A Recommended Reading List of Late Medieval History From Pentiment Game Director Josh Sawyer



  • Explore the inspirations behind the world of Pentiment with this curated list of books recommended by Game Director Josh Sawyer.
  • Pentiment will place you in an illustrated world inspired by late medieval manuscripts at a time when Europe is amidst political and religious unrest.
  • Pentiment will release on November 15 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11 PC, and Steam for $19.99. It will also be available on day one with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.

When it arrives November 15, Pentiment will allow you to explore one of the most unique and inspired gaming worlds this year. As Andreas Maler, an artist working at Kiersau Abbey near the town of Tassing in Upper Bavaria, you will live out your life in this 16th century early modern world over the course of 25 years. Kicking off the storyline of this narrative adventure is the murder of a nobleman whom your friend, Brother Piero, stands accused; it’s up to you to prove his innocence.

As you set off on this adventure, you will have the opportunity to pick a series of education and lifestyle-inspired traits that will help define Andreas, affecting the many options afforded to you via dialog interactions throughout the game. From Hedonist to Occultist, Medicine, or Theology, and even where he has travelled for his “wanderjahre” or wander years, you will have a wide variety of choices to establish Andreas’ background and knowledge to help immerse you even deeper in the game’s world.

Pentiment Screenshot

Pentiment’s setting is inspired and informed by a mix of fiction and non-fiction works that we are sharing with you here today, personally recommended by Game Director Josh Sawyer. Each of these books can give you a better sense on how states and religious beliefs clashed at the time of Pentiment, how people can change over time, the life of late medieval peasants, and how education and literacy can put one at odds with the Church — many of these elements and themes will play out in various respects throughout your time with Pentiment.

You can learn more about each of these recommended works below.

“Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist” by Susan Foister and Peter van den Brink
“Wonderful compilation of essays exploring the travels of 16th century artist Albrecht Dürer and the impact they had on his life.  Dürer kept a number of travel journals over the years, and they provide incredible insights into how he thought about art, his contemporaries, other cultures, and the many changes that were rapidly occurring in his own homeland. This hardcover also contains many illustrations, both by Dürer and other European artists of the period.”

Pentiment Screenshot

“The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century” by Joel F. Harrington
“This fascinating bit of microhistory looks at the life of a single executioner, Franz Schmidt, who lived during the latter half of the 16th century in Bavaria. Schmidt’s father was…

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