Assassin's Creed: Mirage – Daughter of No One - Review & Summary
Written by Sorrosyss, November 21st, 2023

Note: Non Spoiler Review, but a full Spoiler Summary follows

Assassin's Creed Mirage: Daughter of No One is a new novel written by Maria Lewis, and is published internationally by Aconyte books. Its cover star and primary protagonist is none other than Roshan, who fans will know from the recently released Assassin's Creed Mirage game, as well as her previous appearance within Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

For those looking for Basim content here, I can confirm that the events depicted within all occur prior to his birth I'm afraid. The book covers the story of Roshan from her late teens and into her early twenties. As one can imagine for a woman of her strength to one day become a Master Assassin within The Hidden Ones, her story takes in multiple adventures across several locations, primarily Egypt, Baghdad and Karachi. It is certainly nice to get away from the traditional European settings, and the author does a good job of highlighting the challenges to a young woman living within those times and regions. Indeed, it is part and parcel of her growth that many of the tragedies that befall her help shape her into the individual that we see within the games.

As one can imagine, a great deal of her story involves her becoming involved in violent and criminal activities, and it is credit to the author and indeed the character, that she maintains her morals and convictions throughout this. Here we have a lavishly described world where daily horrors are a constant, where women are generally subjugated, and ultimately expected to be nothing more than wives or personal slaves to their male masters. The desperation within Roshan to escape this enforced reality is omnipresent, and it is clear that this yearning is indeed ultimately part of what drives her desire for freedom and into joining The Hidden Ones.

There are a few other characters from the video games present here, but I will leave their appearances for readers to enjoy. As we always get asked on this, I can confirm that there is no Modern Day content to the book, and thus we have no frame of reference as to who is viewing these memories of Roshan. In terms of Isu content, there is only a little, but it mostly ties in to some of the events of Mirage.

Fundamentally though, this is a historical only tale, but a strong one nonetheless. Thankfully it does also contain The Order of the Ancients, therefore we still have the two traditional warring factions present.

The book has a pretty unique aspect to its storytelling, in that it tells Roshan's story from two distinct time frames – one being a few years prior to the other. The two time frames alternate by chapter, leaving readers frequently jumping between the two storylines. On a personal level, I'm not a particular fan of this style, as it sometimes leaves you struggling to recall what happened two chapters back, and indeed a little frustrating not to directly carry on the story beats you were just reading about. Naturally, this is an artistic choice by the author/publisher, therefore it may not bother you personally, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

Overall, it is a solid transmedia release, coming in at 316 pages. The cover image was created by Anika Mercier, and certainly depicts Roshan in all her glory. The book doesn't particularly require you to have a grounding in the backstory of the games, and could be enjoyed quite easily as a stand-alone story. Maria Lewis should be commended for her first foray into the franchise, giving us an enlightening exposition into the background story of Roshan.

Assassin's Creed Mirage: Daughter of No One is available from the November 21st 2023, both digitally and physically from all good stockists.


Baghdad, 819 AD (17 years old)

Upon a boat in the harbour, Roshan stands covered in blood – that of her slave master for the past three years, the Persian Harbor Master, slain by her hands. Screams come from below deck, as the former wives of the slain man climb aboard a nearby rowing boat. The oldest wife, Talâyi, suggests Roshan to hand herself in, as the alarms of soldiers ring out. Realising she is now free, Roshan states she intends to live, and instead elects to climb the boat's sail, and makes a deep dive into the water. Holding her breath she swims far away from the boat, emerging a good distance away. Her head just above the waters, she watches as Talâyi and the other wives speak to the guards, desperately trying to send them elsewhere off her trail.

She swims for an hour to the farthest reaches of the harbour, removing the most bloodied of her clothes. Having lived a life as an enslaved wife, she has no money or possessions, nor any real knowledge of the wider city, having been confined pretty much to the harbor for years now. As night sets in, she watches the local drunks start to disperse, and then finally elects to climb out of the water. She avoids people and makes her way into an alley. There she finds some washed men's clothes left out to dry, and she takes the opportunity to switch her bloodstained ones for them, including a hood to keep her face hidden. Within a window she spots some freshly made lavash bread, and steals some before the owner calls out, forcing her to run away with her prize.

As dawn starts to break, she finds a walking stick to aid her balance, her sea legs not used to steady terrain. Following a slow moving procession of people, she slots in amongst them, as they walk towards a mosque. Once inside, she makes her way to the backrooms, and into a library known as the House of Wisdom. There she finds a quiet area to rest, and consumes her lavash in peace. She was alone, but she was free.

Over the weeks that followed, she created a makeshift bed atop the shelves, stealing food and drink where possible to survive. She noticed that there were actually other women working within the library as well, apparently allowed in as scholars. Over time she enjoyed observing the translation work of the elders, with one particular man evidently leaving food behind each time for her. They eventually strike up a conversation, with him introducing himself as Bakhit, an engineer and inventor from Sudan. He notes how she has been studying the works around the library, and offers to teach her how to read and write. They agree to meet a few days later.

Sure enough, Roshan meets him at the designated time and location at the east wing of the building. He hands her a paper notepad and pencil, and she takes a seat amongst a group of gathered administrators. For three months she studies with the group, before thankfully becoming Bakhit's formal note taker. Eventually he offers for her to become his assistant, in turn providing her with a salary and permanent housing, to which she happily accepts.

Road From Baghdad, 819 AD (17 years old)

Bakhit reveals that they need to leave the city, and travel to Thatta – as he has a new client there. The journey is nearly 2000 miles, but he and Roshan pack lightly and set out by carriage with a personal group of guards provided by the client. As they travel, the guards practice sword fighting daily under the command of a young man called Advi, to which Roshan is allowed to join in with a stick, providing her another new life skill.

Eventually they arrive at their new residence, with Bakhit giving Roshan her own room for the first time in her life. The guards help unpack all of their belongings from the carriages and alongside the housekeeper, help set up Bakhit's workshop.

The next morning, Roshan awakes at sunrise and elects to familiarise herself with the streets of Thatta before the working day begins. She returns for breakfast, and immediately assists Bakhit with his various inventions. This becomes her daily routine, with evenings spent practice duelling with Advi.

Thatta, Sindh, 821 AD (19 years old)

Roshan continues to assist Bakhit with his hazardous and sometimes explosive inventions. Their mysterious employer was none other than the ruler of the city, therefore Roshan suspected most of the contraptions she helped build were actually being used for political assassinations.

In her spare time, she works on herself physically, both free running and climbing around the city, as well as training with Advi. That evening she did so again, battling him with her tahtib stick. As they rest, he attempts to kiss her but she rejects his approach. She elects to run home, haunted by the memories of her former husband.

She takes a bath and relaxes before Advi eventually pays her a visit. He warns her that someone was seen using a device that looked like Bakhit's work. If Bakhit has been found to be supplying others outside of his existing contract, then he and his staff would be tried for treason.

Thatta, Sindh, 822 AD (20 years old)

Roshan observes the visitors to the workshop over the coming months. Sure enough, she notes new faces and customers coming at strange hours. A Damascene woman named Maryam asks for Bakhit to complete a specific project for her inside a week, before suggesting that Roshan should come work for her. She provides Roshan a green piece of fabric with a white flower upon it, and tells her to seek out the symbol should she ever wish to change career.

That evening, Roshan trains again with Advi. He gifts her with a new set of fighting clubs, that can be extended at the press of a button to full length sticks. That evening, Roshan is awakened by Advi bursting through her window, warning her that the Prince had found out about Bakhit's other customers and guards were coming to arrest him and all his customers. They quickly pack her things, and Roshan goes to warn the housekeeper and Bakhit. A loud bang at the front door tells her that her time is up, and she runs out the back scaling a large tree over the wall to meet Advi and escape.

Tahtib stick fighting
As they run, Advi is grabbed by a group of soldiers, as Roshan ducks into cover. The guards accuse Advi of warning the household, and march him into custody. Before he rises to his feet, he swears he will tell them nothing, and slices his own throat with his dagger. Horrified, Roshan runs, following the markers of the white flower to Maryam's pleasure caravan, telling the guard that they should all leave the city immediately. Roshan trades this information for safe passage out of the city with the caravans. Maryam suggests they travel to China, to escape the Prince's guards.

Roshan realises she is free again, but lacks a purpose. Maryam offers her pay and food, if she would become her bookkeeper, a task she does not relish herself. Roshan also confirms that she is able to fight, which comes in handy when the caravans need to fend off bandits a short time into their journey. Eventually they settle at Chang'an, a city that Roshan begins to familiarise herself with quickly.

Kandovan, Iran, 823 AD (21 years old)

Modern Day Kandovan
Roshan stays with the caravans as they continue to tour around multiple countries. She eventually ends up back in Iran, at the village of Kandovan, her childhood home. Tying her horse on the outskirts, she pulls up her hood and makes her way to her parent's house. She observes her mother and father from a distance, delighted to see them again, but careful not to betray her being there – lest it cause shame to come to her parents for protecting a known murderer. As she watches she is approached by one of her sisters, Bolour, who recognises her. Bolour tells Roshan that the guards still look for her and that she should leave. The two briefly discuss their lives, and the conversation turns to their other sister Masha, who has married an abusive Mongolian man called Bogd, who keeps her locked in at home within the city of Tabriz. Roshan vows to go check on her second sister, and quietly leaves.

When she returns to the caravans parked within Tabriz itself, she meets an associate of Maryam, a Turkish thief and information broker known as Dervis. She elects to trade with him, asking for information on the whereabouts of the Mongolian man known as Bogd. Dervis returns two days later, telling her that the man was heavily in debt, and owed money to loan sharks under the command of a mysterious individual known as Xex. It was likely that some of his wives had already been seized as collateral as well. Dervis also reveals that Maryam and the caravan was also desperately in debt to the same loan sharks, and he advises Roshan to get out of her employ, before she too is taken. He suggests that he could use someone of her talents, and offers her a role as a fence within his information network. She suggests she will join him, if he can negotiate Bogd to release his youngest wife, on the proviso that Roshan can clear his debts. Dervis suggests she pays this debt in Garnets, as there are several fakers within the city who might be able to aid with such a transaction.

Sure enough, Dervis manages to secure the transaction, and Roshan sends an urchin to fetch Bolour to meet with the released Masha, who appears malnourished and skeletal. As Roshan watches on, she sends a second urchin to give a pouch to her sisters, with real Garnets. Her savings surrendered and penniless once more, she sets out with Dervis to Karachi to start another new life.

Karachi, Sindh, 823 AD (21 years old)

Modern Day Karachi
Several months pass, with Roshan settling into a top floor flat. From there she records and analyses many high value items for Dervis, helping with transactions accordingly. One certain device draws her attention, with the usage of copper reminding her of the work of Bakhit, making her believe that her former employer still lived after all. She asks Dervis to see if the supplier had any more such items, and sure enough a trail of Bakhit creations start to come through her fencing office, as she helps disguise and package items for onward transportation to customers. Several of them were potentially explosive, or laced with poison, and on each occasion Roshan took the opportunity to disable the weapons before moving them on to their planned destinations, wanting no part in potential murders.

Fustat, Egypt, 824 AD (22 years old)

After a few months, Roshan ends up moving her operation to Fustat in Egypt. Roshan swims along the Nile one evening, finding a boat that she had once stashed emergency supplies upon. As she grabs her items and swims across the river, a crocodile gives chase. She runs towards some cattle, which redirects the crocodile's attention. She returns to her villa home, and prepares a musical box for onward delivery by Dervis. As she lays down to rest that evening, her door is kicked open, and a dozen guards enter to arrest her for thievery. She tries to fight back, even taking a sword slash above her eye, before being overcome by the guards and knocked unconscious.

Prison Cell, Fustat, Egypt, 824 AD (22 years old)

Fustat, former name of Cairo
Roshan sits waiting in her shared prison cell. The city guards had imprisoned her on suspicion of a theft she did not commit. After a week there, she'd listened to the guards and gathered that the prison went down many floors – herself on the fifth floor down from the surface. After various brushes with unsavoury prisoners, she tends to the wound above her eye, and has to stitch it using ants. The soft clay ground can easily be dug, and over time she gradually digs a hole near the cell grating. Whilst the prisoners and guards are distracted by feeding buckets, she takes each opportunity to dig further, before she eventually takes the chance to slide under and out of the cell. She runs to the nearest torch, extinguishing it to give her the cover of darkness from the guards.

Taking the stairwell upstairs, she continues to put out torches, only to then suddenly find herself pulled by the ankles to the ground. Another prisoner had apparently followed her out, his maddened eyes revealing his intent towards her. She hears guards coming from below, the escaped prisoner clearly drawing their attention. To succeed in her escape, her attacker would need to take the fall for her. Using her hairpins, she slashes one of his arteries, leaving him unable to pursue her as she runs upstairs to see streaks of sunlight at the end of a corridor. Something unseen knocks her to the ground, and she lays there dazed. Looking up she sees the obstruction was a hooded man in the shadows, who offers his hand to pick her up. She refuses, and he backs away again into the darkness, as the door behind her slams open with guards piling through. They grab her from the floor, and drag her back into the prison.

They dump her into her own cell this time, with a bag covering her head, and manacles securing her wrists together. After a time of rest, she manages to find another hairclip in her hair, and with guidance from her second sight, she tries to unlock the manacles. As she does so, a candle lights the darkened room – the hooded man from before holding it. He addresses her as Bint la-Ahad, but she tells him not to call her that, and he suggests Roshan instead – clearly knowing who she is. He offers her freedom, if she agrees to obtain an object, currently in the possession of a group upon the Silk Road, en route to China. She accepts on condition that she need not kill anyone. He blows out the candle, plunging them into darkness, before adjusting the prison door, which slowly opens a few moments later. The two of them creep up the stairs together, dodging guards until they almost reach the ground floor exit. A group of five guards block the way, forcing the mysterious stranger to take them out, which he does with alarming ease and speed. He then proceeds to kick the door open, and Roshan follows him outside.

The stranger leads her to a hideout, where she is provided a bath and new grey clothes, the latter of which is a particularly good fitting cloaked outfit with utility pouches upon its belt. He informs her that they must meet with his group, and the two walk through the city together. She finally gives her pseudonym name as “Isun”, and they meet the group within a tavern. The stranger takes to a chalkboard, and explains the mission to the nine people of the gathered group. They are to obtain an object contained in a case with distinct symbols, carried by a group calling themselves the Martyrs of Agaunum along the Silk Road to China. They are to reach the north eastern border in two nights, leaving the group time to prepare their weapons and equipment from those provided inside the tavern. Roshan quickly notes down the map onto her notepad, before the stranger scrubs it from the board and leaves her alone with the apparent crowd of mercenaries.

A fight breaks out, as the mercenaries jostle for the provided weapons. Roshan stands to the side with a Persian woman, who introduces herself as Azadeh. She gives details of each of the other members of the group, and her pet wolf called Onyx. As the fighting subsides, Roshan peruses the weapons, and finds a tahtib stick from her family home – the stranger clearly having visited there. She also recovers an old sword and dagger, and ties all the weapons to her belt. Finally, she gathers some food and water supplies, before the group elects to depart on horses left outside.

Sinai Border, Egypt, 824 AD (22 years old)

The Silk Road
They travel for the rest of the day, before making camp. Roshan chooses to sit with Wei, a Chinese man who is part of the group. Through her education she can speak his language, and learns that he owes a blood debt to the mysterious hooded stranger. He also mentions that he once knew another from that order of assassins in China, a man known as Li E, who had once saved Wei's village – Duling. He was thus honor bound to assist anyone from the order of the Hidden Ones. She leaves him to crafting bombs with gunpowder, before settling down for the night.

The next morning comes, and the group gathers to discuss their plan. Wei's suggestion is to ride ahead of the Martyrs they seek, and to block the path of a hill pass using his explosives. The group agrees, and they depart by horse, rushing to get ahead and around of their target in time. Once they arrive, Wei sets the charges as the rest of the team waits in ambush. As the Martyrs group approaches, one of the team signals too early to Wei, and half the hillside suddenly explodes.

The Martyr's caravan elects to start to turn around, with the road suddenly now blocked. Roshan and her team gather themselves, and charge at the twelve guards protecting the caravan. The battle rages, as Roshan manages to leap onto the caravan, but she is rapidly kicked off of it by the larger number of forces. She and her group are forced to yield, as the caravan escapes with most of its guards. Roshan gathers their team together, checking for injuries, before electing to follow the caravan from a distance. As they track the caravan through the dark, the group exclaims that they dealt several death blows but the Martyrs of Agaunum just seemed to get up and continue fighting, though they all dismiss the suggestion that they might be immortal. As darkness sets, they realise they cannot keep pace with camels on the rocky terrain. One of the warrior women amongst the team, Nafanua, suggests they cut across to the Red Sea, and take a boat from Karachi to get ahead of the caravan. The team evidently out of any other options, agrees to the plan.

Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, 824 AD (22 years old)

The Red Sea
The group scales the high cliff sides, to make way to Karachi. As they descend the steep cliffs on the other side, Wei is struck by a falling rock kicked up by one of the others and slides off plummeting to his death. As they descend, Roshan and Azadeh break off from the group to check Wei's body, the former retrieving a small Jade trinket depicting a peony. She remarks to Azadeh that she believes Wei had been killed deliberately, perhaps to remove his split from the final reward, but Azadeh dismisses the idea.

She catches up with the group as they prepare a sailing boat at the nearest village. With time running out, they quickly get aboard, and sail rapidly across the sea. As they leave the village, the boat becomes dark as night falls, and the silence is broken by a scream. Roshan goes to check on the others and finds herself knocked over board by someone unseen. She falls under water but then is pulled back out by Nafanua, who herself is hanging onto a fishing net at the trail of the boat, and evidently the one who fell overboard first. Nafanua states that she was knocked over by the boom of the sail, to which Roshan confirms the same, meaning that someone must have deliberately tried to kill them both.

They call out to the others, who throw a rope to them before pulling both on board. They decide to dry off at the front of the boat, sticking together, as they know neither of them could be the traitor. Nafanua talks of her village, and how the symbols shown by the supposed case had often caused wars when seen. They are later joined by Azadeh and her wolf, who confesses to Roshan that she now believes her traitor theory.

Karachi, Sindh, 824 AD (22 years old)

As the sun rises to midday, the city of Karachi fills the horizon. The group agrees that they should spend the night in the tavern, whilst Roshan elects to go out in search of a new map of the area. As she searches, she spots two of the group, the twins Geir and Gud also walking through the streets after her. She tries to avoid them as best she can, but the two manage to herd her to an isolated alleyway. The twins attack her, apparently the ones who tried to kill her on the boat, and she manages to fend them off long enough to climb quickly up a rooftop.

The twins give chase from the street, as Roshan moves across the rooftops, electing to make them follow her to the house of one of the richest men in the city. Sure enough, the twins enter the courtyard and are rapidly surrounded by a host of well armed guards. A battle erupts, with the twins slain, only after eliminating several of the guardsmen. Roshan elects to make her escape via the rooftops and head to the city library. Covered in blood and dirt, she steals a few clothes as she runs, before bumping into Azadeh and her wolf. Azadeh explains that she saw the twins follow after Roshan, and came to find her. Roshan updates her on the situation, before they head to a bath house to allow Roshan to wash and change her clothes.

Afterwards, the two women head to the library, as Roshan wishes to research the Martyrs of Agaunum. They look into books on Egypt, specifically ones referring to the Duat – the underworld of Egyptian folklore. They find the tale of the Theban Legion, where 6,666 soldiers had died at the hand of Christ's sword at Agaunum. The dust from the ground where they died, supposedly gave healing properties to the legion soldiers after death. Their concerns warranted, Roshan and Azadeh return to the inn to consult the others, with Dias, the pirate member of the group waiting at the door for them.

Roshan opens up a map, showing the local area to the group. They assume that the Martyrs still travel by the Silk Road, and elect to head off to it to cut them off as they arrive. Francis, the group's Christian member, claims God has shown him where to purchase horses, and they do so before making their way as night falls. As midnight descends, they are suddenly attacked by a rain of arrows, and immediately take nearby cover. Nafanua is slain by a direct hit to the chest, whilst the others manage to evade and close the distance before killing the archers. They inspect Nafanua's body, and realise she was poisoned even before the arrow had killed her. Dias and Francis begin to accuse one another, as Azadeh grabs a water canteen from Nafaunua's horse. As she is about to drink from it, Roshan guesses that is where the poison had come from, and knocks it out of Azadeh's hands just in time. Francis had been the one to obtain the provisions, and who had also spoken with the stable master. The archers had arrived using horses from Karachi as well, meaning Francis' treason was plain to see. He immediately grabs a canister in his robes, and throws it at the others, releasing some kind of acid, before running and clambering onto the nearest horse. Roshan suggests they use the wolf to track Francis, who will no doubt be running to the Martyr's location. They track Francis for a week, before Roshan realises they are heading towards Baghdad.

Baghdad, 824 AD (22 years old)

Roshan, Dias and Azadeh park their horses at a stables within the city as night begins to fall. The wolf tracks Francis to the House of Wisdom, the former familiarity striking Roshan. The building was closed and guarded, forcing them to look for another way inside. They climb up to an external window, with Roshan taking down a guard. They walk atop the inner balcony, and look down to see six Martyrs of Agaunum guarding the case Roshan was seeking. A customer in a blue robe enters to open the case, at which point, Azadeh's wolf attacks, starting with Francis. Roshan and the others leap down and engage the enemy.

As the battle rages, Roshan tells them to try and aim for the Martyr's heads. Azadeh's wolf, Onyx, saves her from a fatal blow, and bleeds out to their master's tears. Roshan's stick is destroyed by swords, and she is saved by the sudden appearance of the mysterious hooded stranger, who lands on a Martyr from above, using their Hidden Blade to dispatch them. Dias goes to open the case, triggering an explosive inside, killing him instantly. The stranger kills the customer, before all guards stand defeated.

He explains that the Martyr's were not immortal, but instead protected by technology. He opens their robes to show a thin layer of a golden material, apparently able to mend their wounds. Azadeh suggests that she and Roshan leave together, but the stranger makes Roshan an offer to work with his order instead. Roshan kisses Azadeh's forehead, telling her to live a good life, the latter then leaving in tears. The stranger gives his name as Fuladh Al Haami, and tells her that there is someone inside the box, not some thing. Confused, Roshan tells him that the case has enough explosives inside to still fire off a few more times, therefore she suggests to keep it closed until they reach their destination, so she can use her tools to open it. She asks where they are going to, to which he replies Alamut, and welcomes her into The Hidden Ones.

comments powered by Disqus