Thursday 11 September 2014

Review: The Assassin's Blade - Sarah J Maas

The twist of a knife, the birth of a legend . . .

Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins' Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn's enemies stretch far and wide - from Adarlan's rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate - and cut her heart in two forever . . .

The prequels to the international bestseller Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass Series:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Novella)
The Assassin and the Healer (Novella)
The Assassin and the Desert (Novella)
The Assassin and the Underworld (Novella)
The Assassin and the Empire (Novella)
The Assassin's Blade (Anthology containing all 5 prequel novellas)
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire
Queen of Shadows

Visit Sarah J Maas' website for more information

I have already reviewed most of the Throne of Glass prequel novellas included in this anthology separately so I'm not going to discuss them individually in this review. Instead I'm going to talk about the anthology as a whole and say how much I enjoyed re-reading these novellas for a second time. I initially read most of these stories before the release of Throne of Glass so looking back at them again now really allowed me to appreciate how much Celaena has changed since the beginning of the series.

Celaena hasn't always been the nicest character and that is especially the case in these prequels, she comes across as very selfish and self centred and I actually spent a lot of time disliking her for her snobbish attitude to anyone she considers beneath herself but underneath all that there she does have a softer side. She's just spent a lot of years having it beaten out of her thanks to her training with Arobynn. Celaena knows how to handle herself and she does slowly start to care more about the people around her and make a few unexpected sacrifices along the way. These changes continue throughout the series and I like her more and more with every book.

For anyone who hasn't read these novellas before you'll find they go a long way in explaining Celaena's background and how she ended up in the salt mines at the beginning of Throne of Glass. They also explain a lot about her actions at the beginning of the first book. I'll warn you now that these novellas absolutely broke my heart the first time I read them so you might want to have tissues to hand (for The Assassin and the Empire in particular). Even though I knew what was coming I still found it hard to read without sniffling and I found myself praying that the ending had changed this time around!  The fact that Sarah J. Maas managed to get such a reaction out of me after just a few short novellas is incredible really.

The Assassin's Blade is a great addition to the series and I'm happy that I now have all of the novellas in one beautiful paperback to sit alongside the rest of the series on my shelves. If you're new to the series then this is a great place to start but I think fans who have already read Throne of Glass will enjoy this look into Celaena's background just as much. This just whet my appetite and made me even more excited to read Heir of Fire!

Source: Received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
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