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Older, wiser, and more deadly than ever, Master Assassin Ezio Auditore embarks on an epic journey to find the lost library of Altaїr–a library that may hold the key to defeating the Templars for ever. However, a shocking discovery awaits him.
The library holds not only hidden knowledge but also the most unsettling secret the world has ever known; a secret the Templars hope to use to control humankind's destiny. Five keys are needed to access the library—to find them, Ezio must travel to the troubled city of Constantinople, where a growing army of Templars threaten to destabilise the Ottoman Empire.
Walking in the footsteps of his predecessor, Altaїr, Ezio must defeat the Templars for the final time. For the stakes have never been higher, and what started as a pilgrimage has become a race against time . . .
1- A mysterious traveler approaches a mass of land and a mountain range where, atop a mountain, a castle was fenced in the rocky formations. The traveler had apparently traveled on a long and treacherous journey to this castle, which was his goal. As the lone man stared at the sight, he checked his equipment, and scanned the area for movement. After he completed his survey, with both eyes and ears, he concluded that the area was clear and safe. However, a sound was heard nearby, and the seemingly alone traveler was struck by an arrow. Recovering the traveler saw another man, an ugly, bald soldier with the rank of a captain, as well as hundreds of other soldiers. The traveler, realizing he had fallen for a trap and was being ambushed, prepared to defend himself from the soldiers. The traveler fought boldly and successfully, until suddenly, a vision of a man clad in white Assassin robes appeared on the battlefield, distracting the traveler. The traveler was overpowered by an opponent, and the soldiers overwhelmed him. The bald captain came to the captured traveler, and taunted him triumphantly. The traveler was then revealed to be the Italian Assassin's Mentor, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Ezio was told of his failure in his venture to the castle, the former Levantine Assassin fortress of Masyaf, which was now overrun by Templars, and was also told of his fate that was sure to come the following morning.
2- Ezio observed an eagle through the window in his prison cell, and was frustrated with his failure and the realization of the Templar presence in Masyaf. Though, he was satisfied that he had frightened the Templars and confident for his escape. He reflected on his previous triumphs and friends, and thought back to the start of his latest journey, after defeating Cesare Borgia in Viana and his return to Rome in 1510, where he had found a letter. The letter had been written by Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s father, before his birth, and was sent to Mario Auditore regarding an ancient library built under the Masyaf castle, which could possibly hold invaluable wisdom that may lead to the end of the secret war between the Assassin and the Templars. The first page of the Assassin Codex was also in Ezio's memory that had made him more interested in Altaïr's secrets. Later on, Ezio decided to conduct a quest to Masyaf.
3- After spending much of the year making preparations for his pilgrimage, Ezio conferred with Niccolò Machiavelli in Florence on his journey to the Holy Land. Ezio then left for Ostia, where he visited Bartolomeo d'Alviano, who provided an escort to Ezio for his tip as well as food and drink. Machiavelli informed Ezio of news and occurrences in Florence, and of the death of Caterina Sforza; the news of his former love interest and mention of Florence saddened Ezio, who later returned to Rome to spend the remainder of 1510. At the beginning of 1511, Ezio was ready for his departure to Bari with Bartolomeo, where he would take a ship to Eastern Europe.
4- Before Ezio left for Bari, he bid farewell to Claudia Auditore da Firenze. Claudia, concerned for her brother's mission questioned Ezio on travelling alone, who simply responded that he would travel and return home more quickly. Ezio passed on to her the responsibility of his business on his leave and told her to read Giovanni's letter if he did not return from Masyaf. Ezio and Bartolomeo then spent fifteen days travelling to Bari, where they parted ways, and Ezio boarded the Turkish freighter, the Anaan to Corfu. After a brief meeting with the governor of Corfu and the captain of the Anaan, Ezio bought a scimitar that he would carry for the rest of his adventure. On the next day, the Anaan set sail again, and the ship was attacked by pirates near the island of Zante. Ezio helped defend the ship, dispatching many of the Berbers and also capturing the pirate captain. As thanks, the captain of the Anaan refunded Ezio's fare. Ezio, in turn, gave advice that they should be more careful.
5- After the much eventful sail to Athens, which was controlled by the Turks, Ezio roamed the city streets and visited the monuments and temples of the Greek Golden Age that were inspiring his friends Michelangelo and Bramante. Ezio understood then that the inhabitants were proud of their way of life. Ezio temporarily stayed at the home of Ma'Mun, the captain’s brother-in-law, waiting for the storms to cease and continue on his quest. He studied maps and notes, hopeful to learn of any Templar movements in the area. At one party thrown in his honor he met an attractive Dalmatian princess, though it was nothing but a dalliance. Ezio had, since the start of his mission, began to understand what the life of an Assassin would be lonesome. Eventually, Ezio was able to leave Athens, and Ma'Mun had arranged a heavily armed ship, the Qutaybah, that would take him to Cyprus, and was given a map. During the journey, however, more storms ensued and ravaged the sea, and it would take a week before the ship could continue a steady course. Ezio lost much precious time, and some of the crewmen lost their lives. They eventually managed to return to Athens, where Ezio was given excellent lodgings. Though Ezio was growing more and more impatient due to the constant delaying of his intentions. During his wait, Ezio studied the Cyprus map, and found something upon it that interested him. He decided to travel by horse to Limmasol alone, where he found the Templar Archive, and hoped to find clues, but it was empty.
6- Ezio could not leave, because Venetian authorities blocked his passage. Ezio met the Venetian governor, Domenico Garofoli, but he would not do anything due to Ezio's recent actions, despite acknowledging Ezio’s previous efforts to enhance Ottoman-Venetian relationship. Garofoli claimed that the Ottoman presence in Syria was mighty and upsetting them could cause a massive international incident. As a result, Ezio decided to take matters into his own hands. After several days of reconnoitering of the docks for possible ships that may aid him in his journey eastwards, Ezio found no ship that could help him. On the fifth night, planning to “acquire” a ship of his own, Ezio went to the docks again. As he was inspecting a boat, he was suddenly attacked by a huge man. Following a quick scuffle that ended in a stalemate and both men panting and ready for another round, they were found by a group of Night Watchmen. Teaming with the man, whom now Ezio recognized, they fought the Watchmen together but Ezio was stabbed in his side and lost his consciousness.
7- When Ezio came awake, he found that he was on a ship with the man from the dock. Ezio’s suspicions became true when the man introduced himself as Al-Scarab, the scourge of the White Sea, and the pirates that had tried to loot "Anaan". They conversed for a few moments; the man telling him that since Ezio had saved him during the fight with the Watchmen, he had returned the favor. When Ezio pointed out that there had been no need to bring him unto the ship, Al-Scarab said that maybe he had just wanted Ezio’s company and that he could be useful in this ship. When Ezio asked where they were headed, Al-Scarab answered that they were headed towards the nearest port, Acre.
8- Ezio recuperated from his injuries in Acre, where he was staying with Al-Scarab and his extended family. Ezio then decided to go onward with his journey. Al-Scarab and his family tried to persuade Ezio to take an armed escort with him but he refused. Ezio also wrote a letter to Claudia, aware of the fact that this could be the last time he would communicate with her. In the letter, Ezio wrote of his safe arrival at Acre and about his misforgivings about what he would find at Masyaf. He pens his wariness about this never-ending quest and asks Claudia not to seek revenge should he die, but continue this search for the truth. Ezio then left to continue his journey with horses and other supplies given to him by Al-Scarab.
9- Masyaf was two hundred miles from Acre. Ezio traveled through the desert between the two cities but tried to stay along the coast for most of the journey. As there were unemployed mercenary gangs throughout the path, Ezio tried to take advantage of this solitary journey by blending in the crowd whenever he could. But there were unavoidable fights sometimes and he once saved a village from marauders and a woman from rape and death. Being in the constant state of vigilance, Ezio remembered his training with Paola and Mario. Overcoming many obstacles and detours, he finally made it to Masyaf. As he pulled himself over the wall of the Masyaf castle, an arrow hit from in his right shoulder.
10- As Ezio lay half conscious in his prison chamber, guards came and half-lifted and half-dragged from through the castle towards their captain. As Ezio was dragged through the castle he saw the Assassin Insignia on the floor. Ezio shook free of the guards as he was brought to the captain who told him that even though partaking of this journey showed Ezio’s courage, it would end in his death. The captain led Ezio to a wooden platform projected outside of the window. Reaching the end of the plank, Ezio saw an eagle flying below him and this sight gave him hope. Then suddenly Ezio saw a vision of a young man in white, the same one he had glimpsed in the battle before. As the vision turned towards Ezio, it disappeared along with the eagle. Then the captain pulled hood over Ezio’s head and tied the noose around his neck. At the last moment when the captain was about to throw Ezio down the platform, Ezio turned and took the loose end of the rope on the plank and tied it around the Captain’s neck and jumped off the platform. The guards tried to cut the rope in order to prevent their Captain from suffocating. Thinking it was at least a brave way to die than going about it meekly, Ezio swung towards the wall of the castle and let go, hopping and landing on the scaffolding. As the guards started throwing rocks at him, Ezio jumped off the scaffolding onto the escarpment, which collapsed under his weight and he fell down towards the bridge. As the ancient bridge began to crack and fall, Ezio desperately ran and made to the other side of the bridge, safe.
11- Bandaging his wounds as best as he could using his scarf and checking himself over for any damages and finding nothing serious, Ezio began climbing the wall of the mountain where he was pressed. Thinking the thin stream of water falling down from above meant there was a creek, Ezio made his way up. After half an hour of climbing Ezio finally came up to the top of the cliff he was climbing, a mountain pass of some sorts that may have been destroyed partially due some ancient natural disaster. After half an hour further of waiting there in case there were other people about, Ezio began to move. After drinking water and catching a fish in the stream, Ezio managed to start a fire from a flint rock and cooked the fish and dried his clothes there. He began to climb the mountain again. As he looked down, he saw the Templar guards on a hauling bridge below him, that would lead him to the castle. Ezio began carefully climbing down and made it to the outcrop near the bridge, taking up the sharp flint rock as a weapon. Carefully he made his way across the bridge but the guards saw him and after fighting and killing them off, Ezio started up the path leading to the castle, thinking of the plan of the fortress he had seen in Rome. After a difficult climb up the path, Ezio made it to the Outer Walls of the castle. Carefully concealing himself from the guards in the watchtower, he made his way to the store-room beneath the keep tower where his kits and weapons were bound to be.
12- Ezio managed to make his way to the store-room without any further confrontations, where two old guards were sleeping with their arms and heads on the table. Ezio managed to pickpocket the keys from one of the guards. Quickly checking each key with the doors within, he managed to open one door that held his weapons and all his essential equipment that, thankfully, the Templars had not checked carefully for there were some invaluable things there. Equipping himself with all the weapons and the still-to-be-tested parachute invented by Leonardo, he came outside and climbed to the turret of the keep to overlook Masyaf’s rear garden, under which was the location of AltaÏr’s library, no doubt for which the Templars were there for. On outer wall of the turret overlooking the garden was a stone-statue of an eagle, with its wings folded. But when Ezio applied a little pressure, it creaked. Taking his position besides the statue, he decided to rest there. As he lay there, a sudden assault of doubt made him look down the mosaic flooring beneath beneath him. Using his Eagle Vision he say the image of goddess Minerva there. Satisfied, he slept. The next morning, replenished by the sleep, Ezio decided to execute his plan. He pushed the statue of the eagle which fell onto the mosaic floor below. Ezio then performed a Leap of Faith and made follow. The statue hit the floor where the floor gave away. Ezio maneuvered his body through this hole and fell into a pool inside. He swam to the embankment of the pool and fought and killed off the Templar guards there and then turned to the stonemason working there.
13- The stonemason identified himself as Adad. When Ezio asked him what kind of work he did for the Templars, Adad replied that he mostly dug but as the gates were made of stone harder than steel he hadn't been able to make much progress. Ezio replied that it was inevitable as the doors guarded “objects more valuable than all the gold in the world”. Ezio found out from Adad that the Templars had found one of the five keys apparently needed to open the door under Otttoman Sultan’s palace and that the locations of other keys were probably listed in a journal carried by the “ugly captain”. Ezio then gave Adad some money and when Adad said that as much as he would love to find some other employment, the Templars would murder him if tried to do so, Ezio asked him to pack his tools and go, for there would be nothing more to fear now.
14. Ezio carefully made his way to the high battlements overlooking Masyaf village, where the Templar guards were interrogating the villagers. Ezio planned to track the down the Templar captain. He harnessed himself to one of the parachutes and jumped from the tower, guiding his parachute using the convection currents and thermals to land near the village. Ezio made it to the front gate of the village where the captain was making swift preparations to leave on his wagon, ordering his men to find the Assassin. As Ezio stepped up and showed himself, the captain tried to escape on the wagon but Ezio managed to get hold of a trailing rope. Ezio managed to climb up the rope into the wagon, dodging several attacks by the guards behind him. The captain jumped to another wagon following them nearby. Ezio scrambled to the reins of the wagon and chased after the captain, dodging bombs hurled at him by guards at the back of the captain’s wagon. The captain changed tactics and instead slowed down his wagon and repeatedly smashed his wagon into Ezio’s. One of the bombs thrown by the guards exploded near the rear wheel of Ezio’s wagon and he was thrown overboard and the captain managed to escape to an outlying Templar stronghold village.
15. While coming to his senses on the bottom of the small cliff he had fallen down, Ezio had visions of his family, and an unwanted vision of Caterina Sforza. When the visions faded, Ezio could hear the voices of a Templar search party sent out to find him. After a while, the search party gave up, and Ezio climbed back up to the road. He spotted the Templar captain entering the stronghold village, and, concealed in the bushes, started walking towards it. He scaled the walls and entered the village's stockyard. Following the sound of raised voices, Ezio entered the village square, and caught site of the captain berating two sergeants for their failure to find Ezio. During the captain's tirade, Ezio had blended with the crowd of villagers who stood by, observing. When the captain was finished, the crowd started getting back to work, and, unfortunately for Ezio, the man in front of him tripped and caught the attention of the Templar captain, who spotted Ezio. The captain fired his crossbow at Ezio, who deftly dodged and escaped onto the rooftops. Ezio noticed that the captain was isolated from his soldiers and out of crossbow bolts, and readied his hidden gun. The captain, upon spotting Ezio's gun, started fleeing, but was shot in the left knee and fell, dashing his head against a sharp stone. Ezio made his way over to the dying captain and asked for the journal he was carrying. The captain was surprised Ezio knew about it, and, with a laugh, produced it from his jerkin, telling Ezio that the Templars had already learned what they could from the book. The captain died, and Ezio looked over the book. On the title page it said: "LA CROCIATA SEGRETA, Niccolò Polo, MASYAF, giugno, MCCLVII, COSTANTINOPOLI, gennaio, MCCLVIII (The Secret Crusade, Niccolò Polo, Masyaf, June 1257, Constantinople, January 1258)." Ezio knew where hea had to go; Constantinople.
Differences between the novel and game
- Vali cel Tradat is not mentioned at all, neither are the other Templars fought during the Apprentice missions.
- The woman held as a decoy for Sofia is named as Azize, and she is one of Yusuf's apprentices.
- Neither Desmond Miles nor any of the modern day Assassins are mentioned. Because of this, Ezio does not speak to Desmond in Altaïr's Library. Instead, Ezio is the one visited by Jupiter.
- Ezio also states that he has encountered Juno before, which was not covered in either the books or the games. It is logical to assume that Ezio encountered Juno when he visited the Vault underneath the Colosseum.
- Jupiter is referred to as Tinia.
- Suleiman's full name is revealed to be Suleiman Osman.
- Instead of stabbing Leandros in the chest, Ezio shoots him in the left knee and lets him bleed to death.
- Ezio and Niccolò Machiavelli visit Leonardo da Vinci over the course of a week and witnessed his final moments, when he no longer recognized his old friends. Machiavelli recalls a rumor that 'King Francis cradled his head in his arms as he died', to which Ezio remarks: 'Some people - even kings - will do anything for publicity'.
- Ezio shoots the Templar Captain in the Imperial North Den attack.
- Instead of joining a group of Janissaries to infiltrate the camp, Ezio goes alone and tails Tarik to a secluded area. He faces the captain directly instead of performing an aerial assassination.
- Haras is not killed by an aerial assassination in the book, instead being stabbed by Altaïr after a fight. However, Altaïr is seen sheathing his sword during Haras' final moments in-game, and it is possible to kill Haras with a sword without being detected.
- Instead of using the Apple of Eden to protect Niccolò and Maffeo Polo, Altaïr rides with them on horseback to Masyaf's main gate.
- Instead of going to the Assassin Hideout to relive Altaïr's memories, Ezio experiences them as soon as he finds the keys.
- The term Eagle Sense is not mentioned, but its effects are described.
- Ezio is given his crossbow by Yusuf Tazim.
- Ezio does not practice the long jump, he only learns how to climb with the Hookblade and the Hook and run.
- Bomb crafting is taught by Piri Reis instead of Yusuf.
- The events of Assassin's Creed: Embers are laid out after the main story.
- There are details of Ezio's story after the Revelations in Masyaf, return to Constantinople, travel to Venice, and setting down in Tuscany.
- Ezio's journey to Masyaf is described in more detail.
- When chasing Ahmet, the fall from the cliff is omitted, and only the carriage chase is described.
- Masyaf keys aren't found through completing puzzles that involve free-running.
- The order in which the keys are found differs from what's in the game, though the memories are still experienced in order.
- In Ezio's first letter to Claudia, Ezio writes: My story is one of many thousands, and the world will suffer if it ends too soon. This differs from what is said in the game: and the world will not suffer if it ends too soon. The text in the novel was likely a typo, as it changes the tone of the speech entirely.
- When Ezio finds Yusuf's dead body, he reads the message written on the dagger's sheet, however in the game Ezio removes the dagger and throws the message on the bench where Yusuf's body is found.
- ISBN 9780241951736; Penguin Books; 24 November 2011; UK paperback
- ASIN B00638213C; Penguin Books; 24 November 2011; UK Kindle edition
- ISBN 9780718157463; Penguin Group Australia; 24 November 2011; AU paperback
- ISBN 9781937007423; Ace Books; 29 November 2011; US paperback
- ISBN 9781101571002; Penguin Group; 29 November 2011; US eBook
- ISBN 9788073982089; Fantom Print; Czech-language paperback
- ISBN 9789639861428; Fumax; 2012; Hungarian-language paperback
- ISBN 9788361428947; Insignis; 2012; Polish-language eBook
- ASIN B0072QSO7Q; Sperling & Kupfer; 31 January 2012; Italian-language Kindle edition
- ISBN 9783833224379; PaniniBooks; March 2012; German-language paperback
- ASIN B00L5S3M0Q; PaniniBooks; 12 March 2012; German-language Kindle edition
- ASIN B007R48MWK; PaniniBooks; 12 March 2012; German-language Kindle edition
- ISBN 9789543892112; Epa; 28 May 2012; Bulgarian-language paperback
- ASIN ?; Epa; 28 May 2012; Bulgarian-language eBook
- ISBN 9789896374310; Saída de Emergência; 1 June 2012; Portuguese-language paperback
- ISBN 9782811207922; Milady; 12 July 2012; French-language paperback
- ASIN B008LUPPCE; Milady; 13 July 2012; French-language Kindle edition
- ISBN 9788361428879; Insignis; 7 November 2012; Polish-language paperback
- ISBN 9788501400000; Galera Record; 2013; Portuguese-language paperback
- ISBN 9786027812031; Ufuk Fiction; February 2013; Indonesian-language paperback
- ASIN B00BAWV1M8; La Esfera De Los Libros; 5 February 2013; Spanish-language Kindle edition
- ISBN 9789500207805; La Esfera De Los Libros; 8 February 2013; Spanish-language paperback
- ASIN B00BSVLTJG; Editora Record; 11 March 2013; Portuguese-language Kindle edition
- ISBN 9788868360948; Pickwick; 28 October 2013; Italian-language paperback
- ISBN 9788490600245; La Esfera De Los Libros; 7 January 2014; Spanish-language paperback
- ISBN 9789603647898; Διόπτρα; 12 November 2014; Greek-language paperback
- ISBN 9786006225418; آذرباد; March 2015; Persian-language paperback
- ISBN 9789026138751; De Fontein; October 2015; Dutch-language paperback
- ISBN 9789026138768; De Fontein; October 2015; Dutch-language eBook
- ASIN B0127N8EZA; De Fontein; 30 October 2015; Dutch-language Kindle edition
- ISBN 9786051730851; Epilson; December 2015; Turkish-language paperback
- ISBN 9787513319393; 新星出版社; December 2015; Simplified Chinese-language paperback
- ISBN 9785389107960; Азбука; 2016; Russian-language hardcover
- ISBN 9789896377892; Saída de Emergência; 3 June 2016; Portuguese-language eBook
- ASIN B01GKJPSLU; Saída de Emergência; 3 June 2016; Portuguese-language Kindle edition
- ISBN 9789863614487; 高寶國際有限公司台灣分公司; 27 September 2017; traditional Chinese-language paperback
- ISBN 9786069000373; Editura Paladin; 20 November 2019; Romanian-language hardcover