I’m going to be totally honest and say I was not that excited to read The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. This is a prequel novel to Throne of Glass that consists of five novellas. I’ll get into why I wasn’t excited for it, and if my opinion changed, below after the synopsis. There will be spoilers.
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?
I was not looking forward to reading this book because after reading the seven novels in the main series I just wasn’t interested in going way back in time to learn about young Celaena (Aelin). I mean, I know how the story ends and during the main books you learn the basic details of what occurs in Celaena’s life during The Assassin’s Blade timeline. However, I did end up enjoying the five novellas BUT my enjoyment was mainly based on Sam Cortland, Celaena’s very short lived boyfriend. I love Sam. He was a wonderful character and his death was the only one in this entire series that genuinely bothered me. Celaena, however, was so unbearably immature. Her character grows immensely from Throne of Glass to Kingdom of Ash. At this point I’m used to mature Aelin, not immature Celaena. It was slightly annoying reading from her perspective but learning more about her early years does add more to her overall character.
The five novellas are: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Healer, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld and The Assassin and the Empire. I liked at least some part of all five stories but the first three were slightly boring to me. They are worth reading because you get the full story and added context about the Pirate Lord Rolfe, Ansel of Briarcliff, Yrene Towers and of course, Sam Cortland. I do think if you like the main series you should read The Assassin’s Blade to get all the details but if you’re fine with just having the bare bones knowledge of what Celaena went through as a teen, I don’t think you necessarily have to read this book.
After around two months of reading nothing but this series, I’ll miss it but I’m ready to move on to other books. My next review will be for Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare and I’m super excited for it! As always, if you’ve read this book or this series I would love to know what you think about it! Thanks for reading and have a great day!