Sep 18, 2014

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

Title: The Assassin's Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Blooms-bury USA Childrens
Publishing Date: March 4, 2014
Pages/Format: 435, Hardcover
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Discover where Celaena Sarthodien's thrilling saga began. 

Celaena Sarthodien is her kingdom's most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin's Guild, she yields for no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.

When Celaena's scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes--and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she discovers friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn's orders, Celaena riskes unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn's clutches--and if they fail, they'll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives....

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling--and deadly--world.

Book in One Word: GOOOD.

When Sarah J. Maas announced that her Heir of Fire tour was hitting up Seattle, I was SUPER EXCITED, but I also knew that I should probably finally read The Assassin's Blade, aka a pretty book full of five prequel novellas to Throne of Glass. I went into it knowing a few things because, hello, I've read the three full novels, but I don't think that was too much of a problem--except for at that one point when I was starting to freak out and panic out because, well, if you're read the books or this one, YOU KNOW WHY.

Before I get into quick little reviews of each novella, I want to talk about one little tidbit. There's a thing that I've heard about with The Assassin's Blade, and you probably have, too: to read it before or after Throne of Glass. I obviously read it after, and I don't know if that would've had made me like Throne of Glass more. It was nice reading these novellas after because I already knew Celaena Sardothien, our resident badass assassin. I could compare this Celaena to the one we see in the novels, and see how she's changed or stayed the same. If I would've read the novellas first, I might not have caught some things (seriously, several times I tried to piece things together) and noticed others, and not really known how so many things could/might/will link up. Also, I might not have spent a whole book wishing Celaena would rip Arobynn Hamel to shreds. Now, the novellas!

The Assassin's Blade starts off with The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, when Celaena and her fellow assassin Sam Cortland head on off a mission for their master Arobynn that involves the infamous Lord of the Pirates Rolfe. What I liked about this story is how you see a friendship blossoming. Celaena and Sam go from wanting to kill each other to maybe just want to maim each other. I also liked seeing how Celaena was seen by people as Adarlan's Assassin--except that she isn't. It's important that her identity remain unknown, so she walks around in a cloak and mask and all that fun stuff. And even though he was technically bad, I was a fan of Rolfe. Oh, and it was also nice to see how assassins might be more than just ruthless killers. All in all, a good start to the book and I really liked this novella!

The story then continues with a shorter novella, The Assassin and the Healer. This was quick and good, but not my favorite. I was kind of irrationally ticky, because the Healer doesn't pick up where Pirate Lord left off, and I wanted ANSWERS about THINGS that happened at the end of that story and that we hear about in this one. But still. We get some nice insight into things and how Celaena may not have an assassin's Grinch heart and such.

Up next was The Assassin and the Desert, which unfortunately lacked a certain character. However, we got to see how Celaena is viewed outside of Adarlan and what the world is like elsewhere. It also let us see how desperate some people are in this world that's being torn apart by that Bastard King of Adarlan and with the magic being gone. But we get to meet some new characters--and I have pictured one as an Airbender, so.. This was a little long, but still good.

In The Assassin and the Underworld things start to pick up. We're back in Adarlan, and we get to see how the underworld of the King's kingdom: how the ragtag, more devilish people in the city work and what really goes on when no one's looking. It's also where Celaena shows some more character development and really thinks about the Assassins Guild and her Master. We also get more from Sam, who is a fantastic character. I like things that happened in this novel, but if you're like me and you read Throne of Glass you know what's going to happen next and so you really didn't want to read the next novella. (Don't worry, I won't spoil it.)

The Assassin's Blade wraps up with The Assassin and the Empire, where we really see what a gosh damn filthy bastard Arobynn is. (His last lines. My gosh. KILL HIM, I SAY, KILL HIM.) Many lovely things happen in this novella, but also not-so-lovely things. In fact, I really freaked myself out for this novella so much that I just did not want to ever read it. But alas, I (this may be a spoiler, skip to the next sentence) cried about a millionth less than I thought I would, so HUZZAH! Now, as a novella this was still good.

But as a whole, The Assassin's Blade was quite good. I'm not sure what novella was my favorite, but I liked Pirate Lord, Underworld, and Empire the most. Sometimes novellas seem kind of pointless, but these are totally not. If you've read the books or if you are going to, you get to see all these little lines where so many things link up together. You get to see characters progress. And my gosh, you just want to reread the Throne of Glass books SO BAD but you can't because you don't have the TIME to do so. UGH. Seriously, this series is just so freaking good and you haven't read any of it you are missing out, for serious. So much happens in these books and you just don't even know. And it all starts here, with The Assassin's Blade, which may or may not cut your soul with an assassin's blade (though I'd like to do something of the sort to a certain assassin).

Did I like it? Yesss.
Did I love it? I don't know if I loved this but I really, really liked it for sure.
Would I reread it? This is very likely.
Would I purchase it? Obviously I already own it.


  1. I was sad that I didn't get a chance to meet Sarah J. Maas while she was in Seattle. I found out about the tour too late. Oh well. I really enjoyed THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE as well. I'm not Celaena's biggest fan, but I did kind of like her in this novella collection.

  2. Ahhhh!!! I met Maas while she was here in northern California, and I was a giggling mess, I was fangirling for Celeana SO BAD! I picked up this collection of novellas, but haven't had a chance to read them yet. It's now been pushed towards the front of my tbr line! I can't wait to read more about Celeana's backstory!!!

  3. Couldn't read the end of assassins blade I knew what happened so I just didn't want to

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