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Assassin's Creed: Heresy is a novel written by Christie Golden. It was released on 15 November 2016 in the US.
The new book set in the universe of Assassin's Creed. Reliving the memories of his ancestor who fought beside Joan of Arc, high-ranking Templar Simon Hathaway slowly uncovers secrets of the past that could dangerously impact his present . . . and that of the entire Templar order.
An endless conflict. An old wrong. A new revelation.
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.
An unidentified man flees from the Templars through the woods with a Sword of Eden. He comes to a cliff edge and takes a Leap of Faith to escape his pursuers.
Simon Hathaway is inducted into the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order. Simon looks out observing his new comrades and recognizes several. Laetitia England, Mitsuko Nakamura, David Kilkerman, Alfred Stearns, Agneta Reider, along with projections of Álvaro Gramática and Juhani Otso Berg. He then convinced Alan Rikkin and his other fellow Inner Sanctum members to allow him to use the Animus to try and find a way to repair the broken Sword of Eden. Saying that he had ancestor who fought in Joan of Arc's army and she was believed to possess a Sword of Eden. Rikkin agrees, giving him a week to complete the task.
Simon settles in to a new office overlooking London. Simon meets Amanda Sekibo, the Chief Technician of the Animus 4.35, she tells Simon he will need to wait for Dr. Victoria Bibeau, Abstergo's top psychiatrist. A day is wasted to allow for Dr. Victoria Bibeau to fly in from North America. Day 2, Simon meets with Victoria for an evaluation before he’s allowed to use the Animus. They chat, and Simon gives Victoria a brief history of the Hundred Years' War. Getting in the elevator to go down to the Animus floor, Victoria is introduced to Anaya Chodary, a white hat hacker and Simon's ex-girlfriend. After Anaya left the elevator, Victoria asked Simon what happened to their relationship. Saying that work got in the way, Simon then asked Victoria about her own marital status. To which she confirmed that she was single.
Finally cleared to use the Animus, Simon was amazed at its new non-chair-like appearance. Amanda introduced Hathaway, now accompanied with Bibeau, to Animus 4.35. She helped Bibeau to familiarize herself with the controls. She explains the beneficial improvements of the Animus 4.35, the need for spinal tap was removed, there is also less risk of vomiting, nausea and other side effects. Entering the Memory Corridor, Simon is reminded of his time hiking in the Scottish Highlands. He then begun reliving the memories of his ancestor Gabriel Laxart. The date is Thursday, May Day, 1428, Domrémy. Gabriel is a bastard child and has only just come to know his biological father. During the festivities, Gabriel meets his step-cousins, Pierre, Jean, and Jeanne. Simon suddenly violently desynchronizes from the Animus.
Victoria rushes to Simon to check on him. She then ascertains that Simon's violent desynchronization from the Animus was a result of Gabriel's teenage romantic attraction of to Jeanette and the rush of chemicals that followed. Simon is eager to return to the Animus although disgruntled at having to deal with reliving Gabriel's crush on Jeanette. Victoria puts Simon forward a week on 12 May at Burey-en-Vaux, Jeanne is staying with Gabriel's family. During the night, Gabriel could not sleep and so walked the small streets of the village. When Jeanne found him, she confided in him that people think her strange for being overly devote. When asked if he felt the same, Gabriel reassured her, almost confessing his feelings right away but quickly restrained himself. Gabriel then recounts his experiences living as a bastard child, people have treated him differently too. Revealing how his stepfather was the only father he knew and only found out he was a bastard after his death. Jeanne comforted him by holding his hand. Jeanne then asked for his help which the boy eagerly agreed to. She had to ask his father something but could not tell him at that moment. Gabriel noticed that Jeanne seemed to glow radiantly before the girl left abruptly. This phenomenon confused the boy and Simon reliving his memories. Who at the time was getting pulled out of the Animus again, this time not as violently. After explaining how Jeanne glowed to Victoria, Simon came to the conclusion that Gabriel must have also had a high count of Precursor DNA.
At Victoria's insistence, Simon had to eat before discussing anything. He also expressed his frustration at not being able to leisurely explore Jeanne d'Arc's past more. Simon enters the Animus again. The date being set to 7 January 1429, Jeanne d'Arc is faced with another failure at seeing Lord Robert de Baudricourt, captain of the royal garrison at Vaucouleurs, for permission to travel to Chinon where the Dauphin was staying. After the lord's repeated refusal to admit her, Jeanne broke down outside the hall of de Baudricourt. Her step-cousin, Gabriel Laxart who had accompanied her, comforted her. Soon after, in the residence of Catherine and Henri Royer, friends of her mother's, she lamented. It was there that de Baudricourt's squire, Jean de Metz found her. Initially arguing against her, after Jeanne delivered a rousing speech he promised to take her before his lord and also pledged his loyalty to her. While reliving the memory, Simon noticed a glint of something sharp and realized that de Metz was an Assassin.
Simon desynchronizes from the Animus again after his excitement of finding an Assassin overloaded the signal. This, along with the knowledge that Gabriel Laxart also possessed Precursor DNA, was sure to interest Rikkin. Simon and Victoria also discuss the ancestor of the late Warren Vidic, Geoffroy Thérage, Jeanne's executioner. Geoffroy, upon finding Jeanne's nonburnable Heart he threw the girl's remains and the artifact into the Seine river. Learning that Geoffroy was English like Simon, he worried if he would fighting on the wrong side of history. Eager to delve deeper, he was stopped by Victoria who advised he rest, he later took her advice. Victoria notified Simon that his dreams may be muddled, and to record what he could remember. Later, in Alan Rikkin's office, Victoria makes her report. She revealed that they had found an Assassin and the discovery of a menotr was not far behind. Rikkin warns her about what happened to Robert Fraser, although Victoria reassures him that it won't happen again. Meanwhile, Anaya is back at work and spontaneously decides to apply for the position of Director of Information Security at Abstergo Entertainment Montréal.
Day 3, Simon comes in early to work after a restless sleep. Victoria arrives at 9am-sharp and Simon tells her what happened when Joan was granted an audience with Robert de Baudricourt. Requesting the aid for his son-in-law, René, the lord granted her permission to travel to Chinon and had several of his men escort her. Back in the Animus, 22 February 1429. Jeanne is gearing up, and at the suggestion of de Metz - cut her hair short and wore men's clothing. De Baudricourt also gives Jeanne a sword, although comments that he hoped she not have to use it. Leaving Vaucouleurs, de Metz, Gabriel, and another squire Bertrand de Poulengy accompanied her. Fast forwarding eleven days, Jeanne's group had stopped at the French-occupied village of Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois on their way to Chinon. During the night, Gabriel went with Jeanne to pray in the church of Saint Catherine. Jeanne confided in Gabriel again and told him of her "voices". Gabriel reaffirmed his loyalty to her. Simon, reliving the memory suddenly realized where the Sword of Eden must be.
Victoria reports to Rikkin again, theorizing that Joan of Arc may have had contact with Consus. This new information interests Rikkin who asks they keep searching. During lunch, Victoria tells Simon to take a break while she does work. Simon meets with Anaya on the roof where she tells him of the new position she applied for. After congratulating her, Simon goes back downstairs and discusses his Consus theory with Victoria. He then reenters the Animus. 6 March 1429, Chinon, Jeanne's first meeting with the Dauphin. Alongside Gabriel and de Metz, Jeanne convinced the Dauphin to allow an audience. Entering the courtyard of Fort Coudray they dismounted and Jeanne was approached by Antoine Moreau, who proposed she sleep with him. Disgusted by his unholy words, she foretold his demise. Making their way through the courtyard of the second main fortress, Château du Milieu, Gabriel admired the garden. Gabriel, nervous at the prospect of meeting the Dauphin, was comforted by Jeanne.
Entering the king's hall, Gabriel was taken aback from the sheer size of the place. Three hundred people showed up to hear Jeanne. Once inside the hall, Jeanne realized she could not see the Dauphin, Charles VII. Using her gift, she was able to pinpoint his location within the crown. He was wearing plain clothes, blending in completely. When Jeanne told of how she was the prophesied Maid of Lorraine, several people turned their backs on her believing her to be lying. Of those naysayers, Georges de la Trémoille the Count of Guînes was one such. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, Charles permitted a private audience. Jeanne proclaimed him the true heir to the throne. While giving her speech her radiance flared and an image of an "angel" appeared, placing a crown before Charles, whispering in the stillness. Reliving the memory, Simon concludes that the apparition of the "angel" can only have been the Assassin mentor.
The Dauphin, now fully believing Jeanne, announces her as truly the maid of prophecy. Victoria and Simon talk about the "angel" being the Assassin mentor stealthily hiding in a hidden place in the room. Appearing as an apparition via their abilities. Wanting to research de Metz more, Simon has Victoria put him forward to their next interaction. 7 March 1429, Gabriel and de Metz spar while Jeanne spars with de Poulengy. De Metz gets to upper hand in their spar and Gabriel's sword is knocked out of his hands. One of the pages came forward with water for them. The young boy comments on Jeanne being strange, and Gabriel stands up for her. The page then noted that her prediction of Antoine the Giant came true an hour after they met. Jeanne soon approached solemnly, refuting she was not responsible for his death, only that she could see it was close. The page nodded and left. De Metz inquires as to what happened the previous night. Initially defensive Gabriel lets up after de Metz asks about Jeanne's "voices". However, after being distracted, de Metz knocks him out. When he came to, Gabriel's hands and feet were bound. In front of him were de Metz and another man. Simon surmises that the other man must be the Mentor. Gabriel, clearly angered at being restrained, asks de Metz if he had betrayed Jeanne. After de Metz and the "Mentor" revealed their Assassin allegiance the reassured Gabriel that they meant Jeanne no harm and that no harm would come to her. De Metz also tells Gabriel that their enemies are the Templars, who Gabriel thought to be long gone. Gabriel is then informed of his unique heritage and the abilities that come with it. When asked if he would have to join them, to which the "Mentor" rejected. Only telling the boy that they would train him hone his skills, as they would Jeanne.
Gabriel accepted the Assassin's offer, but threatened them with death if they betrayed Jeanne. Simon, meanwhile, was aghast at the very thought his ancestor could have possibly been an Assassin - the enemy. Gabriel, now freed from his bonds, noticed de Metz's blade. De Metz was happy to educate him on the signature weapon of his order. De Metz then revealed that they were currently in Coudray dungeon. De Metz also refused to reveal the identity of the other Assassin, saying Gabriel would find out in time. He then mentioned that the Templars were in Chinon, their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay was imprisoned in the very cell they stood in at that moment. He pointed out the Grand Master's scribbling on the cell wall. De Metz asked Gabriel to use his sight, the Eagle Vision, to decipher the markings. Although the boy could not discern its meaning, de Metz was not disappointed. Simon, still disgusted at his ancestor allied with his enemy, noted that Zachary Morgenstern in Cryptology would enjoy analyzing the medieval graffiti. De Metz handed Gabriel his Hidden Blade and agreed to train him how to use it. Returning, the two saw Jeanne training to fight on horseback with a lance. Afterwards, the Dauphin met with them and introduced Jean, Duke of Alençon. The Duke offered to purchase a battle-hardened steed for Jeanne, although Charles quickly interjected that he still had not decided on letting her fight yet. When offered a sword, Jeanne declined it. Saying her "voices" told her a sword was waiting for her back in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois. Gabriel and de Metz volunteered to retrieve it for her. Gabriel then noticed that the Duke could see Jeanne's radiance and concluded that he also had the sight.
After several hours in the Animus, Victoria was ready to pull Simon out. She was starting to get concerned at his vital signs. With the sword so close in sight, Simon was adamant to continue. Victoria reluctantly agrees but warns him she will pull him out at the first sign of danger. Resuming Gabriel memories, it is 7 March again, at noon. Gabriel and de Metz arrived in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois. While in the church, de Metz explained to Gabriel how their abilities descended from Those Who Came Before. When Father Michel entered, he read the letter from Jeanne pertaining to the sword under the altar. Unsurprised, the priest told them they would have to wait until the next day as they did not have the proper tools. Come the next day, the mason's dug away at the altar's flooring. De Metz and Gabriel stood by, sensing the Sword of Eden below. Gabriel was worried they would damage it but de Metz reassured that the swords have lasted millennia and wouldn't be damaged so easily. Unearthing the sword, Gabriel was amazed at how holy it seemed and wondered how no one else could sense it. Simon, however, passes out. He awoke to Victoria, Amanda, and two other technicians standing over him. Eager to resume he is stopped by Victoria, who insists he have a rest day. Simon refuses although to no effect. Victoria suggested to email Rikkin the next day asking for an extension and explaining the current situation. Left with no other option, Simon agrees to go home.
This premium hardcover edition features exclusive art sketches and behind the scenes interviews, as well as a special code to unlock Assassin's Creed rewards through Ubisoft Club's loyalty program.
The book was also released with a special edition that included eight exclusive artworks by Jose Holder, one of which could be accessed through the URL hidden on the book's cover; interviews with Golden, Aymar Azaïzia, and Anouk Bachman; and a Ubisoft Club code that could be redeemed for 20U, a Club badge, and 500 Club XP.