Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne
is a prequel novel to the BioWare
RPG Dragon Age: Origins
written by its lead writer, David Gaider. The chronologically earliest installment of the Dragon Age
franchise, it follows the Fereldan king Maric Theirin, the illegitimate father of Alistair from the game
, as he rises from awkward and foolish boy to the deserved and rightful king of Ferelden.
However, that throne is occupied by King Meghren
, the usurper. He is the cousin of the Orlesian emperor, and rumored to have also been his lover, exiled from Orlais for his antics. His servant and advisor, the mage Severus, hires an elven Bard (assassin and spy) named Katriel to seduce and betray Maric, but she begins to develop feelings for the rebel leader.
Also prominent is Loghain Mac Tir, one of the main villains of Origins
. As Maric's best friend and most trusted subordinate, he finds himself torn between that loyalty and the love for Rowan, Maric's betrothed since birth.
Tropes in this novel are:
- Action Girl: Both Rowan and Katriel can really kick some ass.
- Artifact Title: A Dragon Age novel that takes place in the previous era, the Blessed Age.
- Arranged Marriage: Maric and Rowan.
- A True Story In My Universe: The epilogue shows that the novel is actually Prince Cailan's history lesson.
- Back for the Finale: Mother Ailis shows up in the epilogue, having been absent since chapter 4.
- Batman Gambit: By Severan. It doesn't end so well for him.
- Betty and Veronica: Rowan and Katriel.
- Bittersweet Ending: Maric becomes king and the Orlesians are expelled, but Rowan and Katriel die. Loghain has to give up his love for the good of his nation, and Maric kills his own.
- The Caligula: Meghren is absolutely out of his mind, concerned only with complaining, debauchery, and brutalizing the palace staff.
- Cool Sword: Maric finds one in the Deep Roads. A runed dragonbone longsword.
- The Corruption: The darkspawn taint everything.
- Deuteragonist: Loghain and Rowan.
- Doomed by Canon: To fans who played the game first, many characters are this.
- The Dragon: Severan, King Megren's court magician.
- Femme Fatale: Katriel.
- High Heel-Face Turn: Subverted.
- La Résistance: The Rebel Army.
- Love Triangle: Loghain is attracted to Rowan, and while she reciprocates, she's also in love with (and betrothed to) Maric. Maric, however, is (at least consciously) unaware of Rowan's affection and falls in love with Katriel.
- Love Redeems: Katriel's love for Maric eventually causes her to cancel her contract on his life and do her utmost to protect him.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: While a number of battles are described in the novel, the historic Battle of River Dane that sealed Ferelden's independence isn't. All we get is the preparation and the aftermath.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: This is how Meghren became the regent of Ferelden, after he angered the Emperor of Orlais.
- Redemption Equals Death: Katriel.
- Romantic Plot Tumor: An in-universe one as Loghain knows Maric's relationship with the elf girl will go nowhere. And it ruins his life as well.
- Said Bookism: It's difficult to overstate Gaider's love of adverbs. In fairness, this was his first work of published prose, but still...
"“Maric dug into his stew ravenously. Katriel picked at hers gingerly, sipping on some of the broth. The dwarf all but gulped his down greedily, finishing it long before the others were even half done, and then belching loudly."
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Maric and Loghain.
- Will They or Won't They?: Loghain and Rowan.
- You Should Know This Already: Which characters survive and the overall outcome of the rebellion are pretty well laid out by the game.