Assassin’s Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Award-winning and eight-time New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden has written fifty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Among her many projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels, a similar number for gaming giant Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels, three books in the nine-book Star Wars series, Fate of the Jedi, which she co-wrote with Troy Denning and the late and greatly missed Aaron Allston, and the novelization of Star Wars: The Clone Wars unaired episodes, Dark Disciple, which many reviews and lists have cited as the best of the new canon novels.
Golden’s most recent novels include Warcraft: Durotan, the prequel novel to the Warcraft movie based on Blizzard’s games; Warcraft: The Official Movie Novelization; Assassin’s Creed: Heresy; and the novelization of the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia with stints in Michigan, Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee, and Texas, Golden has returned to Virginia for a spell.
Simon Hathaway, member of the Templar Inner Sanctum, brings a cool head and detached manner to his new role as Head of Abstergo Industry’s Historical Research Division.
But Simon also has an insatiable curiosity, and is fascinated by the thought of experiencing history first-hand through his ancestor–Gabriel Laxart, who fought alongside the legendary Joan of Arc.
When he enters the newly-designed Animus for its initial project, Simon finds himself unprepared for what he discovers: How deep the conflict between the Templars and the Assassins goes. What Gabriel will do for the woman he both loves and reveres.
And the most dangerous truth of all: Who is the heretic…and who is the true believer.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
What I Liked:
- Strong Dual Story – A high-tech search for truth wrought with betrayal? Sounds good. Plus a love story centered around one of history’s most tragic heroines? Sounds even better! Readers will care what is going on in both the present and the past.
- Great Characters – Simon Hathaway is an incredibly interesting protagonist as is the conflicted Gabriel Laxart. Of course, Joan of Arc is always going to be fascinating.
- Who is the Bad Guy? – While much of the Assassin’s Creed franchise has painted the Assassins as the heroes of the narrative, Heresy firmly plants us in the shoes of their bitter adversaries, the Templars. The change is exciting and eye opening. More than once I wondered which side was the “good guy” in this tale.
- Easy on New Fans of the Series – People unfamiliar with the Assassin’s Creed video games and books will be able to jump into Heresy with no issues. Even if you don’t know an Assassin from a Templar, you won’t feel lost. However, with that being said…
- Intelligent Fan Service – Those with even a passing knowledge of the franchise will love the “winks and nods” to past events and characters. At no point is this fan service too heavy handed though.
- Commitment to Historical Accuracy – With a story like this one, it would be easy to forgive historical inaccuracies. Fortunately, Golden does need such forgiveness. Her dedication to historical accuracy is clear in every line. It’s impressive how well Heresy was researched.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Big Twist Was Predictable – “Didn’t like” is too strong a phrase, but it was slightly disappointing that one of the big twists was so predictable. About halfway into the book, the outcome for one set of the characters was evident. This is far from a “deal breaker,” but a little more uncertainty would have been nice
Assassin’s Creed: Heresy is well worth your time. Whether you are a dedicated fan of the franchise or just like historical fiction, there is something to enjoy in this book. While the twist will be predictable for some, there is so much more to this story. It deserves to be in your collection. I could not recommend it more.