«Assassin’s Creed: The Wizard’s Conspiracya novel set in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851, is published today. After rescuing Ada Lovelace from a gang of thugs, acrobat Pierrette Arnaud meets Simeon, a secretive soldier fighting for the Assassin Order. Together, they must work to stop the Templar plot to destabilize Europe in an adventure filled with secrets, explosions and, of course, murder. The first installment of a trilogy, “The Magus Conspiracy”, opens a new chapter in the Assassin’s Creed universe.
Kate Heartfield, author of the Sunday Times bestseller “The Embroidered Book,” wrote “The Magician’s Conspiracy” and has officially signed on to write the second book in the trilogy. A writer with a strong background in historical fiction and an appreciation for the Assassin’s Creed games, she spoke to Ubisoft News about the setting of her novel, the process of adapting a video game concept for a written medium, and how the book fits into the Assassin’s Creed universe. Assassin’s Creed.
Can you tell me about the process of creating «The Magus Conspiracy»?
Kate Heartfield: When my agents told me about the project, I had played Syndicate and was already a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed, and a lot of my books are in historical settings, so it felt perfect. I sent a pitch to Aconyte Books, which we developed into an outline. One thing that caught everyone’s imagination early on was the idea that there were a lot of political assassinations in history at the time: Queen Victoria had eight attempts on her life. The natural question from there was, how did that political scenario, as well as the political movements and changes that were happening at the time, fit in with the history of the Order and its fight against the Templars? They seemed like a good fit, and it was a really fun process to connect some of the historical dots in a narrative like that.
I’ve also never written related fiction before; I’ve always written my own work, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of collaborating with Ubisoft and Aconyte on this process, but I think they’ve all worked very hard to make this beautiful book. It felt like being part of a team, and it was a very positive experience. I also want to mention that I am very grateful for the beautiful cover that Bastien Jez did; I think his work is brilliant and really captures the tone of the book, with so much going on in such a fascinating period of history. The design is beautiful, and I know many readers have been drawn to that cover.
One of the fun parts of Assassin’s Creed is getting immersed in the story, but with the added twist of the Assassins fighting against the Templars. How could you play with that for “The Magus Conspiracy”?
KH: I have a background in political science and was really interested in exploring the philosophical underpinnings of the Brotherhood and what it might be like in the late 19th century.the century. It was also interesting to think about what the Assassins and Templars might have been like across Europe at the time, because Syndicate gave me an idea of what London was like in 1868. However, the book is set in 1851, and takes place in multiple countries. different ones where there wasn’t necessarily a lot of tradition already created about who was there and what they were doing.
I thought a lot about how things would have changed since Unity, what the Brotherhood would look like, what some of the different places would look like, and how much the political and geographic landscape in Paris had changed. I thought it would be interesting to make that really fit in with the Great Exhibition, because it had that sense of promise that kicked off the second half of the 19th.the century. There was also this great tension between government propaganda about the British Empire and the real people of London, who were at the Great Exhibition trying to make a living. It was really interesting to put all those threads together early on in “The Magus Conspiracy.”
What makes Pierrette and Simeon the perfect leads for this story?
KH: I think it’s because they are contrasts to each other in so many ways. Pierrette is an acrobat, an artist by nature, so the idea that the Order works in the dark doesn’t come naturally to her. She is seeking the spotlight, which creates a point of tension between her and the Order; she sees no reason to hide, she’s trying to get attention, and she has a kind of reckless approach to life because her parents died in the revolutions of 1848. Because of that, she has a “live in the moment” approach to life. life.
Simeon is a bit different. He is brave in his own way, but he is not very interested in people knowing who he is; he has had some experiences that make him want to be a little more lonely. Between the two of them, they have this really interesting dynamic, and I really like that kind of mentor-student dynamic, even though they’re both pretty young and early in their trajectories as characters. They have a really interesting brotherly dynamic.
Are there any historical figures that readers can expect to see? Is there any reference to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate?
KH: Ada Lovelace is definitely the connection point between Simeon and Pierrette, because Simeon was her childhood friend. She is best known today for being the forerunner of computer programmers due to her work with Charles Babbage on the analytical engine. Pierrette meets her at the Great Exhibition, which I think was something that seemed feasible and plausible to me, because Ada Lovelace actually lived right on the corner of Hyde Park at the time, which is where the Great Exhibition was, and all the art and scientists at the time were going, so all their connections would have gone too
Ada really looms large throughout the book; she is one of the most important historical figures in the novel, but there are other real people who come up. I won’t reveal too much, but there are some, from monarchs to common people, revolutionaries, and a couple of painters who make it almost to the end.
There aren’t many references to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, because I wanted “The Magus Conspiracy” to have a story of its own and not overlap too much, but I think there are a couple of people familiar with the story. to recognize. There are also some more subtle references; just little references to names, or even songs, and that kind of thing that players will go “Ah! I see what you did there!” It was really fun to include those things, because I wanted the book to be accessible to people who had never played an Assassin’s Creed game, but I also wanted it to be a little more special for fans who know the game well.
Video games are a very immersive medium. How did you go about adapting that experience into a book?
KH: The immersive feeling that video games have is something I really wanted to capture. Of course, a book is a different medium, so you can’t do the same thing; it would seem boring or weird if people rappelled and parkoured all the time. But some of it has to be there, so I thought about how to use the strengths of the prose to create that same sense of immersion, so that readers can understand not only what it looks like, but what it feels like to be standing in it. building or being in a city right now. It was a lot to pay attention to small sensory details, like thinking about how the stone of a building feels under your fingertips, the temperature of a place, the sounds and smells of the street, and trying to put all of that into form. that wasn’t intrusive and could really make the reader feel like they were being transported back to time and place through imagination.
You’ve officially signed on to write the second book. Congratulations! Anything you can tell us about that story?
KH: When I started writing the first one, we talked a little bit about what the whole arc of the trilogy would look like, just to get an idea of what the direction would be with the idea that “The Magus Conspiracy” would be the first in that set of three. I already had a basic idea of what the second book would have to do, what time period it would be, who would be in it, and what it would have to accomplish in terms of narrative.
Once I signed on to write the second book, once again the editors and I worked together on an outline. We feel pretty good about it; I can’t give too much away in terms of what happens next, but I will say that some of the characters from “The Magus Conspiracy” appear in the next book. It’s very much a continuation of some of the plot threads we see in the first book, so if readers want to know more about what happened to those people, they might get their wish in the second book.
Verify “Assassin’s Creed: The Wizard’s Conspiracy” today. To learn more about the games, read about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s new Forgotten Saga game mode, or how a developer created the Isu language.