Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass Novellas
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: 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.
Wow. I really loved this book…
If you read my review of Throne of Glass, you might remember that I had a few… well, not issues exactly, but there were a few things that kept me from really feeling connected to Celaena, the heroine. After reading this compilation of prequel novels, I am happy to say that ALL of the concerns I had have been completely laid to rest!
For example, I could not figure out why Celaena didn’t seem to have any major emotional damage from having endured a salt mine prison camp for a full year. In Assassin’s Blade, it became clear that she had been through so much worse, so the mine kind of paled in comparison. Also, while growing up she had extensive training on enduring hardships, which would explain how well she managed to cope. It all makes so much sense now…
The most important element I was missing was Celaena’s connection to the other characters (specifically the male leads). She always seemed guarded, never following through on the feelings she obviously had for the two, and I could never see a compelling motive as to why that might be. Suffice to say, if I had gone through the things I read about in Assassin’s Blade, I would be pretty guarded too.
Anyway, you can see how much of a difference this book made with my enjoyment of the author. While each story was beautifully written (and stood solidly on their own), it was really cool how well they built off of one another. It made me feel like I was reading a robust novel rather than a compilation of short stories. It was superb, and I almost wish I had read it first because now I want nothing more than to go back and reread Throne of Glass with my newfound perspective on this character and her world. Seriously, if you only mildly enjoyed the first novel, give these prequels a try – it will make all the difference!
So what now? I am eagerly trying to get my hands on a copy of Crown of Midnight so I can see what happens next! Assassin’s Blade has made me an UBER fan of this series, and I don’t think I’ve been this fan-girly for a teen series since Hunger Games. If you could take one thing from my experience, read the prequel first! You won’t regret it. :-)
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