by Patrick WeekesI’m perfectly happy to admit that I’m a gamer, so when I see that a whole series of books are based on a series that I enjoyed, I’ll give it a go. Dragon Age is a fantasy series set in a world very much like medieval Europe (as many fantasy series are), with French, British, Italian, and even Ottoman equivalents. The world is full of magic, creatures, magical creatures, and religious and political intrigue. The books stand alone from the game series pretty well: they exist more to expand on the world’s history and lore rather than just give more of the same that you’d find in the games, so you don’t need to play the games to understand what’s happening (though it helps).Dragon Age: The Masked Empire is the story of the empress of Orlais. They are a dominant empire, though still under threat from both internal rebellion from the underclass of elves, who are treated no better than slaves, and from external threats, a blight of demons set to overrun the world. To make things worse, the court intrigue is particularly dangerous and complicated: Empress Celene’s rule is threatened even more by her power-hungry rival Gaspard and by her devotion to her secret elven mistress.There are several books in the run, but this one isn’t directly tied to the others.