Thursday, February 4, 2016

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

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass (0.1-0.5)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release Date: 4th March 2015
Read Date: 13th January 2016
Tagged Under: 2016 read, 2016 favourites, fantasy, favourites, novella or short story, book review, YA fiction, 5

Book Summary

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, 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.

Book Review

It has been awhile since I first picked up Throne of Glass and its immediate sequel Crown of Midnight. The online book community's raves about the third and fourth installment, Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, raced past me and didn't really give me a chance to catch up. So at the beginning of 2016, I decided that I was going to marathon this series and while I remember vague elements from Throne of Glass, I have forgotten enough that I kind of went into The Assassin's Blade blind. 

Which in retrospect was a good thing.

Celaena Sardothien is truly a kick ass in this anthology of novellas. One of the few gripes I had about Throne of Glass (see my previous review here) is the fact that Celaena spends the majority of the first book obsessing over food, clothes and parties despite all her claim of being the best assassin around. The Assassin's Blade truly smoothed over that issue nicely. Not only is Celaena as snarky and full of sass as usual, we also get to see her in action from one adventure to the next.

The novellas each captures an adventure of Celaena's that is entertaining and fulfilling on their own. Yet at the same time, when you string all five novellas together, they foreshadow Celaena's eventual arrival to where she began her journey in Throne of Glass. I read each novella with a growing pool of dread in my stomach, knowing fully well I will not be getting a happily ever after.

And the romantic interest in these novellas! Argh! Can I just say I am totally blown away by how quickly Sarah J. Maas is able to get us to engage and fall in love with a pairing? Even now, one and a half books later into the series, I am still thinking about The Assassin's Blade. Read and weep, my friends. Read and weep.


Overall, I really enjoyed this installment. It allowed me to get to know Celaena as she is claimed to be prior to the Throne of Glass series - one of the most feared assassins around. For newcomers to this series, I probably would recommend reading this book before starting the series as it does provide a lot of background information about the characters you are about to meet.

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