I’m a huge fan of the Assassins Creed series, I’m sure you know the deal. Hidden blades, Templars vs Assassins and pieces of Eden. And I’m sure you all know that despite the fact these games are based on historical fact they take certain…liberties. It was the original game that got me interested in the Crusader era and I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading in and around the Crusades as well as visiting a few Crusader castles in Portugal.
And when I found this little beauty on Amazon I just had to buy it. I knew that the Assassin sect had existed in Medieval Islam but I honestly had no idea that there were books out there about them because after all, these sort of sects tended to be pretty secretive. And what do I see when I’m flicking through the pictures (I ended up getting the illustrated version!)? A picture of Masyaf, the Assassin stronghold that is so prevalent in the first game. I may have gotten a little excited when I saw that, as I had no idea it was a real place and more so I had no idea that the stronghold was still standing. It seems that the game developers have based a lot of the games story on what actually happened and you can even compare the character of Al Mualim (the assassins sect leader in game) to the Old Man of the Mountain (the leader from real life). A coincidence? I think not.
By any means I am very much looking forward to reading this book. I don’t imagine that the real life Assassin order is anywhere near as exciting as it is in the game, nor will they go off hunting for pieces of Eden related to strange futuristic gods from the past but I imagine that the history of the sect is pretty much the same. Did they use hidden blades? Probably not. Did they perform crazy leaps of faith from the top of churches? Again probably not but hey, let’s leave that to the games and start learning a bit of the true history behind this secretive sect. Real life is often far more exciting than the made up stuff anyway!