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Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade

(Assassin's Creed #3)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  7,328 ratings  ·  443 reviews
Niccolo Polo, father of Marco, will finally reveal the story he has kept secret all his life—the story of Altair, one of the brotherhood's most extraordinary assassins.

Altair embarks on a formidable mission—one that takes him throughout the Holy Land and shows him the true meaning of the Assassin's Creed. To demonstrate his commitment, Altair must defeat nine deadly enemie
Mass Market Paperback, 453 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Ace Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  7,328 ratings  ·  443 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Secret Crusade (Assassin’s Creed #3), Oliver Bowden

The Assassin's Creed series, by Oliver Bowden, Christie Golden, Matthew Kriby and Gordon Doherty is a collection of novels set within the Assassin's Creed video game universe. The books follow various time periods and revolve around the Assassins at war with the Knights Templar.

Spoiler alert

The Secret Crusade's story follows Altaïr, as told by Niccolo Polo. It details the life of Altaïr, an Assassin; beginning with the death of his father. A
Sean Barrs
Jan 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
When I get really annoyed with a book I sometimes forget how to write a book review. I don’t approach it how I normally would, and instead I just list a bunch of points that really pissed me off about the work:

1. The same story AGAIN-According to the cover, this is the “untold story of Altair.” It’s not. This book is a verbatim repeating of the events in the first Assassin’s creed game (yawn.) Now don’t get me wrong they were good events. I thought the game was very clever, but I didn’t want t
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this game, I love this story, I love this book. I've been a fan of the Assassin's Creed franchise since playing the first game.

This is the third Assassin's Creed novel by Oliver Bowden but chronologically, timeline and game release wise, it comes first. Readers are not disadvantaged at all if they have not read the first two novels.

This novel is extremely faithful to the source material, it is clear Bowden worked closely with Ubisoft Montreal as most of the dialog is word perfect when com
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After the surprisingly good Assassin's Creed Renaissance and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood novelizations, I was severely disappointed by this latest installment of the Assassin's Creed Books.

As it was centered on Altair, I was looking forwards to reading about him. But this book was dire.

With Oliver Bowden's previous adaptations, I sometimes forgot I was reading a game novel, as it felt almost like a historical novel. This was achieved mostly because he did. His. Research.

However, with this bo
Dec 10, 2014 marked it as to-read
Next book on my to read list of the one and only epic Assassin's Creed series.

 photo Assassins-Creed-Altair-Wallpaper_zps80cijaan.jpg
Hasham Rasool
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The life and times of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, original protagonist of the Assassin's Creed video game series. The majority of the novel details the events of the first game, set during the Third Crusade in 1191 as Altaïr goes from arrogant ignorer of his Order's Creed to wise Master Assassin as he pieces together the puzzle of his given Templar targets and uncovers a conspiracy surrounding an ancient artifact left behind by a lost civilization. (view spoiler) ...more
No words can describe my feelings for this book. Mainly because it is Assassin's Creed for goodness sake. I love the game so much. And I really, honestly, doubt on reading it due to recent reviews on this book which I still don't understand. This book is good. The story is amazing. Altair is amazing. He is such a good role model.

I have to admit that, yes, it was followed exactly from the video game. And partly that's what makes it so nice too. Because I fangirl a lot to the video game and I lik
Dorian Jandreau
This is the whole story of Altair. First half of a book is telling story of first Assassin's Creed video game. The second part of the book tells story of Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines video games.... But alas, this game is ONLY for Play Station- so I will never be able to play it.... But at least I could read the story, so it makes me happy even if I can't play that game.

To whom who say this book is so bloody and cruel: PEOPLE, it's called Assassin's Creed!!! It's supposed to be bloody!! Besides
Hannah Heath
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Interesting story, poor writing. A good introduction to the world of the Assassin's Creed, though, so I'd say it's worth 3 stars as far as novelizations are concerned. Full review can be read at Constant Collectible. ...more
Juan Brito
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I recently read Assassin’s Creed: The last Crusade by Oliver Bowden, Its about a this group of Assassin’s and Altair one of their top assassin’s fails to follow orders and gets the title of master taking away from him in front of clan. Throughout the story Altair has to prove him worthy of being named master assassin once more.

The setting takes place in 11th century Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus. The assassin’s had a fortress in Masyaf where they lived and trained to be great assassin’s. The cha
This novel isn't the best written work in the history of literature, but I found it fun to read a novelisation of the games, and one which teased out more of Altaïr's past. If you're interested in the Assassin's Creed games for their plot, this might interest you, even if you don't want to or can't play the games. It doesn't include the Desmond frame story, but it brings together all the threads about Altaïr in one book, which makes it a smoother learning experience than playing the games.

ضحى الحداد
4.5 stars
Oh man .. this book was quite the ride I loved it SO much :D
it was full of adventure and the story was so immersive that I couldn't put the book down until I finished it, I LOVE Altair way better than Ezio he is such a cool yet humble character despite his arrogance in the beginning, and I like his line of thinking..
you can read this book as a stand alone as it is not related to the previous books but I think the next book will tie the series and this book together so I can't wait to
Jun 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-czech, 2016
Enjoyable but not catchy. Renaissance is still the best one from this series.

And really needs to be all the names so similar?
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I originally rated this book 4/5 but, after having some time to think through it, I've re-rated it 3/5 and I'll explain why.

While this is a fantastic adaptation from, I'll admit, a pretty decent game, there was one major flaw in Oliver Bowden's writing. But let's get the good stuff out of the way first.

The storyline is absolutely incredible. It's an adventure in the life of an assassin as he uncovers a conspiracy surrounding the ancient order of the Templars and secrets within his own temple. Th
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you love the game series Assassin's Creed by Ubisoft than you are going to love the book. Assassin Creed The Secret Crusade embarks on the journeys and hardships Altair had to go through. He seeing his fathers death does not stop him from becoming one of the greatest assassin's the Brotherhood has ever had. This book lacking character development entices you with the crazy plot twist of his Master betraying him. He is than forced to kill him for his betrayal to the Brotherhood. Altair in doin ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is what the game needs. More plot points. And here they are, beautifully wrapped in a single book. The Creed books are a great asset to the game indeed. They nicely summarise the cutscenes and the story, and present the missing links.
This book in particular shows what we did not know about the Great Master - Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. He becomes much more relatable because of this, since the game does not bother to give much of character's backstory.
It is always nice to become more acquainted wi
Mel Tsepa
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Having played the asssassin's creed videogames and being a huge fangirl myself I thought that it was FANTASTIC. When the book was over I had a full perspective of the story which by playing the videogame I lost due to my focus to the goals. I have not read the other books, so I thought that this one was the first due to it's name, as it talks about Altair the protagonist of the first video game. Assassin's creed. I would for sure recommend this to anyone interested into fantasy and history as it ...more
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What sets this book above the first two is the complexity of the characters and their relationships. They are more relatable because they experience real things (betrayal, hesitance, confusion, epiphanies, & the act of aging) in more realistic ways and doses. It was also much more well written, though I still have a problem with Bowden's grammar and structure. ...more
Verana Vacchiano
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Nothing extraordinary about the writing or the story. It's strictly for fans of the game only, because the writing is just blatant and unremarkable. Read it only if you want a clear story of Altair. ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderful, I loved. You read.
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stratis Vougioukas
4,5 ⭐ The best so far.
Much to learn,
from Altair's story, in many ways.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
I just didn't feel like it contributed anything. It felt like the author played the game and transcribed what happened on the screen. But with less depth. It felt so much emptier than the game, and... it shouldn't have. It should have added so much more. There's such a unique opportunity to add so much depth to Altaïr, to really throw the reader into a fantastic historical portrayal, to use so many literary references and allusions to Alamut, to have these striking descriptions of Damascus, Acre ...more
So I had to screen this book for a pre-teen. If anyone else wants to know whether their kid can read it -

Not too shabby on the historical front (but I am coming off the orientalist claptrap Moghul so I may be being generous.) An inaccuracy was pointed out in Merm's review, so you might want to heads up your kid on that.

Being a story about an assassin who assassinates, naturally, there is a lot of violence. Altair goes about his business heartlessly, and there are heads rolling every few pages.

Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
My son loves Assassin's creed and has three of these books. I wanted to see why he liked them so much. This one is filled with nothing but death. The plotline could have been a lot stronger; the makings of a great book were hidden in there.

What I hated about this book, was the fact that people were dying with slashed throats, stabbed in the chest, but they had plenty of time to lay out all their dastardly plans before they finally succumbed to their wounds. And there was a lot of: he died. The
Kristine Olsen
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book takes place centuries before the othe Ezio centered Assassin’s Creed books. We find Altair Ibn La’Ahad on his adventures as he learns what it truly means to live by the Creed. I very much enjoyed reading Altair’s story since I found him to be an honorable character. I particularly found his wife Maria to be a wonderful partner for Altair given her warrior spirit, something I deeply appreciate in female characters. The pacing was great and the story tight. I look forward to returning to ...more
Soroosh Akef
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Though still going by the pseudonym Oliver Bowden, this book actually has a different author than the first two books in the series, and he's done as decent a job as can be done on a novel adaptation of a video game.

The story is written in the journal format in the first-person POV by Niccolo Polo, Marco Polo's father. The book also casts light on Altaïr's adventures and experiences missing from the video games, albeit some of them are relatively boring and stick to the unnecessary video game-li
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing


Trigger warnings for themes of violence, and suicide.

This book was so good. The first half of the book follows the video game, and the second half covers what Altaïr experienced afterwards. We get a better look into his character after his nine tasks.

Altaïr's story is tragic, so be warned.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-read, his-fic
Whilst I cannot comment on the accuracy of the characterisation or the plot of these books as I have not played the games, I still really enjoy reading them. However, this was my least favourite so far - I just didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. ...more
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Anton Gill (aka Oliver Bowden) has been a full-time professional writer since 1984, and in the course of the last 27 years he has published 35 books. Gill was born in Ilford, Essex, the son of a German father and an English mother, and grew up in London. He is an acclaimed novelist and Renaissance historian currently living in Paris, France. Bowden has written novelizations of several of the Assa ...more

Other books in the series

Assassin's Creed (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Assassin's Creed: Renaissance (Assassin's Creed, #1)
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Assassin's Creed, #2)
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations (Assassin's Creed, #4)
  • Assassin's Creed: Forsaken (Assassin's Creed, #5)
  • Assassin's Creed: Black Flag (Assassin's Creed, #6)
  • Assassin's Creed: Unity (Assassin's Creed, #7)
  • Assassin's Creed: Underworld (Assassin's Creed, #8)
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (Assassin's Creed #9)
  • Assassin's Creed: Heresy
  • Assassin's Creed: The Complete Collection (Assassin's Creed, #1-8)

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