The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne Of Glass novellas by Sarah J Maas (book review).

September 13, 2017 | By | Reply More

This is a bind-up of five novellas which technically take place prior to the first book in the ‘Throne Of Glass’ series. I chose to read this book between reading ‘Heir Of Fire’ and ‘Queen Of Shadows’ as this was the suggested reading order.

During these five novellas, we get to see how the young Celaena Sardothien learns her trade as an assassin, the various adventures that she and Sam Cartland go on and how she eventually comes to be a prisoner. In fact, this pretty much leads us up to about a year before the point of the first book in the ‘Throne Of Glass’ series. I have to say that having read this after reading a couple other of the ‘Throne Of Glass’ books I felt that these novellas had a bit more resonance than if I’d read them prior to the rest of the book series. Knowing how Celaena feels about what happened with Sam through reading about this in the rest of the series, it made these novellas that much more emotional. Each of the stories runs straight into the other, so we get to see what Celaena did through a certain period of her life where she goes through a great deal, including being massively let down by pretty much everyone she knows. It really does make her so much more of an understandable character when you’re reading the other books in the series.

I’ll quickly go through each of the novellas and let you know what they’re briefly about and my overall thoughts on each one.

‘The Assassin And The Pirate Lord’ has Celeana and Sam have being sent by their boss, Arobynn Hamel, to meet with the pirate, Captain Rolfe, about some trade he wishes to be involved in. This is basically a heist story where we learn a little more about how Celaena feels about trade in certain goods. We get to see how the relationship between Celaena and Sam starts, with some typical asassiness from Celaena.

‘The Assassin And The Healer’ is after the events of the first story where Celaena has been sent for punishment to the Mute Master and his Silent Assassins, after having been beaten into unconsciousness by Arobynn for what she did. This is the story of Celaena waiting for her ship to take her to her punishment in a small pit of a town called Innish. This story had a very feminist slant in my opinion and I really enjoyed it for that. It is one of the shorter stories in the book and hope we get to see some of the characters introduced here again.

‘The Assassin And The Desert’ has Celaena, who is now with the Silent Assassins, in the Red Desert in the heart of the desert summer. For reference, this is a place that even the local tribesmen refuse to go to. Celaena learns that, although she is one of the best assassins in the city, here her skills are completely useless and she must relearn her skills. She is tasked with earning the respect of the Mute Master within one month. I really enjoyed learning that there are different types of assassin tribe throughout this world and, oh, we get to learn a little more about the Ironteeth and Crochan witches from one of the characters in this story which I loved. This novella in particular has several links to other books in the series which fleshed out some elements nicely without giving spoilers.

‘The Assassin And The Underworld’ has Celaena now back in her home city of Adarlan where Arobynn has another job for her to do. Sam is back in this story and we get to see how close they are getting, which I found so sad given what I know having read other books in this series. Unfortunately, this is where we first see how devious and evil Arobynn really is. He is such a piece of work in this story that I don’t want to think about it anymore.

‘The Assassin And The Empire’ draws the conclusion of everything in this book. Those who have read other books in this series know what is coming but, trust me, you will not be prepared for the amount of betrayal that goes on here. My advice is not to read this particular story in public because you will ugly cry or you have no heart.

After finishing these novellas, I really do understand why Celaena is such a broken character in the other books I’ve read from this series. In some ways I wish I could have read these first just so I understand why she behaves the way she does. However, I don’t think it hurt to read this set of novella’s in the way I did.

Sarah Bruch

September 2017

follow me @shelbycat

(pub: Bloomsbury Children’s, 2014. 437 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40885-198-2)

check out website: https://bloomsbury.com/uk/

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Category: Books, Fantasy

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