Assassin's Creed: Odyssey Novel Review & Summary
Written by: Sorrosyss, December 2nd 2018

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

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is the latest game release to the franchise, but it has one unique aspect to it that separates it from the previous games. Due to the branching narrative and dialogue choice, the game does not have a traditional canon that is easily recorded and detailed. Instead, Ubisoft elected to make the novelisation its intended way to chronicalize the events of the game.

So what do you need to know? In short, of the two protagonists you are offered at the start of the game, Kassandra is the one who canonically wielded the Broken Spear of Leonidas. Can you read this book without playing the game? Absolutely. But I would argue that it definitely feels more of an accompaniment, as certain sections of the game are either skimmed down in specifics, or in some cases skipped over. She certainly does not visit as many locations as we can within the game world. Are there differences between the events in the game and the novel? Yes, and I have detailed some of the more obvious ones that stood out below. That being said, you have to bear in mind that the writing for the game and the novel will have been done separately, and whilst both remained in development, iterations would likely have been a very difficult task to keep on top of for all parties.

In short though, the author (Gordon Doherty) does a solid job. He keeps the plot moving along at a rapid pace, yet spares no detail in his descriptive writing of scenes. In fact, I was genuinely surprised to see just how graphic some sections of the novel are. (Exploding eyeballs anyone? Exactly.) He utilises characters other than Kassandra quite often, revealing their thoughts and motivations that you did not really get much of a picture of from the game itself. In example, we also get extra meetings for the Cult of Kosmos, as they discuss how their plans are continually becoming foiled by the Eagle Bearer herself. You really do not get a feel for the passage of time in the game, yet here several years pass before Kassandra's journey ends – a decade in fact. Overall, it does offer extra insights to some of the events of the story and from that perspective it does feel like a required read for dedicated fans.

Personally I would recommend trying the book after playing the game. I feel it makes it a far more interesting read to see where your in-game choices tally up with what actually occurred. Most of my choices did indeed match pretty well, and it's clear to see that although Kassandra was a mercenary, she was still a noble and heroic woman, with a purposeful morale compass and a good heart. The novel also does a really good job of giving you further historical facts and terms, offering further educational insights into ancient Greek life. Thankfully there is an excellent glossary at the back of the book that explains some of the more unique terms that are used throughout the text.

If you are looking to expand your Odyssey experience and enjoy reading novels, then I can certainly recommend you to pick up the book. Purists have argued that it would be nice for a “Canon Mode” to be added to the game to get such an experience, but I am not sure how keen Ubisoft would be to trim down so many of their new systems to achieve this effect. However, if you are not keen on novels and are purely here for a breakdown of the canonical events, then we have your back once more!


Kassandra is 7 years old when Alexios is born. Ephors order the family out of their house to Mount Teygotos to face judgement. This is as the father and mother had visited the Oracle of Delphi and they been warned that Alexios would doom Sparta. Kass rushes to save her brother from being thrown over the cliff edge, and instead knocks the Ephor and Alexios over the edge, becoming a killer. As punishment, her father throws her off the same cliff. She survives the fall along with the Broken Spear of Leonidas, and escapes the area before she is found. Taking a small boat, she is later washed up on a shore, and taken in by a man to safety.

Now at the age of 27, she operates as a Misthios (Mercenary) in Kephallonia, living with Phoebe, a young local girl. Markos, the man who took her in as a child, buys a vineyard with money from the Cyclops, a local gang thug. Kass agrees to steal the Cyclops' fake eye to sell it for funds to recoup Markos' costs. She comes across a man called Elpenor, who asks to hire her to kill the Wolf of Sparta for a fee, to which she agrees. She later saves Barnabas from the Cyclops, and taking over the Adrestia (a vessel), they head for Megaris.

Here she meets Stentor, the adopted son of the Wolf of Sparta, whom is 30 years old. Kass seeks the Wolf at Megaris, but Stentor advises she cannot meet him without proving her worth. Kass aids and fights for Sparta, impressing the Wolf, whom she meets and is revealed as Nikolaos – her father. She spares him despite his actions, and is told by him that her mother lives and that she has an unknown real father. Nikolaos decides to go into hiding and is believed dead by Stentor.

Kass travels to Kirrha in Phokis, meets Elpenor, and leaves the bloodied Wolf helm on his desk. She kills him when she realises his true intents, and that he appears to belong to some kind of Cult.

Kassandra travels on to Delphi and she meets Herodotus and the Oracle. Warned of the Cult of Kosmos. Uses mask and cloak taken from Elpenor. Enters Cave of Gaia and encounters Deimos. Touches the Pyramid and sees a shared vision of their childhood. He is Alexios!

She leaves and is advised by Herodotus to go to Athens to find clues on her mother. Stops at Thermopylae on the way. Herodotus explains about Pythagorus. Deimos arrives, warns her away from the Cult.

She travels on to Athen and attends public political speech between Perikles and Kleon. She is invited to a symposium, and meets Sokrates and Alkibiades – whom she kisses as a tease. Phoebe works there, and a year has passed since Kass left Kephallonia. Seeking her mother amongst them, Kass meets Aspasia, Perikles' wife, whom urges her to leave – after learning of Hippokrates in Argolis, and priests in Korinth whom may have harboured the mother.

Kass arrives in Argolis and saves Hippokrates from thugs sent by Chrysis, a Cultist. She goes to Sanctuary of Asklepios, and finds Dolops – the cultist's son, as well finding records of Myrrine – her mother. Finds Chrysis in a shrine, whom sets it alight with a newborn baby inside. Kass saves the baby, but Chrysis is killed by Dolops outside with an axe.

She travels to Korinth and meets Anthousa: she agrees to kill the Monger (a local brute) for info on Myrinne. Kassandra encounters Brasidas a fellow Spartan, and despite being captured together they still kill the Monger. Anthousa informs that Myrinne left on a ship called the Siren Song heading for the Cyclades.

Kassandra returns to Athens (two years have passed since she left Kephallonia). A disease has struck the city with scores laying dead. Perikles is afflicted too. Aspasia hears of the ship name Kass mentions, and advises she will speak to the pirate Xenia. Phoibe is killed by a cultist. Deimos kills Perikles. Kass and Aspasia flee to Naxos, where Xenia informed the Siren Song was last seen.

A whole year passes, pursued by cultists before they reach Naxos. Kass and Myrinne reunite. The Cult has the island blockaded. Orders are found from one of the Kings of Sparta. Breaching the blockade, they make for Lakonia.

They scuttle the Adrestia. Kass and Myrinne ride to Sparta. Kass tries to save boys from wolves on the way. They reach Sparta, meet the two kings and seek to reclaim the old family estate from Stentor. As the bloodline of Leonidas is shamed, Kass is tasked with helping the war effort in Boeotia, and helping their Olympic champion Testikles. Kass trains with him for months, then travels to Boeotia - finding Stentor in charge of the war front for Sparta. Four years have now passed since the war began.

Kass helps various forces by distracting Athenian forces and manages to secure a Spartan victory in Boeotia. Nikolaos reveals himself in time before a vengeance filled Stentor attempts to kill Kass.

She returns to Sparta and she hears that Myrinne killed Lagos, a cultist, in Arkadia. Despite no evidence to confront King Archidamos whom they suspect is part of the Cult of Kosmos, in the end they find a scroll and a seal used by Pausanias, and he is exposed.

Kass returns to training Testikles, but he falls over board from the ship on the way to Elis and dies to sharks. Kass takes part and wins at pankration and returns to Sparta an Olympic hero. She hears that Brasidas is trapped in battle at Sphakteria, and that Deimos is en route to reinforce Athenian forces there. Upon arrival there she witnesses Brasidas struck down and thrown from the battle. She confronts Deimos, attempting to reason with him. They fight before a falling tree knocks her unconscious.

Captured and chained, she is paraded through streets and into Attika before she is placed into a jail cell in Athens for months by Kleon - whom reveals himself to be a Cultist. Deimos pays her a visit, and questions what happened to their family. Kleon returns and orders two guards to kill Kass, but she manages to kill them as Barnabas and Sokrates arrive to help her escape to Perikles' former residence. There she meets Alkibiades and other allies, where they plan to create a stage play to mock Kleon before the public to weaken his hold on the city. Kass hears an alive Brasidas leads a failing battle in Amphipolis, and sets sail to assist him.

Kleon also arrives in Amphipholis, and hears of a play mocking him back in Athens. Brasidas launches a futile assault on the Athenian forces and he is killed by Deimos on the battlefield. Kass battles with Deimos, before an arrow in the back fells him. Kleon fired the arrow, and tries to run from a chasing Kassandra. He reaches the beach but cannot swim. She throws him to the ground, and puts his face deep into the sand until he breathes no longer.

Kassandra returned to Sparta and was greeted by her mother. After months of recuperation she elects to visit Mount Taygetos. There she finds Deimos waiting. Myrinne arrives too, and the two women desperately try to convince him to return to the family but he refuses. He tries to kill Myrinne, but is forced into battle with Kassandra. She ultimately bests him in combat, killing him in the process by spearing him through the chest.

A further year passes after Alexios’ death. Kassandra travels to the island of Thera, and meets her real father - Pythagoras. He should have died 60 years prior, but his life had been extended by a special staff. He dies three days after providing her with his Isu staff.

She makes her way to Delphi, and revisits the Cave of Gaia. No cult members are left. She touches the Pyramid and sees Pythagoras again in a vision. He advises that the battle between Order and Disorder is balanced upon a scale. The Cult had tipped the balance, and the staff was the key, granting the gift of time. The vision fades, and Aspasia makes herself known to Kassandra. It was she who lead the Cult, but now a new Order was needed. Leaving Kass to her thoughts, she realised that the defeat of the cult was not the end, but simply the beginning.

Key Differences to the Game

  • Some locations differ for some individual conversations.

  • When confronting the Cyclops, Kassandra shoves a pebble up a goat’s bottom not the eye. She retains it for herself instead.

  • The young Kassandra finds an Eagle chick – strongly implying that this is Ikaros. However, in-game it is suggested the bird is decades older than her as indeed he was Pythagoras's pet before her.

  • Stentor has a beard in the novel.

  • Kassandra pursues no romances, but she does cheekily kiss Alkibiades

  • Chrysis is killed by Dolops (her son) with an axe. It is Kassandra that kills her in-game.

  • The Monger captures and tortures Kassandra, differing from events in-game.

  • They scuttle the Adrestia in the novel. This never occurs in-game.

  • Myrinne killed Lagos in Arkadia. This was Kassandra's work in-game.

  • Kassandra returns to training Testikles after the Spartan King is exposed in the novel. However, in the game this was a task assigned to her prior to discovering whom the Cultist king was. As such, this places this event out of order between the two mediums.

  • When Kleon arrives in Amphipholis he hears of a play mocking him back in Athens. This differs from the game where he actually is in attendance of said play in Athens.

  • Kassandra does not destroy the Pyramid at the conclusion of the novel.

  • Kassandra travels to Thera, and meets her real father – Pythagoras after concluding events with her family and killing Deimos. In the game, we meet him much earlier, shortly after leaving Naxos. In a further difference, he dies three days after providing her with his Isu staff – not instantly like the game.

  • As the Battle of Amphipolis was in 422 BC, and a year passes after this event in the novel, it means the entirety of the game story occurs over ten whole years.

  • Aletheia and her Isu messages, as well as the Mythical creatures, do not appear in the novel at all. Atlantis is not mentioned by name. The island of Andros, and the upgrading of the Spear do not occur. The Modern Day scenes with Layla are also not present. The reasons for this may be larger than we think though, as such please take a look at our review of the game for more information.

comments powered by Disqus




Interview with Sarah Schachner

Interview with the ACI Comdevs