Historical Fiction

Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Author:  Oliver Bowden

Published By: Ace Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            I'm a big fan of the whole Assassin's Creed idea - placing a character in a historic setting and creating a whole new idea behind historic events.  I thought the idea for the game was awesome and once I started reading the books based on the games, I couldn't stop.  Thus, I am here to offer you my review of the latest of my conquests, Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

Ezio Auditore, once Italian noble, now Assassin extraordinaire, finds himself embroiled in yet another battle against the Templars.  Though Ezio has aged and much of the leadership of the Assassins fall on others shoulders, Ezio discovers that there is yet one more journey to embark upon.  He must find the library of Alta´r, founder of the Assassins as we now know them. 

The Templars hope to find this hidden library and use its secrets towards their own goal of world domination.  Aiding them in their quest are members of the Ottoman Empire.  Ezio must travel to Constantinople, a city that has been seized and renamed several times during struggles for control over the region.  Joining up with the Assassin factor there, Ezio must find the five keys that will offer him insight into Alta´r's life and help him unlock the hidden library.

Of course, finding the keys will be no easy feat.  Thankfully, he has made a friend in Sofia Sartor, a fellow Italian and owner of an antique bookshop with access to a great many tomes that can help Ezio on his quest.  It doesn't hurt that she is easy on the eyes either.  Perhaps Ezio's mission to find the hidden library and his quest for something missing in his life are actually one mission.  But Ezio must survive the Templars and their undercover allies before he can hope to reach either goal.

In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Ezio learns much from Alta´r's life through flashbacks thanks to the hidden keys to his vault.  It is not entirely clear how Altair is able to hide memories in these keys, but the way Ezio is able to see them is interesting all the same.  Some of the events witnessed by Ezio are those readers will remember from Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade.  Ezio gains insight into why the Assassins are an underground society - Alta´r knew that they could no longer hope to protect the world should their whereabouts be known to all.  Ezio also gains insight into the fight against the Templars and how best to proceed against them in the future.

Ezio makes some new friends in this novel, though some old friends do stop in for a visit.  And he finds a new weapon to use against his enemy - an ingenious hook blade that makes for some exciting adventure in the streets of Constantinople as well as on the seas. 

As always, Oliver Bowden is incredibly descriptive and I could see, in my mind's eye, all that is taking place in the novel.  It plays out just like I would imagine the video game does, but with that added value of the character's thoughts to add insight into their actions.  I also enjoyed the fact that Bowden uses the authentic language of the various locales visited by Ezio in the novel, offering a glossary of the terms in the back of the book (though in truth, it is fairly easy to guess at the statements in context with the rest of the dialogue). 

Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the last tale in the Ezio Auditore trilogy, so if you love this character as much as I do, you have to get your hands on this book.  There is so much action and suspense, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat until the very last chapter.  Thank you, Oliver Bowden, for a fitting end to an exciting hero.


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