September 15, 2014

Review by Alex: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 448
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: You'll have to ask Alex, my guest reviewer for the day!
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Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

The Assassin’s Blade is a compilation of five novellas
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire

Together they detail the events that led up to Celaena Sardothien’s arrest and imprisonment in Endovier.

There is some debate on whether to read these novellas before or after Throne of Glass, because it is not technically in the main line up of the Throne of Glass series but it is still an important part of Celeana’s story. I, for one, read it after I read Throne of Glass and am glad that I did. By reading Throne of Glass first, I felt like I was already connected to Celaena, so her backstory hit me THAT much harder. Also, I could absorb myself into the mysterious persona that Celaena gave off throughout Throne of Glass. She didn’t want people to know about the broken assassin with too many scars to count, and I’m glad I could journey along with Chaol and Dorian wondering what had happened in her past.

Either way, the novella’s are full of adventure and intrigue and show you the true ASSASSIN side of Celaena that we don’t get to see a lot of in TOG. We get to see how she earned the all- important “Adarlan’s Assassin” title. But I think the most important part of the novellas was meeting two of the most influential people in Celaena’s life – Sam Cortland and Arobynn Hamel.

Arobynn is the King of Assassin’s and the person who trained Celaena to be the best assassin in the land. He’s scheming and manipulative, but holds a certain place in Celaena’s heart. She feels indebted to him, and in a way she does since he saved her life when she was 8 yrs old. The relationship and dynamics between these two is nothing short of fascinating.

And Sam. Oh Sam. He quickly became one of my favorite characters in the series. Celaena mentions Sam in Throne of Glass and in every other book so far. So in the novellas, you get to know Sam personally and see just how much he means to Celaena, and that relationship is crucial to defining her. He is another reason why I was glad to have read TOG before. Without having known Chaol and Dorian first, I’m not sure I would have recovered from Sam’s fate enough to continue on *insert dramatic faint*. In TOG, Celaena says what happened to him, so you can mentally prepare yourself for the maelstrom of tears that await you in the novellas.

But even with that preparation I was still like:


All in all, each part of the Assassin’s Blade is a stepping stone to figuring out the girl we meet in Throne of Glass. It is an exciting and emotional roller coaster, and no Throne of Glass fan should miss it.

P.S. – whether you choose to read The Assassin’s Blade before or after Throne of Glass, DEFINIETLY read it before Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire. Otherwise, you will be seriously missing out.

Alexandra Ray is an aspiring Young Adult Fantasy writer. She is currently working on a high fantasy, very loose retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. She is a former poster on and the livejournal community The_Write_Away. She loves all things Disney, first gen Digimon, Pokemon, and crime shows that don’t take themselves too seriously and often finds herself daydreaming of pirates, mermaids, and faeries. You can follow Alex on her Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.