The Silent Grove is graphic novel set in the Dragon Age universe, written by the same man who was the main writer of the games, David Gaider, along with Alexander Freed and Chad Hardin. If you’ve read this site at all, you know I loved Dragon Age: Origins and it’s related content, and came around on Dragon Age 2 in the end. What’s being reviewed here is the collection of six comics previously only available via the Dark Horse comics store.
The story follows Alistair, King of Ferelden in the continuity that exists for these comics and novels, as he searches for a secret hidden within Antiva. Along with Alistair are Isabela the pirate vixen, and Varric Tethras (with Bianca, of course). Unlikely companions for a king, as he himself points out, but his search is a personal one, not an official kingly one, so it fits. I like Varric and Isabela, so they work for me on that level as well.
Along the way you find out more about the Witches of the Wilds, dragons, and the power of blood. The plot lingers a bit too long in places, and it’s tough to get the right sense of humor invoked – I don’t think the same jokes work in print as they do when you hear Isabela’s mocking tone or Varric’s smooth delivery. Because of that, The Silent Grove feels more serious. Not a bad thing, as it’s definitely got some serious plots, but if you’re looking for party banter, there isn’t much here. Alistair is a bit of a sourpuss here. The art style is dark and a bit too busy for my tastes, having grown up on the brighter comics of the 80s and 90s before they started going heavy on shading faces and looking more realistic.
All in all, it’s a solid read if you are a fan of the Dragon Age universe, and enjoy comics. It helps if you like Alistair and want to know more about him. To purchase the hardcover book, visit Amazon or Barnes and Noble with a tentative release date of August 7th. The individual issues can be had from the Dark Horse comics store online.