Today a lot of young people identify as ‘gamers’ – a term used to describe some who enjoys gaming and plays games often. I personally probably slip into this category as I enjoy a good game, especially with friends. However, too often is this used as an excuse for not reading. Well, here’s just the remedy to your reading deprivation. Cue the Assassin’s Creed series by Oliver Bowden.
Assassin’s Creed is a very well known franchise with millions of copies being sold every time a new title is release. All the way from 12th Century Masyaf in the Middle East to London during the Industrial Revolution, the Assassin’s Creed thrust players into a multitude of different locations and eras. Each game is centred around the seemingly eternal war between the Order of the Knights Templar and the Assassins as they try to protect the world from the immense power of the Pieces of Eden – powerful artefacts left behind by a race prior to ours. However, thanks to the author Oliver Bowden you can also read the stories of Altair, Ezio, Edward Kenway and Jacob and Evie Frye.
The first book, Assassin’s Creed The Secret Crusade, is a delightful read. The storyline is, to say the very least, absolutely gripping. Stuffed full of action it follows Altair and his quest to redeem himself after a selfish mistake.
The series then continues to mirror the games with Renaissance and Brotherhood succeeding The Secret Crusade. Both Renaissance and Brotherhood follow the story of possibly the most well known Assassin in the series Ezio Auditore. Ezio was born in Florence during the Renaissance, time in which Italy flourished and possible one of the most famous eras in art ever. Renaissance portrays the teenage years of Ezio as his world is quickly turned inside out and he is quickly thrown into the world of the Assassins. Brotherhood picks up slightly later on in Ezio’s life as he has to fight to free Italy from the corrupt Pope Alexander VI and his family, the Borgia. These are then followed up by Revelations which sees a much older Ezio pay a visit to the ancient Turkish city of Istanbul (or Constantinople as it was known back then).
The next book – Assassin’s Creed Forsaken – in the series takes us across the pond to America during the Civil War. The book is centred around the work of assassin Connor – whose actual name I shall not even try to spell – as he ends up fighting the Templars in amongst the heated civil war. Can you tell I haven’t read this one yet?
Then there’s pirate assassins in the following book Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and a figment of the French Revolution and Templars in Assassin’s Creed Unity. Wait, Templars? Exactly what I was thinking when I read it. Why are there Templars instead of Assassins? Simple answer, I have no idea. The story is set around the time of the French Revolution and depicts the life of Elise De La Serre, a member of the French nobility and soon to be Templar Grand Master. Although Elise is a wonder character and her story is both strong and gripping, it is not what I expected an Assassin’s Creed book to be. However, I would still recommend reading it as it is a fantastic story and Elise is a brilliant main character.
This is then succeeded by Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Set in London during the Industrial Revolution it follows a man known as The Ghost. He is deeply undercover on an assassin mission in an attempt to infiltrate the London Templars who have taken over the city. The first half of the book follows the tales of The Ghost and London based assassin Ethan Frye as they work to slyly take down the Templars. The second half of the book livens up with plenty of fast paced action that came as a result of the introduction of the Frye twins, Jacob and Evie. Mainly following Evie’s quest to find the Pieces of Eden before the Templars can, it is an absolutely wonderful storyline and is something you simply can’t put down. Just like Elise and Ezio before her, Evie is a fantastic and well developed main character.
Hopefully this will have inspired you to pick up one of these books and enjoy them as much as I have.