Book Review: The Assassin’s Blade

Book Review: The Assassin’s BladeThe Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5
Also in this series: Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 436
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2014
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Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassins' 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 prequel 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 . . . Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.
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As if I didn’t already love this series enough (which I seriously do), Sarah J. Maas absolutely annihilated my feels with The Assassin’s Blade.

The Assassin’s Blade is made up of five novellas that Maas wrote to give us Celaena’s backstory, what happened to our favorite assassin before and leading up to her sentence in Endovier. I DO NOT recommend reading this before you read Throne of Glass. I knew what the ending of The Assassin’s Blade was going to be like, and it still hit me like a drop-kick to the heart.

Celaena is a pretty annoying brat for the first portion of this book. While you see some of this in Throne of Glass, a year in the salt mines of Endovier actually does some good for her character (although running away with her fellow assassin Sam Cortland would have been even better). But the event that sets everything into motion happens in the first novella, “The Assassin and the Pirate Lord”; Celaena ruins a slave trade-agreement that she and Sam have been sent to oversee, freeing 200 slaves in the process. She is punished brutally by Arobynn Hamel (the King of the Assassins and master of the Assassins Keep in the Adarlan capital of Rifthold), and then sent to learn her lesson in the middle of desert from The Mute Master of the Assassins (who turns out to be a much kinder, much better master than Arobynn). But when she returns home, a completely changed girl, well, that’s when the trouble really starts.

Celaena has some really impressive character changes. I sort of hated her at the beginning, but as the book went on, she really grew on me. She had to endure some pretty terrible things, and she always came out the other side a better person. Near the end of the book, I was hoping and praying that it was going to end differently than I knew it was going to. Which of course it didn’t.

SAM CORTLAND. WHY MUST YOU BE BETTER THAN CHAOL AND DORIAN COMBINED? I was firmly Team Chaol until I read Assassin’s Blade, and now, I’m a little irritated at Sarah J. Maas. Cause of that ending. Which I won’t spoil. BUT WHY SARAH? WHY MUST YOU DO THESE THINGS TO US???

There’s a lot of cool fighting, adorable romance, spying, near death-experiences, and plotting in this book. It’s action-packed, and will keep you reading late into the night. These books are a bit darker than your average YA book though, so be warned that there are scenes where torture is discussed, lots of violence ensues, and other unpleasant things occur. This is an absolute must read if you like Throne of Glass, and if you’ve never picked up what is one of my very favorite YA Fantasy series, you should still read this. Although, read Throne of Glass first. You’ll thank me later.

Similar reads: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

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