Read Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1 by David Gaider Ben Gelinas Mike Laidlaw Dave Marshall Various Online


For Dragon Age newcomers, this comprehensive volume brings you up to speed on everything you need to know about the regions, religions, monsters, magic, and more! For dedicated fans, never before have the secrets of BioWare's epic fantasy been revealed so completely and so compellingly! * Filled with never-before-seen art by the creators of the games! * New Dragon Age gameFor Dragon Age newcomers, this comprehensive volume brings you up to speed on everything you need to know about the regions, religions, monsters, magic, and more! For dedicated fans, never before have the secrets of BioWare's epic fantasy been revealed so completely and so compellingly! * Filled with never-before-seen art by the creators of the games! * New Dragon Age game coming in 2013! * From the writers and artists of the Dragon Age games. The definitive guide!...

Title : Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781616551155
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 184 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1 Reviews

  • Wendy
    2019-06-24 16:44

    I'm a sucker for art books and it took all my will not to tell Labyrinth Books to shut up and take my money when I stopped at their row upon row of shelves at Fan Expo last weekend. My bank account wouldn't have been happy, so I wisely opted to get only this, since it was far more than an art book dedicated to a game series that I love.The World of Thedas is just that. Think of it as a wiki on beautiful, beautiful crack. There definitely is artwork included. Every page is covered in it. But I'm all about the lore and there is no shortage of that here, from Andraste to Zazikel and everything in between. Favourite characters do appear, with a brief comment on their relevance to a particular entry (eg Isabela is placed within the Rivain section), but the focus is on the world itself. Countries, timelines, politics, religion, and of course, magic. As a big fan of the Dragon Age series, this is a must have for me. It will keep me content while I patiently wait for Dragon Age: Inquisition.Patiently....See more reviews atThe BiblioSanctum

  • Chris
    2019-06-01 20:51

    I just finished a cover-to-cover read of this book. It exceeded my expectations: I was expecting to get a lot of lore and some attractive art. I was pleasantly surprised, though, to find it such an interesting read. It isn't a simple dump of information, but a piece of nonfiction that's embedded within the fictional world it describes.The book's point of view isn't from Bioware. It's from scholars within Thedas trying to understand their own land and history. As such, much like our own history books, recent events are explained quite clearly and authoritatively. The further back in time you go, though, the less certainty exists about exactly happened. For example, we hear various different stories about the Black City. All sources agree that it's at the center of the Fade, and mages can verify this for themselves by observation, so it's accepted as true. We learn the orthodox Chantry teaching that the City was once the home of the Maker, and was turned black when the magisters attempted to reach it. However, we also hear that the pre-Chantry Imperium believed that the Black City was the home of their seven Old Gods. And the Elves have their own tales about the City, claiming that their pantheon is trapped there. Each perspective is faithfully recounted, without a definitive answer on which is "right".I found myself thinking of two other books while reading this one. The perspective of World of Thedas reminded me a lot of The Histories by Herodotus. That book also seeks to explain history and culture, and the author relies on the stories, legends, and myths he has heard from other people. Some stories seem reliable, others invite skepticism; some tales seem unbelievable but are fun to read. The actual content of the book, though, kind of reminded me of A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present. Both of those books rely on quotes from actual people living in the middle of events, which gives a much deeper and richer texture to the history than I would have expected. This includes things like a first-hand account of what it feels like to be a slave in the Tevinter Imperium, or to play the Great Game in Orlais, or to suffer from lyrium withdrawal. Even when the book described things that I "knew" before, it felt much more engaging and real to hear an in-character voice describe it.As others have noted, the artwork is absolutely gorgeous. I was surprised by the wide variety of art styles on display: I would have thought that there would be a Bioware "house style" that everything would follow, but there's a huge range, from very realistic drawings to highly impressionist pieces to things that look like collage to almost cartoony drawings. There are some even more creative pieces, like stained-glass windows depicting Andraste's martyrdom, and a foldable triptych shown in both open and closed positions. Everything looks wonderful, and it all strongly evokes their world.I'd been a little concerned about canon; I haven't been able to get into some of the other Dragon Age comics and novels because their events don't line up with decisions I made in my own game. Fortunately, The World of Thedas is very canon-friendly. It references events from all of the games and expansions, but is phrased openly enough that it should fit your understanding of the story, regardless of the choices your Warden and Hawke made.And, just in case anyone is considering reading this book who hasn't already played the Dragon Age games, be aware that the book does contain spoilers for the games. If you plan on playing Dragon Age 2, I'd suggest skipping the chapter on Magic, which gives away some key plot points. Spoilers for Dragon Age: Origins are sprinkled throughout the book, but particularly dense in the chapter on the Blights and any section on the Grey Wardens.On the whole, I was delighted with the book. It doesn't really add much in the way of new lore, but gives much more context and flavor to previously-known facts. It also gives some excellent in-depth looks at areas that the games haven't really explored, particularly life in the Tevinter Imperium and within the Qun. It read well from start to finish, but I think it would also be a perfect book to pick up and browse through. It makes me happy to see what a rich world Thedas has become, and makes me optimistic about the future of the franchise.

  • John
    2019-06-18 16:45

    This is one of those books that's long overdue, given the success of the franchise. World of Thedas Vol 1 doesn't expand all that much on the Dragon Age universe and falls short in key areas.Chapters include: Legend, Map of Thedas, Races, Nations, Magic, Religion, The Fade, The Blight, Bestiary and Glossary. It reads like an RPG sourcebook; granted it's derived from an RPG so that's hard to avoid, but I felt like I should have some dice handy while I was going through it. The layout is gorgeous- some stunning artwork from familiar names like Joy Ang, Fran Gaulin, Jae-Keum, Steve Klit, Caspar Konefal and Nick Thornborrow. Simply beautiful.There's cameos from some old friends- Varric, Leliana, Morrigan, Anders, and even Flemeth and Corypheus. Brother Genitivi acts as the resident scholar, often supplying commentary on the entries as well.Much of the information presented is not new, simply fleshed out. And that's where the problems come in: while there are some interesting nuggets and pearls, too many times you'll see either a contradiction to the established canon or something so lacking you wonder why they even bothered with it. And others just leave you scratching your head.Here's a few examples:Endrin Aeducan is stated to be mourning the loss of his eldest and youngest sons (it's supposed to be his eldest and middle child). Seems small but it's a huge error if you know the franchise... and how'd they miss it?Noble ranks in Ferelden- the place we're all most familiar with- are also off, listing an arl as the equivalent of a mayor. Really? Isn't an arl supposed to be an earl or something? Heck, the Bioware chatrooms have better and more detailed info than this 'official' release.New details about Wardens and the Calling are also confusing: the book states that they must first serve alongside dwarven troops for a year before going off on their own. Since when? And what's the point of it if they're not going to even last that long anyway? Also no new information about the Joining Ritual or how it was discovered.The chapter on Religion is where it really drops the ball in my opinion. The section on the Old Gods is sketchy- no surprise there- but something about them would've been appreciated. Were they vessels for powerful extra-planar beings or just dragons with powers and abilities far beyond those of other flying serpents? The Elven Gods get a little better treatment- they're supposedly all trapped in the Black City. How? Why?Humanity is the newest race on Thedas; apparently they all came from somewhere else... But as they make up nearly all of the Maker's worshipers, what was he doing all that time, let alone before Andraste showed up? Who were his followers?Kossith (Qunari) are said to have migrated to Ferelden in ages past, giving rise to ogre darkspawn, but then why hasn't anyone ever seen them before the Fifth Blight?World of Thedas is nice enough to have; you get lots of data conveniently packaged for your enjoyment. But there's precious little new information provided in it so it's a toss up as to whether it's worth your while or not.

  • Parka
    2019-06-01 00:57

    (More pictures on my blog)Here's the companion book for the Dragon Age video games. The book's 184 pages, hardcover.While you can actually get most of the information on the Dragon Age wikia page, the book format is more convenient as a package. I'm not familiar with the game so I can't comment much except say that other reviewers on Amazon have pointed out several errors and inconsistency with the content. The contents include Legend, Map of Thedas, Races, Nations, Magic, Religion, The Fade, The Blight and Bestiary.The art featured in the book is wonderful. There are beautiful illustrations of the environment, scenes, characters and creatures. The environments are painted in concept art style - they are not considered really finished but they feel finished and the mood is captured well. The artworks are printed quite big and they are almost on every page. There are several paintings filling two pages. The layout of the book is also nice. It's worth it just to buy for the art alone. And this book reminds me very much of The World of Might and Magic: The Ashan Compendium, which is also a book to get if you're into fantasy art.

  • Caitlin
    2019-06-18 21:57

    I've been in love with the world of Thedas since I first played Dragon Age: Origins so it was awesome to see more of the world than just playing the videogames gives you. The book is split into different sections on races, countries, religion, magic and the Blight with a bestiary at the back. If you bothered to read the codex while you played the games then a lot of this will be information you have already seen. But since I rarely read the codex (and the artwork is gorgeous), I loved getting to see more of Thedas. Definitely a must if you're a Dragon Age fan but DO NOT read it if you haven't played through Dragon Age 2 and intend to, it has some major spoilers for that plotline.

  • Charlotte
    2019-06-03 21:10

    [Morrigan voice] 'Tis a fine book. You have my thanks.

  • Sara
    2019-06-15 18:47

    5 stars Anyone who follows me for a long time has certainly seen me read a lot of things related to Dragon Age and this is no exception. I'm a total sucker for illustration books or compendiums of stories and facts about a certain world I might love, and this was no exception.It is fantastically well written and illustrated. It just explains a lot about the world and it even has some extra codex entries which for me were the highlight of this book since a lot that was written here was no longer any news for me (seriously I know WAY too much about this world for my own good ahahah).In a gist, I would totally recommend this to anyone who's either thinking of starting out the Dragon Age games or have already and want to thicken their knowledge of this amazing world.

  • Filip
    2019-06-10 18:44

    I'll go to my grave saying that the Dragon Age setting (or rather THE Dragon Age Setting, the origin of the word THEDAS) is one of the best RPG and fantasy settings that are there.And this book is perfect for a fan like me.While it didn't say much that I didn't know but it presented everything in an entertaining way and provided just enough of new things to really grab my interest while delving deeper into the stuff I knew a bit about. Part art book and part world description it was written in a superbly entertaining way, while maintaining great "production values". The book simply looks amazing!And it makes it possible to nicely order ones knowledge, especially with its timeline.

  • Frida Andreasson
    2019-06-07 19:41

    This is great. A lovely blend of images and different forms of text. I enjoyed the clean cut factual texts blending with texts that are written as if people in the world of Thedas were the people being them.

  • Kristin
    2019-06-18 17:53

    A fun read for fans of the series. Gives background, stories, and facts about characters, history, and culture...basically it's exactly what it says it is.

  • Iset
    2019-06-15 19:51

    Chock full of lovely artwork and a what's what of Thedas. Not as enlightening as one might have hoped, but I'm sure they had to keep it spoiler-free for Inquisition.

  • Nerine Dorman
    2019-06-26 00:41

    Every once in a while there’s a book I simply must have a physical copy of in the house, and this is one of them. Hardcover, full colour printing throughout and devastatingly beautiful art – enough to make me want to purr, caress its cover and breathe sweet nothings into its pages.This is one for the fans of BioWare’s Dragon Age game franchise, and it’s well worth the clams forked out and the effort of importing. (And rushing down to the postbox every time the postman whizzes by on his bicycle.){And yes, I’m still smarting from the import duties SARS gifted me with for the privilege of buying this book.}What’s clear from the three games brought out so far is that the fantasy world of Thedas is chock full of lore – so much so that I’d hazard to say that given a few years the peeps at BioWare are going to give Tolkien a run for his money. As it is, they’re snapping at his heels. Volume 1 pretty much reads like a traveller’s guide to Thedas, not only giving a timeline for events – starting with the rise and fall of the elves’ Arlathan, to the expansion of the sprawling Tevinter Empire and the subsequent blights, but also giving an overview of the races, nations, magic, religion, the fade, the blight and assorted wildlife. This volume is by no means exhaustive, but serves as a good introduction to the setting without giving away too many spoilers for those who’ve yet to play the games.Even my husband – who’s patiently still waiting for me to get over my fascination with the game – had to admit that the book’s layout and art are pretty darn impressive. This is a pretty book – there’s no denying that. It will cause the fans to make grabby fingers. It’s also useful as reference for those who’re addicted to unpicking canon and who may wish to create fanfiction. And volume 2 arrived recently in the mail too. Like my centenary edition of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings that also graces my permanent book collection, this one’s a keeper.As a storyteller, I’m envious of those writers who’ve had the chance to contribute to the creation of this world, and as the map suggests, the games, books and comics have only scratched the surface of all the possible future tales yet to be told. Yes, this is standard high fantasy involving elves, dragons, mages and brave warriors, but it’s what the content creators say with these stories and their art that is important – touching on many important issues. The world of Thedas matters, because in many ways those existing, familiar tropes resonate on a deeper level. The fact that so many of the heroes are tragic, and are faced with impossible choices that turn out badly no matter what, attests to the fact that the BioWare writers are basically horrible, evil people who love to torment gamers. But we love them anyway and keep returning for second helpings. And the great thing about the games is that for a while we can tune out the real world where we have little agency, and plunge ourselves into a world where we are the heroes who can and do make a difference.

  • Rosie
    2019-06-24 18:09

    Very detailed information and beautifully illustrated. This book I never felt the need to fly through, it's very much a pick up read a little and then put back. Very lovely book for my collection!

  • Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
    2019-06-20 23:56

    When they say that this is one of the most fully realized fantasy universes they really mean it…this is one of the most detailed video game guide/art books I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. If you have a question about the Dragon Age world there is a very good chance that this book will answer it.The book includes a detailed timeline that runs along the bottom of each page. It covers both known and unknown major events, and it includes a symbol for what the event pertains to (i.e. Chantry, the Crows, etc.). This is split into seven complete sections; Nations, Races, Religion, Magic, The Fade, The Blight, Bestiary. Each section is extremely detailed and includes some amazing never before seen artwork. If you were ever curious about the individual nations like Orlais, what they like to wear, or what the dwarves religion (The Stone) is like then the book is definitely going to have the answer. I’d actually be surprised if it didn’t have some form of answer to be frank. I think I actually found out more than I ever wanted to know about Dragon Age. The amount histories for each nation, each Blight, and each religion/race is just astounding. Also if you were wondering how much it incorporates the games, it does mention them or specific people from them…however if you are looking for a ton of information on the stuff specific to the games then I’m afraid this isn’t for you. You’re better off checking out the normal guides for that.I adore the artwork as well. As I said before it includes some never before seen pieces that are print-worthy in my opinion. There are some great scenery shots that look fantastic and I’d love to have in frames my walls. They also include drawings of each beast mentioned and even some familiar faces.This is one of those books that is perfect for your shelf if your a gamer, it’s detailed and worth flipping through time and time again.I received this in exchange for an honest review.

  • JoãoJorge
    2019-06-10 23:51

    “The World of Thedas” is amazing for the superb art in every page and for the incredible wealth of information on the game world of “Dragon Age”. If you are a fan of this universe you cannot miss this magnificent book. The book is well written, in a clear, concise way and touches on every major part of lore. We get info on all the races, religions, the blights, the wars and the evolution of the continent of Thedas from the most early age, when Elf´s ruled and the humans weren't even around. The book even touches on events from DA2´s DLC as its completely up to date, until DA3 comes around. There´s no specific focus on any character from the games, although some like Alistair or Hawke are mentioned when discussing specific events. There are some canon mistakes but Bioware has an errata on their website (written by Brother Genitivi himself hahaha) and quite frankly they´re nothing really major, considering the work that went into this volume. After all this is a fictional world, with huge history and detail and with the enormous lore the book holds, a few mistakes are forgiven. Unlike Art of the Mass Effect Universe, this book is not about the process of building and imagining this universe and designing the game. This is a compendium, an encyclopedia about the lore in beautifully realized pages. Yes, the art really is fantastic, with some truly gorgeous illustrations page after page.This is a majestic book and a delight for someone, like me, who has spent hundreds of hours on both games. But even for a casual fan, “The World of Thedas” is so beautiful and impressive, its worth every cent. Hey Bioware how about something like this for Mass Effect? Come on, do it!!!!!

  • Jenn Forte
    2019-06-02 17:42

    Those who know me and my gaming habits can attest that I'm an unabashed Dragon Age fan/addict. So, when I began reading this book, I started with a definite bias. Even with that bias firmly in place, however, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It met my high expectations and did not disappoint.The compendium of lore that this volume contains feels thorough, accurate, and in my mind represents the "last word" in the fantasy world of Thedas to the events that have transpired so far. I recognized lore that was brought into play through the two games and three books that have thus far been presented in Bioware's universe. The illustrations, taken from concept art for the characters and places that have been used in the games, have been gorgeously rendered and reproduced in this book. The book reads like an audience-friendly history account to the point where I was sometimes surprised by the more "secret" information. (Dragon Age fans will know what I mean. :) )Overall, this is a great book! I chose not to take a star off of the review for what I believe was a technical issue - I read this on my Kindle tablet and I wasn't able to adjust the size of the pages, but because of the high graphical content I believe that this volume was in a 'comic book' format, where each page was its own panel, and as a result the pages weren't able to scale in size. Hopefully the software will update to allow this in the future.

  • Melanie
    2019-06-09 19:46

    I really enjoy Dragon Age's lore overall, so this book was quite an interesting acquisition. It was exactly what I was expecting (perhaps a bit more technical but, well, what the hell, I don't know what to expect from a book that read exactly like a regular history book). I thought it was interesting that it did not define any of the games' events as canon, so it doesn't really matter what decisions you made for the Hero of Ferelden and the Champion of Kirkwall, whatever you decided in your game can be considered canon for that universe.Oh, and if you did not finish Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 and don't want to get spoiled, I'd suggest to steer away from this book for now, as it contains the conclusion of both games. It's quite safe for people who have yet to finish Dragon Age: Inquisition though.Can't wait to read volume 2!

  • Amber
    2019-06-20 21:49

    This is a wonderfully done book the builds on the world of Thedas by offering insight into past events and by revealing the history of Thedas and the nations that live across the continent. It covers how the continent first came to be settled as well as the religion and beliefs of the various races. Magic and how it is viewed in different places is explained as well as how the Chantry was founded and came to influence different nations. There is a good amount of information here and plenty of illustrations and artwork to go along with the information. This focuses on the background history of the world more then anything.Far more then just and art book and certainly something worth having for Dragon Age fans.

  • Charlotte
    2019-06-05 01:00

    A must have for Dragon Age Fans. I was expecting a really basic styled art book with a splash of lore, so I really enjoyed this as it went above and beyond my expectations. Most of the lore I am very familiar with, but there was also some lore I have never come across or picked up on when playing the Dragon Age video game series (I learnt stuff yay :D). For people that love Dragon Age just as much as I do, definitely get this book as it is so worth it. I payed quite a bit for this book when I was over in Melbourne, but I don't regret this decision as it's everything I want in a video game 'lore' book.I can't wait to buy and read the crap out of the second one that was recently released. :D

  • Matt
    2019-05-29 16:41

    Something that I'm sure is strictly only for fans of the game. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. There's not a lot of new content, but I didn't expect there would be. The art is fantastic and I liked the way the whole thing was presented. The timeline also answered a question I had about Alistair's parentage, so that was a bonus. The only downside is that there are some slight errors in the book, which were addressed on Bioware's blog but nothing so extreme that it ruined the book for me. I suppose when any errors in canon occur the only logical answer is that a mage did it.

  • Robyn
    2019-06-05 18:45

    I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase one of the limited edition versions of this book. It took my breath way. The little video Bioware made of it is an understatement. This is a serious collectible art book that clearly has been a labour of love. I was also a bit surprised by the breadth of information in the book. As someone who has picked over all the codices in Origins and DA2, it was a joy to find new information amongst the old collated in a very readable way.I would say though that this is a book for fans of the game. And this game has a very partial place in my heart. So I will put my hands up and admit that this review reeks of bias!

  • Eva Ebert
    2019-06-14 20:42

    A huge coffee-table style books filled with interesting facts about the world of Thedas. Everything from the history and culture, complete with a timeline for events, to a bestiary with everything from mabaris to darkspawn. It also covers modern history up to and including the first two games, although in very vague terms, because of the many possibilities. If you in general think it's fun to find out facts in the game and read the codex and such, this is an excellent book to read to get some real background info and just be impressed with the detailed worldbuilding that went into the game.

  • Jenny Masana
    2019-06-25 01:00

    This is a good reference manual for fans of the Dragon Age series; however, if you are looking for quick references that are easy to find, the (unofficial) DA wikia page tends to be a better resource. While this makes a fine addition to a collection, the information can be found elsewhere (hence my 3-star rating, even tough I do have the collector's edition). This volume focuses largely on history and settings in Thedas.

  • Matthew Ciarvella
    2019-06-13 20:48

    I'm a big fan of both art books and in-game texts discussing the lore and history of a fictional universe as if it were real. This book delivers beautifully on both fronts. Most importantly, it succeeds at its core design goal. If you're a veteran of the series, it's a great resource for filling in all the little holes and gaps. If you're a newcomer, this book is your crash course. Sure, it's still a read only for DA fans, but for those fans, I'd say this one is a must read.

  • Michael Alexander Henke
    2019-06-21 22:43

    This book is just a wealth of information about the world of Dragon Age. Information on races, religions, nations, magic, monsters, and more. It gives a pretty complete history of everything that has happened up to the present, and was a perfect refresher of everything with Dragon Age: Inquisition coming out. Aside from the info, lots of great art is included as well. With everything that was packed into Volume 1, I'm interested to see what's left for Volume 2.

  • Michelle Morrell
    2019-06-26 17:55

    I read this in preparation for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Very glad I did, it cleared up a bunch of lore that I had left me confused. Also, a good way to fuel my mania waiting for the game!A lovely book, obviously a lot of care went into it. Thick pages, beautiful artwork, good for flipping through or reading cover to cover. Fun for fans!

  • Casey
    2019-06-18 16:51

    Beautiful artwork and fascinating, detailed lore. The book is presented as a nonfiction account of the Dragon Age world, so it is organized much like a history text book, though the writing is less bland than most. The illustrations and snippets from letters and writings add extra flavor, as well.If you love the intricate world building found in the Dragon Age games, you'll love this book.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-25 22:43

    Absolutely beautiful. So detailed and interesting. If you're a big fan of the Dragon Age series, I'm sure you'll love this. It gave me lots of things to look forward to in upcoming Dragon Age content. Also, I feel the need to mention that it has a beautiful map of Thedas that is pretty much the best thing ever.

  • wildmary
    2019-06-18 19:09

    If you've played through all Dragon Age games, there is no new information in this book, just lots of art. This isn't a bad thing, quite the opposite. It drives me nuts when you need to read spin-off novels and guides to understand what you're playing (cf. Assassin's Creed and the mysterious lack of Malik in Revelations). A great read for all fans, even for the art alone.