried to find ways to save civillians even when most of them consider her kind beneath them. She was truly selfless and felt real and I still symapthized with her even when performed the blood magic ritual that led to gryphon extinction. The book showed what desperate times does to people. It can turn you into a monster or a pinacle of self sacrifce. The big flaw of the bookis the framing device narrative. It just felt so token. Some bits were interesting but there was far too bits to care much for the dragon age generation characters. It have been better to lengthen the framing narrative but with what is its just okay. The ending made me so happy the griffons were no no longer exctinct.
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  • ZC
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like this book tried to accomplish too much in too short of a time - give a detailed account of the fourth blight and it’s heroes all while introducing the characters that would eventually find the surviving griffin eggs 500 years later. The author absolutely did the best she could within the page limit she had, but I definitely would’ve appreciated the sacrifices of the heroes accounted for more if I knew them beyond their names and basic motivations. Isseya was well written though and I I feel like this book tried to accomplish too much in too short of a time - give a detailed account of the fourth blight and it’s heroes all while introducing the characters that would eventually find the surviving griffin eggs 500 years later. The author absolutely did the best she could within the page limit she had, but I definitely would’ve appreciated the sacrifices of the heroes accounted for more if I knew them beyond their names and basic motivations. Isseya was well written though and I’m extremely happy that she wasn’t made out to be the cause of the griffins’ demise. I’m also glad that she, and another elven woman, are their saviors. Hoping DA4 addresses these characters and the griffins’ return, since DAI failed to spotlight Rhys and Evangeline beyond one of Cole’s wartable mission threads.
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  • Jenn Forte
    January 1, 1970
    I've enjoyed all of the Dragon Age books so far, except for The Masked Empire (was too difficult for me to get into at the time I read it), and this book is no exception. I find the story engaging and well-paced, and it fits entirely into the known Dragon Age canon exceptionally well. This is a novel that largely depends on the reader knowing the universe for some of the details, but otherwise as a standalone story it's really excellent. The author has done a great job of weaving known lore into I've enjoyed all of the Dragon Age books so far, except for The Masked Empire (was too difficult for me to get into at the time I read it), and this book is no exception. I find the story engaging and well-paced, and it fits entirely into the known Dragon Age canon exceptionally well. This is a novel that largely depends on the reader knowing the universe for some of the details, but otherwise as a standalone story it's really excellent. The author has done a great job of weaving known lore into a story that introduces the reader both to ancient history related to the Dragon Age franchise and new events which should be upcoming in future publications. This is a good read for fantasy and Dragon Age fans.
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  • Mai
    January 1, 1970
    This rating includes an unashamed fangirl bonus, because I'm just way too excited to read more about the wardens, Thedas' history and Weisshaupt. It adds fuel to my wild speculations for future game/book/whatever content and I put it aside with a "wow, ...this is cool" feeling.But aside of dealing with some of my favorite lore topics, Last Flight also was really lovely written and managed to touch me on an emotional level - something the first four books lacked in parts; a story of the grey ward This rating includes an unashamed fangirl bonus, because I'm just way too excited to read more about the wardens, Thedas' history and Weisshaupt. It adds fuel to my wild speculations for future game/book/whatever content and I put it aside with a "wow, ...this is cool" feeling.But aside of dealing with some of my favorite lore topics, Last Flight also was really lovely written and managed to touch me on an emotional level - something the first four books lacked in parts; a story of the grey wardens is indeed also a story of great sacrifice.And now I want (view spoiler)[ griffons (hide spoiler)] in the next game!
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  • Adam Lackey
    January 1, 1970
    I was concerned about Last Flight being a mashup of time lines. However, no matter how short a characters time was in this story the writer made important use of their role. I didn't have a great Experience with THE STOLEN THRONE or THE CALLING. I felt they were well written enough, but the action felt poor. The scenes felt forced, unimaginative, and always impossible (the fighting styles never made sense). Not the case in LAST FLIGHT. I've loved the last 3 books and I hope they continue down th I was concerned about Last Flight being a mashup of time lines. However, no matter how short a characters time was in this story the writer made important use of their role. I didn't have a great Experience with THE STOLEN THRONE or THE CALLING. I felt they were well written enough, but the action felt poor. The scenes felt forced, unimaginative, and always impossible (the fighting styles never made sense). Not the case in LAST FLIGHT. I've loved the last 3 books and I hope they continue down this road!
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  • Michael E.
    January 1, 1970
    The thing that strikes me most about this book is how different it is from the other books in the series. There are no complicated romance plots! No backstabbing twists! The story moves fast, pushes you along, even though you know what will become of at least one character, you still end up wanting to see what happens and how to get there.The "secret" of the Grey Wardens was king of a let down though, I was hoping for something tying into things like the architect or corypheus.Still it makes me The thing that strikes me most about this book is how different it is from the other books in the series. There are no complicated romance plots! No backstabbing twists! The story moves fast, pushes you along, even though you know what will become of at least one character, you still end up wanting to see what happens and how to get there.The "secret" of the Grey Wardens was king of a let down though, I was hoping for something tying into things like the architect or corypheus.Still it makes me hope that the twist will be added to the upcoming Dragon Age Inquisition.
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  • Jesse Lång
    January 1, 1970
    A nice look into what happened during the fourth Blight and the relationship between the Grey Wardens and their griffons.The two stories run parallel in a nice way and are nicely tied together. The main focus is always on Isseya's part though, which is a nice touch in my opinion as there's no forced parts trying to flesh out Valya's part more than necessary.All in all a good read, and I do hope this book has some impact on the canon storyline in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
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  • Lyria
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Flight is a nice tie-in to the Dragon Age series, and I appreciate the insight into the fate of the griffins and am eager to see the results of this book in the games, however it felt rather flat to me. The characters were weak, not something I've come to expect from Dragon Age, and the details of the story seemed a bit lost.It was a hard decision between two and three stars but in the end the sub-par quality of the writing overwhelmed the importance of it to the Dragon Age canon.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    This book was ok, the story was great but the storytelling wasn't. For a long time the story just went on and on and I didn't know where to exactly, I was bored throughout most of it. The ending was the only part that I liked. I felt like I just could have read the first chapter and the last four chapters and I wouldn't have missed anything.
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  • Clara
    January 1, 1970
    GRIFFONS! I loved this book so much. A superb addition to the Dragon Age series books.
  • WardenAnders
    January 1, 1970
    There are griffons in it.
  • Paperclippe
    January 1, 1970
    Well, now I'm depressed. Lovely ending though. Hopeful. But still, what a heavy story.
  • Carmen
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't sure I would have appreciated Last Flight as much as I did the other DA books, because I knew that there wouldn't be any characters from the games. However, I liked it just as much as Weekes's, and more than Gaider's. I feel that, although it distances itself from the main storyline, it's the book that sits more closely to the games. The spell the mages use are the ones playable characters use, for example, and because it's set during a Blight, it reminded me a lot of DA:O, especially t I wasn't sure I would have appreciated Last Flight as much as I did the other DA books, because I knew that there wouldn't be any characters from the games. However, I liked it just as much as Weekes's, and more than Gaider's. I feel that, although it distances itself from the main storyline, it's the book that sits more closely to the games. The spell the mages use are the ones playable characters use, for example, and because it's set during a Blight, it reminded me a lot of DA:O, especially the Battle of Denerim. In fact, even though Gaider's books are set in the Deep Roads, this time I actually had the feeling that I was reading about the same darkspawn the warden had to battle. Both main characters are women, elven, and mages. What's more to love? And, for once, they feel /real/: not merely love interests, not "strong female characters", just real. There is also no useless romantic subplot, even though romances are hinted: but even in that case the female character can stand on her feet without becoming the shadow of her male lover. Oh, and there's a genderfluid character, too!!Every character, even the least important, is multi-faceted and doesn't end up a stereotype. I especially loved Garahel and Issaya, as their character development is amazing, and it is also amazingly shown - not described. I actually felt the characters as they grew up, without the author telling me once. One thing that I didn't like, was the fact that the narration - although beautifully written - felt cold. This book is full with death and tragedy, but the overall feeling is that of emptyness, sometimes melancholy. Never once I felt sadness, while reading. Deaths happen quickly and just as quickly they are over, without time, I believe, for the reader to empathize with the situation. In the end, I felt as if I loved every character, but wasn't attached to any of them. I believe, however, that that was necessary: Issaya distances herself from emotion, it's she who doesn't get attached, she who doesn't have time to grieve. It's only natural that we do so too, so I think that this actually gives value to the book. If you need any reason more to read this book: GRIFFONS. Actual griffons. What more could you ask for?
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  • Nerine Dorman
    January 1, 1970
    I've been somewhat lukewarm about most of the Dragon Age spin-off fiction I've read so far, but Liane Merciel redeemed the franchise's fiction offerings for me in Last Flight. Also, I admit fully that I absolutely adore griffins, or griffons, as they are called in this novel.The primary story is about the mage Valya, an elven mage who joins the Grey Wardens in their Weisshaupt fastness in the Anderfels more or less the time during the Dragon Age when Grey Wardens start going missing thanks to th I've been somewhat lukewarm about most of the Dragon Age spin-off fiction I've read so far, but Liane Merciel redeemed the franchise's fiction offerings for me in Last Flight. Also, I admit fully that I absolutely adore griffins, or griffons, as they are called in this novel.The primary story is about the mage Valya, an elven mage who joins the Grey Wardens in their Weisshaupt fastness in the Anderfels more or less the time during the Dragon Age when Grey Wardens start going missing thanks to the evil machinations of the arch-villain Corypheus. (By my estimation, I may stand to be corrected.) She is tasked with researching the historical records of past Blights but in doing so, discovers the four-hundred-year-old journal of the elven Grey Warden mage Isseya, who with her twin brother Garahel were responsible for ending the fourth Blight. While the primary storyline isn't all that filled with drama – it's basically day-to-day life in Weisshaupt as Valya befriends a former Templar and kindles a friendship with another elf Warden Caronel, we do discover the story of Isseya's care of the last griffons that served as the winged mounts favoured by the Grey Wardens. And all that before they set off for a brief spell of adventuring near the end. Stock standard RPG stuff but fun nonetheless.If you love Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern you'll get why I adored this bit of Thedosian history. By now if you've played through Dragon Age: Inquisition, you'll know that there's mention of Grey Wardens who discover griffon eggs... And this is the story of how this happens. It's straight-up questing and combat, featuring companions fighting against odds and making sacrifices. Which is what being a Grey Warden is all about.Now I want to go write all the fanfiction about griffon riders... I digress...Just a last note: Merciel's writing is lovely, and her characters spring to life off the pages. And if you're big on Dragon Age lore, especially when it comes to griffons, then don't miss out on Last Flight. I admit that I was a little choked up near the end.
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  • Willow H. Wood
    January 1, 1970
    The first Dragon Age book I wouldn’t really recommend. It was...fine. But mostly I was bored - skim-reading just to get through - and some of the peril was particularly forced. In one chapter they were in danger because they did something so utterly stupid - no one would ever do what they did in ANY FICTIONAL OR REAL WORLD - that I almost put the book down and abandoned it. They “tactically” decided to collapse the ground whilst standing on top of it. I just. How was I supposed to be shocked and The first Dragon Age book I wouldn’t really recommend. It was...fine. But mostly I was bored - skim-reading just to get through - and some of the peril was particularly forced. In one chapter they were in danger because they did something so utterly stupid - no one would ever do what they did in ANY FICTIONAL OR REAL WORLD - that I almost put the book down and abandoned it. They “tactically” decided to collapse the ground whilst standing on top of it. I just. How was I supposed to be shocked and worried by the results of this plan? They had GRIFFONS. And MAGES. And they decided to stand on the ground instead collapse it from the air? I’m baffled. Truly. Who could have seen that going wrong?Ironically, this would probably have been more entertaining if it had been a video game. You could probably read an in-depth synopsis of this book on Wikipedia and not miss out on much. The depiction of the wardens’ bond with their griffon was nice. But I wouldn’t recommend this novel for the mere sentimentality of warden/griffon bonding. The characters were hollow - fulfilling plot point after plot point and I didn’t particularly care that all characters from the past inevitably died, nor was I that worried for everyone in present day. They did cool things. And they were fine. But ultimately they served the story as tools rather than as fleshed out individuals with emotional relationships to others that we got to spend time exploring. They just felt very detached, like their personalness wasn’t as interesting as the action. Well, action isn’t interesting unless I care about the people fighting. Speaking of which, the action often confused me. I didn’t know how to visualise fights in the last third of the book, some of it didn’t make sense, and I gave up trying. I just read words without knowing what they tried to create, and kept hoping I’d at least understand the result at the end of each scene even if I didn’t entirely understand how it happened. I wouldn’t mind griffons in the next game. But since Dragon Age has forgotten its own plot with Inquisition, let alone the interesting novels along side it, I’m not holding my breath.3* because I got to the end without giving up entirely? It was just bland. Griffons are cool.
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