If you’re a fan of the Bioware series Dragon Age, then you’re likely more than aware of Hard in Hightown. The novel is a piece of fiction within the fiction–a book written by Varric Tethras, one of the main characters of Dragon Age:2.

For those unfamiliar with the game series, Varric is a smooth talking, wry, poetic, and witty ‘sexy’ dwarf1Unfortunately, he is a non-romanceable character.. He is a solid companion to your character, as loyal as he is sneaky, and an incredibly well trained rogue fighter.

He also happens to be one of my all-time favourite characters from the entire series. There are so many layers to this character that he may as well be an onion (Shrek reference anyone?). He cares deeply, he respects companions of all kinds, and his growing fondness of your character is reflects throughout the stories.

In the third installment of the Dragon Age series, DA: Inquisition, we get the opportunity to find snippets of Hard in Hightown. It gives the player a glimpse into the literary prowess of Varric, deepening his character further.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Varric’s book would become a real live thing, leaving many DA fans squealing with joy. It’s also quite possible that upon hearing this, I may have leapt off the couch and fist-pumped… maybe.

There are a few things making this news incredibly exciting, some of which only Dragon Age fans may appreciate.

It gives us more ways to indulge in Dragon Age outside of the video games.

This series is one of my all-time favourites, so any way to get more of it is always a sell for me. Scott can attest to that. One year, over Christmas holidays I played DA1 and DA2 eight times each before running out to pick up Inquisition.

I literally explored every different romance option, focused on getting different achievements, and sometimes played the exact same way over and over again, just because I love it so much. I even started working on a DA fanfic (that has since floundered and gone nowhere).

The greatness of Dragon Age, however, is more than the stories you tell within the game. A big part of it is the world the game itself creates. The characters, the different cities, the people — things that go deeper than just the glimpses you catch through your MC and party members.

Varric is the actual author.

Okay, I get that a fictional character can’t actually write something; I’m not crazy…at least not with this. But the main author listed on the book is Varric, which is really exciting, because it still makes this a big part of the whole storytelling aspect of Dragon Age. The storytelling is no longer just in-game, it’s pouring into the real world as well. (The real author is Mary Kirby, who is listed as a co-author).

One of the characters from Dragon Age 2 is officially a ‘reviewer’ for the book!

Merrill, a feisty elf with a thirst for adventure who has spent most of her life as an outcast, is one of the colourful companions in Dragon Age 2. She is also one of the romance options for Male Hawke. It helps to make it feel more ‘real,’ helping further that sensation of Dragon Age kind of seeping into real life.

It’s also funny as hell.

The book is a graphic novel and will be available at most bookstores (including Indigo for us Canadians!). Although I would have preferred it to be a literary novel, it will be interesting to see how it does as graphic novel.

It’s also available for pre-order. I may have even already pre-ordered a copy. Like, the day of its announcement.


  1. Tim

    It looks like you found the footnotes extension I’ve been using on my blog. Looks better on yours than it does on mine even. How did you get the boxes to appear around your footnotes when you click on them?

    1. Post

      I’m not quite sure… that’s how the plugin did it automatically with mine. Maybe it has something to do with how it interacts with different themes? I’ll poke around and see if there’s any settings I have turned on or something.

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