Oliver Bowden – Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade

ac_secret_crusade Apparently this Oliver Bowden book “Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade” is actually a third one. You see, I played the video games, all up to the Unity, which I don’t yet have and thus couldn’t play it, I thought I knew the chronology of this. In a way, it’s not a big deal, because story’s chronology is correct, it’s just that… Well, read it and at the end of it you’ll know why it’s third, not first.
Master Assassin Altair got over-confident and failed miserably in retrieving an artifact crucially required. In fact, not only did the best of the best fail to retrieve it, two of the assassins sent with him died, with mere chance that he was left to live himself. Thus, with aching heart, he returns to his Master. A man who was like a father to him, whose disappointment will be worse to him than mockery of those who hate him in the Creed…
Here the book is fairly same as the game is. Altair is led to believe he was stabbed to death by his Master, just to awake with realization that he’s given a second chance, a chance to set things right. One of the assassins that was with him still lives and he did indeed manage to secure the treasure, thus not all is lost. Not to assassins at least. Altair is yet stripped of his rank and is given nine names to clear his own. Take these lives and gain back your status! But every victim, hearing of death of the another is more cautious, more careful and is awaiting a man in a scholar robe more prepared. To add to that, each one of them has a reason to give Altair, a word to justify their work that makes the twice the master assassin doubt his own work. If they are taught to question everything, even their own beliefs, why are they asked to believe the codex of the assassins unconditionally? And if they preach freedom and kill for peace, why men with different view on freedom must die?
Second part of the book is something we did not see in the books. Altair sits down to study the Apple of Eden. And here comes the same duality once again. Apple offers the right things, exactly the right ones in your need. Meaning it can corrupt as well as enlighten. With one hand Altair can make the Creed better than ever, with another – he can sweep Creed’s enemies. So how does one balance the good and the evil?
I’ll give the book 4 out of 5, even if it was hard to read in, with the fine print and a ton of pages out of which not all were relevant. I am yet again proven that Altair is indeed one of the most marvelous Assassins out there, even if he lacks Ezio’s charm.

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