Review: The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5) – Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: March 13th 2014
Published By: Bloomsbury Childrens
Pages: 438
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I loved The Assassin’s Blade! I felt collectively, these novellas brilliantly show the journey that transformed a once adored protégée into the ruthless and sassy assassin we all love.

In The Assassin’s Blade, we get to see how a decision to disobey shaped Celaena’s life and led to her imprisonment in Endovier. We also see how a relationship between life-long competitors developed into something more, and ultimately gave Celaena the strength to carry on. And how all these events transformed Celaena forever.

Filled with deceit, danger, cruelty, compassion, determination and an oh-so-sweet love story, the novellas in The Assassin’s Blade will enable you to understand Calaena and her journey in a way you could not begin to comprehend before.

I think these novellas are a wonderful addition to an already great storyline, and to an already interesting and intriguing character, but I certainly would recommend reading Throne of Glass before jumping into The Assassin’s Blade.

Due to the multiple novellas in The Assassin’s Blade, I will do a mini review on each one:


The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

Review: I really enjoyed this story where Celaena makes a stand for what she believes, finds out that her beloved Arobynn may not be as honourable as she believed, makes a new enemy and she may finally meet the real Sam.

I found that in Throne of Glass that I really wanted more information about Celaena’s past, and I really wanted to find out more about Sam. In this novella you find that Celaena has known Sam for a long time, but their relationship has always been strained - boarding on hatred actually.

Celaena finds that sometimes you should not blindly accept what you are being told to do - that even when she isn’t contracted to kill, that lives can still depend on her actions.


The Assassin and the Healer

Review: In the Assassin and the Healer, Celaena is making her way to the desert as part of her punishment for her actions in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord.

Along the way, Celaena stops in the small town of Innish, where she has nothing to do but wait for her transport to her next destination and wonder what happened to Sam that terrible night they returned to Rifthold. Here, Celaena comes to the defence of the local barmaid, and somehow connects to the young girl (as much as Celaena connects to others) and ends up helping her in more than one way. I found that this story really showed the compassionate, kind and caring side of Celaena that we do not often get to see.


The Assassin and the Desert

Review: Celaena has finally arrived at her destination to train with the Silent Assassins. However, things do not go exactly the way that Celaena thought they would, and she must learn to adapt to others rather than others adapting to her.

We also get to learn a lot more about what happened after Celaena and Sam returned from their job in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. Celaena cannot remember a lot of what happened the night they returned, but slowly fragments of memories return, and we see that Arobynn can not only be extremely cruel, but also extremely deceitful.

Celaena meets lots of new assassins during her training, and even learns to make some friends - but she learns that friendships can include both betrayal and second chances.


The Assassin and the Underworld

Review: Celaena returns from her training with the Silent Assassins with new found strength, and the plan to cut ties with Arobynn. But will she be able to leave everything she has ever known and loved?

Arobynn knows that there is a price for Celaena’s forgiveness for his reactions to the events in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, and his way of trying to make amends is to make Celaena a job offer which can help right the thing she finds most wrong - slavery. Sam’s price for forgiveness however was completely different.

Celaena accepts the job, and also accepts Sam’s help on the mission. Although they found camaraderie in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, Celaena and Sam do not easily slip back into their friendship, and tensions still run high… and the fine line between friendship and rival eventually leads to revelations that shock both Celaena and Sam.

Just as things seem to come together for Celaena, everything unravels. Everything she has ever trusted is tainted with betrayal, and things that she has never trusted has hidden affection.


The Assassin and the Empire

Review: I think that this is the best of all of the Throne of Glass novellas. Sure, there are times where you just want to shake Celaena so she wakes up to herself, but the story itself overrides those moments.

This novella is set right before Celaena is sent to Endovier. Celaena and Sam take one more job so that they can leave Rifthold and get away from the clutches of Arobynn forever. This job however is probably the most dangerous she has ever embarked on - not only are they going after two extremely dangerous men, but now Celaena has so much to lose.

This novella answers a lot of questions that were raised in Throne of Glass, and shows you how far people will go for those they love and what some people will do to keep hold of the power they possess.

Filled with love, hate, betrayal, loss, hope, agony, heartache, defeat and courage, this novella shows the best and worst of Celaena and her past.

What do you think?

  • I’m pretty much dying to read this. ;) I want to read book #2 as well…but argh! I also need it to fall out of the sky into my lap. XD But still. I so want to know why Caleana was in Endovier in the first place. And what happened to Sam…

  • Lovely review Kristy, glad to hear you loved it as well! I was wondering what the significance of The Assassin and the Healer story was, when you think about it the rest sort of link together, but this one is more stand alone. But what you said in your review about showing Celaena’s compassion is exactly what it did.

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Jeann :) I agree, The Assassin and the Healer did not link the storyline of the others together (besides it being physically along the way), but I felt that it was necessary for showing Celaena’s other (softer) sides, and for her character development. I am glad you loved this book as much as I did!

  • Sofia says:

    I really liked all these novellas, but the last two just really hit home. I think these backstories made me fall even more in love with this series (if possible)!

    • Kristy says:

      I agree Sofia! I think these novellas brought a lot to the series - so much back-story and understanding about multiple characters and circumstances. It allowed me to meet some new characters, made me like some characters more, and made me despise some more as well. I don’t often think that novellas provide more depth to a story, but these certainly did!

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