Book Review – Assassin’s Creed Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

Title:  Assassin’s Creed Renaissance

Author: Oliver Bowden

Format:  Paperback

Published:  2009


I think my favorite part of any form of media is the story.  The point of most anything for me is the story.  I live and breathe stories.  I grew up being told them as a little girl reading books, having books read to me and even going so far as to tell and create my own.  With my love of the craft and a good story it was no surprise that I have found myself caught up in other story telling media such as comics which you have seen me review, as well as television series and movies (which I have not exactly reviewed at this point).  I love a good story in pretty much any form of medium and that includes video games.  I am one of those few people that play video games almost solely for the story alone.  One of the best stories I came across in the world of video games was that from Assassin’s Creed.


Of course there is more to a video game than just story and the game play was fun to me and I loved exploring the ancient worlds of old playing as an assassin stopping those who would seek to do evil and sail above the city and sneak around unseen.  It was a game that has left a lasting impression on me and none more than the story and character of Ezio Auditorie Da Firenze featured in Assassin’s Creed 2.  I ate the story up and went out and got the rest of his story in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed Revelations.  I love the games and have played them through multiple times.  Thus with my love for the story and the characters it should come as no surprise that when I learned that there were books to be read about one of my favorite characters that pass that up.


Without hesitation I went ahead and bought the first book in the series and I loved it, plain and simple, it was like playing the video game all over again only better.  For those not familiar with the video game or story of Ezio it is about a young man in the renaissance period of Italy.  Life for Ezio can’t be better at the start of the story, he is getting rather close and comfortable with one of the more beautiful women in Firenze, Christina Vespucci (cousin to Amerigo Vespucci) and his biggest concern is a local prick named Vieri Pazzi and his gang of ruffians but nothing that Ezio can’t handle and all part of him being young and getting into trouble.  Yet minor trouble wasn’t all that was in store for Ezio as his life is suddenly turned upside down when his father and brothers were arrested and then hung for crimes they did not commit.  Not to mention the price on his own head for the same crimes.  Ezio has to learn quickly how to survive and take care of his mother and sister.  Additionally he seeks out revenge against the man who set him and his family up, learning that there was more to his father’s life than it would seem, his father was part of an Assassin order and he learns how to complete the work of his father all the while avenging the death of those he loved as their deaths were part of a greater conspiracy.


It is a really good story and I love how the books gave more details to the story, it didn’t gloss over time and it gave a sense of reality to Ezio’s training (which I appreciated), it showed how something that took a few minutes in the game actually took days to accomplish, it gave added details, it breathed additional life into Ezio and the characters around him.  Additionally in incorporated some of the added games that are out there for gaming platforms I don’t own so I know the story of what happened to Ezio during the years that are skipped in the video game.  In short this book was a real treat for me to read and I quickly picked up the next books to read and now have them in my bag waiting to be read much like several other books that are on my e-reader, in my bag along with it, in my desk drawer and on my book shelf.  What can I say? I’m an addict to a good story, but find my time limited to actually read, watch or play said stories and then of course write a review.  (This one has been a long time in the coming for me to write it.) Over all I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars as it is a good read and fun to go through if you like action and you don’t have to know the game to enjoy the book.

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