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Assassin’s Creed: The Ming Storm

Written By: Yan Leisheng

Translated By: Nikki Kopelman

Published By: Aconyte Books

Reviewed By: Melissa Minners

               I’m a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed series books based on the popular Ubisoft video game series.  It all started for me with the book Renaissance, featuring Ezio Auditore and his life as a member of the Brotherhood of Assassins.  I was completely mesmerized by his story and was so enthused by the tale that I went out and purchased the trilogy of video games the books were based on.  Since then, I have been purchasing Assassin’s Creed novels whenever I could find them.  My latest foray into the series ties back to the original Assassin’s Creed novels.

               Taking place during the time of The Ming Dynasty, Assassin’s Creed: The Ming Storm chronicles the story of Shao Jun.  If you have followed the Ezio Auditore novels, you might remember a mysterious Asian woman who asked Ezio to help her rebuild her sect of the Brotherhood.  Shao Jun is one of two survivors of the massacre of the Central Plain Brotherhood by the Eight Tigers.  After training with Ezio, Shao Jun returns to China to avenge the death of her clan with the help of her mentor, another hidden survivor of the massacre.  Together they will work to root out the evil members of the Eight Tigers and eliminate them one by one, destroying the power of the Templars in China.

               Although this novel plays out as an entertaining martial arts drama, Assassin’s Creed: The Ming Storm is not one of my favorites.  There are a great many typos in this book which take away from the story.  This may have occurred when the story was translated from Chinese to English, but one would expect that someone should have proofread the book before its publishing. 

I usually love martial arts books that play out like a movie and once you get past the mistakes in the book, this is exactly what The Ming Storm feels like.  I enjoyed the fight scenes and the incredible skill of Shao Jun, especially her rope dart and sword skills.  Her mentor’s martial arts skill and ability to control his chi are also enjoyable, but the story soon becomes a bit farfetched with the introduction of a zombie-like army led by Zhang Yong, ruthless leader of the Eight Tigers.  I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around it.

Usually, the Assassin’s Creed novels are heavily steeped in historical fiction and, yes, the Brotherhood of Assassins have been fighting for years to prevent the Templars from accessing the creators of the world.  This means that there are some god-like creatures with fantastic instruments at play in this series, but zombie warriors?  A bit much for me.  I think that this novel would have been much better without them.  Shao Jun is an interesting character and her journey toward avenging the murders of members of her clan would have been enough.  Adding this weird element ruined the tale for me.  The Ming Storm was one Assassin’s Creed novel I could have skipped.

Check out Assassin’s Creed The Ming Storm at Amazon



Published by Melissa Minners

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