Last Flight (Dragon Age #5)
by Liane Merciel
What is it about:
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 Isseya, one of the last of the fabled griffon riders. As the dark secrets buried in Isseya's story unfold, Valya begins to question everything she thought she knew about the heroic Grey Wardens...
What did I think of it:
After reading and enjoying The Calling, a prequel novel to the Dragon Age games, I was hungry for more Dragon Age novels. Of the ones written Last Flight sounded the most intriguing. Yes: I'm a Grey Warden Fanpiggy! I wanted to find out more about them.
And this book is so good!
Isseya starts out being idealistic. She's barely out of her training when she is given a griffon and told to join the war against the darkspawn. The war is difficult however, and as years pass Issenya changes and learns that at times you have to make very, very difficult decisions.
Argh! Isseya's story tore my heart out! It's desperate, intense, and dark.
When playing Dragon Age I usually make the 'good' choices. Trying to save everyone, doing what is right. This story makes it so easy to understand why someone would chose otherwise, why someone might do things during a war that in peace time would be unthinkable.
Isseya's journey into darkness made me root for her, and it made me cry. It showed me a side of the Grey Wardens I hadn't seen yet, but that fits with the things mentioned throughout the game. And the griffons! I have wondered why the griffons disappeared into legend. This story tells you about them, makes you love them, and makes you even more sad about the fact they're extinct.
The ending is bittersweet. The Fourth Blight isn't made for happy endings, still the link to Valya's story makes that you can hold a little hope. And if there's going to be a fourth Dragon Age game: this books hints at what that game might bring.
You can bet this book is keeper and will be reread. I will also investigate what other books Merciel has written.
Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and intense Fantasy read.