Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on March 13th 2014
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Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins' Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.
Arobynn's enemies stretch far and wide - from Adarlan's rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate - and cut her heart in two forever...
As a first introduction to Celaena Sardothien, this was a pretty good one. She may be an assassin but she has morals. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord showcased her skills as well as her softer side. It also did a great job showing the relationship between Sam and Celaena. While the synopsis of The Assassin’s Blade gave away the future of their relationship, I could definitely see it coming even without the hint. They have a spark even with all the “hatred” they have for each other. Their banter was adorable and they really worked well together.
The Assassin and the Healer (#0.2):
This one seemed a bit unnecessary to me. There wasn’t a whole lot of content in The Assassin and the Healer, at least not really any that seemed super important to the story. It really just seemed more like a bridge between Pirate Lord and Desert. I liked the introduction of the healer and I’m kind of expecting her to make an appearance sometime later in the series. I have no idea if that will actually happen but I’d love to know what happens to her after Celaena leaves. Really this one just showed how badass Celaena is and that she has a temper. Nothing new there.
The Assassin and the Desert (#0.3):
I loved The Assassin and the Desert. It was the first time I really felt like I was getting to know Celaena. This was one of the longer novellas and it really added depth to her character. I saw a lot of good in her here but also her selfish side. She was very cocky and I admit, there were times I wasn’t all that impressed with her. I liked seeing her knocked down a peg or two but I hated seeing her hurt emotionally. This is one girl who can take whatever you throw at her but emotions are difficult for her. I could really see that here.
I’ll also go ahead and mention, I started the novellas before I read the rest of the series and this is one that I feel was good to have read first. Events from this one come to play later on in the series, that’s for sure.
The Assassin and the Underworld (#0.4):
This is where things got interesting. Things between Celaena and Sam are different after her return from the Red Desert and I both loved and hated it. They were so strong willed and stubborn that neither wanted to admit that things had changed. Seeing Celaena get jealous sucked but it forced her to realize what she felt for Sam. Other than the relationship front though, things really changed here. Celaena’s mission was challenging and from the start, I knew there was something going on with it. I won’t give anything away, obviously, but let me just tell you, I was pissed at the end. I have never hated someone as much as I hate Arobynn Hamel.
The Assassin and the Empire (#0.5):
Speaking of hatred for Arobynn Hamel… I didn’t think it was possible to hate him more than I did at the end of The Assassin and the Underworld but I was so wrong. I knew something bad was going to happen in The Assassin and the Empire but I had no clue how bad it was going to be. Prepare for tears with this one. Just have a box of tissues on hand. I sobbed like a baby and I couldn’t stop thinking about this one long after I finished it. In fact, it still breaks my heart just thinking about it. This one really changed everything for Celaena and if you didn’t love her before, you will now.
Overall, these novellas flow perfectly. I honestly felt like The Assassin’s Blade read as a book rather than a collection of novellas. It was a great introduction to Celaena Sardothien, her story, and the world of the Throne of Glass books. I definitely recommend reading these before you get into the Throne of Glass series and don’t worry if things don’t seem super exciting at first. They pick up really quickly.
What others are saying about The Assassin’s Blade:
Beauty and the Bookshelf’s review: “Sometimes novellas seem kind of pointless, but these are totally not.”
Utterly Bookish’s review: “That’s it, I can’t hold it back anymore: I am completely in love with Sarah J. Maas and her books.”
Readers in Wonderland’s review: “If you haven’t started this amazing series, you really should!”