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Literature / Assassin's Creed: Unity

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Assassin's Creed: Unity is the novelization of the game of the same name, written by Oliver Bowden. It was published on November 11, 2014, the day of the game's release.

Like the game, it chronicles the events of the French Revolution, however, following in the vein of Assassin's Creed: Forsaken, it provides us Another Side, Another Story of the campaign in the main game. We follow the adventures of Élise de la Serre, the Deuteragonist of the main game, the Templar daughter of Grand Master François de la Serre, as retold in her journal.

Élise enjoys a life of privilege accorded to the daughter of the nobility under the Ancien Régime; however, from very early, she begins questioning the Gilded Cage of her lifestyle and seeks to engage with people in a meaningful way. This inquisitive spirit helps her very much when she starts her initiation into the rites of the Templar Order. Nothing lasts forever, though, and the arrival of the Revolution creates a schism in the Templar Order. Her best ally is her childhood friend and secret boyfriend Arno, who has joined the Assassins.

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  • Action Mom: Julie de la Serre shows where her daughter gets her fighting skills and free spirit from. When she was sent to a convent to study and rebelled against the Mother Superior, Julie marched in, gave her a piece of her mind and had Élise raised by private tutors.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Francois de la Serre gets this slightly, in that while he's a good man, he does confess that he had planned to raise Arno as a Templar. His wife and daughter argued against indoctrination from childhood but Francois hoped that Elise would manipulate Arno into signing up, which she is reluctant to do. Ideally she wants Arno out of the conflict so that he can be her boyfriend and respite from the Templar business. However, things turn wrong when he becomes an Assassin.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The novel follows the story of Élise de la Serre.
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  • Arc Villain: The English Templar family, Mr. and Mrs. Carroll and the ex-Assassin Benjamin Ruddock.
  • Call-Back: To Assassin's Creed: Forsaken, the Corsican family Haytham tried to free from Birch are used by Elise as her cover story, we return to Kenway Manor in Queen Anne Square where Jennifer has retired as a spinster and even revisit the room where her father died.
  • The Cameo: We meet Jennifer Scott, beleaguered daughter of Edward Kenway living alone in a mansion. For one of her first missions, Élise goes to meet her living alone in a mansion, to collect Haytham Kenway's letters. Jennifer sees through her cover and tells her about her sad life and how the Assassin-Templar conflict wreaked havoc on her family. She gives Élise her iconic pendant, a gift from Haytham Kenway. She also asks to be kept out of the business for her final years.
  • Cultural Posturing: The English and French Templars constantly. The English feel that the French are too violent and Hot-Blooded while the French see the English as resistant to all changes.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: At one point, Elise is being chased by Jacobins and runs by Arno. When he tries to ask what is going on, she gives this response.
  • End of an Era: Élise is quite bitter about the fact that despite the fact she supported the Constitutional Monarchy, the Assassin-Templar truce set up between her father and Mirabeau and that she was quite critical of the aristocracy, she will have no place in the post-Revolutionary world.
    "There and then I knew it was the end for us all. For every nobleman and -woman in France it was the end. Whatever our sympathies, even if we’d talked of the need for change, even if we’d agreed that Marie Antoinette’s excesses were disgusting and the king both greedy and inadequate, and even if we’d supported the Third Estate and backed the Assembly, it didn’t matter, because from this moment on none of us were safe; we were all collaborators or oppressors in the eyes of the mob and they were in charge now."
  • First-Episode Spoiler: The introduction by Arno on reading the diary gives away the fact that Élise is dead and we are following her story posthumously. Likewise the fates of Edward and Haytham Kenway are also given away casually.
  • Forever War: Generally everyone in the book is tired of the Templar-Assassin conflict. Jennifer Scott declares a curse on both houses, though she hates the Templars more than the Assassins. Elise is frustrated that Templar notions of peace with Assassins are seen as "heretical" while Arno feels the same way among Assassins. As in the game, the truce between the leaders - Grand Master de la Serre and Mirabeau ends not because of flaws or mistrust among them, but because their collegagues don't want peace, and they both get betrayed by their close associates.
  • The Mentor: Freddie Weatherhall, a debauched English Templar in France, a Master Swordsman who trains Elise, had Unrequited Love for her mother and has Undying Loyalty to her.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Elise notes that this was the sentiment in the crowd gathered to watch the King's execution. Though they all claimed to hate the King and wanted him dead, when he finally died, they all had a guilty expression on their faces, that essentially means "shit just got real".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Arno at the end of the book considers himself an Assassin but unaffiliated with the French Assassin Council, seeking to have little to do with the Assassin-Templar conflict.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Both Arno and Elise confess in their separate journal entries that during the long time they were separated during the period of Elise's studies, they had trysts with other people. Elise with Byron Jackson and Arno with some Versailles girls who he admits were "as accommodating as they were fetching".


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