Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Library copy
Author Links: Twitter | Website | Goodreads

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.
Included in this volume:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire

Sure, you could purchase each of these novellas separately, but why would you?
Besides, how can you say no to that cover!

Most of the time, the novellas connected with a series tend to give you insight into side characters, and maybe provide a bit of filler while you wait for the real books to come out.
Not so with this collection.
When read all together like this, it acts as another full book in the series. A prequel book, but a book, nonetheless.
Also, sometimes novellas need to be read in a certain order, in conjunction with the regular books, or you might end up getting an unwanted spoiler. This collection doesn't function that way. You could read it like I did, after reading the other books, to get a better understanding of Celaena. Or you could read it before, as an introduction to the character and her world.

I'm not going to get all spoilery, so I'll just say that this tells the story of what happened to Celaena in the months leading up to her stint in the salt mines.
Her relationship with the mysterious character, Sam, who has been often mentioned in the previous books, is finally revealed.
Pull out the hankies, ladies!  You're about to have your heart broken.
Celaena's twisted mentor, Arobynn, features prominently in these stories, as well. At long last, he exact role he played in her fate is brought to light in The Assassin and the Empire. And, believe me, if you are a fan of these books, you're gonna wanna know what he did.

The weakest story was The Assassin and the Healer, because it was the only one that actually seemed like a filler novella. The others each uncovered a new layer of Celaena's backstory, and helped move the overall plot forward. It really made me want to go back and do a re-read of the other books, so I can prep for Heir of Fire!

If you're a Throne of Glass fanatic, you do not want to miss out on this little gem!


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