When I heard some characters from these novellas would make an appearance in Tower of Dawn, I knew I had to reread this. Even so, I wasn’t eager to read this book since I remember not really caring about them. That’s remains quite true two years later.
This review may contain spoilers! You can read my original review here.
Title: The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 – 0.5)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release date: March 4, 2014
Length: 435 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to 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 makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks 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 listeners a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling—and deadly—world.”
I said it in my original review, so I’ll just repeat it: I would have been okay not reading these novellas. I mean, I don’t mind reading them, of course, but this isn’t necessarily a series that I need prequels for. I will say that it’s nice to read the history between Celaena and Sam Cortland. I forgot how much of a cinnamon roll Sam was, but I will still say that I don’t know how in the world he fell in love with Celaena.
Here’s the main problem I have with Celaena (which also bled over to Aelin in Empire of Storms): she’s so cocky. She’s confident and cocky, which is sometimes worse. Granted, she knows she’s this way. Multiple times over we are reminded that she’s Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s Assassin. Yes, I get! Stop telling me! So when Sam confesses his love for Celaena, and she’s confused why–well, I am to! She never really deserved Sam. (Hate me, I don’t care!) He was too good for her. But I will see that I appreciate the way Maas has used men like Sam (and eventually Chaol and Rowan) to shape Celaena as a character. They were there for her in different stages of her life when she needed them.
My favorite novellas were The Assassin and the Healer and The Assassin and the Desert. I think mainly because we meet Ansel again (at least, I’m pretty sure… Unless I’m confusing her with someone else.) Truthfully, I liked Ansel, and I’m sad to see the plot twist in her novella. I wanted her to be better than that. And of course I loved Yrene Towers, the healer. She’s specifically mentioned in Tower of Dawn, so I’m excited to see where the past few years have taken her, and how she ties in with Chaol.
Another thing I liked is how we learn Celaena’s…mantra, for lack of a better term. I am Celaena Sardothien, and I will not be afraid. If you’ve read the series, you know how Celaena uses this–how it seems to ground her and remind her of who she is. This, I like.
While this isn’t my favorite of the series, I’m glad we have it. As before, I read this right before diving into Queen of Shadows, and it’s good to have read it since we see many people from this book play a role in QoS.