Whether you’ve played videogames or not, you likely know something about Assassin’s Creed, the game featuring modern time travelers that are able to tap into the minds of their ancestors to seek talismans, avenge the wronged, and put the future on the right track. The Assassins appear to gameplayers in various historical contexts, wearing variations on that familiar, oft-cosplayed hooded costume, those nifty gauntlets, and an often blood-soaked sword. The first English translation of the comic book tie-ins of the game are now available in a hardcover compilation from Titan Books and Ubisoft, called Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy.
French writer Eric Corbeyran and artist Djilalli Defaux piece together an epic story broken into three parts, focusing on three characters mired in a world of violence and mistrust. First, Desmond Miles, a descendant of the Assassins who uses a mind-based time travel method to improve his “genetic memory” by reaching back to his ancestors, similar to Avatar but more like the time travel technology of Connie Willis’s science fiction novelsand Michael Crichton’s Timeline. Next, Aquilus is an ancestor of Desmond living in ancient Rome who is odds with the men that would become the Templars, and he seeks to avenge his father’s death. The third part features Accipiter, a deadly Assassin and leader of Barbarians advancing on Lugdunum, as Aquilus seeks the lost talisman of the trilogy, the Ankh of Isis.*
Hundreds of years of protective rites and honor are balanced between the Assassins and the forces throughout history that oppose them. The significance and power of names, the interspersed real historical places and conflicts, and engaging characters, make this a better than average tie-in series. This includes an intrepid scientist in the present day named Lucy Stillman who facilitates the mind-damaging time travel process but aims to protect Desmond from those who would dismiss his value.
To one extent, Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy reads like a simple 1980s era PC role playing game—where you’d enter new rooms, battle a foe and find the hidden relic. Whether you’re into the more high tech versions in modern gaming or not (and eight million copies of Assassin’s Creed demonstrates there is a real market for this series), any fan of the adventure genre will find this series accessible, with an audience for older teens and up (for language and violence).
Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy is available now from Amazon.com. Assassin’s Creed, the comic book series, continues in the recently released Assassin’s Creed: Hawk, now also available at Amazon.com. Here is the blurb from this next chapter in the Assassin’s Creed universe:
When Desmond Miles is called away on an urgent mission, he entrusts fellow Assassin Jonathan Hawk with File 24. Hawk sets out to search for the Scepter of Isis – a powerful ancient artifact, lost in time. Through his Assassin ancestor, El Cakr, Hawk travels to Egypt in 1257, where the Scepter lies in the hands of the new Sultan. Pursued in the present by the formidable Templar agent Vernon Hest, Hawk finds himself in a race against time…throughout time.
*Note: Excerpts above are from the original French edition.