Review: Renaissance (Assassin’s Creed #1) by Oliver Bowden


Rating: ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆
Date read: June 4 to 9, 2014
Read Count: 1

Not bad, or rather not what I had been expecting. It’s okay overall but could have been better. Hopefully the next book is an improvement.

Since this book (and series) is based on a video game and the author is known for penning newsstand pulp thrillers, I thought the combination would turn out to be some kind of pulpy disaster, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent plot-driven, light historical fantasy story about the life and times of Ezio Auditore. Those who’ve played Assassin’s Creed II already know this story and how it ends, but if you’re a fan of Ezio and feel like revisiting the journey, this book is a more detailed substitute to the game.

Ezio’s journey is one of vengeance, and he finds himself on this path after a conspiracy tears his family apart. His father and brothers are arrested and publicly executed for treason. Ezio escapes this fate by sheer luck. Barely out of his teens and left to hold what’s left of his family together, he quickly takes his traumatized mother and sister out of Florence to escape further persecution. Still a wanted man with a lot of unresolved issues, he sets out on a path of vengeance to unravel the conspiracy and kill all those responsible. Along the way he uncovers more family secrets and his true lineage.

With help from interesting friends and acquaintances he meets along the way (like da Vinci and Machiavelli), Ezio becomes a skilled assassin and follows in the footsteps of his father because it’s destiny. He tracks down and dispatches his foes one by one until he gets every last one, which leads him to the end of the conspiracy. But the story doesn’t end there. Just as this conspiracy is wrapped up, more or less, a bigger one is set into motion.

Reading this book is almost like playing the game.


* *

* * *

* * * * spoilers below * * * *

Continue reading