ARC Review: Dragon Age: Magekiller

Dragon Age: MagekillerDragon Age: Magekiller by Greg Rucka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Release date: August 9, 2016

Tessa and Marius are mercenary partners united by an unbreakable bond and compelled to eliminate those who use magic to hurt others. When they betray a powerful patron who intended to kill them once their job was completed, they’re forced to run and join the Inquisition. With the breach in the sky tearing the world apart, there’s more to fear than Venatori and an angry former employer. Can Tessa, Marius, and the Inquisition overcome the greatest threat Thedas has ever faced!?

I would like to start by mentioning I had only a passing knowledge of the game before reading this. I’m not really a gamer, but the fact that this is a high fantasy novelization of a fantasy game, I was intrigued. And the cover art was pleasing to the eye! Also, since it is supposed to be a brand new story in the world, I felt prior knowledge of the game and the setting is not really that important for a new reader, like me. So, as far as the world is concerned, I felt it was a good setting, but needed more details. The various mage organizations was a bit confusing, and we aren’t explained whether the Inquisitors are all mages, or made of elves (they had some pointy-eared members) and others. I would also like to point out there is a sad lack of dragons of any sort! (hahaha)

Moving on to the artwork, I was sort of disappointed considering the cover is so richly designed. The actual art of the graphic novel paled in comparison, and this is made by of a group of artists! At some places, the scenes were constructed beautifully, like when Tessa meets Charter for the first time and they hold knives at each others’ throats, but other times I felt the faces weren’t consistently drawn throughout the book.

As for the story, I know this is a volume serialization, but there is no continuity between the arcs! Threads of plot are picked up and left off incomplete. Characters appear out of nowhere and with no backstory and exist for a little while. The main characters, Tessa and Marius, have a great partnership, though, and their chemistry is good. He is a silent broody type and she is the quippy one, and there is no hint of romance at all! Cheers all around! I felt a more constructed approach to the plot and an addition of suspicion and nefariously motivated characters (it is supposed to be a dark fantasy, for crying out loud) would have enriched the plotline. In summary, this graphic novel has a lot to live up to, and is not doing its best.

Received a free galley from Dark Horse Comics, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger warning: Book opens with a scene of self-harm

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