Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: The Assassin's Blade

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The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Pages: 435
Rating:

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.

Novellas Included:
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

Review:

Theses novellas are amazing! I love the world of this series and all its mystery, power, and people. The Assassin's Blade follows a few adventures that an assassin, Celaena Sardothien embarks on. Through the novellas we learn a great deal about Celaena and many of her traits. We meet multiple characters, like Sam Cortland and Arobynn Hamel, and we learn a lot about who these people are. The cover is also absolutely beautiful! I was drawn immediately into the action, and this was a fascinating glimpse of a young heroine who will grow and learn throughout these five novellas, until we meet her in the first novel in the series, Throne of Glass.

In The Assassin and the Pirate Lord we are introduced to Celaena, a 16 year old assassin. She is the best and most feared assassin of her Guild after her master. In this novella she is sent to an island run by pirates in order to claim something for her master without realizing what she really was there to collect, slaves. With the help of the assassin she despises the most in her Guild, Celaena will try to find a way to free the slaves and get away with it too. As the first novella, the very beginning story of Throne of Glass series, this was a good one. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, has successfully rocked my expectation for the series. 

In the short, second novella, The Assassin and the Healer, we see Celaena preparing for her punishment, the trek through the red desert. The story mainly takes place in a bar and the back alleys of the bar and mainly told in Yrene's, the waitress/barmaid, POV.  We find out that she used to be a healer and that she’s lost her home, family, and is losing sight of her dreams. This novella isn't really necessary, but it shows more character development and is an all-around good story.

My favorite novella out of the five was The Assassin and the Desert. I loved the story the most and I loved all the action and betrayal. This novella follows Celaena’s trek through the desert after betraying her master Arobynn and what she has to do in order to be forgiven by him. The Assassin and the Desert has more mystery, more friendships, more betrayal and more character growth. However, there is still some awesome fighting and world-building. We get to see the dunes of the desert, the ranks of the Silent Assassins (who were quite awesome), the city of Xandria, and much more.

In the fourth novella, The Assassin and the Underworld, starts off with Celaena returning from the Red Desert and Arobynn apologizing. Although we don't see Celaena leave yet, we see her more and more willing to leave. We also see Sam and Celaena start falling in love. The two of them are frustrating at times because they are fighting each other and not really saying what they feel. Celaena has limited experience when it comes to love, and doesn't know how to deal with her feelings of jealousy. Instead of reaching out, she lashes out at Sam. Sam is the one who changes Celaena and makes her want a bigger life than an assassin. He gives her the courage to stand up to Arobynn. We also learn a bit more about Arobynn and his relationship with Celaena.

In the fifth novella, The Assassin and the Empire, was heartbreaking. Celaena is now living in her own home, along with Sam, away from the Assassin’s Keep and Arobynn Hamel. However, not being able to leave in good terms with their old master, Celaena and Sam are struggling to get food on the table and their money is diminishing each day. Anxious to be free from Arobynn, Sam gets hold of a contract that could finally get him and Celaena away from all this, but this contract is very dangerous. This novella is filled with love, betrayal, and death. Celaena and Sam are doing their last contract in order to get some money that will help them move. Everything is going to plan, when suddenly, everything goes wrong. The ending is heart wrenching and you must read it! The ending of this novella leads right into the first novel, Throne of Glass

These novellas have really made me fall in love with Celaena. I recommend them to everyone and I highly recommend that you read them before Throne of Glass. The Assassin's Blade was a quick read and exceptionally written.

-Daniel 

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