Dragon Age Knight Errant by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Fernando Heinz Furukawa, Michael Atiyeh

There’s a lot to like in Knight Errant: the story brings in characters from all the Dragon Age games (including the expansion to Inquisition) as well as gives us a first look at Sebastian’s principality of Starkhaven. The characters are true to their lore and nature from the games and we’re given what looks to be a hint at the next Dragon Age conflict (the Magisters tampering with Red Lyrium). The story takes place after Inquisition ends and one can only hope that this is setting us up nicely for the next game.

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Story: Knight Ser Aaron and his female squire Vael arrive in Kirkwall and are greeted by Varric. Ser Aaron is well known from having served under King Maric and then Cailan at the Siege of Ostagar. He helped the hero of Ferelden defeat Meredith and has served under three kings of Fereldon. Now, he travels about telling his deeds while Vael, an elf he saved from an alienage, is at his side. But unknown to Aaron, Vael steals from the rich and gives to the poor elven alienages wherever they travel. When she gets in trouble in Kirkwall, Leiliana’s spymaster Charter contacts her about a possible mission for the Inquisition. Suddenly, Vael finds herself travelling to Starkhaven in the guise of taking her knight to the Prince’s birthday party. What she finds there will have disturbing ramifications for Ferelden.

The story is tight and clearly written by people who have played the games and are invested in their history. From an eerie red glowing ‘statue’ of Meredith at the gallows to the intimidating Kirkwall harbor entrance. Varric even brings up Bram Kenrick – the scholar at the Frostback Basin who helps with the Jaws of Hakkon quest. Really, it was like stepping back into the games – all three of them – and enjoying the sights again.

The characters were true – from Sebastian’s uptight personality to Varric immediately giving Vael the nickname of ‘fingers’. I’m curious now if Vael or Aaron will be playable characters in the next game. Certainly, I’m hoping for Charters or Scout Harding especially to show up in the next game. That Charters plays a part here is encouraging.

Typically, these kind of ‘game comics’ tend to be vignettes rather than full storylines. Or they can cram so many cameos as to be unwieldy and choppy. Knight Errant keeps a nice line between those two pitfalls though the story does feel forced at times. I always hope these will feel like a major quest from the game rather than a tacked on story but typically they can really lack in depth.

On the plus side, it was great to see Starkhaven and get an idea of what it looks like. As well, the end of the last game looked to be going to Tevinter next and I am now curious if we will start at Starkhaven with Sebastian’s latest findings before heading to Tevinter.

In all, a decent storyline marks this as a bit better than past Dragon Age graphic novels. It will be interesting to see how much of this story makes it into the next game. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

 

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