The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J MaasBook: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Date Published: March 4th, 2014
Pages: 448
Source: Purchased e-Book
Date Started: September 4th, 2014
Date Finished: September 9th, 2014
Other Books Reviewed: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, A Court of Thorns and Roses

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.

Many of you may have been hearing the hype surrounding the Throne of Glass series, and thats one of the reasons why I decided to start the series. I’ve been turned into a huge fan of the series, so naturally I wanted to check out the novellas. The novellas were originally offered individually, but were later published into a easy access all inclusive book. The book contains all 5 novellas that take place before the events of Throne of Glass.

There has been some debate whether or not the read the novellas first. I don’t think it particularly matters which order that you read them in, but I enjoyed reading Throne of Glass before the novellas. Throne of Glass has a much stronger plot, and I definitely like the story of Throne of Glass better than the novellas. It was nice to go back and finally read about the stories that kept being referenced. However, with that being said, there are some advantages to reading the novellas first. In Throne of Glass, Celaena, the main character, refers to these stories a lot. Especially her previous love, Sam. So if you read the novellas first, you’ll have an advantage and can better understand how these references are affecting Celaena. As for not reading the novellas at all, I think these stories really do help with story building, and building a stronger world in which Throne of Glass is set in. If you want to truly submerse yourself in the Throne of Glass world, then I strongly suggest reading the novellas.

So wait, what is this whole world about? Well, the series revolves around an Assassin named Celaena Sardothien. She’s been trained to be an assassin since she was a child and has grown to be Adarlan’s most feared assassin. When we start Throne of Glass, Celaena is sitting in a Salt Mine serving out her sentence served to her by the king. Later on, the Prince comes and takes her out of the Salt Mines, but only if she can win a championship and earn her freedom. More of this plot is explained in my review of Throne of Glass. But why is she in this Salt Mine? What did she do to deserve this fate? The Assassin’s Blade provides all these answers. These five novellas are stories from the months leading up to Celaena’s arrest and imprisonment.

What I like about these novellas is the fact that there is a lot more character development than there was in Throne of Glass. You can really start to see Celaena’s morals taking place, even if she is an assassin. You see her betrayed by friends, those she thought were her family. You see her fall in love. You see her question the life she was brought up to live. A lot of these enlightenments and revelations that Celaena goes through are apparent in Throne of Glass.

These novellas provide a stronger basis for you to go off of in terms of world building with this series. There are a lot of details needed to create this world, so I say any material you can get your hands on will be helpful. Its also nice to have more references in terms of the outside world. Much of Throne of Glass is told from within the castle walls because Celaena isn’t allowed to leave the castle grounds. From the novellas, we travel all over the continent, from the Red Desert to Skull Bay to the inner city of Rifthold that surrounds the castle in Throne of Glass.

These novellas are about 70 pages a piece and are nice companions to the Throne of Glass world that so many people already love. If you want to dive into the world of Celaena and the Assassins, then this is the book for you.

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