Picking up on story threads that were laid down in Dragon Age: The Silent Groves, David Gaider continues to fill in gaps between the Dragon Age games with Those Who Speak, the newest comic miniseries set int the world of Ferelden. This book follows King Alistair, Isabela, and Varric as they try to unravel the disappearance of Alistair’s father King Maric, and learn why Magisters of Tevinter are stirring up trouble for Alistair’s kingdom.
This issue is quite well written, especially considering that there is a lot of exposition to get through in the first couple pages. Through the use of narration from Isabela and character dialogue, writer Alexander Freed quickly gets new readers caught up. This issue deals with some of the secrets in our heroes’ backgrounds, as well as some of the political intrigue that goes along with being a King, but Freed ensures that the verbal sparring of the first half of the issue is just as entertaining as the physical violence of the issue’s later pages. Artist Chad Hardin’s expressive take on the characters lends itself well to the intriguing early scene at the ball, but he really shines once the action starts. The battles are as quick and brutal as those in the games, and he captures the excitement of playing Dragon Age very well in the comic book adaptation.
If you are a fan of the Dragon Age games, then Those Who Speak is a great continuation of the story. It blends aspects of the first and second games and utilizes plot threads from both to create new stories that will hopefully pay off in future games. If you have never played Dragon Age but like fantasy stories, then give this book or the recent graphic novel Dragon Age: The Silent Grove a try; they are both wonderful, exciting examples of the fantasy genre in comic book form.