Literature: Last Flight

The fifth novel set in the Dragon Age universe, written by Liane Merciel and published on September 16, 2014. The plot follows Valya, a young elven mage recently recruited into the Grey Wardens, who researches the less glorious aspects of her order's past—particularly connected to the diary of Isseya, one of the last of the fabled Grey Warden griffon riders who fought in the Fourth Blight.

The novel ties in with Dragon Age: Inquisition, alongside Asunder and The Masked Empire.

Tropes found in the novel include:

  • Action Girl:
    • Isseya is an incredibly talented mage.
    • Valya lacks combat experience, but she turns out to be quite capable when pushed.
    • Amadis is a skilled mercenary.
  • Badass Bookworm: Valya is training to be a Grey Warden (read: a badass by definition) who is tasked with researching the Wardens' archives. She came from a Circle of Magi, where literacy is par for the course.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Played with. Isseya is a Blood Mage but Blood Magic is proven to be horrifically dangerous and easily abused.
  • Big Bad: The Archdemon is the primary antagonist of the Exalted Age segments.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Exalted Age, Garahel sacrifices himself to kill the Archdemon and end the Fourth Blight. The griffons die out due to a plague created as a side effect of Isseya Joining some of them. Isseya and her griffon Revas set out for her Calling. In the Dragon Age, Valya manages to recover thirteen griffon eggs that Isseya protected from the plague by putting them into stasis, but Sekah dies in the process.
  • Blood Magic: Plays a central role.
  • Broken Pedestal: Valya briefly starts to think this about Isseya after Valya learns that Isseya was a blood mage, but Valya realizes that Isseya was ultimately a good person.
  • Call Forward: Isseya recalls meeting a savvy Chevalier named Montfort at Fortress Haine. After the Fourth Blight, the Montforts claim Fortress Haine (which they rename Chateau Haine) and are still in control over it during Dragon Age II's "Mark of the Assassin" DLC.
    • She also creates the Retreat that Hawke and company will use to escape.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Qunari are mentioned before they arrived in Thedas, a Grey Warden was recruited from the Denerim Alienage during the Fifth Blight, and male dragons with wings are mentioned.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Isseya's view on Blood Magic. She changes her mind.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Valya names the first griffon to be born in over four centuries Crookytail after the griffon's father.
  • Defector from Decadence: A group of templars arrive at Weishaupt shortly after the Hossberg mages. They didn't come to seize the mages: they came to seek asylum themselves after quitting the Order out of protest of the Order's decision to abandon the Chantry.
  • The Determinator: Every Grey Warden is portrayed as willing to give everything to stop the Blight. This is in stark contrast to their portrayal in Origins where Alistair may abandon the group and the PC may Take a Third Option to survive killing the Archdemon. However, the length of the fourth blight is touched upon as a feeding motivator as they progressively sacrifice more and more.
  • Exact Words: Calien was once hired to assassinate a powerful abomination. After Calien wounded the abomination, she offered him a deal: she would teach him blood magic in exchange for healing. Calien accepted. Once the abomination taught him her secrets, he applied a weak healing spell to her and stabbed her in her heart: the Antivan Crows always uphold their contracts.
  • Forgot About His Powers: On page 131. Isseya realizes darkspawn are coming by the sound of their footsteps, is surprised by it and unable to tell how many there are due to the echo from the cavern. However, she's been a Warden for seven years and thus she should be able to sense them.
  • Green Aesop: The book has one with the griffons dying out because of the Grey Wardens desire to stop the Blight at all costs.
  • Hate Plague: Ostensibly the cause of the griffons' extinction. By using blood magic to force the griffons through the Joining, Isseya created a supernatural affliction that caused the griffons to sense the darkspawn corruption in themselves, their fellow griffons and the Wardens. Those who didn't simply kill each other were put down by the Wardens.
  • The Last Title: The title.
  • Morality Pet: Revas serves as one to Isseya. Isseya steadfastly refuses to subject Revas to the Joining.
  • Na´ve Newcomer: By the time the story starts, Valya is a teenager not even past her Joining. This is a recurring theme in the story, as most of the characters are youths cast into roles they are unprepared for, many of them underage.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Last Flight is the first Dragon Age installment where the griffons are described in detail. Griffons are immensely powerful, ill tempered, and are implied to be intelligent. As of the end of the novel, they are also no longer extinct.
  • Sexual Extortion: The Queen-Regent of the Anderfels refuses to give Garahel the support he needs unless he sleeps with her.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Isseya was the sister of Garahel, the elven hero who ended the Fourth Blight by slaying Archdemon Andoral.
  • War Is Hell: The Fourth Blight is long, gruelling, and ultimately traumatising for all those involved. This is in stark contrast to the uplifting heroics of the Fifth Blight.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The Archdemon fakes a wing injury to lure the Wardens into an ambush.
  • You Are Better Than You Think: During their last meeting, Amadis tells Isseya that Isseya did what she had to do to stop the Blight and is not a bad person.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: More like the Orc-Zombie Apocalypse.