This is the 3rd Sarah J. Maas book I’ve read. Coincidentally, it’s the 3rd on I’ve rated 5-stars, the 3rd one I’ve add to my best-of-the-year shelf, and the 3rd one that’s RIPPED OUT MY FEELS AND STOMPED ON THEM.
This is a really good book and you should read it and suffer with me.
(But seriously. How is it even possible to continually write this level of awesomeness, and not only maintain, but exceed? How. Just. how.)
The Assassin’s Blade is a little different from Throne of Glass (book #1) and Crown of Midnight (book #2). Why? It’s a collection of 5 prequel novellas. All those questions we have about Celaena’s past? That desperate need to know how “Sam” is? The details of Celaena’s betrayal and incarceration to the Salt Mines of Endovier? Ding! Ding! Answers here!
I’d never read novellas until this. And I have to admit, this is my only negative comment. I don’t understand why these are novellas. You can’t read them out of order. They all fit perfectly into each other, with hardly a few months gaps between. Why isn’t this just a prequel book?
Also: You can read this book without reading Crown of Midnight. I would 100% recommend reading Throne of Glass first, though. Yes, it’s a prequel, but I think it builds off the Celaena we know NOW instead of introducing her as a character.
But enough with my blabber! I will attempt to be a bit more orderly with this review.
5 THINGS I ABSOLUTELY ADORED
NOTE: None of these are spoilers! They may seem like spoilers, but if you’ve read Throne of Glass, they most certainly are NOT spoilers.
I was absolutely dying to see how Sam would be written. Because let’s face it: Dorian and Chaol are amazing and, while I had my bets on Chaol, I still think Dorian is a fabulous being. How could Sam possibly top that? And he had to, because Celaena fell for him first.
Well, Sam topped them all.
Sam is an assassin, so he was definitely tough, twisty, and dark like Celaena. Unlike Dorian and Chaol, I felt Sam was equal to Celaena. He could take her. (Dorian and Chaol were more…um…taken.) He was also more laid back. And a bit of a sweetie. He bought her sheet music! He saved her life!
2. OH BUT DID I MENTION HOW SAM HOW CELAENA HATE EACH OTHER? IT’S SO ADORABLE.
Eh, yeah, sorry I must have missed that detail. The first novella is aaaall about their hate for each other. Which is just code for: I love you. (But, shhhh, they didn’t know that.)
“Sam,” she murmured into his chest.
She peeled away from him, stepping out of his arms. “If you ever tell anyone about me embracing you…I’ll gut you.” pg. 76
3. LET’S GO ON A ROAD TRIP
Or a…ship trip? Lots of travelling is involved in these books! And I found that intensely interesting. In a few words, we get to see whole different cultures. Amazingly interesting! (I loved reading about the desert people best.) The world of Erilea just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
4. BACKSTORY QUESTIONS ARE ALL ANSWERED.
This is literally the. best. I wondered, when I first read Throne of Glass, why the story picked up there. With so much backstory just…missing. But this fills in the gaps and adds reason and depth (and feels crushing torture) to what we already know about Celeana.
But I think these novellas were merely written to flesh out the mysterious name of “Sam”. And then kill him. And then watch us cry. Not a spoiler! We know Sam is dead from Throne of Glass.
5. MORE ASSASSIN STUFF.
Ah, yes, I did just did put “more assassinating” on a list of things to love. Sue me. If there was one thing the series has actually been weirdly void of: it’s assassinations. Celaena did next to zero paid assassinating in book #1, and things were complicated in book #2. We get to see Adarlan’s Assassin in full action. Blood everywhere. THIS is how Celaena got her name.
I could go on…but you should just read the book. You know me! I’m a tough reviewer (I’m picky), but I’ve rated ALL of these books 5 stars and all the love and they are literally my favourite series of this year.
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for the review copy! I love you forever. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas hit shelves in March, 2014.
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. 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. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.
Cait is waiting (in pain) for Heir of Fire to release as a paperback, so she can prop it next to her copies of Crown of Midnight and The Assassin’s Blade and they can be a happy but murderous family. Gorgeous. It needs to happen. ASAP. While waiting for this to become a reality, she’s rewriting one of her messy manuscripts. Cue frustration and anguish.