Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Assassin's Creed: The Chain (2012)

Authors: Cameron Stewart / Karl Kerschl  |  Illustrators: Cameron Stewart / Karl Kerschl  |  Page Count: 96

"They like to think of themselves as a Brotherhood. A family. But if that’s true, then they’re a family of wolves."

A sequel to Assassin's Creed: The Fall (2011) that continues the story of both Daniel Cross and the assassin Nikolai Orelov. In one man's world a peace time is broken, while in the other a kind of peace is attained but it’s quite possibly fallacious.

The book explores the resultant struggles of the two men, but it's difficult to say how Daniel got to where he is at the beginning without spoiling the end of the previous entry, so I’ll take the easy option and not mention him again directly. On the other hand, the Russian born Nikolai's story is easier to summarise. He's settled in a new territory but experiences the same old prejudices. It follows that where there’s hatred and men willing to do evil for money there’s often tragedy.

Central to everything, and the part that carries the most emotional weight, is the journey of a young boy who learns the difference between killing out of necessity or mercy and allowing suffering to continue by doing nothing—the understanding of which is a basic tenet of the Assassin order.

There’s a second lesson to be learned, too, that every deed has consequences even if sometimes they take years to surface or occur. How we deal with them determines what kind of man we are, and that in turn determines which side an individual is compelled to take in the Templar/Assassin war.

There are a number of pages with little or no dialogue, meaning the onus is on the art to tell the story, which it does very effectively. The changing colour palette also contributes in a clever, almost subliminal way.

3 balance adjustments out of 5

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