The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas

By Sarah J. Maas

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
written read
The books are so rich and there is such a connection to the characters. This offers you stories without meaning. It doesn't further define celaena as a character. It doesn't enhance your reading of the books. In this instance I think the mystery behind these stories in the books are better served then revealing them in a depthless novella.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dyani
I LOVE IT! I haven't picked up a book in months and I saw this, read the title and the discription and thought what the heck, and this indeed was worth it! It has kept me wanting to read more and more. I would suggest this to anyone who has a sense of fantasy, Adventure, and and shred of a heart inside them because this book will pull on even the thinnest of strings and keep your attention all the way to the very last page!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
g listan
I started with 'Throne of Glass', then read the 'Crown of Midnight' and am waiting for the Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) (Sep 2014).
They were excellent. I saw 'The Assassin's Blade' novellas and read it. The novellas give a great foundation for the 'Throne of Glass' series. If you like a good epic fantasy the Throne of Glass series will not disappoint.
Caraval :: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass) :: Three Dark Crowns :: For Loving Me (Max Lucado's Little Hermie) - Thank You :: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (rpkg)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elana
This was an excellent read and gave light into how Celaena became separated from the assassins. It also gave insight into her character and the disgust of slavery. Sam was wonderful and loved her. There were several other characters we met along the way that I hope play out in other books also. Overall, an insightful glimpse into how Celaena developed into Aelin.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeffery
Great addition to the current story! These stories are all set before the Throne of Glass; the novellas give a lot of background information that I was dying to know and other suspicions that were confirmed by the book. It was nice to learn about her relationship with Sam and what happened between them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kevin aldrich
The unanswered has been answered. Many of Celena's small issues of what happened are now explained to the extent that the stories are complete. I recommended to my Niece "read the first book" The glass throne then read the Assassin's blade before going to book 2 and 3 then start over reading them all again with the Assassin's blade first.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
irfan
ok first things first I'm literally crying right now because Sam * cries * anyways, this book was naturally amazing and all the words flowed together to create an amazing story about an assassin with swagger and her punishments and adventures, her heartbreak and her history. All nothing short of remarkable. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Like seriously, it's awesome
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
goodsellheller
LOVE! LOVE! Love this book. And the rest of the Throne of Glass series. Sarah J Maas is by far my favorite author. This book is the prequel to Throne of Glass and I highly recommend reading it first. The Assassin's Blade is a collection of 5 short stories that explain parts of Celaena's past which add so much depth and understanding to Throne of Glass.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mahrukh
This book is boring at times but my real problem is with the main character who is difficult to like at times also I think it would be a good idea for the author to include multiple perspectives instead of just the main character's which quickly becomes tiresome but other than this, book is pretty decent
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
majusvirag
These Throne of Glass novellas were exciting and showed me why Celeana was how she was. They were just about one of the best books to the series. They explained her background, so now you could understand what she meant in the other books. I don't recommend reading it first though, but that's just me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
char decoste
Love! All of the books in this series are worth reading, and I really liked finding out more about her before Throne of Glass takes place. Oh Sam.. read them. If you are the fence- just read them.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kimberly burke
These novellas are somewhat entertaining but disjointed. The heroine is very obnoxious and difficult to like. She grows on you but she isn't someone I like. And for someone who is a trained assassin she certainly isn't very smart and has incredibly poor instincts. So there are definite flaws with the character and the role she plays. What was most unfortunate, was the best charcter of all who had integrity, charm, brains, looks, kindness, empathy, - the whole package meets a very horrific end. Not only is he killed but in the worst of ways. I have no idea why the author felt compelled to do this but I didn't like it. If he had to die he didn't have to die like that. I enjoy my HEA but even if that doesn't happen I see no reason for unimaginable cruelty. A gripe I have with YA books is it's somehow wrong for characters to have sex but horrific violence and cruelty are ok. Why didn't Sam and Celeana make love? Her first time couldn't be with anyone better; more loving; more respectable. But no - instead he dies the worse death imaginable; she sees the end result; and they never made love despite being in love. Completely screwed up morals if you ask me Ms. Maas. You don't need to read these before starting the series and I'm sorry I did.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
charlene younkin
I was very happy with my decision to purchase the first in Sarah Maas' series, "Throne of Glass". It is a very well written fantasy story with lots of intrigue. The main male heroes are honorable and have depth. Celaena is complicated to say the least which makes her fascinating but not a role model in any stretch of the imagination. I have to say it's very hard for me to find a book that "hooks" me and this one did. I could barely put it down. I didn't become disillusioned until somewhere into the sequel and even then {spoiler?} I kept thinking there was going to be some drastic turn in the "Assassin's" character to redeem her. The problem with the novellas (specific to this review) is that the older Ms. Maas gets the darker, more violent and more sensuous her writing becomes so I would HIGHLY recommend parents not allow children to read these. They are even inadvisable to unmarried adults who are seeking purity. Honestly, I'm over 50 and was sorry I was so caught up in the story that even though I was nauseated by some of the violence, I had to finish the story. As I said, "Throne of Glass" isn't terrible (possibly toward the end and still not for children!), but the sequel and the novellas are progressively worse. Oh how I wish writers as talented as Sarah Maas would stay away from such graphic violence. This genre is fascinating to me but I would NEVER have chosen to read this series had I known. This is a huge stretch for me. Probably the most violent content I've read and yes, you can call me sheltered and proud of it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
micha szyma ski
~The Assassin and the Pirate Lord~

First, I think it's important to recognize that one of--if not the--main purposes of these novellas to grow Celaena from an intolerably insolent and arrogant adolescent into a world-wiser (but still cocky) young adult.

The #1 complaint about this series is that readers don't like Celaena.

Personally, I love her, but I understand why others might not. She's a superlative character who some people can't handle her extremes, and that's only one of a dozen legitimate issues.

BUT.

There are several loudly voiced complaints that, as far as I'm concerned, don't hold water. I've already addressed my feelings in regards to the claim that she is too girly to make a believable assassin in my Throne of Glass review.

The other assertion I cannot abide is that Celaena "never does anything," or "never kills anyone."

That she's basically all talk.

Maybe I'm confused, but I've never supposed that assassins are meant to go around killing EVERYONE indiscriminately. And she's not just an assassin. She's the King of Assassins' heir. Adarlan's Assassin.

At least half of her identity is reputation, and it wouldn't behoove that reputation (or be good for business) to run around like a maniac slitting throats and eviserating passersby.

In this novella, she's a sixteen-year-old girl who single-handedly disarms and disables the entire crew of a pirate ship. She easily defeats the Pirate Lord in combat, using his own weapons to do it.

How is that nothing? How is that all talk? *mind is boggled*

Beyond establishing herself as a seriously kick-ass heroine, the foundation for something that will shred your heart into teeny, tiny pieces is also laid. <------*WAILS*

And, you know . . . there are pirates.

Everything is better with pirates.

SO. Not my favorite of the bunch, but a close(ish) second.

~The Assassin and the Healer~

This novella wasn't part of the original four. I chased down pieces of it on various blogs, over the course of several days before CROWN OF MIDNIGHT was released.

Anyway, I liked this one a lot, too.

So should anyone who thinks Celaena doesn't kill often enough. How about six or eight mercs in a dark alley after they try to rob and attack a barmaid?

All I'm saying is that's an awful lot of bodies piling up for an assassin who allegedly doesn't assassin.

Moving on.

We also learn some Celaena background: that her country was destroyed by war, and she feels a kinship with others who have suffered similar fates. That as a child she had dreams that are in complete contradiction to her current status.

Aaaannddd we (once again) get to observe the softer side of Celaena. The side that compels her to intervene on behalf of others when she can. many reasons I'm able to overlook her more abrasive qualities.

Bottom line: a worthy addition to the canon.

~The Assassin and the Desert~

Oh, my FEELS. They hurrrrrrt *sobs*

So what does is say about me that this is my favorite of the group? Hmm . . .

In the inevitable aftermath of her actions in Pirateville, Celaena is sent into the blistering, unforgiving heat of the desert to train with the Mute Master, Arobynn's (infinitely more benevolent) Southern counterpart.

She has one month to train with the Silent Assasssins. One month to earn the Mute Master's respect in the form of a letter to Hamel on Celaena's behalf, commending her efforts and abilities.

One. Month.

This is the novella that makes me determinedly profess that readers' NEED to read the prequels.

There are people and places and events that have already begun to play a greater role in the main books, with half a dozen foreshadowings of things to come.

You. NEED. To. Read. It.

And it won't make sense, if you haven't read the first one, and after that . . . Well, why not just read them all?

Besides . . . Don't you want to see Celaena fumble her way through her first friendship? And not just her first friendship, but her first friendship with a GIRL?

Of course you do.

And who could blame you?

~The Assassin and the Underworld~

This novella should have been called THE ASSASSIN AND THE TANGLED WEB OF AROBYNN HAMEL, but I guess it doesn't rollllll of the tongue the same way.

I really wish I could give you an accounting of the events that take place here unhindered by the knowledge of what's to come.

But I can't.

I read it too many times and it broke my heart too completely.

THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD is about what happens when Celaena returns to the Assassin's Keep after Arobynn beat her into unconsciousness and sent her to the desert.

Celaena arrives full of confidence and more than a little bit of self-satisfaction.

She succeeded in accomplishing her nearly-impossible-to-complete task. More than succeeded. Was sent home from the Red Desert with a fortune great enough to purchase her freedom.

When she struts into Arobynn's office, she has every intention of telling him, and leaving him.

Unfortunately . . . It doesn't work out that way.

Instead, she allows herself to fall back under his spell. Not fully, she's been made too wary for that, but enough that she becomes an unwilling accomplice in his nefarious plans one last time.

This is where we first see the depth of Arobynn's treachery.

My thoughts on Celaena's lack of immediate response to said treachery upon her return to Rifthold in ToG: [Many think Celaena is being willfully obtuse about the role her mentor played in the events that led to Sam's horrific death and her imprisonment at Endovier, but this is something I understand: [for spoiler see Goodreads or blog reveiw]

~The Assassin and the Realm~

THE ASSASSIN AND THE REALM starts at the end. Celaena is suddenly a prisoner of we-don't-know-whom/we-don't-know-why.

All we know is that she's shattered. She does not care that she's caged like an animal. She does not care that she's in chains. Cold, hunger, thirst, all things beyond her concern.

And then . . . in the dark . . . she remembers.

Maas is an expert at cultivating DREAD. It may not be as stealthy here, what with us already knowing that Celaena---in some context---has failed, but that doesn't negate the fear, the roil in your belly, as you push yourself to keep reading, to find out what happened, what went wrong, so that at least then . . . it will be over.

As I said earlier, I read these before reading THRONE OF GLASS, so I can't state from experience that if you're having issues with Celaena, reading THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE will fix them. BUT. I can say that I've never had any issues with her character development, and the majority of readers who have taken my advice have found themselves understanding her better than they had previously. Beyond that, you need the background from Celaena's time in the Red Desert to fully appreciate what's happening in the main series (my favorite YA series, incidentally). <------FYI.

SO. Read it. I'm so far passed "recommending" it that I'm brandishing it wildly.

“My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispered, “and I will not be afraid.”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
darth vix
This review first appeared on happyindulgencebooks.com - Check it out for more reviews!

Where a simple act of defiance and moral justice transforms into a web of deceit, betrayal, and death, The Assassin's Blade completely blew me away as a prequel to Throne of Glass. It all starts from a simple mission which Celaena Sardothien chooses to disobey, leading into her entire livery being crushed before her very eyes and into the bitter, jaded assassin that we know today.

The five novellas each cover separate missions: one, to rescue thousands of slaves from a Pirate Lord, to teach a healer how to defend herself, to learn from the Mute Master of Assassin's in the desert, to help fight slavery from an evil crime lord and lastly, the assassination that was never going to pan out. In the first story, we see Celaena rescue thousands of slaves from a Pirate Lord, which sets the tone for the rest of the novellas. Celaena's past is one I couldn't tear my eyes from, as the events all lead up to her inevitable imprisonment in Endovier.

In The Assassin's Blade, we see what shapes Celaena into the person she is today, with her love of finery, cocky confidence, intelligence and mastery of assassination present here. Her master and mentor, Arobynn has taken her in as his protégé and like a cult leader, she doesn't question his decisions. As the King of Assassins, he's given his group board, missions and even gifts in exchange to do his dirty work.

One in his position of power cannot be infallible however, as his anger towards Celaena and Sam are enacted throughout the novel. With multiple layers of deceit and trickery, Arobynn's cruelty knows no end as he toys with Celaena and Sam with his influence and missions.

Celaena is certainly a kick ass character and we are given some background as to why she holds herself to high standards and morals. Pampered and entitled as Arobynn's favourite, she has high regard for herself and her master, and she lets everyone know it. She even treats Sam as a competitor ready to swoop into her title, but slowly warms to him across the course of the novel. With all of her morals and penchant to do the right thing, we wonder why she's in her chosen career. The Assassin's Blade demonstrates to us that her love of finery and skill actually allows her to right wrongs against slavery and evil by dispatching the toughest enemies.

The romance with Sam is slowly developed over the course of the novel, and we see her slowly regard him as a competitor, to companion, to someone who she truly cares for and loves. With his never ending devotion to Celaena, his honour and power protecting her throughout, he holds on his own against Chaol and Dorian. Having grown up with her, he really does know her the best out of all them. Sam just feels totally right for her, which reinforces my belief that there is no The One out there for us. There are several people who could become them, each with their different things to offer us.

The Assassin's Blade is a compelling, in-depth prequel filled with fantasy, romance, action and deceit that fleshes out Celaena's background as Adarlan's Assassin. The author has taken her time to illustrate to us Celaena's relationship with her mentor, her moral high ground, and the protectiveness that her and Sam share. This is a MUST READ for any fans of the series and even as an introduction to the novel. I couldn't put it down, and it's the perfect filler until Reign of Fire is released.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
triffid
I was very nervous to start this series because everyone loves it. But then I read The Assassin's Blade, and thought I have nothing to worry about! I am so glad that I decided to read them in chronological order, rather than publication order, because this set of novellas has got me super excited for the full books! I feel like I really got to know Celaena, and I understood her better once the main story started. There's also a bit of world building introduced, even though the majority of the focus is on Celaena's characterization. And I must say that I love her! Sure she's quite arrogant at first, but it's also clear that she cares about doing the right thing despite being an assassin. I also loved that she was kickbutt and girly! She can snap your neck and do your makeup!

The other great thing about The Assassin's Blade was that it did real like a novel rather than just a collection of shorts. Each story is directly connected to the one before it. It all flows together and felt like its own full book. If there had been proper transitions instead of each story ending and the next beginning, it totally could have been the first book in the series! Or a really long prequel! Whether you've started the series or not, I'd highly recommend giving these stories a read! They're fantastic on their own, but they're also a great introduction to (or background of) our heroine.

★★★★☆ The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
★★★★☆ The Assassin and the Healer
★★★★½ The Assassin and the Desert
★★★★☆ The Assassin and the Underworld
★★★★★ The Assassin and the Empire
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rachael worthington
Assassin's Blade is like the nice bow that ties the entire Throne of Glass series together just a little more so we can get a better understanding of our Celeana and some of the things she went through in the Assassin's Keep and before she was a full on Queen.

This is a collection of Novella's, so basically it is 4 shorter sections of important information that allow us to learn more about our favorite characters and how they became so awesome.

While it doesn't matter when you read this one, I personally loved reading it after every book in the series, it made it so fun to recognize characters and understand more.. but it would have helped with some key details perhaps.

Obviously I knew this wouldn't have a happy ending but I was hoping for just a little bit more optimism out of the characters.

Still, this is a great read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pedro pereira
We return to Erilea and learn more about Celaena Sardothien and her adventures before she is taken from the salt mines and given the choice to fight for the title of King's Champion.

I read the first four books in the series before starting this. I don't think it would have changed anything if I had read it after Throne of Glass or Crown of Midnight. There were little things in this book of novellas that explained things within the series that were just mentioned in passing but not knowing them until now did not lessen the amazingness that is the Throne of Glass series.

I do think I should have read this before Queen of Shadows, if only to know more about Arobynn Hamel, the King of Assassin's, beforehand. He is mentioned in the first few books but doesn't make an actual appearance until the fourth. These novellas really got into his character and Celaena's relationship with him.

I think the bigger story here was Celaena and Sam's relationship, though. In the main books we are told about Sam and what happened to him but in these novellas we are given the whole story. From the moment that Celaena realizes she's in love with him, up to that pivotal moment that changes everything for Celaena and starts the Throne of Glass series.
I really enjoyed this relationship. It seems much more real to me then the relationship with Chaol or Rowan. This is more of a 'first love' story and those always hold the most emotion and wonder.

But this isn't just a handful of novellas focusing on the relationship between the two. Each novella adds to the bigger story and at the same time gives us a look into Celaena's early assassin years. The few stories that we've read about in short in the main books.
I loved almost all of them but the Pirate Lord and Desert stories really stood out for me. There was action, plot, and purpose. Characters that interested me. Those two were quite different compared to the others and the actual series itself.

My withdrawals from this series have been sated, if only for a short time. We have four more months to wait until Empire of Storms releases!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
damara
Do you ever decide to read a series and wonder if it's just not going to live up to the hype? I've heard that this series has a lot of greatness and much disappointments. I have fellow bloggers on both sides of the spectrum. So before starting out with the first book, I thought I'd read this one - The Assassin's Blade - to get a feel for whether this series will be worth my time.

THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD - 5 stars!

This was the first story in the book, and I have to say it reels you in right off the bat. I was hooked and hungry for more after the first chapter. And... SAM. I think I have a new crush. This story was stunning, well written, and impactful. Consider me submerged in this universe.

THE ASSASSIN AND THE HEALER - 4 stars!

While this was a heartwarming story, this seemed more of a filler tale that fits nicely between the Pirate Lord and the Desert. But maybe that's just me. It's a smooth transition between the novellas, but this didn't feel like it could much stand on it's own as a novella - at least to me. But if you read the book as an overall story, I think it fits much better.

THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT - 4 stars!

I truly enjoyed the other world of assassin's in this book. We meet young assassin's learning from the older and the Master himself. All of them together feel more like family than enemies in a competition - which is what she was taught from her master. The story was well done and had a great plot twist that left me saying NOOOOOOOO. But the end was so beautiful I couldn't help but be happy.

THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD - 5 stars!

Good God, these stories just keep getting better and better! Celaena returned home fro the desert to a too-kind Master offering a too-grand mission that seemed to good to be true. I will say, from the start of this story, I knew something was going to go horribly wrong just because her Master wasn't acting like the King of the Assassin's in the first and second story. This was so intense, and the twist threw me for a loop. I expected something, but I just wasn't sure what it would be. These stories are really keeping me on my toes, and I can't wait to dig into the full series!!!

THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE - 5 stars!

First and foremost. SAM AND CELAENA. *heart eyes* These two are so deadly yet soft with each other... It makes me melt.
This story was the icing on the cake. I want to tell you all the details and discuss a few things, BUT I will hold my fingers from writing it all out for you. This final tale in this book of novellas was so intense I couldn't put it down. I cried, I laughed, I swooned... It was all there, and it was perfect.

OVERALL:
Maas is a master.
Honestly, I can't believe I had not started this series sooner.

I feel each novella somehow got better and better. These stories were a great introduction to the character and her life before the main series begins. It was truly fascinating and had me on repeat: ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. I honestly cannot wait to dig into this series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather carnes
I read the first book in the Throne of Glass series last year. I was just in the beginning of the book when I knew I was going to love the book and it did not disappoint. I read the second book, Crown of Midnight January of this year and now I am a Sarah J Maas fan for life. I addicted and I want the books to go on forever, anyway that's beside the point, I got Assassin's Blade for Christmas and decided to go ahead and read after Crown of Midnight which for me, was perfect timing. I got to find out how things started between Sam and Celaena and how Sam met his fate. Events that were slightly mentioned in the first two books are more elaborated on in the novellas and to me that was an exciting.

The stories are new and fresh and so very much Celaena but we also get to see different sides to her and learn more about her past before Throne of Glass, with Arobynn Hammel. Speaking of the devil, I had a totally different perspective of him in Glass and now Assassin's Blade has totally destroyed what I thought I knew. The plots to each novella tie into each other (they have to be read in order) and it develops into a long classic Sarah J Maas story.

Assassin's Blade had my heart glowing and breaking, my blood boiling and my excitement through the roof. I will admit that I was going to wait to get this book, I mean it was just a collection of novellas. I feel that most series novella's are okay and I could just download a copy from the library but I was wrong. This book is everything and I am so happy I own a copy. If you are a fan of the Throne of Glass series then you need this book in your life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
doug kessler
pooled ink Reviews:

You can read this before or after Throne of Glass (book 1), it just depends on how you want to be introduced to Celaena. I happened to read this afterwards so for me it was like stepping back and getting a much more detailed glimpse into who Celaena was, how she became an assassin, and what people helped craft her childhood. But I don’t at all think that if I had read this beforehand that it would have spoiled or ruined anything for me going into ToG.
I absolutely swooned over ACOTAR and have sort of forgotten about continuing Celaena's story but reading The Assassin’s Blade has me excited and intrigued anew to get back into the ToG series.
The Assassin’s Blade is a must-read for fans of the Throne of Glass series and is a definite recommended read for any fan of Sarah J. Maas!

**Read the full review on Wordpress: Pooled Ink
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elewood
*Spoilers Ahead*
Well, I'm glad these novellas were made in to a big book as a whole. If I had had to read them separately, as they came out or, in general, I don't think they would have been as enjoyable. But, together, read in close proximity to each other, they were quite enjoyable.

As I started on novella number one, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I had started to think that the novellas wouldn't add up to much. The first one by itself didn't feel like it added much as far as insight to Celaena's character. The only things I had enjoyed were that we saw the beginning signs of her hatred for slavery, her inner moral character, and we were introduced to Sam.

As I made my way through number two, The Assassin and the Healer, I began to see more of Celaena's inner character. She was a fierce assassin at the young age of 16. She also had a soft spot for hard working women in troubling times. I admired her interaction with Yrene, the healer, and I enjoyed meeting a new character that I am hoping we will see again.

Novella number 3, The Assassin and the Desert, might have been my favorite one. Though it was predictable, we met one character which I assume we will meet again, and we met The Master. The Master was the head of the The Silent Assassins, and he was quite intriguing, and taught Celaena some valuable lessons.

I had a love/hate relationship with Number 4, The Assassin and the Underworld. It was very predictable for the most part, but still had a couple surprises. This one dealt heavily with Arobynn, and I hated him the whole time, and knew what was going to happen. All the novellas show how manipulative he could be, but this one really proved it.

And, finally, the last novella, The Assassin and the Empire, finished off the bunch. This was another love/hate relationship. I loved the bits we got of Sam and Celaena together, but hated the predictability of it all, and couldn't stand Arobynn's role. And, after learning so much about him, and how sneaky and manipulative he could be, I have formed a theory about Sam and his "death." Though, it would be best if I kept it to myself until I've made it further in the books.]

Were the novellas worth reading? I think so, but only as a whole. I enjoyed the fact that my reading buddy, Alex at Coffeeloving Bookaholic, and I decided to take advice and read them together between books 3 and 4. Even though they all took place before book 1, it was nice to get in to the story and then look back and gain more insight in to Celaena. It was also nice to look back and see how some of the events played out with Sam and Arobynn. They were predictable, for the most part, and I would not have recommended them if I had read each one separately with a lot of time in between, but as a whole, I would recommend the collection. I'd rate The Assassin's Blade 3.5-4 stars (or 4 faeries so we can leave the slicing and dicing to Celaena).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wina oktavia
As if I didn't already love this series enough (which I seriously do), Sarah J. Maas absolutely annihilated my feels with The Assassin's Blade.

The Assassin's Blade is made up of five novellas that Maas wrote to give us Celaena's backstory, what happened to our favorite assassin before and leading up to her sentence in Endovier. I DO NOT recommend reading this before you read Throne of Glass. I knew what the ending of The Assassin's Blade was going to be like, and it still hit me like a drop-kick to the heart.

Celaena is a pretty annoying brat for the first portion of this book. While you see some of this in Throne of Glass, a year in the salt mines of Endovier actually does some good for her character (although running away with her fellow assassin Sam Cortland would have been even better). But the event that sets everything into motion happens in the first novella, "The Assassin and the Pirate Lord"; Celaena ruins a slave trade-agreement that she and Sam have been sent to oversee, freeing 200 slaves in the process. She is punished brutally by Arobynn Hamel (the King of the Assassins and master of the Assassins Keep in the Adarlan capital of Rifthold), and then sent to learn her lesson in the middle of desert from The Mute Master of the Assassins (who turns out to be a much kinder, much better master than Arobynn). But when she returns home, a completely changed girl, well, that's when the trouble really starts.

Celaena has some really impressive character changes. I sort of hated her at the beginning, but as the book went on, she really grew on me. She had to endure some pretty terrible things, and she always came out the other side a better person. Near the end of the book, I was hoping and praying that it was going to end differently than I knew it was going to. Which of course it didn't.

SAM CORTLAND. WHY MUST YOU BE BETTER THAN CHAOL AND DORIAN COMBINED? I was firmly Team Chaol until I read Assassin's Blade, and now, I'm a little irritated at Sarah J. Maas. Cause of that ending. Which I won't spoil. BUT WHY SARAH? WHY MUST YOU DO THESE THINGS TO US???

There's a lot of cool fighting, adorable romance, spying, near death-experiences, and plotting in this book. It's action-packed, and will keep you reading late into the night. These books are a bit darker than your average YA book though, so be warned that there are scenes where torture is discussed, lots of violence ensues, and other unpleasant things occur. This is an absolute must read if you like Throne of Glass, and if you've never picked up what is one of my very favorite YA Fantasy series, you should still read this. Although, read Throne of Glass first. You'll thank me later.

Similar reads: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Review by Jessica @ Ramblings on Readings
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joshua roenfeldt
I’m late to the game in ready this series. Once I had decided to start reading it I wanted to start with this one because the novellas are prequels and give you some insight to Celaena and the people she had encountered before Throne of Glass and why she was where she was at the beginning of Throne of Glass. Be forewarned that there could be spoilers in this if you haven’t read this yet.

The first one is The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. Sam and Celaena are going on a missions for their master, Arobynn. They were told little about the deal. It turned out to be a slave trade. Celaena comes up with a plan to put a stop to the trade. I really enjoyed this one. It was a lot of introduction but I was drawn in to Sam and Celaena.

The Assassin and the Healer: This one is kind of short. Celaena is in a town of Innish. She is on her way to a month of training as part of her punishment for interfering with the slave trade. She considers not going & fleeing to start over. Celaena saved the barmaid Yrene from mercenaries. Celaena teaches Yrene some self-defense moves & tells her to teach others. After they essentially helped each other Celaena left her gold to get her out of the town. Celaena boarded her ship hoping Yrene would leave & heal the world.

I wasn’t as much of a fan of this one. I felt like it kind of dragged on. I know it was kind of a stepping stone between stories but I was kind of ready for it to be over.

The Assassin and the Desert: Celaena makes it to the island & the master puts her through a surprise test before being willing to say she can stay. Once he does she meets her roommate, Ansel. At first the most grueling part is trying to run 3 miles. Then they get attacked but are instructed that they can’t kill anyone. The next morning Ansel is sent to deliver a message & she asks Ceaelna to go with her. Ansel reveals a horrific up bringing from before her training. Celaena wonders around the market waiting on Ansel & finds a merchant that had spider silk that cost him 20 years. He asked her to be the warrior to get his years back. Timing is off for both though. Ansel gets Celaena to help take 2 horses. Ansel admits her real story to Celaena & that justice will be served. There is a midsummer festival & Celaena dances with Ilias. Ansel drugged Celaena & left a note that Master wanted Celaena to leave. She did but then started to doubt that the approval note was actually from Master. Celaena & Ansel fought & Celaena spared Ansel’s life. Master gave her the real approval note along with money to help in the debt she owes to free herself.

This one picked up a little more from the previous story. Even though it was still a little slow I was drawn deeper into Celaena’s world which I liked. I wanted her to make it through this so she could go back to Arobynn. I was hoping she would go and stand up for herself.

The Assassin and the Underworld: Celaena arrived home to present the note and money to Arobynn and only did the note because he began to apologize to her. He gave her gifts to get her forgiveness. She is leaving him hanging for now on if she accepts. Sam said that in order for Arobynn to get his forgiveness he made him promise to never lay a hand on her again. Arobynn offered Celaena a job & said she could keep all the money from it. After talking with Sam she tells him to help her & she would give him half the money. He accepts the offer to help but tells her to keep the money. Celaena does the job and then finds that Arobynn lied about the documents and the person she killed. She paid off Sam’s debt and they moved out to a place she had bought when she first arrived back.

This is one of my favorites. It was great to see Celaena stand up to Arobynn.

The Assassin and the Empire: Celaena knew that it would be good for her & Sam too move but she knows that if they don’t get Arobynn’s approval then they will never get work. Arobynn agreed but with a price. A price that she agrees to but Sam isn’t happy about it. Sam finds them a contract to get them money to replace what she is paying Arobynn. Celaena doesn’t like it because it is to take out the biggest crime Lord who is heavily guarded. Sam went to take care of his part of the contract and never returned. Arobynn showed & simply told Celaena that he was sorry. Celaena wouldn’t believe that Sam was dead until she saw his body. When she did she covered his body with her cloak & layed with him. She snuck out of her room because Arobynn had locked her door from the outside. She wanted revenge that she delivered herself. Farran drugged her with the same drug he used on Sam. She was set up and sentenced to work in the salt mines. Arobynn had set her & Sam up because he didn’t share his belongings which is how he viewed Celaena and the others.

This one killed me. I’m holding out hope that Celaena will cross paths with Arobynn again in one of the other books so she can set things right.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kartini
I was just about to dive into the first book in this series, Throne of Glass, when a good friend told me that I had to start with the prequel novellas (compiled here in this anthology). And I’m glad I did. I think this gives a nice bit of backstory, history, and character development/insight that I appreciate going into the first book. I’m not sure that I wouldn’t have gotten that anyway, but I like seeing the story as it plays out.

There are five prequels included here and they build on one another, so if you’re going to read one (and I’d argue that a couple of them are absolutely necessary to the character of Calaena), then you might as well read them all.

When I first started I wasn’t sure what to think of any of the characters. I didn’t know who to trust, so I adopted my ‘trust no one’ mantra, or what to believe. Everything seemed suspect – and as I got further into Calaena’s world I think that my suspicions played out rather devastatingly.

Calaena, here, is a brash, cocky, skilled assassin. But that doesn’t mean she’s infallible. She’s also more than a little naive and trusting where she probably shouldn’t be, and her cockiness leads her to never really believe the danger that lurks so close to her. She trusts where she shouldn’t and doesn’t trust where she should.

And I think there are some hard-learned lessons for Calaena in this set of novellas. They hurt, her and me, and I look forward to some characters getting their deserved ends. Calaena matured and grew throughout these novellas and – based on the ending of the last one – I’m sure there’s a lot more change coming in her future. I can’t wait to see it.

If I have one complaint, it’s the focus on the society stuff. I get that Calaena has to recon a job, get intel and research her marks, and I applaud that. But the pages and pages and pages of description about the events and clothes and symphonies and blah, blah, blah. Boring. I skimmed so much in those sections. Luckily you don’t miss much by skimming.

What really did interest me was the world. Magic apparently was a thing, but now it’s gone, except maybe not entirely. I’m intrigued by Calaena’s history, and the history of a bunch of other characters we met throughout these novellas – some of whom I desperately hope we see again someday.

Also, here’s hoping that there’s a female character, other than Calaena, that isn’t written off as “bad” that shows up sometime soon.

It’s been years since I’ve read the blurb on the first book, so I’m really interested to see how Calaena gets out of her latest predicament. And see her take revenge on all those who have wronged her.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
joshua d
These are the short stories that lead up to the events of the first Throne of Glass book. They show Celaena‘s life as Adarlan‘s Assassin and her relationships with people from her former life.
But even though this is a collection of short stories they still read together as one whole story or book, I would at least be very dissatisfied with them on their own. They intertwine and leave you with questions about what happens next that are then answered in the next story.

I liked learning about Celaena’s past and about things that have been mentioned in the books later on, and I finally know now what happened for her to end up in the salt-mines that they have only talked about very vaguely. But I do hope that the loose ends regarding that incident will be brought up and resolved soon in the next books (have only read the first 2 Throne of glass books now).
I do enjoy the series itself more, but it was definitely fun reading these stories and like I already mentioned getting to know more about Celaena’s backstory.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
randa kelly
The Assassin's Blade is the bind up of all 5 prequel novellas for the Throne of Glass. First, let me say that I haven't read the Throne of Glass because I wanted to read this one before I got started with the rest of the story. I loved this book so much. And even though, deep down I knew how it was going to end, it broke my heart. So, here are my thoughts on each novella.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
In this story we are intoduced 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 a remote island to claim something for her master without realizing that what she is there to collect is slaves. With the help of Sam, 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.

I loved this first story so much. Celaena is a very strong, smart and independent person. Everything you would expect from an assassin. Also I loved the connection between Sam and her, I could really see those two together.

This little novella is full of suspence, action and of course sword fights. Loved every bit of it. Also it starts to set the mood for the world that everthing is taking place, gives us a little bit of information of what to expect in the future.

The Assassin and the Healer
In this very short novella we get to see Celaena through the eyes of Yelena, a barmaid/healer trapped in a small town, unable to follow her dreams. It was really nice seeing a more humane side of Celaena, it made me love her even more. This story takes place between the Assassin and the Pirate Lord and the Assassin and the Desert and it shows us the decisions Celaena had to take in order to keep on following her own path in life. Really good, even though so damn small.

The Assassin and the Desert
After freeing the slaves despite the commands of her master, Celaena is sent to the Red Dessert to train with the Silent Assassins and try to gain a letter of recommendation from their Master. When she arrives there, she is surprised to find that despite the toughness of the desert this place is a welcome and warm home to lots of assassins and their caring master. There Celaena will start to make friends and train in order to catch the eye of the master. But besides her training Celaena soon discovers that there are more improtant things she should worry about while she is there. The Silent Assassins have an enemy and this enemy has a spy inside the city walls.

I really loved this story. As much as I did the previous ones. This had a more bitter feeling and I can't wait to learn a few things about Celaena's past. Reading about her adventures makes me want to know her story and how she became who she is.

The Assassin and the Underworld
In the fourth prequel of The Throne of Glass, the story of Celaena starts right after she returns from her summer in the Red Desert. Before she gets the chance to announce to her master that she can now pay for her freedom she is assigned one last mission. It seems like a good chance to help fight slavery and reunite with Sam, but as the past has shown, not everything is what it seems, and almost everyone is ready to betray the young assassin.

I loved this prequel as much as the rest of them. It was good to finally see the city that Celaena lives, walk through the streets, travel through the rooftops and swim, yes swim, in the sewers.

Another good thing about this novella is that Sam is back and this time the relationship between the two assassin is more intimate and goes into a whole other level. We also get to see a Celaena in her natural environment, doing things she loves to do, like playing music and going to the theater. I also think we had a brief glimpse of the prince, and if I am right...oh my, we are in for a treat in the actual book.

The Assassin and the Empire
The final prequel novella. This takes place a month after Celaena and Sam buy their freedom from the Assassins Guild. Together they try to make a life in the city but without any kind of job it is really hard. So, when Sam gets a job to kill the Crime Lord and his right hand they have to take it. But, as always, someone is ready to betray them and not both of them will make it out alive.

This was heart-breaking. I knew how it would end but still... I wished that somehow, something else entirely would happen. However, this novella gave us a more rounded view of Celaena's personality. From her very best to her very worst. It was so sad to see her broken, after all those times she was strong, but it really shows that after all she is still human.

All the novellas were amazing and now I am ready for the real story to kick off.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cooper
This book was fantastic! I was so glad to be back in the world of Endovier and Celaena Sardothien. I didn't realise how much I missed her.

This book contained five novellas of the story of Celaena, and in each one she undergoes a new challenge. Even though they were technically five separate books, they were able to be read as one novel and they flowed beautifully..of course.

We follow the assassin through her missions - the first of which is freeing the slaves that her master sent her over to acquire. This lead to a major punishment of being sent to train in the desert, when she returned her mission was the beginning of a betrayal that she could not get past.

This book was full of adventure, love, friendship, heartbreak and betrayal at the hands of those you least expected - it will cause you to experience a flood of different feels.

The main characters in this story were multi-dimensional and wonderful to follow.
Celaena was brave and fierce and she felt so deeply at so many different points, my heart broke for her on more than one occasion. She and Sam were just perfect.
Sam, who was her rival for so long, became her partner in the first mission and her friend from then on. He was loving and handsome but deadly at the same time - you couldn't help but fall for him.
The master - Arobynn Hamel was an awful person, but he worked in the story brilliantly, setting the scene for his character being discussed in the next book Throne of Glass. He was definitely my least-favourite character.

Before reading this book, I had only read Throne of Glass - I am quite thankful for this as I could remember the beginning of that one and appreciate how it linked up with the end of The Assassin's Blade. I am really looking forward to getting to the rest of the series!

Thank you for reading my review of The Assassin's Blade. Until next time, happy reading!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
majid m
Before I started this series, so many people told me that I needed to read these novellas first before Throne of Glass. I want to take this time to thank all of those people! You guys were so right. You cannot go into this series without reading The Assassin's Blade first. Without it, you lack the emotional insight you need going into book one and understanding Celaena. However, it wasn't until after I read the first two novellas that I understood why I had to read this book first. They are kind of slow and since I wasn't emotionally attached to Celaena yet, I kept asking myself, "why should I care?" That all changed once I got to The Assassin and The Desert. This novella really grabbed onto my heart and sucked me into Celaena's character. From there on, I fell in love--particularly with Sam T_T. I've never read any novellas that on their own tangled all my feelings together until this book. I wasn't prepared for the heartache I would experience and it made me really want to jump into the other books in the series.

Full review: http://www.bookrambles.com/2015/09/the-assassins-blade-throne-of-glass-01.html
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer schilder
I've been a fan of the Throne of Glass series for a long time, but I had always skipped the novellas... till now. I'm just not always a novella person - I'm naturally skeptical about how much they add if they were cut from the actual books for a reason. Well. This is probably the best collection of novellas I've ever read, and I think they definitely add to the series in a positive way.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: 4.5/5
This was a fantastic way to dive back into the Throne of Glass universe. It instantly reminded me of everything I love about Celaena - her arrogance, her fierceness, her strong morals. And hey, I'm finally getting to know Sam... and I'm liking what I'm seeing. Seriously, they have such an interesting dynamic, and he is hella charming.

This is one of the better novellas I've read till now (for all kinds of series) because though it's not strictly speaking vital to read to enjoy the series, it has a strong self-contained adventure that serves a clear purpose. A nice glimpse of Celaena's life back when it was arguably somewhat less complicated that gives an indication of her character and conviction. Not too much depth and damn I could have used a romantic flutter, but I'll let that go.

The Assassin and the Healer: 3.5/5
So this story actually continues from where the previous one left off, but it's more of an in-between story. While Celaena is on her way to the desert for her punishment in the form of training with the Silent Assassins, she stops off in Innish to wait for a boat. There she encounters a healer who is stuck working at a crappy inn, and she finds a kind of kindred spirit in her. While I enjoyed the story (because quite frankly, I will drool over any moment of Celaena being cool), this is the kind of novella you could easily skip and never miss out on. Then again, maybe Yrene will return at some point in the series, and in that case, having this origin story may be quite nice.

The Assassin and the Desert: 4/5
In the next installment of Celaena's adventures, she's out in the Red Desert, training with the Silent Assassins. This is another complete story arc, to be honest. It's a new setting, you meet some new characters (who, again, I feel could also show up later in the series), and you definitely get a glimpse of another area of Erilea and learn a bit more about the complicated political dynamics in this world. What I love most though is that Celaena is still so fierce. Like I honestly got giggly about how awesome she is in this story.

What was a bit heavy handed in this story was Celaena's continually recurring thoughts to Sam. Like I could feel the building romantic tension without that, so to have her thinking of him so often was kind of unnecessary? But since at this point I did already ship them, I didn't mind that too much. Perhaps my favorite parts of this story were the awesome action scenes. Honestly, the movements are all described so fluidly that I could basically see it all in my mind - as if it were a movie - and it was an absolute breeze to read through.

The Assassin and the Underworld: 4.5/5
It's what I was waiting for: Celaena is back in Rifthold... and so is Sam. I mean, I'm not always 100% focused on romance, but the tension was building so much that I was desperate for this ship to actually set sail. And it did. And it was glorious. Sam is just so pure and good. But also fierce.

I also love this story because it shows that Celaena is a fierce assassin, but she can also be a total girly girl. Those things are NOT mutually exclusive. She gets so excited about dresses, jewelry, perfumes - you name it... and she wears those things only for herself, not to impress others or as a cover on her assassin missions... She just loves it. And then, you know, she can kill you. There's an interesting mission in this one, and some intriguing deception that I kind of saw coming, but it sure made for a compelling read.

The Assassin and the Empire: 4.5/5
Oh god. Here's where the heartbreak comes. Seriously, I feel emotionally violated. But then again, having read Throne of Glass, I absolutely 100% knew that this was coming. But still, to know the exact details of when, where, and how... Ouch.

To be honest, as a novella, this one has it all. And if you only want to read one of these, read this one. There's romance, hope, betrayal, action, intensity, and heartbreak. And once again, you get a better understanding of Celaena as a person. This was a vital moment in her past that undoubtedly shaped who she is for the rest of her life. So maybe she was a bit naive about a certain thing (or a couple of things) and I was yelling at the book, "NO! BAD IDEA! STOP!" But it makes sense. She had a youthful moment of hope, and freedom seemed so close... Sadly she just is proven how messed up and dark the world truly is. But I love her. So much. Such a complex, amazing character.

Summing Up:

Wow. I did not expect to love a collection of novellas this much, but The Assassin's Blade is outstanding. The five stories actually flow directly into each other and together tell the tale of the events that got Celaena to where she is at the beginning of Throne of Glass . Together, they actually work as a complete novel. There's some world building as Celaena visits other areas of Erilea, and there's a lot of character development. You definitely get to know Celaena on a much deeper level by reading these stories... and basically I just fell completely in love with her (again) because of them. And Sam... oh Sam.

I'm not the biggest fan of novellas, so please believe me when I tell you that I 100% advocate for these stories. They're exciting, enlightening, beautifully written, and truly impressive. Not completely vital to the series, but a definite positive addition.

Recommended To:

All fans of the series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
oscar aguilar
This book was actually 5 stories in one book, some of the stories I liked alot, and some I did not care for. I loved Celaena, I really enjoyed her and Sam's relationship, their bickering, trying to be better then the other, in the end they respect each other and after all of the stories they love each other and would die for each other.
The first story The Assassin and The Pirate Lord is a really good novella and it shows the line that Celaena won't cross, it was full of action.
The next story The Assassin and The healer was good, much shorter, but once again showed how Celaena can care for others even if she tries to act all tough, she helps out a lost girl find her way again.
Then The Assassin and The Desert started out terrible, it broke my heart but once she started her trek to the Red desert as punishment the story was different, I liked reading about her time with The Silent Assassin's. There were some surprises, and at times I wish she could have just stayed there.
The Assassin and The Underworld was such a hard read, I was so happy at first thinking Celaena was going to finally stand up for herself but then she switched back the the selfish girl we knew at the start which was disappointing. There was parts I did not understand why it was even in the story, then finally she woke up but just in time to be betrayed yet again. I loved the time she had with Sam but their happiness did not last, I cried so much when reading this novella.
The Assassin and The Empire was once again a hard read, Celaena and Sam just could not catch a break, no matter what they did someone was always lying to them and betraying them but the price they paid this time was the worst ever and I have not cried that much in so long, I almost did not finish the story but now I just can't wait to read Throne of Glass because there better be retribution!!!!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kate croegaert
I'll admit it: I forced myself to read this before reading "Queen of Shadows" because after reading some reviews, a lot of people said "The Assassin's Blade" should be read before diving into "Heir of Fire" but alas.

I appreciate these novellas because they show more of Celeana's character and a lot more of her motives in the first two books. The first two novellas were just...meh, but as the interactions with Sam were more frequent and Celeana suddenly realized her relationship with Arobynn wasn't what she thought it was.

I'm starting to realize that I don't think I like Celeana. I mean, granted, I don't HATE her. She's an amazing assassin but her...arrogance, her pride, her selfishness--whatever you want to call it--irks me, too. I think more so in these novellas because she rubs it in your face nearly all the time. I don't remember thinking that when I was read Crown of Midnight or Heir of Fire because it was well-balanced with her non-assassin tendencies like fancy dresses and nice shoes.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

What confused me the most was when Sam confessed his love for Celeana. How in the world can you love a girl who has always shown her dislike for you? She rubs it in that she's better than you in nearly everything and yet you admit your love and suddenly she realizes she loves you too? Like, what? That's the main reason I gave this 3 stars instead of 4.

Celeana obviously has a lot of bitterness towards Arobynn even before any of the events in Crown of Midnight so I look forward to how things play out in Queen of Shadows.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ardita
I thought this was the next book in the series .. But no just a set of 0.5's 1.5's etc ebook things that they decided to put into an actual blinded book. Personally when u put them all together in a book format it makes it very confusing and you loose track of where you are.Or are u in between which book or are you before or after this or that happened. A confusing mess. If u want to read the books in between then just read the usually free ebook. They aren't that long. Even i who refuses to read a book via e-reader will read the 0.5's if the book is good enough.

Don't waste your money if u don't have to. I ended up returning this book because I was stupid and didn't realize it before buying it.. (Ha mostly cuz I really like this series and was so excited to see another book coming it that I didn't realize it wasn't actually the next book in the series hahah..) trying to save others from my same fate.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
claire hargreaves
When I first picked up The Assassin’s Blade, I was really excited to read it. I’ve heard so many amazing things about the Throne of Glass books. I was gifted Throne of Glass over a year ago by a good friend. People have been DEMANDING I read this series. So I’ve finally started! Unfortunately, The Assassin’s Blade did NOT meet my expectations.

So, why did I read The Assassin’s Blade before Throne of Glass (the official first book in the series)? I had a lot of people telling me to read The Assassin’s Blade first – they said they wished they had read it first because they would have understood and liked Throne of Glass more if they had. Some even said they re-read Throne of Glass after reading The Assassin’s Blade.

But then I had other people telling me to put The Assassin’s Blade down and read Throne of Glass first – they said it would be easier to understand the characters and world in The Assassin’s Blade if I read Throne of Glass first.

So, of course, my head was spinning and I was completely confused. But I had been set on reading The Assassin’s Blade for a long time – so long, in fact, that I tried picking up Throne of Glass and had to put it down because I’m a mood reader and I was too set on The Assassin’s Blade and, therefore, not at all in the mood for Throne of Glass.

I went into The Assassin’s Blade with high expectations for two reasons. One: Everyone LOVES Sarah J. Maas and her books. Two: I was, personally, very excited for The Assassin’s Blade. When I first picked it up in the bookstore, I read twenty pages and couldn’t put it down.

While I loved the characters, the world-building and Maas’s writing style, I wasn’t thrilled with any of the plots of the novellas. I rated each novella individually, then averaged them together. Overall, I gave The Assassin’s Blade a 3-star rating. Since I’ve never reviewed a novella compilation before, I’m just going to break this down and discuss each novella, plus I’ll include each individual star rating.

Here we go:

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord – Rating: 3 stars
As I mentioned, I had high expectations for this book, but especially for this first novella. The first twenty pages were what convinced me I HAD to buy it and read it first. But after the first twenty pages, things went downhill, fast. First of all, I’m not a huge fan of books that involve slavery of any kind. I’m also not that into books with pirates… Unless it’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Then I’ll make an exception ;)

I really like Celaena. She’s a tough bitch with a kind heart, which is an odd/rare combination, but also a perfect combination. She does what she has to to survive, but she has morals and lines she refuses to cross. She can take care of herself, but she’s not invincible and knows when to ask for help, though she does so a bit stubbornly.

I adored Sam! I liked the progression of his relationship with Celaena. They didn’t start out instantly in love. It took time and trust and, even at the end of The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, they still weren’t in the best of places. Though I could definitely feel the shift in their relationship when it happened.

I liked seeing life inside the Assassin’s Keep. I wish we had gotten to know Ben, though. He sounded like an amazing character. I never trusted Arobynn, not even for one second. I wanted him to be like a father figure to Celaena, but I knew it wasn’t in his nature, unfortunately.

I think my biggest issue with The Assassin and the Pirate Lord was definitely the plot. It was slow and boring and not something I’m a fan of. I also didn’t really like any of the secondary characters.

The Assassin and the Healer – Rating: 3.5 stars
I actually really enjoyed The Assassin and the Healer, though it still wasn’t my favorite of the five (maybe second favorite?). I liked the setting a lot, as well as the secondary characters. It was the shortest novella and likely meant just to be filler to get to the third novella, but it was enjoyable. It was interesting seeing Celaena out of her element and on her own, without Sam, Arobynn or any other familiar faces. I really like Yrene, but what are the odds we’ll ever see her again, outside of this single novella? For that reason, I tried not to get too attached. However, Celaena’s interactions with Yrene proved that, deep down, Celaena is a kind person with a warm heart. I liked seeing that side of her.

The Assassin and the Desert – Rating: 3.5 stars
I loved the plot, the secondary characters (Ansel, Mikhail, Ilias and the Mute Master) and the lessons learned in this novella. Going into it, I was nervous that it would be Celaena traveling in the desert for weeks by herself (boring!) so I’m glad Maas skipped all that and went right into the action of the main plot.

The Assassin and the Desert definitely had a lot of action and betrayal. I was so upset with where things ended for most of the characters and I felt so bad for Celaena. That said, I can see Ansel playing a major part in one of the main books. I’m eager to see her and Celaena reunite!

Sadly, despite being my favorite of the novellas, The Assassin and the Desert still had small sections that were slow and a bit boring. Certain things annoyed me, though I don’t think I can really explain why.. They just did. But, as I said, it was still my favorite, despite these small issues.

The Assassin and the Underworld – Rating: 3 stars
The title of this novella had me really excited. I took the title literally and assumed all the wrong things. So that was a bit disappointing. I also found this novella to be the most slow and boring of the five.

With this novella, my distrust in Arobynn increased tenfold. I was so mad at Celaena for not questioning Arobynn more, though Sam was incredibly suspicious of him and sort of made up for Celaena’s behavior. I definitely fell for Sam in this novella, which was such a bad idea.. Someone on Twitter spoiled me regarding his fate, yet I still let myself fall hard for him. Sigh.

Though this novella had a handful of good – and even intriguing – moments, I was mostly just bored and disappointed.

The Assassin and the Empire – Rating: 3.5 stars
I mentally and emotionally braced myself for this novella. As I mentioned, the major plot point in this one was spoiled for me. But I didn’t know how or why it happened, so that was still a shock – though, as I’ve said, I never trusted Arobynn, so that part wasn’t a shock at all! Even knowing what would happen, my heart still broke into a million tiny pieces. *SOBS*

The ending of The Assassin and the Empire was definitely the most intriguing/exciting/crazy/etc of all the novellas. Sadly, it was also really predictable. In The Assassin and the Underworld, Celaena was tricked. But in The Assassin and the Empire she was played – big time! I knew by whom and I had a good guess as to why.. But seeing the actual explanation was a bit shocking.

~*~*~*~*~

Overall, The Assassin’s Blade was an interesting read. I loved the characters and world. Maas is a great writer! But I really couldn’t get into the plots of the novellas. Some of them were slow and boring, some just were about subjects that I don’t normally like to read. Each one had certain moments that were enjoyable or memorable. There were some amazing secondary characters that I truly hope we’ll meet again in later books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chul hyun ahn
Yup. I definitely see what all the hype is about. This book was awesome! Each novella was creative, fun, and progressed with an overarching story. If I'm being totally honest with myself, I was annoyed with Celaena's arrogance at first since there was little "assassinating" going on. But that didn't last long. She's a unique character with a powerful voice and is formidable in combat. I liked watching her transition from glory to ruins, and she became way more complex with each new novella. It's hard to choose which story I liked the most but I would have to go with THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD. It felt like the most in-depth to me. But that's personal preference. Every novella was excellent and exciting for its own reasons, though a little predictable at times. I like learning Celaena's vulnerabilities and learning about her signature catch phrase (or at least what I assume it will be–– haven't read the other books yet), and it will definitely enhance the rest of the series now thatI know who she was compared to who she will become. I'll say this much: I do not envy her enemies for the hell she's going to unleash on them. The book did end on a spoiler (of sorts), but it just makes me instantly want to pick up THRONE OF GLASS and experience more of the adventures of this strong-willed, powerful, deadly young woman who still has secrets that are yet to be revealed. Not a book to be missed!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
urmika
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

♥♥♥♥

What was Celaena like before she was sent to the salt mines? How did her relationship with Sam begin? I knew this book would answer those questions, what I didn't realize was how entertaining I would find each individual story.

One of the things I like most about Sarah J. Maas' writing is the incredible growth her characters undertake. Celaena in every single book is different from the one before. This Celaena fits perfectly at the beginning of her character arc. She is exactly who I imagined her to be. We have the girl who is hiding from her past, the assassin she is trained to, and yet, we see glimpses of who she will become. Having read this book after reading Heir of Fire, I have no trouble looking believing this Celaena will become the one from Heir.

I liked this story. I really liked getting to know Sam. I already knew some about him, but it was still nice meeting him myself. He was pretty much what I expected, and while I will never love his character, he was exactly what Celaena needed at that point in her life.

The Assassin and the Healer

♥♥♥♥

Celaena's actions have cost her more than just lost favor. Now she is on her way to see out another master assassin and to study under him or else her master will be even more displeased.

This was probably my second to least favorite story. Celaena is dealing with the consequences of her misadventure with the pirate lord. On one hand I liked her interactions with the barmaid and the empowering messages the story had. But on the other, it just wasn't what I was expecting.

The Assassin and the Desert

♥♥♥♥.5

You really get to see Celaena's strength coming through in this story. She knows she has no choice but to do as her master commanded, and while she is not pleased with her punishment, she is determined to see it through. Her strength really shines in this one, and that is part of the reason this is my favorite story of them all.

By this point in the book, you really see how each story is interconnected not only to each other, but you start to see how her past blends right in to the world created over three books. Which is pretty cool since the world in book three is far larger and deeper than the one we were introduced to in book one. Each story here hits places or people that related to that larger world. I started wondering just how these people introduced matter to the overall story. Will they come back? Will we find out what happened to them afterwards?

The Assassin and the Underworld

♥♥♥♥

I knew exactly what this story was about from the very beginning. Anyone who's read the other books in this series, knew exactly what was going to happen before the end. I'm torn between this one and the Pirate Lord one as my second favorite stories. This one had a lot of action, drama, and romance. But it was also very predictable and Celaena slightly annoyed me. After the events of the first three stories, she had to have know her place was threatened. She had to have seen that her master wasn't the great man she always believed him too be. So why did she allow him to manipulate her like that? It was like we stepped back from the Celaena from the desert and leaped forward to the Celaena the slave.

The Assassin and the Empire

♥♥♥.5

This one wasn't so much a story as it was a bridge between the events that shattered Celaena's life and the start of book one. It was still entertaining to read, but it wasn't as high stakes as the others. Or maybe that was because I knew going in what her final destination was going to be. There is just not much for me to say about this one.

Words To Live By

"It was for the safety of whatever fool tried to break in- and would then find himself split open from naval to nose just to satisfy a wandering assassins' boredom."

"And education and culture were equally important- words could be just as deadly as steel."

"If you can endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it- to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger."

Overall

Overall, I really liked this book. The Assassin's Blade could be read at any point during the Throne of Glass and still be fully appreciated. If you haven't started the Throne of Glass series yet, then you have no excuse not to pick this book and start today.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caitlin girouard
Assassin and the Pirate Lord is the first novella and I was so excited to read it. It features two of my favorite things, meaning assassins and pirates. For as long as I can remember that was where my daydreams would linger, on one of the two options. I would picture myself as an assassin sneaking through shadows to reach my target, or as a pirate captain wielding a cutlass and commanding my motley crew. As I started this one my expectations were incredibly high. How can someone have my two fantasies in the same book and it not be good?! Well Sarah J. Maas wrote another great story here and introduced the character Sam Cortland. I’m excited to see their relationship progress as I read the novellas. I only had a single complaint--the typical way they start off hating each other and move towards romance. She’s did the exact same thing with both Chaol and Dorian. I guess that’s just her modus operandi.

The Assassin and the Healer seems to be the shortest of all the novellas. In this one we learn that Celaena is being sent to the Red Desert as punishment for disobeying Arobynn. She gets stuck waiting for a ship to take her there in an empty, boring town called Inning. There we meet Yrene, a healer who was traveling to learn more about healing when she ran out of money in Inning. She’s a nice character, has her flaws but is strong when it’s something she believes in. Celaena was an ass, frankly, for most of this one but at the end she shows who she is and reminds you why you like her. All in all, it’s a quick read and enjoyable if you have enjoyed the other books by Sarah J. Maas. It is, however, just not that exciting for the most part.

In The Assassin and the Desert I really loved the addition of Ansel and I believe there is an opportunity to come back to her later. And if they do, I genuinely cannot wait. The master and his son were both characters that I like and wouldn’t mind seeing again as well. As all the others have been it was well written and interesting. Sarah J. Maas really has a talent and has become one of my favorite authors.

The Assassin and the Underworld was the best Throne of Glass novella so far. Sam and Celaena were almost too much for me in this one and I can’t believe how attached I’ve become to him. The ending was predictable but like I say, if it’s well done that’s not an issue. And Sarah J. Maas delivered just as she continuously has in every book of hers I’ve read. I cannot recommend this book series enough!

The final novella, The Assassin and the Empire, was beautifully written. I knew what to expect but it still managed to hit me hard. This novella sealed the five star rating for me in the end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole albers
This book….. daaaammmmn
It was everything I’d hoped for: we see why Celaena is Ardalan’s Assassin (is it wrong to enjoy her killing sprees? Because I unashamedly do) and we also see Sam in his element… *sniffles* If you haven’t started this series yet, I have no clue what you’re doing with yourself! Just be warned for the avalanche of feels this book drowns you with.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord - 5 STARS
This was such the perfect start because you get to see Celaena doing her thing being badass but you can also see some redeeming qualities coming to the surface which Sam is starting to realise too. The love-hate relationship between the two is just perfect!

The Assassin and the Healer – 4 STARS
This novella was short but necessary because it introduced the importance of trying to follow your correct path, and how something so seemingly insignificant as meeting a stranger could impact this.

The Assassin and the Desert – 5 STARS
I loved getting a better insight of the world in this story along with the other assassins guild. The Silent Master was a great edition and made me think about Arobynn… I don’t trust him as far as I could throw him, after all he didn’t become King of the Assassins for nothing.

The Assassin and the Underworld – 4.5 STARS
The relationship between Celaena and Sam that develops here just warms my fangirl heart. So of course I’m on high alert for something terrible to happen.

The Assassin and the Empire – 5 STARS
I wrote one thing in my notes for this novella and it smudged from my tears: “it’s broken me”.

So excuse me while I go cry in the corner a little more…

Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
david bell
Let me get this straight at the very beginning that I can get a bit fanatical about a series and characters when I LOVE them. So much so that if I ever met J.K Rowling, I would probably bombard her with a million questions down to what shampoo did young Sirius Black use… Yeah, that fanatic! Besides Harry Potter Series, Throne of Glass Series is the only one that has managed to capture my heart that bad. So, needless to say, when I started reading Throne of Glass, I wanted to know more about Celaena, how she ended up in the salt mines of Endovier in the first place and more about her relationship with Sam. It was only when I read the five novellas included in ‘The Assassin’s Blade’ that some of my questions were answered.

In The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, the first novella, Celaena and Sam go against their orders to free the slaves they were supposed to claim and try and get away with it all.

The Assassin and the Healer is the second novella in the series. It tells us the story of Celaena and Yelena and what happened when these two very different yet similar girls met.

The Assassin and the Desert takes Celaena into the Red Desert as a punishment for going against Arobynn’s orders. It turns out to be a boon in disguise.

The Assassin and the Underworld tells us the story of Celaena’s last mission for Arobynn Hamel that takes the stakes to whole new level.

The Assassin and the Underworld, the last novella in the series, tells us the story of Celaena and Sam trying to survive after they have bought their freedom from Arobynn.

All these novellas have one thing in common – they tell us more about Celaena before the Throne of Glass series started. They show us different sides of Celaena – one who can empathize, who loves music and theatre and appreciates the finer things in life. It also gives us a look into the kind of training that Celaena received and her overall upbringing since the death of her parents. They also introduced a few new characters to us and I really loved ‘The Master’ of the assassins of the Red Desert. I hope we will see more of him.

Action packed, these are tales of a valiant girl – her fears, her losses, her love and her survival.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrea waldron
These are the five novellas that take place before the Throne of Glass series even begins. And this was my first introduction into the ToG world…and let me tell you. I fell swiftly and I fell hard into this fandom.

I talked to a few people before starting the series, trying to get a handle on whether or not to read the novellas or just start the series first. Many novellas are written after the first few books, so often they don’t need to be read first. The consensus I seemed to get from most people was that while you don’t have to read The Assassin’s Blade before the series, it would help to understand Celaena, the main character, and the world that Maas has created. After reading it, I totally understand this and I’m so glad I read these five stories before I dive into the real ToG world.

One of my really good friends started reading Throne of Glass last year and didn’t like it at all. She actually didn’t finish it because she couldn’t get over the arrogance of Celaena. Celaena knows she’s one of the world’s greatest assassins. She’s been trained for that her entire life. But these stories show how she came to be that way. She’s been hardened by betrayal, death, and loss of friendship and trust and love. And she knows that she’s arrogant. It’s kind of just a part of who she is. And I think if I had started reading ToG without these novellas, I might not have come to that conclusion. I think her life has trained her to think highly of herself. She needs to think highly of herself, have extreme confidence in herself, to do what she does.

But I honestly think this confidence and arrogance is just a mask. And I think my favorite part of these stories was when I got to see her take off her mask, break down the walls she’s built up for herself. She says, “‘Deep down, I’m a coward…I’m a coward, and I’m scared. I’m scared all the time. Always.'” Among other things, she admits to her cowardice, her fear of things going wrong. Something she hides the rest of the time and I felt for her. I think at times we all put on a face. It might not be the face of extreme confidence to professionally assassinate someone…but we all do it. We may put on the face of contentment when we’re really grieving or frustrated or angry or all of these things at once. We may act like we’re confident when we’re really shaking inside. We may laugh when we want to cry. These are all masks that we put on. And arrogance is Celaena’s.

Moving on from that, though, I like that each story is separate but they’re all connected. They’re all chronological and they build on each other. They each have a separate plot, a separate climax, a separate set of secondary characters. But they all contribute to the same thing: the character of Celaena. Each story shows a different side of her.

And each story moves forward and builds up to the last novella: The Assassin and the Empire. This one is definitely the climax of all five. The story of all stories. The one that will simultaneously rip your heart out while forcing you to keep turning pages. Seriously, my heart was ripped out. If I wasn’t reading the heart-wrenching scene(s) right before my internship, I probably would have cried/curled-up-into-a-little-ball/stared-at-the-ceiling-never-wanting-to-move-again-until-I-could-read-ToG. After a certain scene, or two, or three…I started picturing Sarah J. Maas differently. I could now see her, preparing to write a new book, thinking of the perfect way to crush the hearts of her readers.

But like I said, I fell hard into this fandom. I had never even heard of Throne of Glass until I started book blogging but literally everyone loves it. So I jumped aboard and I am full steam ahead. I just received the first three books in hardcover today…And Maas is coming an hour away from my school in September so I’m going to see her then hopefully! And probably have no idea what to say because what do you say to someone who broke your heart like she did but that also created such a rich world and set of characters? I’ll probably just stand there and squeak when she sits in front of me in her full Sarah J. Maas glory.

Okay, moving on. On to Throne of Glass!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michael arbogast
This is truly an amazing series. I wish the cover art wasn't so cliche and outdated, because it deters people from actually reading it! I read copious amounts of books and all kinds, and this whole series has been a pleasant surprise. The characters are real, the story is riveting, and it's written extremely well. I've read them all through book 5 and I couldn't recommend it more. I don't think it's a YA series, either - it feels rather adult to me (I'm 33 years old). Anyway, don't be put off by the cover art or the kind of cliche novel titles - the series is phenomenal, give it a go!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bethany miller
Throne of Glass Prequel Novellas

When Celaena Sardothien is sent to seek retribution for the deaths of members of the Guild of Assassins, she is met with a rude awakening. As an assassin, Calaena does not condone the use of slavery, but her master doesn't necessarily agree with her misgivings. Calaena and Sam Cortland, fellow assassin and nemesis, are pushed to work together to stop the trade of over 200 souls. On their return to the Guild, their master, Arobynn Hamel, punishes both of them for their insolence. Thus, Calaena is sent to study under the master of the Southern Guild until she can convince him of her worth. When Calaena returns home, she is tested by Arobynn yet again. Finally, once she is through with his schemes, Calaena and Sam move out of the keep and sever ties with the Guild. With plans to move out of the kingdom completely, they decide to take one last job to set themselves up for life.

If you are interested in the Throne of Glass series, this set of novellas (best read as a full story!) will give you the background you need and show you how deeply Sarah J. Mass can pull you into her world. If you have already read/started the series, this will show you a peek into Calaena's later motivations.

Audio Review:
Elizabeth Evans is the perfect combination of simple narration and emotionally charged action. She gives each character a voice, but steps back when the story tells itself. She is Calaena.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brian gallagher
4 Years I waited patiently to read this series... Yes, I have patience, I always wait for 95% of books to be published before I delve into a series. Why? I once made the mistake by reading a book only to discover it was part of a series and it drove me crazy!
Wow, what a way to enter 2017. I started reading this book the day before new year and finished it on New Years!
This story is crazy. It's fantastic. It pulls you into the world of Celaena, Sam and Arobynn. It's sick and twisted on a light note I have to add.
I don't like giving spoilers, so I will refrain from spitting out any information.
I think this book was written very well. Every piece fit into a perfect puzzle.
This story is fantasy, so those readers going on an on about how unreal and impossible some scenes are...it's fiction people. Fantasy at its best in the sense of let your imagination run wild and enjoy the characters journey.
I'm starting with Throne of Glass after I complete this review. Can't wait to begin reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lindsay pease
Excellent. These novellas are brilliant. They really give you a solid background on our beloved assassin and her life before all the books in the main Throne of Glass series. A must read!

There is so much I want to say about this book, and so much I can't say about it because I don't want to give anything away! I read the first book in the series (Throne of Glass) then read these stories and will now be moving on to Crown of Midnight. Because of these novellas, many of Celaena's thoughts, movements, and motivations are that much clearer. You get a new appreciation for her and her actions and may even find that you have some other reason to root for her to figure a few things out and get a certain amount of revenge on a select few. I can't say more! I'll wind up giving things away in my need to ramble about all the things that happened and that I now know!

I must read the next book now so I'll end this review by saying if you like this series you desperately need this book. It's insightful and brilliant and I would definitely recommend it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ahmed bulbul
This review is going to be a touch different from my standard essay-style reviews (I can’t help it, the essay format was drilled into me in high school and college and it’s just how my reviews normally come out when I start typing!) because I need to preface this review with a confession. Throne of Glass, book one in this series, was a huge challenge for me. I didn’t care much for heroine and self-proclaimed badass assassin Celaena until the very end, mostly because there was a lot of talking about how amazingly deadly and how deserving of her reputation she was, but yet I saw no evidence of it on page. There were hints of past jobs done here and there, but for the most part Celaena seemed to have a high opinion of herself unsupported by action.

I was told by many that I really should have started with the prequel novellas before tackling Throne of Glass, but it seemed strange to me that I would need to start a series prior to book one in order to care for the main character. When the opportunity to review all five prequel novellas presented itself however, I thought it was more than time to give Celaena a second chance.

I couldn’t be happier I did. The young woman in the five novellas comprising The Assassin’s Blade is the Celaena I expected to find in Throne of Glass. The Celaena I'd been hoping for all along. She still has an undeniably inflated ego, but over the course of these stories it becomes clear she has a heart to match it in size, and she more than proves her ability to put her fists and her blades where her mouth is. She has moments where her young age gets the best of her and a perceived slight causes her to lash out with some unnecessarily sharp words, but she shows growth and maturity with each novella, and I repeatedly found myself with an evil grin on my face whenever someone made the mistake of underestimating her physically or mentally.

Each novella gets progressively darker, building up to something those who’ve read only the synopsis of Throne of Glass would pick up on through the notable absence of a certain character, but even knowing it was coming didn’t fully prepare me for the delivery of such a brutal blow. The cold young woman who seemed as though her ego could use a check or ten in Throne of Glass suddenly made much more sense; the loss she struggles with at the end of The Assassin’s Blade leaving her with her guilt and her former sterling reputation–dulled from its previous shine–wrapped tight around her like armor against the person who betrayed her. It’s with vengeance and a need for retribution to match Celaena’s own that I closed the back cover of The Assassin’s Blade, eagerly anticipating the moment when the man who cost her everything will inevitably find himself on the lethally right side of Celaena’s blades.

Rating: 4/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
karin reffner
The Assassin’s Blade is a collection of five short stories that precede Throne of Glass, taking place when Celaena was still in her prime as Adarlan’s Assassin. Instead of self-contained short stories, the five overlap, providing an over-arching storyline of how Celaena’s ends up in the Salt Mines at the beginning of the first novel. They provide background and flesh out the story, as well as being entirely entertaining and engrossing on their own.

The stories also provide more characterization to Celaena Sardothien, giving more backstory and explaining certain motivations for Celaena’s behavior. Those who found Celaena unlikable in the first book, Throne of Glass, might better understand and appreciate the history of Celaena and what makes her a unique and powerful female lead.

The writing is marvelous, illustrative and powerful, and Maas has a strength for character development and portrayal. The entire world Maas has created feels real and tangible, something that makes her books thoroughly enjoyable. While prequels can sometime falls flat, this set of short stories adds to the series, the characters, and the world Maas has created, and is a must-have for any fan or those looking to get into this popular series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sutharshan
I do not even know how to express my love for this book. I mean I have really loved the Sarah J Maas books I read before The Assassin's Blade but this one really blew me away. It is definitely different from the regular books in the series. This book is basically a compilation of 5 novellas, all taking place before Throne of Glass. I loved reading about Celaena at this point of her life and I also really enjoyed how these novellas all took place around the same time and kind of told her story before Throne of Glass within 5 novellas. It was an epic journey filled with both laughs and tears and I really loved every page of it.

The characters in this book were glorious and I really enjoyed getting to know people, especially Arobynn and Sam. These two are constantly mentioned characters in Throne of Glass and getting to know them felt like walking into a different era in Celaena's life. Sarah writes about a very different Celaena in this book as well. I mean, she is still such a badass character but this book really brought attention to how much the salt mines had changed her. I noticed that in this book, Celaena was a lot more...immature shall I say. For one thing, I loved how arrogant and (still!) sassy she was. She walked around like she had owned the place and I really admire her confidence. I'm not saying that Celaena now isn't sassy and arrogant, I just feel like in the time period the Assassin's Blade takes place, she just has more of it.

As you can tell from all my gushing about this book, I obviously loved the plot and story line Sarah created. For one thing, I enjoyed seeing this world outside of the place that Throne of Glass takes place. This world is beautiful and I am excited to read more about the places in the Throne of Glass world! An aspect I really loved about this book and story line was how it was constantly keeping me on my toes with questions about what would happen next and what the crap was going on. It all definitely made for a fun reading. Within each novella, there was always such a great plot or ending point but the whole book also had a job too and that (and in which I think ) was to answer all fan questions and to tell further details of Celaena's past. Both intentions of the book were very much fulfilled. Loved it loved it loved it.

I gave this book 5 stars because I really loved everything about it and how well it did with telling Celaena's story.

Full review: http://next-page-please.blogspot.com/2015/10/lets-talk-assassins-blade-by-sarah-j.html
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer abel
***In Loving the Language of Literacy, a Book Review means that the review is spoiler free. Meanwhile, a Book Talk means that the review has spoilers. So in case you haven't read the book.... you are forewarned***

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?

Anyone in search of a high, epic fantasy with the perfect blend of kick-assery and a touch of romance

Would I Buy It?

There's a 90% chance I would buy The Assassin's Blade to grow my collection of Sarah J. Maas novels, and I am hoping to go to her book signing in September, so I would obviously want to own the book for that occasion.

Background & Backstory

I have read Throne of Glass, and while I did not ever finish writing my review of it (it's literally sitting in my drafts), I did give it 4 out of 5 stars. So obviously, I would want to dig my teeth into anything else Maas has written. And to be honest, I actually enjoyed The Assassin's Blade more than I enjoyed Throne of Glass.

The backstory for this novel is that I had borrowed the eBooks of novellas 0.1, 0.3-0.5. I would have borrowed 0.2, but it's exclusive ONLY to the hard copy of The Assassin's Blade. Long story short, I read the ones I was capable of borrowing on my iPad, then had to go to the library to pick up the book in hard copy so I could read 0.2 aka The Assassin and the Healer.

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?

Why must the world be so cruel to me?

How Necessary Is It To Read The Assassin's Blade?

While The Assassin's Blade isn't ABSOLUTELY needed in the series (Maas provides enough back story and explanation in the novel), it is absolutely necessary so you, as the reader, can get more out of the series by knowing everything that had happened before and all of the catalysts for what happened in Throne of Glass. As I said, I enjoyed The Assassin's Blade more than Throne of Glass itself, so that alone should tell you at least something about the enjoyment level, if not informational content.

How Necessary Is It To Read The Novellas In Order?

Even though you can read each novella on its own and in any order, you could also consider The Assassin's Blade a complete, 50,000 word count novel. I read them in order, but skipped one and was confused, because even though it isn't vital to read The Assassin's Blade from cover to cover, it was as if you read Chapters 1-5 then 11-25, THEN came back for Chapters 6-10.

Pros:

I tweeted the other day that I know Sam died, but I am officially Team Sam. Basically forget you Chaol and Dorian. This is because Celaena and Sam are just so darn cute. While Celaena's relationships with Dorian and Chaol seemed a little insta-lovey to me, Sam and Celaena have had years to develop their friendship, and as luck may have it.... they've fallen in love with each other. The way their relationship came about could be considered cliche, but I loved being able to see their progression from the first novella to the last, and that made it all the more heartbreaking when we learned exactly how Sam was brutally murdered.

"Death, at least, was quick. Especially when dealt by her hand. But slavery was unending suffering." --- 47% The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

While Celaena annoyed me to no end, it was fascinating to see her views on slavery, and the level of passion she had for slavery. In both 0.1 and 0.4, her downfall is caring too much about them, which is ironic considering how cold-blooded she can be.

Cons:

Celaena. That was literally the only con in the entire novella bind-up. Celaena.

"Oh it was so nice to be back in civilization, wither her beautiful clothes and shoes and jewels and cosmetics and all the luxuries she'd have to spend the summer without." --- 17% The Assassin and the Underworld.

I can't tell you how many times I have read or watched reviews that admire Celaena as a strong, badass female protagonist and that annoys me SOOO much. In my humble opinion, she's a whiny, self-entitled, riches-obsessed, selfish, spoiled brat. I know I'm being harsh on her.... but come on! I highlighted every section where Celaena annoyed me, and let me tell you, there are a lot. Because the amount of times she said she was "Ardalan's Best Assassin" got on my last nerves. She acted like, "Poor me, I'm not the center of attention any more."

"As she walked back to her room, Celaena had a horrible feeling that here, being Ardalan's Assassin might not count for much." ---The Assassin and the Desert 32%

0.1 The Assassin and the Pirate Lord 5/10

"I'm surprised Arobyn hasn't made you check your arrogance," --- 29% The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

I'm sorry, I flat out didn't like this novella. While what Celaena did was valiant -freeing the slaves- there was a lot of excess fluff, and I personally believe that it could have been a heck of a lot more fast paced. On the flip side aka. the +5 in the rating, I have to give it some credit since we were just being introduced to the new cast of characters, and the writing style was incredibly descriptive and rich without being boring.

"A city of light and music, watched over by an alabaster castle with an opal tower so bright it could be viewed for miles." ---53% The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

0.2 The Assassin and the Healer 7/10

Going into this novella, I thought the story was about Ben, the other man Celaena briefly fancied before Sam and the Silent Assassin's son. Obviously, it was mentioned that Ben had died in the previous novella, but for some reason, my brain was convinced that the story would go back in time. So I was surprised to learn that TAatH was set in the period before Celaena went to the Red Desert. The concept of the story was nice, it wasn't fast paced, but it did provide some insight on Celaena's ability to feel compassion for people other than herself, and her ideals on feminism in whatever fantastical time period Throne of Glass takes place in.

0.3 The Assassin and the Desert 8/10

"For all she knew, Ansel might be better than her. The thought didn't sit well." --- The Assassin and the Desert 11%

As you can see, this was my favorite novella of all of them and I think that it's because I loved how Maas plopped us into an ENTIRELY different environment with new characters, rules, and customs. In fact, if she wanted to write a novella about Celaena going back to or getting helped by the Silent Assassins, I would read it in a heartbeat. While the assassins of the north are brutal, the Silent Assassins kill with a purpose and are strangely zen, kind of like the stereotypical ones from the Disney Channel move - Wendy Wu Homecoming Warrior.

"Her taste for very expensive and very delicate underwear wouldn't do much for her reputation." ---14% The Assassin and the Desert

0.4 The Assassin and the Underworld 7.5/10

"Father, brother, lover - he'd never really declared himself any of them. He loved her like family, yet he put her in the most dangerous positions. HE nurtured and educated her, yet he'd obliterated innocence the first time he'd made her enda life. He'd given her everything, but he'd also taken everything away." --- 6%

This is the novella where Sam and Celaena FINALLY get together, so that's what takes presidency in my mind, but the story is interesting as well. We also got closer look at Arobyn and how he raised Celaena, as well as their complex relationship. He's basically the Anderson (Shatter Me Reference) of the Throne of Glass world. He's manipulative, a psychopath, and powerful.... just my kind of guy. Just kidding, but I feel an urge to give him kudos for how he tricked and twisted Celaena's perception.

0.5 The Assassin and the Empire 7/10

I have to admit, at the beginning of the novella, I had no idea how it would end where Throne of Glass began, but the way everything came together was glorious, if not a little painful for my feels. I was on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out what wire Celaena would trip, to make her end up in Endovier. Of course, it was love that was her downfall, and her fragile state of mind after Sam was murdered - turning her gullible.

How Likely Is It That I Will Re-Read This Book?

I'm not sure I would ever re-read the book from start to finish, unless it was 2016 and I was rereading the entire series so I could marathon all of the books. But I do know for a fact that I would want to re-read my favorite novella from it.

How Likely Is It That I Will Continue On With The Series?

I will 100% be continuing on with the Throne of Glass series especially because Crown of Midnight is actually the next book on my TBR after I finish up what I'm currently reading (Don't library holds rock?).

Conclusion: The Assassin's Blade was a much-needed addition to the Throne of Glass series so us readers could be further exposed to the fantastical world Maas has created, and to provide in-depth background when it came to the catalysts behind so many of the characters seemingly odd exteriors.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
trinayana roy
Unfortunately, this book seems to have the exact opposite effect on me compared to the reviews that I'm seeing...Rather than enjoying a bit of Celaena's backstory, I just found myself getting more and more annoyed with her character. She just seems far too full of herself for my liking. I'm so sick of reading "she is the best." She's selfish. And rude.

I keep reminding myself that she's just a teenager, so there will be some typical angst there, but for how much training she's supposedly had, and how overly confident she always is, she sure gets into a lot of trouble and forgets to think things through!

And, though it's easy to read, I just don't think I'm a huge fan of the writing style. Far too much repetition and odd similes for me.

Favorite passage:
She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest. And she would remember how it had felt to be loved, when the world had held nothing but possibility.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rachel taylor
I have heard so much about this series, particularly due to the recent release of Queen of Shadows. I have already read Sarah J. Maas's book A Court of Thorns and Roses, so I knew I would like this series, as well. Since I seem to be the last to discover these books, I took a leap of faith and bought all five of them. Although The Assassin's Blade was written after Throne of Glass, it is actually a prequel. I wondered if a newbie like me would appreciate this backstory, since I haven't really invested in the series's characters yet. But I found myself to be quickly immersed in this world of intrigue, danger, and romance. Each story is connected and builds upon each other. I had a feeling about the ending from about the fourth story, and sadly it proved to come true. This did nothing to detract from the overall experience. But I have a feeling that this information will be a vital part of Celaena's motivation in the next books.

Sarah J. Maas does a wonderful job of creating an original world filled with societies that resemble Europe in the middle ages. The poverty and desperation of the lower classes are in sharp contrast to the luxury of the nobility and the Assassin's Guild. Celaena has little choice but to become an assassin when she is orphaned following the invasion of her hometown by the king of Adarlan. But in spite of her murderous occupation, Celaena still has a sense of right and wrong. She is not totally ruthless and cold. This gets her into trouble with her mentor, Arobynn Hamel. I loved how complicated their relationship was. I hope it will be explored further in the next books.

At times, I could see an upcoming plot twist, and wanted to scream at Celaena for not seeing what was coming. But, I needed to remember how young she actually was to put it in perspective. Other than that, this was a great introduction to the world of the Assassin's Guild and Celaena Sardothien. I can't wait to start the next book in the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
celiamjohns
Alllllllright. This book was very good and I don’t normally say that about prequels. I’ve read the first three books now and I loved that I had The Assassin’s Blade to help tide me over a little until September. (A little). I loved getting to read about Celeana’s adventures before Endovier. The pirates, Asterion horses, and betrayals were fantastic.

I loved the pacing of the stories too. I don’t feel like they dragged or went too fast. It was perfection for me.

SPOILERS BELOW

Okay. So I knew Sam was going to bite the dust. I was prepared for this to happen. It just made reading the story that much more tragic I think. Maybe it made it a little predictable at the end but WHO CARES?

But wait, it gets better. Then Sam goes and says this: “You want to hear something ridiculous? Whenever I’m scared out of my wits, I tell myself: My name is Sam Cortland…and I will not be afraid.“

THAT’S WHERE THAT COMES FROM! That sentence is what broke my heart into a million pieces.

And then they break to Arobynn and he’s all like, “I don’t like people who take my property.”

RAGE

I am so pumped for Queen of Shadows now because from what I’ve heard there may be a confrontation between Celaena and Arobynn. Will she find out that Sam’s death was because of him??? *Cue hyperventilating*

Chaol crying at the end of Crown of Fire broke my heart. Sam dying broke it again. Kudos to you Sarah J. Maas. I think I have a new favorite series. (Sorry Garth!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hassem hemeda
First of all, I think that this was my favorite book of the series to read so far. It doesn't read like a bunch of novellas to me. It felt like a real book. Everything was in order of how it happened and everything. I found it to be really interesting to read the full stories behind Celaena's adventures that get briefly mentioned in the rest of the series. I loved reading this book!

Buuuuut I also hated it because I knew the tragedies that befall my new and old favorite characters. And I didn't want to read it! I think I like Celaena even more than I did before. I loved seeing her being shaped into the character that we read about in the rest of the series. And ahhhh, I loved Sam for the brief moment that we got to hear his story! :( I really hope that Celaena gives Arobynn what's coming to him... Sloooooowly. I also hope that we get to see more of a lot of these characters in the rest of the books!

In the first story, Celaena finds herself amongst the pirates with Sam to collect a debt owed by them for the deaths of several assassins. But that was a lie from Arobynn and the real reason they are there doesn’t sit well with Celaena or Sam and they disobey their orders and end up making an enemy of the pirate lord, Rolfe. This story basically sets everything in motion for what happens in the rest of them.

In the second one, on her way to the Red Desert to train with the Silent Assassin’s as her punishment, Celaena meets a young healer in a dump of a town while waiting for a ship. She ends up saving her from something awful and helping her to get back on her journey to learn from the best healers. This was probably the slowest and most boring of the five novellas, but it was still good.

When she arrives at the Red Desert, she has to prove herself worthy of being trained by the master of the Silent Assassins and earn a letter of approval from him to bring back to Arobynn. She makes friends there and finds that she doesn’t really want to leave. But there is betrayal and she saves the day earns the master’s approval and she is on her way back to Rifthold with her head held high.

Back in Rifthold, Arobynn is apologizing profusely for his punishments for her disobedience. He gives her a mission which will pay VERY well and she gets help from Sam to complete it. The mission ends up being the opposite of what she was expecting and she pays off hers and Sam’s debt to Arobynn so they can leave because they’ve had enough of his crap. Sam and Celaena move into her apartment and are finally together and of course it can’t just end there, with them being happy. Nooooooo.

In the final, and most heartbreaking, story, Sam and Celaena have plans to leave Rifthold forever to be completely free of Arobynn. They have to pay him and ungodly amount of money to be free of the Guild and leave and so Sam finds them one last job to do so they have enough money to go. And it ends poorly and they are completely betrayed and that’s how Celaena ended up in Endovier with her heart completely shattered.. And that’s when I cried forever. And ever. And ever. Ugh. I didn’t think that I’d think Chaol wasn’t the best for her, but maaaaan, Sam was the one!

I just kind of want to hug Celaena forever.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
catie miller
I originally planned on reading each of these novellas individually before this book was released but I’m glad I waited. Because even though this was compromised of five novellas it truly felt like one collective story. The transitions between novellas were spot on. Each tied in to the other and there was always an element of each story within the next.

I remember when I first read Throne of Glass, I was slightly disappointed in the fact that Celaena was not as bad ass as I thought she was supposed to be. But now having read Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire AND The Assassin’s Blade, I know I was so wrong. For anyone who didn’t like Throne of Glass because of that, obviously you need to read The Assassin’s Blade.

I was so excited to finally pick up the Assassin’s Blade, since it had been almost half a year since I finished Heir of Fire. I needed more Celaena in my life and had high hopes to seeing more of her assassin life.

I wasn’t too sure about Sam when he was first introduced. I figured he’d end up being the bad boy cliché. He was cocky and arrogant and slightly annoying. I mean, we obviously have some background on Sam from Throne of Glass but I wasn’t sold on him. But man, I was in for a surprise. I knew that after they went through everything with the Pirate Lord, things were about to get interesting between. Sam was growing on me super fast.

I do want to mention another secondary character that we are introduced to in The Assassin and the Desert. I loved Ansel right off the bat. I loved the friendship between her and Celaena. I loved that Ansel built up Celaena’s character. Pushed her in all the right ways so she could grow (and become a little less insufferable, let’s be honest). But I should have known that with anything Maas writes, good things never last. And that’s exactly what happened with Ansel. Cue horrible freaking plot twist.

Anyways, moving on to the one character I wanted to smack upside the head, Arobynn. I knew as soon as something felt hinkey in The Assassin and the Underworld, it was Arobynn. I just couldn’t stand him, I understand his character was meant to be that way but still. He just got continually worse and worse. And by the end I pretty much wanted to strangle him.

Which brings me to Celaena, I loved her through every story in this book. Her character had and built more depth within these novellas than in the first three books of the series. At one point she’s talking to Sam and she says:

“Deep down,” she said, “I’m a coward.”
His brows rose.
“I’m a coward,” she repeated. “And I’m scared. I’m scared all the time. Always.”

And that’s when I knew I couldn’t love her character more than in that moment. She was so real, so relatable, so human. It made me realize that despite the title of assassin, I had expectations that I shouldn’t have. That you can be an assassin and still be human. Because in the end that’s exactly what Celaena is, human. To watch her character fight, train, question what’s right and what’s wrong, to go against the one person who saved her, and to find and lose friendship, love, was a battle that hit close to home. I can’t applaud Maas enough on writing this beautiful character. I finally found the Celaena that I was hoping for in Throne of Glass.

In the end, The Assassin’s Blade became my favourite book of the Throne of Glass series. If I had read it before any of the other books, I would have probably felt a lot different about them. So give this book a chance, if you couldn’t get into Throne of Glass, you just might be surprised.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
endcat
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!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stuti bhadauria
Since all of these novellas take place before Throne of Glass you can still read this review even if you haven’t read Throne of Glass. In fact, I read the novellas prior to reading Throne of Glass.

After I read Graceling I threw it out there on Twitter that I might want to read more fantasy. Enter Brittany from A Book Addict’s Guide who sent me an amazing list of other fantasy books I might want to read. Throne of Glass was on the list, a book I had actually been considering reading after seeing all the excitement about Heir of Fire during BEA. Brittany suggested reading the novellas first, since they all take place before Throne of Glass there are so spoilers, and she said it would help with world building.

At the time of writing this review I’m about a quarter of the way through Throne of Glass and I’m having a difficult time imagining how would I know what was happening if I hadn’t read the novellas. Obviously lots of people read Throne of Glass without having read the novellas and loved it, but still, it’s weird to me now. I’m going to talk about each of the novellas separately below (this book is a compilation of all five, but they can also be read separately), but I wanted to talk about the perspective I got from the novellas as a whole.

Part of me thinks the novellas should be read after reading Throne of Glass. There is very little explanation of the world or characters and I was turned off at first because I felt like I had no idea what was happening. But, even though I was turned off at first, the chance to spend another year with Celaena and figure out how she came to be imprisoned seems so valuable for understanding Throne of Glass. All of the background I now know about Celaena seems so important and I think it’s definitely helping me relate to and like Throne of Glass.

The novellas go in chronological order and all build up to Celaena being imprisoned. I didn’t expect them to be so cohesive. Reading all give novellas was kind of like reading a single, slightly disjointed, book. That said, you could also pick and choose which ones you read or read them out of order because, although they tie into each other and go in order, I think you could still enjoy them separately.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
I’m probably slightly biased about the first novella in the book because it was the one where I was trying to figure out exactly who these people were and what they were doing, but it’s one of my favorite of the novellas. Celaena and Sam, both teenage assassins, have been sent by their master, king of the assassins Arobynn Hamel, to broker a deal with the pirate lord. Celaena and Sam aren’t quite sure what the deal is, but when it turns out to be something neither of them expected and something they both morally object to they take matters into their own hands.

When Brittany recommended this series to me she talked about Celaena’s bravado and that is on full display. But, not going to lie, I kind of really loved it. Celaena is a brilliant assassin and she knows it and watching her brag, trick, connive, and fight was so much fun. Despite all of that bravado Celaena’s actions in this book make it clear that she has a big heart and a sense of right and wrong, which I think, given her profession, was something that needed to be established early on.

The Assassin and the Healer
This is my least favorite of the novellas and the one that I’m just not sure I get the point of. The only thing I can think is that the healer Celaena meets comes back to figure in in the novels eventually? If that’s the case then I can see the benefit of reading the novella second. After Celaena and Sam take matters into their own hands in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord Arobynn punishes her by sending her to the Red Desert. On the way to the Red Desert Celaena stays in a tavern where the healer is working as a barmaid having been forced to leave her native land due to the ongoing war on the continent. The story is told through both Celanea and the healer’s perspective which I didn’t care for, but now that I’ve started Throne of Glass I see that that’s Sarah J. Maas’s style. Part of me thinks the point of this story was to humanize Celaena and convince us she’s not just a cold-blooded assassin, but I was already convinced of that after The Assassin and the Pirate Lord so this novella just felt pointless and weak.

The Assassin and the Desert
Celaena finally reaches her destination in the desert, the home of the Mute Master, another trainer of assassins. Celaena needs to train with him for a month and get a letter of recommendation from him in order to be able to return home. This is another one where part of me suspects we’ll eventually revisit some of these characters in the novels, but I also really liked the story for its own merits. The training Celaena undergoes is important and will obviously help her down the line. I also liked the quasi-romance with the Mute Master’s son and the the lessons Celaena learns about friendship.

The Assassin and the Underworld
This is my favorite of all the novellas. Celaena returns home to Rifthold, the capital, having successfully trained with the Mute Master. After spending time in the chaos of the pirate world, the disgusting healer’s tavern, and the starkness of the desert it was fun to explore the opulence and sheer fun of the capital. We are also reunited with Sam, which made me really happy, he’s a great foil for Celaena and I loved the different side of her that came out around him. The story was also more kind of wantonly sexual than I expected, but I thought it really worked. The mission in this story was also the first time we really got to see Celaena go on an assassin mission and it was interesting to see how the assignments from Arobynn worked and how she, and Sam, went about carrying out a mission.

The Assassin and the Empire
Part of me was really happy to get to this novella and part of me was sad because I figured whatever was going to happen to land Celaena in jail wasn’t going to be good or easy to read about, about it wasn’t. Tears were shed. As much as I didn’t understand The Assassin and the Healer, there were a lot of questions that The Assassin and the Empire raised which made me not exactly love it. For the other four novellas I had thought the assassins that Arobynn were training were working for the government, or at least sanctioned by the government, but I guess that isn’t the case? The king of Ardalan does seem fickle so I guess things change, but that still surprised me. Somehow this also felt like the least focused novella and Celaena made some decisions that, given her intelligence and street smarts, really surprised me. I didn’t have to fully suspend disbelief, but I was surprised at how at how things happen and how they wrapped up.

Bottom Line: Since I’ve only experience reading the novellas first it’s hard for me to say which is better, reading the novels or the novellas first, but I would absolutely recommend reading the novellas, either individually or as The Assassin’s Blade, prior to reading the novels. Even though it took me a while to figure out what was happening and I liked some more than others, I still got invaluable information on Celaena’s background that’s helped me to just jump to and immediately like Throne of Glass.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jody stevenson
Review:

Sarah J. Maas has slain me again!

I was hesitant to read the Throne of Glass novellas because I had such a perfect picture in my mind about Celaena and her life and story and I didn’t want to read about the super depressing start to all of the other crazy stuff that happens to her. I just wanted her to have some peace! I also knew that in reading it, I would probably fall in love with Sam Cortland who we all know is destined to die and I just wasn’t sure if I could handle it.

But I read it anyway, and let me tell you, I’m so happy that I did.

I don’t really know what to say that I haven’t said before of Maas’s previous works in this series. It was stunning. Celaena’s past gives so many insights as to her character later on in the series and it’s all heartbreaking but also important in understanding her fighter personality. She is, without a doubt, one of the strongest female characters that I have ever read.

Her relationship with Sam was full of fire and ice and pretty darn sweet when you get right down to it. I hated myself for wanting to read more about him and briefly considered skipping the last novella in order to avoid his death. But, in a world where Sarah J. Maas consistently dangles well-rounded characters and their beautiful personalities in front of us before violently stripping them away, I figured I may as well power through and face it like a woman. So I did. And then I cried. A whole lot. But that’s okay because the BEST stories are the ones that cause strong reactions in their readers.

I hate Arobynn more than I’ve ever hated him before. There was never a point in the book where I felt even an iota of sympathy for him, and maybe that’s what makes him such a good villain. I HATE HIM. Possibly as much as I hate Umbridge— and that’s saying a lot.

I’m not ready for this series to be over, but I know the end is coming and I’m hoping that someday soon Celaena will have the opportunity to put up her feet and take a well-deserved rest.

5/5 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
megan baxter
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 about Celaena's past? That desperate need to know how "Sam" is? The details of Celaena's betrayal 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 of 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.

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.

THINGS I ABSOLUTELY ADORED.
1. Sam
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, he did.

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 Sam and Celaena hated each other?
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.
"Hmm?"
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 roadtrip!
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 assassinating.
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dinky
I'm not normally a fan of novellas but The Assassin's Blade is a great collection of stories bridging the gap of from when Celaena Sardothien was Adarlan's Assassin to her time in the salt mines.

One of the highlights of this book is you can be new to the Throne of Glass series or a veteran fan - there is something in this book for everyone. The five stories each focus on a different mission Celaena had to undertake for Arobynn Hamel - King of the Assassins. Her assignments take her from the high seas to the depths of the arid desert and back to the capital, Rifthold. No place is too remote or too dark for Celaena but we get to see that there's more to Celaena than meets the eye. Her own moral code often conflicts with that of her patron and she finds herself questioning the closest thing she has to a father.

I've been a fan of Sarah J Mass' writing since I first read Throne of Glass. And whilst this collection of novellas is not required to understand and enjoy the books, The Assassin's Blade is a great addition to the world Maas has created. Thoughout this collection, Celaena's growth is evident and she's one of those characters I would NEVER want to meet but I adore reading her stories. Brave, intelligent and fierce, Celaena gives her all to everything she attempts and lives her life on the edge. She's cocky and egotistical but her track record shows she has reason to be.

This book introduces some brilliant new characters - including a well dressed pirate lord, a want-to-be healer and a girl who would do anything to get revenge - and they fit perfectly in the world. I enjoyed reading Celaena's antics with these people and would love to see them pop up at a later stage in the series. Another lovely thing about these novellas is the romance. Celaena's involvement with a certain young assassin has been mentioned several times in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight but it was brilliant to get to see the relationship unfold from the beginning. It must have been hard to show a softer side to the legendary Adarlan's Assassin but Maas managed the task and it felt true to Celaena's character.

I loved this book and am so glad that I got the chance to see where Celaena's story began. For fans of the series or those just wanting to read a great high fantasy story with brilliant characters and an assassin like no other - I could not recommend this book more highly. Great writing and engaging stories, this is a book that would appeal to young adults but also older readers too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
camila valdez
Wow... just... wow! And to think these are only the novellas!

I feel a little sorry for anyone who wasn't able to start off with this in the series (which, obviously, I chose to and not fro). Not that it's a terrible thing to read it by release date, I just can't imagine you'll have the same mind blowing experiences I had! Reading it later on and not FIRST will definitely spoil a lot of great events. Still readable though.

If this is just a glimpse of what's to come, I can't wait!! I've already jumped in to Throne of Glass. So far, these books are living up to the hype!

This book was interesting in the fact that it was an upward slope to jaw dropping greatness! Just when you think you read the best novella out of the book, the next one greets you with a slap across the face saying, "NO BITCH, IT GETS BETTER STILL!"

Please please please, if you have not started this series and are wondering whether or not to start with Assassin's Blade, do yourself a favor - START HERE!

**To See The FULL Review Visit: http://thenerdybookmark.wordpress.com **
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dfchen
Love it!

Finally finish reading this book as a 30 year old.

Who last book I read was in the 7th grade I was surprise I enjoyed so much this book!

Really felt in love with it I cursed and got mad in part of the stories cause I got so hooked on the story that I got sentimental on it lol.

Any way this is a prequel after doing my research most people suggest me to start on this one then move on from here.

All ready got me a copy of throne of glass so I will get hooked again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cheryl blair
Ah! This book! Having already read ToG and CoM I knew what happened and a little about Celaena's time with Arobynn at the Assassin's Keep but I never guessed I would love this book so much! My favorite parts are clearly the Pirate Lord and the Red Desert but the book as a whole is a must read! And if you're asking, read this first! It will help you get to know some of the characters referred to later on, and will help you avoid spoilers, especially in ToG.

I love the characters, and how Celaena's character really shows through in this one. While self centered and vain at times, she is also caring and thoughtful. She is able to work hard to earn her keep and put others before herself when there is a need. She also cares for those less fortunate than herself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erika cooperman
"The Assassin's Blade" is a collection of five "prequel novellas" (or, more accurately, advertising teasers) for Sarah J. Maas' teen romance/fantasy novel, "Throne of Glass". Four of the novellas ("The Assassin and the Pirate Lord", "The Assassin and the Desert", "The Assassin and the Underworld" and "The Assassin and the Empire") were previously released in ebook form on the run-up to the release of the first novel of the main series. The entire collection is here available in a single binding, in both physical and ebook forms, joined by a newly written and otherwise unavailable fifth story, "The Assassin and the Healer" which sits, chronologically, as second in the new ordering.

Together, these five short stories cover a relatively short period of Celaena Sardothien's life immediately prior to the events of the main "Throne of Glass" story, essentially chronicling the period of her ill-fated relationship with Sam Cortland.

Established fans of this series of books will love this collection, as it provides lots of additional detail to the Celaena Sardothien's back-story and offers some tantalising hints as to how the main novels may yet develop in future. Anyone coming afresh to the stories and wondering whether to read the prequels first or not need not hesitate -- they give a great feel for the main novels and give away no surprises, but neither are they required reading for a better understanding of the other books, so it doesn't matter at all which order you plump for.

All five stories here are very short; each can easily be read in an evening or less. The writing quality does vary across the series, suggesting that they've actually been written either at speed or over a collection of different times. The newcomer to the set, "The Assassin and the Healer", whilst the shortest is also the best written of them all, showing a maturity of writing style that is sadly missing from the others. It has clearly been added to give this new omnibus addition some additional content over and above the previously released material (a move that may annoy those fans who bought the four other stories separately long ago but who now feel that they have to fork out again to acquire the new tale). It adds little the events already chronicled in the earlier stories but is, in fact, worth having as it paints an interesting vignette of a single short episode which nevertheless adds volumes to the complexity of the character of the Assassin of Adarlan.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
karen flowers
Thank you for giving us this soul-shattering book. I read the other books before this one and by the end I was dying to know who Sam was. I wasn't disappointed. Celaena and Sam's story is a tragic one and it's one of greatness that left me with tears streaming down my cheeks. Celaena was broken (with a snap) apart by the end of the book and the author wrote it so the readers felt every inch of Celaena's pain. I appreciate that. Book 0.5, in a lot of series, are not masterpieces as this one was to me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
megan lynch
As I've said before, I'm not normally a fan of novellas and prequels. That's probably why this one sat on my shelf for over a year before I picked it up, despite having loved the Throne of Glass series. It wasn't until I read A Court of Mist and Fury and remembered just how much I do love Sarah Maas' writing. I missed it when the book was over, so it was either read the book again, or pick up one I haven't yet read. I was pleasantly surprised. The book reads more like a normal story, broken up into 5 parts. The timeline is continuous, based on a 6(ish) month period of time starting with the beginning of Sam and Celaena's relationship until the time she was sent to the salt mines. The third "story" is especially good. Now I'm itching to re-read the Throne of Glass series, but maybe I'll try to wait until August so that I can jump right into Empire of Storms when it comes out in September!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennie hyman
This novelas is a great way to know more about Celaena before reading the Throne of Glass series.
I am glad I kind of found this series a bit late, because I got to read this book first... And so I felt like I really knew Celaena a lot more, and I understood her actions and her fears.

I truly love this series.
The whole story is amazing and the characters are well develop and easy to fall in love with. I just love Cealena and her friends... I feel like some of these characters might come back later on, since her bond with them are strong. My favorite was the healer. I would love to see her again!
I don't want to spoil anything for those that haven't read the book yet.

So go read it okay....

You won't be disappointed.
I started with The Assassin's Blade (book 0) last week... and now I am already reading the last book available to me, The Heir of Fire (Book 3).
The 4th book is coming out soon September 1st. SO EXCITED.
Sarah J. Maas is probably my most favorite author ever... LOVE HER!

:)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
o7od
I'd heard so many things about this series but since I've never been a huge fantasy person, I didn't think this would be something I'd want to read. But all the fans of this series were saying that this series would be a good one to start easing into the genre with, so I decided to give it a try.

After reading The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I wasn't exactly impressed. I mean she was super cool because she was a reader, she was kicking everyone's ass, and because she stood up for what she believed in, but I just thought there was something off about her. I'm thinking it was just because she was so arrogant. I like that she knew she was good, but at the same time, knowing that you're good may sometimes be a bad thing. Other than that, the writing style was great and the action scene was super good as well. I couldn't wait to continue on with the rest of the series. Especially to find out more about Arobynn and Sam. There was a time I was thinking there wouldn't be any swoons in this since they were novellas, but as the book went on I could see why she ended putting them all together. It made sense to read them straight through.By itself I would rate it 4 stars.

The Assassin and the Healer wasn't that great to me either. Just because the action wasn't the most prevalent thing. But we did get another taste of the type of person that Celaena is. She helped that poor lady without really knowing her. Even though in the beginning she really didn't want to. She may have seemed selfish and arrogant in the first novella, but after all the run ins with Arobynn and what all he's doing to her, she's letting her true colors shine through. We also see what kind of person Arobynn is as well. He basically put her out after taking her in nine years earlier. I can understand that he would do that as a type of father figure, but at the same time, what he does BEFORE he puts her out was not cool. We also meet the daughter of a Healer in this one. I hope to see that she makes it in to the actual books because I would love to see if she made it to her destination and accomplished all that she wanted to. By itself I would give this 3 stars.

The Assassin and the Desert was by far my favorite. It contained all the bad assery and the cool sword fighting I had heard all about this series. And it also contained all the twists and turns EVER. lol There were so many times I found myself open mouthed in disbelief. I just couldn't believe that these people would do these things to her. Celaena really has the worst luck. Everyone she trusted was turning against her. (*MILD SPOILER*) Arobynn beat her until she was unconscious and then put her out to find her way to a desert?! Talk about harsh punishment. Yes I admit what she did was a little reckless, but at the same time, he didn't even try to see why she did it? Like you have no compassion or remorse? Well guess not if you did that to both her AND Sam. Their punishments were way over the top. And then there was Ansel. I'll just leave that rant alone so I won't spoil anything else. By itself, I would give this 5 stars.

The Assassin and the Underworld is where Arobynn's true colors start coming out. He gives Celaena another assignment that has to do with the slave trade, and Celaena thinking her punishment is over and fulfilled thinks nothing of it. She thinks she will be helping them to be freed. In the end, that is not what happens. It's just another way for Arobynn to get back at her. He hasn't had enough revenge yet? geez, it's only so much you can do to get back at someone lol But in this novella, there's also something that makes me smile. Sam. His love for Celaena becomes more noticeable.He finally makes her understand that even though he's never said anything all those years, he's loved her all that time. Even though this makes Celaena very happy, this does not bode well with Arobynn. He gets even more vindictive than ever. By itself, I would give this, 4 stars.

The Assassin and the Empire is the last novella, so natually, this is where all the s*** hit the fan. Celaena makes enough money to finally rid herself of Arobynn and she does. But then something comes up and she sees that Abroynn is basically still tearing her and Sam down. She gives up her horse to pay Sam's debt to him and they move in together. Everytrhing is going fine, but with them still tied to the Guild, they have no choice but to still take orders from Arobynn. Finally they are able to free themselves, but it comes with a hefty price. That price being her entire bank account. This means Sam and Celaena must take another job before they are able to leave or even keep surviving. They get a job to take out the highest person in the empire. Now doesn't that sound suspicious? Of course it was. It was all a setup. Both of them are captured and Celaena is sent to jail. Hence the reason she begins book one (Throne of Glass) as she's released from prison. This is another one I loved due to all the twists and turns. I can't wait to dive into Throne of Glass when I get the chance. I'm already having sword wielding dreams lol smh By itself, I would give this 4 stars.
So after all my dreams about the series already, I think it's safe to say I can't wait to dive into Celaena's world again. I've heard the beginning is pretty slow, but that's how the novellas were as well. Which makes me glad I read these first. I'm a little more prepared for it now. My first journey into fantasy actually went surprisingly well! I can't wait to get caught up in the series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mj larson
No spoilers in this review! I give the novellas 4.25 stars. In my humble opinion, these novellas (as well as the first two Throne of Glass books) are Sarah J. Maas at her best! I like the subtleties in these earlier works that (while I still enjoy them) her newer books seem to lack. Celaena and Sam (and in TOG Dorian and Chaol) are my favorite characters Maas has ever created. They are strong and courageous. And their honor is unquestionable even when they make mistakes. Plus, Celaena's expensive taste, her love for food and books, and her playful side always lighten the serious tone at just the right time. And Arobynn is a bad guy we love to hate (or maybe just hate and that's it). He is pure, conniving evil, isn't he? The extent of his evil is truly heartbreaking in the final novella.

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★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jen dalton
The character is immediately interesting and there is a lot of potential here but for some things that I found annoying.
First, too much teen age angst and irrational behavior for a truly admirable heroine. Second some plot lines are inconsistent with the presentation of the character as an extremely well trained and skilled assassin.

*SPOILER ALERT*
1 How could she fall for some of the obvious traps, such as the top floor that she jumps into blind?
2 How could she allow Sam to go on the most dangerous assassination all by himself.
3 She's supposed to be just about the most skilled assassin of all, but at times she appears to be very inept.
4 She never uses a range weapon such as bow and arrow for assassinating at a distance, or poison. This reflects poorly on Ms. Maas research into assassination techniques and methods.
5 Various other times when her actions are terribly stupid and slipshod. Skilled people, collect lots of information, plan very carefully and always have fallback plans, but she generally does not.

Unlike too many authors Ms Maas uses imaginative, interesting names for her characters and locales.

Ms Mass should study books series such as the "The Pharaoh Contract by Ray Aldridge", or the "Monster Blood Tattoo" by D M Cornish, or The Wolf's Hour by Robert McCammon. These books succeed in every possible way, superb plots, edge of your seat excitement, truly heroic protagonists, and serious issues of morality and justice. I often think about these books long after I have read and re-read them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tika
The Assassisn’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas is amazing! It has action, betrayal, romance, humor, and shows a softer, caring side of Celaena that I wish I had known going into the Throne of Glass series. This book is about two assassins, Celaena and Sam, who like each other in spite of being competitors. We also see Hamel Arobynn’s dark, cruel, mean side. There are five novellas that comprise this book that were all very good. I particularly liked the first three better than the last two just because the last two are so heartbreaking and so sad. After reading this book, I like Celaena even more than I already did.

This book is a page turner that had me from start to finish. I liked this one even more than those I’ve read in The Throne of Glass series because this book does not have any magic in it, just action and a lot of character development. I enjoyed this book very much and wish I had read it before starting the series so I knew Celaena better. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy adventure, action, and well developed interesting character interaction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
thefourthvine
I've had Throne of Glass on my shelf for years and have yet to read it - shameful, right? Well, when it was picked as our January Read-A-Long, I knew I had to read The Assassin's Blade first. They're prequel novellas, there was no way I was going to start a new series without all the information! Rather wise decision on my part.

I immediately knew I was going to love Celaena. She is that strong badass heroine that any woman, and man, can look up to. She knows who she is and what she stands for. We don't know much about her past prior to Arobynn finding her and training her to be Adarlan's Assassin, but I have a feeling the past will be revealed in prior novels and the mystery is killing me!

These five novellas allow us to learn who Celaena is and understand her motives a bit more while reading Throne of Glass - yes, I immediately read Throne of Glass after finishing The Assassin's Blade. Not sure how you wouldn't be able to do such a thing!

While all together these stories are a rather decently sized full novel, they stand on their own and create an excellent prologue. If you are a Throne of Glass fan, or are looking to start this series, I cannot recommend The Assassin's Blade enough - it really is the perfect beginning to what is shaping out to be an amazing series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
areva
Although these books are prequels, I would read at least the first book - if not the first two - before diving into Celaena's history in this book. I've actually seen many complaints about Celaena in the first story in this collection, because our more grown up and world hardened main character is a young, impetuous, sixteen year-old know-it-all. Well, yes. She hasn't been through all of the events that have made her who she id at the beginning of Throne of Glass (the first book in the series).

I've actually heard of people who do not go on and read the series because they are put off by Celaena in the first book. Don't do that! Don't stop after the first short story and assume that the character is a static character. She does grow and change and gain the necessary knowledge to be more successful in the world. And these stories provide background for those already interested in Celaena and curious to know how she became who she became. They answer questions - Who was Sam? What happened between Celaena and Arobynn Hamel? How did Celaena end up in prison?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
memo saad
I really enjoyed this book. To be said is that I read this book after the Throne of Glass series, so I don't know if I would have had a different opinion, if I would have read it before. After Celaenas past being mentioned so often in the first Throne of Glass books, I wanted to have a story to her past. How was she before? Who was Sam, what happened in skull's bay? Especially interessting is to see who Ansel and Yrene are, and how she met them, because later on they appear again, so it is interessting to know how it all started. In parts it is already explained in the Throne of Glass series, and referred too. But here we get the whole story and it is just a really good book for anyone who loves celaena as much as I do. I especially like it because Throne of Glass part one almost picks up right where the Assassin's Blade stops.
The only criticism I had was that the lovestory was a bit abrupt and I thought, as a reader you couldn't really tell when celaena's feelings shifted and how that even occured. But it was still a super cute romance.
Overall, I think it was a great book, just like the rest of the series and for me it was a good book to fill the time until Kingdom of Ash finally gets released. I was captured by the story so much, that I read it in just one day. Also it is an easy read, because it is a continous story but separated into 5 substorys.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
soomin kim
This book could have been so much more fun but the story simply fell apart in the middle and it was all down hill from there. The main character starts out as an annoying brat but through a series of poorly planned out choices she manages to grow as a person. If the author had continued on that path this would have been enjoyable but she lets the main character fall back into the pit of stupidity and she ends up being played for a fool over and over again. Another poor choice that she pays dearly for in the end. I did enjoy the first half of the book but by the middle I was ready to move on. Too bad, I was expecting so much more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
beth gillis smith
Loved this. These are 4 or 5 novellas in one book and is the story of Sam, Celaena’s first love. This was really good and entertaining. Not a must read before you die but it was because of this book and book 3 that I consider the series a MUST READ.

The relationship between Sam/Celaena/Arobynn was so interesting. Here is a father figure type who teaches Celaena how to become an assassin. He’s screwed up in but tries to make it seem as if he’s taking care of both Sam and Celaena, and in his twisted mind, he’s probably convinced himself that Celaena and Sam would be dead or nothing without him so of course he can treat them badly. It’s practically the same relationship one would have with their pimp.

Don't know how to hide spoilers on an the store review, so see my profile's website link for spoilers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mohammadreza
I haven't read any of the other books yet and didn't realize how this was going to end...I did enjoy the book, though.

Celaena was an interesting cross of pride and frailty, and overall I liked her, in spite of her profession (which was hardly her choice).

Content: scattered language (I don't think there were any f-words). No sex, but there were courtesans and prostitutes and other suggestiveness. Lots of violence, a bit graphic, but not overly so. I would let a teenager read it.

CONTENT UPDATE: due to fairly graphic sex scenes in later books, I wish I had not started the series, and I would not let a teenager read the whole series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arlan
I'm a huge fan of the ACOTAR series but I was hesitant to give this a shot since 3rd person POV isn't my thing--finally I bit the bullet since it's Sarah and started this series. OMG I'm so glad I did. I might like this even more than ACOTAR. Talk about an epic series/story. I devoured this and now I'm even more certain I want to love in Sarah's head, lol. She writes such beautiful stories.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dv de mayo
I have loved this entire series and am sad that it is ending. That is what got me so excited over this one. Even though I had finished the series, I still had a way to get back to that world and those characters, with this book of short stories! Each one was short, funny and informative. At times I found myself actually laughing out loud at this book. Each story added more to the ,mysterious backstory of Celaena Sardothien and her time at the Guild of Assassins. It filled in her backstory that is only referenced in the other books. This book does a great job of either introducing someone to the world or adding depth to the already fantastic world. There were so many great connections. I loved it the whole time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ellyn honey
The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-#0.5)
by Sarah J. Maas
This book is amazing as only Sarah can make a book into a masterpiece. I let the review sit for a minute and overall the book is a marvel. BUT my very favorite part is when Celaena is at the party and she is feeling free to be Celaena the girl in all it's freedom and innocence. Sarah puts you there and you can feel it too if you just let go and be the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
prarthana
This book made me feel many emotions.
If a book and make you laugh, love, sob, anger you, and leave you feeling sorrow with a bit of hope, I would have to say that the author has so much potential and is undeniable wonderful in her career.
I fell in love and I fell in hate with some of the characters.
Over all it was marvelous.
I Throne of Glass before I read this, and I am glad I did. It helped me better Celaena Sardothien, her intentions, her emotions, and her issues (which you have to admit she has a lot and for reasons!).
I loved the adventures Celaena and Sam had, I love the love they shared.
I feel as though no one will ever replace Sam, that is heart shattering. But, his death will be avenged. Celaena will carry Sam with her locked away in heart and pull from his strength later on in the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
paula wissmann
My full review can be found on my blog, Reader Rayna, as well as Goodreads.

A phenomenal edition to Celaena's story. It was so great to see some of her past and how she came to have so many strong feelings about certain things and people in her life. Each novella story had something different to tell about her, whether it be her compassion for those who others would otherwise not look twice at, to the wicked girl who lost it all to become Adarlan's Assassin, to someone who became broken from betrayal and heartbreak on more than one occasion. This bind up was lovely and so worth the read. Highly recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
phil
Another excellent addition to the Throne of Glass series — and narrated just as beautifully as the rest of the books! I’m really glad I waited for this edition, instead of reading all of these novellas separately, because together — and in order — they form a very cohesive look at Celaena’s history. I really enjoyed getting to learn about her life in the assassin’s guild, how she got so close with Sam, and what brought her to the point at which she’s found by Chaol (which begins her story in the actual books). Each story feels like a distinct and fitting piece of the whole arc, written just as wonderfully as the full books. Very worth it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andrea jamison
The novellas written in Assassin's Blade are the stories before the New York Times best selling novel by Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass. These “prequels” could be stories on their own. Reading the novellas first helped me understand what the main character, Celaena Sardothien, has done to be in the position she has gotten herself into in the beginning of Throne of Glass. The thought provoking novellas in Assassin’s blade express what I personally look for in a novel. Action that makes the hairs stand on edge with details that aren’t too gruesome. Adventure that will make you want to go out on your own adventure. A sarcastic main character who always speaks her mind. Also with just enough romance that makes your heart sing and give you a few “aww” moments, but not so much that you basically are reading a bad soap opera making you want to gag. Mass almost creates an unique genre of her own, while meeting the criteria of a fantasy book, in all of the books she has written with Celaena.
Throne of Glass is the first in the Assassin’s series, the book follow Celaena Sardothien, an 18 year old assassin, through her claim to freedom from the Crown Prince Dorian, who has made her his slave for her crimes. The prince gives her the chance to prove she is the best of the best by defeating warriors, assassins, thieves, and any other man who thought could beat her. If she to win she would serve the kingdom for 4 years, as the royal assassin. Yet when the prince starts looking at her as more than “staff”; things get exciting. It gets more exciting when her opponents start turning up dead, and Celaena has to find the killer before she ends up dead herself.
Now to the novellas, they are very consistent and flow inline with one another. One story would end with the tie in to the next one. The only one I believe could have been left out was, “The Assassin and the Healer” the story didn’t match up for me like the others did. It should have been left out, or been rewritten to match up with the story before it cohesively, in my opinion. The other novella’s are brilliantly written and have details that makes it seem like you are watching a movie as your eyes move across the words on the pages.
Maas uses one of the best ways to describe a character or something. She uses as many sensory details as she can, like if the wind is blowing in stead of just saying, “the cold wind blew.” she says, “The howls of the cold strucken wind shakes and rattles the old oak tree from outside the inn.” for example. Maas has an unique way of describing Celaena as well. Slowly she adds details or a part of her past. Mass never gives you her full story before the first official book in the series, even in the series her story is told slowly and she, I assume, didn’t give all of Celaena’s background. Leaving the reader to wonder or fill in the holes she left about her main character.
Celaena is described as a “fearless” assassin who tells herself, "My name is Celaena Sardothien and I will not be afraid." throughout the novellas and also the main series as well. She constantly would get into trouble, due to her sarcastic mouth, her knack for adventure, and her sense of heroism. Celaena’s mouth gives the reader the a comedic relief to the intense fight scenes, with her saying what’s on her mind constantly and her not having a filter for anything. Normally though she gets into trouble by doing what she thought was right.
In one stories she saves a woman from being mugged and killed, thought she handled it wrong by killing the perpetrator, she did the right thing. We all have at least seen an act of bullying in one way or another, and have handled it our own way. Though many of us wouldn’t take it to the extreme of killing the bully, but some confrontations may have ended in a fight.
Not only did she have to deal with being a well renowned Assassin she had to deal with girly hormones, yet having to push down the feeling you have for someone or something to you, or the one who you like does not get hurt. Witch in the end ended up not working.
Celaena and another assassin called Sam Cortland. They both seemed to have a relationship building candidly. The two were like most high school crushes, in a sense that they both like eachother but because of their jobs (peers) they can’t show that feeling. We all know that nervousness you get when you talk to your crush about you actually feel. In their case they never get the chance to. Not wanting to give much away, but if you are like me and are easily attached to the characters in books, you have been warned.
Celaena and her adventures show us the mythical world that Maas has created. With its action, comedy, fantasy, and, of course, romance. Maas’s creativity makes you believe you are in Celaena’s world, though we all know we, sadly, are not Assassins.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andromeda
This book is amazing! I would recommend though, reading it after the rest of the books. They mention characters in the prequel that don't show up until the 5th or 6th book. So, you would likely forget who they were by the time you got to them in the other books. I liked getting to know the characters in the rest of the series before the prequel. Hopefully this will help you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zainab
I loved how the stories weaved together from these novellas and Throne of Glass. It clears up all the questions I had after reading Throne of Glass and connected you even more with the complex character of Celeana Sardothien.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
robin lourie
I really enjoyed reading the novellas. I own all the books in the series but I read the first two, then the novellas (in order that they were published.) I am glad I did it that way because I got to know Celeana first, then go back into her past and read about Sam and how she was when she was an assassin. All the novellas were really great stories and I loved getting to know Celeana more, also getting to know Sam. 5/5 stars such an awesome series, I really love Sarah J. Maas' writing style.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chaya
This book was amazing! I read it after Crown of Midnight (before Heir of Fire). It's a collection of novellas that tell you about Celeana's life with Sam before you see her in Throne of Glass. Mass' story telling skills are to be compared with no other! The world she has built flows together so well and pulls you into the strong female lead character's life like no other story has done before.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
earine
I just can't get enough of this series. I just really like the charachters and the twists. Even when you know how it will end ultimately, you still get surprises. This book has all the elements I love... a strong heroine that is still feminine; wit; plot twists and a refreshing lack of explicit gratuitious sex scenes. For those who think they knw her back story... I say definitely read these novellas. It really does help to explain her character.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa gough
Oh, Throne of Glass series, you kill me.

“If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it-to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger.”

Book secretly giving advice to those emotionally distraught over said book? You decide.

Seriously, guys. The feels. I’m not sure if I would recommend this book to newcomers of the series because these novellas are so much more powerful when you know Celaena’s story now-in THRONE OF GLASS and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. Plus this has a pretty different feel, although all the books in this series are amazing. I would almost say to read the actual novels first and then go back and read these because the effect will be twice as powerful: you’ll see how everything in this book affected Celaena and shaped her, plus it will all the more emotional.

Anyways. This book is a bundle of all the prequel novellas in the series: 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.

Instead of talking about them all separately, I’ll just say how nice it is to have them all together and in order so it’s basically like one full novel. I can’t even pick a favorite because they are all so great, although The Assassin and the Healer would probably be my least favorite.

These novellas gave so much more depth to Celaena’s character, especially if you know the person she is currently. And wow, major character development. Plus you got to see her be a total badass, something we didn’t see too much of in THRONE OF GLASS but saw a little of in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT.

If you haven’t started this amazing series, you really should!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
youstina aphlatos
Why I chose this book:
As an avid fan of Sarah J. Maas' work, there was no way I wouldn't pick up this book. I went to Barnes & Noble the Tuesday it came out and bought it. I had actually been putting off reading the novellas so I could buy the hardback and read them for the first times -since they were originally ebooks. I couldn't get the ebooks only to have the physical copies. My OCD would have a hay day. I just have so many feelings for this series, and I will happily read every single thing Sarah comes out with. This review spans all five novellas: 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.

3 things you need to know about this book:

1. Women, men, and sex.
So sex is a pretty prevalent issue in this book. It's never talked about explicitly, but it comes in the forms of prostitutes, brothels, and sex in exchange for power. In one of the novellas, The Assassin and the Desert, it talks about how differently women and men are treated after having sex. It's very similar to today's treatment as well. Men are congratulated and exalted for having a "conquest"; whereas, women are teased and made fun of, and possibly even persecuted for their actions.

As a person, I found this idea unnerving, and as a woman, I found it disgusting. Maas does such an excellent job presenting relevant topics in her writing such as this. This is what happens in real life, and it is not right. Slut-shaming is not okay, and I love how Celaena's reaction was just as appalled.

2. Ansel and how emotions shape a person.
This is also part of the novella, The Assassin and the Desert (obviously, it was one of my favorites). Ansel's character is very complex and interesting to me. She came off as a person who was trying to make a name for herself and was too aloof in certain areas of her life, but as the story goes on, you realize just how her emotions and past experiences have shaped who she is. She has a very painful background that makes your heart go out to her, and the Mute Master says something that explains not only her character but also the characters of people you meet in real life. He says that pain shapes you as a person. Sometimes that pain can affect you in a negative way and leave behind bitterness and hate, and other times, it can be positive and give the person a drive to live and strive for better. Either way, you walk away changed (Maas 223).

3. Gore galore.
For those of you who have read her other books, you will notice that this is actually a PG rated book in comparison with her other books. However, this book has a lot of violence in and of itself, maybe just only slightly less than Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. As a person who has grown up reading violent fantasy novels, gore and blood has no real affect on me (thank you Game of Thrones!), but for those of you whose stomachs churn easily, this may be a little difficult to swallow. The Assassin and the Underworld, and The Assassin and the Empire are especially prevalent with violence. Even though I am not easily affected by gore, there were a few times I winced reading this novel, which says quite a bit on its own.

I will say that Maas does an excellent job! There is no doubt in my mind that she presents the life of a fantasy assassin extremely well. She is a very good writer, and presents her life and vocation in a way that does not sugar coat her situation.

Final Thoughts:
I loved this book so much. It gave a deeper look into Celaena Sardothien's life pre-Throne of Glass. I fell in love with Sam just as I knew I would (though not to the extent of how hard I fell for Chaol). I understood more of Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. I really wanted to reread the series again after reading these novellas, but I have a huge TBR pile waiting for me.

I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads.

Check out more of my reviews at ofspectaclesandbooks[dot]com
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
darrell jordan
First of all, NO to that ending.
These prequel novellas were probably the best ones I have ever read. I learned so much about Celaena and why she is the way she is in Throne of Glass. But I am grieving as well, for Sam. Just no.

This series is a must read for everyone. if I wasn't in the middle of exams right now, I would devour the next one, Crown of Midnight.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kassandra
I really liked this addition to te series. Being able to see what Celaena Sardothian was like before she ended up in Endovier was really cool and also getting to meet Sam Courtland and how Celaena was with him. It was also as because well Ya know! I obviously didn't like all the stories there were a couple that were kind of boring and others that were really good. *cough* the ones with Sam in them *cough*
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joletta
"My name is Celeana Sardothien" she whispered. "And I will not be afraid.”

The Assassin’s Blade is composed of 5 prequel novellas to Throne of Glass that follow the later part of Caeleana’s life as an assassin.

Celaena Sardothien is more then just an (excuse my language) badass bitch, she is a strong, fearless, smart, innovative, talented, amazing female character. And I will continue to gush about her forever. Moreover, we get to meet the magnificently crafted characters of Sam, Ansel, and Arobynn.

For me, the novellas also enhanced the series. Since we got to know more about Celaena’s backstory I felt like I could understand her more. Plus, we got to know Sam (can you hear me crying) and learn more about Celeana and Sam’s relationship which I totally ate up.

Complete with amazing characters, fabulous writing and a great plot I recommend this to all Throne of Glass fans if you haven't read it already! And if you haven't read Throne of Glass yet I urge you to read those first and then this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ellie spiegel
This was a real treat! I read this at the end of the series because I was so excited to devour all the novels, but it enriched my Throne of Glass experience none the same. In fact, I think it’s fueled my desire to read them all again!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sue mills
LOVED each and every story! I think I read the whole collection in about three days. But... that ending! What a horrific way to send us off to Throne of Glass! So many feels! :( But brilliant writing, as ever. I'm just glad this is all that leads up to where Celaena is now, because by the gods, she's been through hell...and then some. This novella set is a must-read for huge fans of the TOG series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sticky buns
Normally I'm not a huge fan of the little short stories that go along with a series. These are so good and answer so many questions! Wanna know what Celaena did to make the pirate lord made? Wanna know about Celaena's time training with the silent assassians? Wanna know how Sam died? Wanna know how Celaena was betrayed and ended up in Endovier? All these answers are in these short stories! Read Them!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
antonius
The fantasy novellas, contained in The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas, are an exciting insight into Celaena's past. I was engrossed in this collection of stories even though I had read the already released first three books in The Throne of Glass series by this same author. Getting to know Sam and his relationship with Celaena enriched the series for me. I love this series and this collection of novellas!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
apoph1s
I read throne of glass first and it was a awesome read. This book fills in some of the blanks of where she came from and how she was raised. This book, I believe, is directed towards tween or young teens. It is well written and ideas are well thought out, developed and connected. Thank you for a great book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hazel
Sarah J Maas draws you in to her world with flawed but endearing characters. Celaena is an assassin out of necessity but has few friends even among others of her trade. She takes a stand for what she believes in and learns the joy and heartache that can come from caring for others and sharing your heart. I really like this series. I was very excited to read the novellas that give us more insight into Celaena's character and can't wait until the next book comes out!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sandy ostrom mcinvale
I feel like it was rather short compared to the other books but it did give us more insight into who Sam was. I wish we would have learned why Sam loved her for so long before telling her but I suppose he wouldn't want to reveal too much with the King of the Assassins breathing down his neck.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
april
I didn't think I would like this as much since I am not a big fan of prequels since I know some of what is going to happen, but I never should have doubted Sarah J. Mass. She brought me to my knees, and now I want to cry under my bed after reading this book. Oh geez and I love Sam! I got to learn more about Celaena which was amazing. I seriously want the fourth book now!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeremy
It was truly wonderful to learn about Celaena's past in these novelas. I am excited to see how what we learned here will play out in the next book. I think it's alluded to in Heir of Fire that Ansel is going to start playing a bigger role in the books as well as a possible visit from Arobynn? Man. What I would give for Celaena to see him again. Great series and I am waiting very impatiently for the next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gary peterson
I read the first two novels before reading this and let me just say, towards the very last few chapters my jaw about fell off. Going back in time for me and reading Celaena's past was so helpful in getting a better idea of who she is and how she thinks. I highly recommend adding this to your book list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jill dawson
Most novella bind ups I've read haven't been nearly as good as original series, but that doesn't happen in this case. These novellas were interesting and action filled. Each novella had a perfect story. Although, nothing in this book affects the Throne of Glass series. It just builds back story.
I like how I got to know Sam better. I also like how we get to see Celaena before the time of Throne of Glass. Celaena is my heroin in all of literature, so I like as much of her as I can get. I like what she stood for in these novellas. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah martyn
Let me first start off by saying that Sarah J. Maas is an incredible writer. This collection of novellas does not disappoint. For those of you who have read her Throne of Glass series and loved it, these novellas will give you just as much of a thrill as the other books. We are introduced to new characters, we learn a little more about the lovely Celaena Sardothien, and we are taken on new adventures. Sarah does an amazing job creating the characters, much to the point that you can feel what the characters are feeling. This book kept me hooked from the first page to the last, and it may leave you in tears at points. If you love books that leave you guessing at every turn and gasping at others, you will definitely enjoy The Assassin's Blade.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
leticia
I love the series and enjoyed the novellas as an insight into Caelena's past; however, I do not appreciate the fact that I bought four of the novellas before this ever came out and now to get the final 5th novella I have to re-buy essentially the same novellas to get the Healer story. That's some shady ish. At least let me buy it separately or just pay the difference between the others and this one. That just isn't kind to the readers that got these stories early on. Such a money grab.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lizzilu
This is a really great YA dystopian series. I REALLY like a series with a good strong female lead character. This has that, and some mystery, suspence and a bit of horror...the paranormal and regular bloody kind.

Although this is toned down from Game of Thrones, I found it MUCH easier to follow the family connections and intrigue.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dea woods
I LOVED these novellas...to go back and get the backstory of Celaena and Sam was wonderful. To see how her relationship with Lyssandra started, how creepy Farran was from the beginning, and how cunning and snakelike Arobynn has always been. Seriously makes me want to reread the series, love this world!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
behnaz
I received this book as a gift, and honestly, I didn't want to stop the present-day plotline to read about Celaena's past, but I am SO glad I did. I read this book directly after reading Throne of Glass and before Crown of Midnight, and I recommend that order. This might be the most versatile of the books in this series because it really has something for everyone--romance, pirates...well, do you need anything else?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shirin bhattacharya
I wish I had read these novellas before I'd read the rest of the series. There are so many details that fit into the books. These novellas helped me to understand Celeana's relationship with Sam in a way I just didn't get before.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aaron parker
Wow! This book is fantastic! The stories are very good and filled with twists and turns. I LOVED IT A LOT! I would recommend reading this first before the Throne of Glass series although I didn't do it that way and still enjoyed it. I just think reading this one first would give you helpful background on Celaena going into the next books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lana jax
I got this book at Barnes & Noble a few days ago. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this but I needed my throne of glass fix. I had expected the novellas to be completely different & not involve one another. How wrong I was. The novellas ran so well together it was like reading a full book (I was haha). By the end of it I felt so sad for Sam, where in the initial series I didn't know much about him & didn't care very much other than character development for Celeana. I was full team Chaol & even though I know she can't be with Sam anymore (the feels) I am team Sam. I still root for Chaol though because I see a future with him & Celeana. I must say I am not at all disappointed with this book & cannot wait to get my hands on Heir of Fire :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rene parker
I read The Throne of Glass and The Crown of Midnight before I read this book, so I already knew the general plot of what would happen. But somehow Sarah J. Maas made me cry at the tragedy, gasp at the turn of events, and stay up all night soaking in every beautiful word I read. This book, along with the whole series, is an absolute masterpiece.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa leath
LOVE this series!! Sarah J. Maas is probably my favorite writer in this genre right now. She continually surprises me, which is really hard to do. There is a good mix of action and romance to keep any reader who likes fantasy interested. Think of it as a clean version of "Game of Thrones."
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
annette williams
This review was originally posted at Narrative Investigations

To get this out of the way, I don't recall the prose in the main story being so bad and it was very off-putting and made me completely forget that one of the stories was in fact written more recently. If anything, the newest novella, "The Assassin and the Healer", had the worst plot and was completely unnecessary for advancing the over-arching series of events. It seems as if Maas can't write a female character whose "strong" without being strong in a fight and I'm sure the point of this story was the exact opposite of that! Apparently Celaena was also amazingly cocky before her year in the salt mines and she's completely repellent to read about. She's "quippy", the strongest fighter in groups of crazy-martial-art-movie-strong fighters, and yet she always seems to draw people to her or at least magically keep them from completely hating her.

She's at the heart of all the stories so it seems silly to discuss the rest of the details in them, always a bad sign, but it also seemed like Maas was trying to hit every single fantasy cliche within four shorts. We've got a slave plot line, more prostitutes, pirates (although no actual sea journeys), promises of far off mystical lands, deserts AND ninjas within the same story, looking at it as a whole it certainly feels like a mishmash of ideas. And despite all of these adventures Celaena has had and how they did ultimately help change her character, in the long run they don't matter at all. Maas has written the books so that they're very rarely brought up (even Celaena's former lover Sam, whose subplot felt too rushed for me by half) and while I understand that she needed to write the main books without relying on these stories since many readers wouldn't have heard of them, if you can make a large chunk of a character's journey not even matter then you've structured your story wrong.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arminda lindsay
This is one of the best novella sets I have ever read. I could read it again and again. I love the world Sarah Maas has created and the characters. This isn't a necessary read for the series but if you like knowing more about your characters you'll want to read this. Also, the novellas do provide extra details that will help you better understand what is going on in Celaena's world and why.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
klever
This was enthralling... Instant connection to these interesting characters. Action, adventure, glamour, romance and heartbreak all rolled into one collection of prequel novellas in the Throne of Glass series! Fabulously action packed!! I can't wait to dive into this series NOW!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
britt wilson
You could probably read the main books and be fine. However, this set of novellas certainly adds a lot of depth and understanding to Celaena. She's still not my favorite heroine, but this collection makes her character much more intriguing and engaging.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie ross
I checked Assassin's Blade out from my local library. What an awesome story. The novellas are a consecutive accounting of events preceding Throne of Glass, and I highly recommend readers pick this one up before reading ToG. Well written, and fills in a lot of holes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
victoria l keller
As the book is a collection of stories before the glass throne and each had to have a fulfilled end made ​​the pace of the entire book to stay slow. That was the only problem. But it was nice to know a little about Celaena before the start of the series and what she suffered.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kendall
Should have read it before I read The Throne of Glass 1st Book
I am now waiting to read the last book when it becomes available at the library. Looking forward to reading the conclusion of her saga. Hope she gets a lot of revenge !
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
magpie
I loved this book! In the beginning, I was a little unsure how well I would enjoy this book but in the end I loved it. It tool me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I was very surprised at the end and couldn't wait to read the next book in the series. It is about time that someone writes a book were the main character is not some whiny, weak, pathetic woman who cries all the time. She kicked butt and I loved it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dee bansal
I LOVE these books. The Assassin's Blade was the first in the series I read. I was hooked. Each story in TAB is an insight to Celeana's history and growth, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on Throne of Glass.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rhys clarke
Enjoyed reading a little about how she became who she was - the events that led up to losing Sam and how she was betrayed. In some aspects she seemed naive about who could have or did betray her, but have to remember her age. thought it was an awesome book... :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
smiller
LOVE LOVE LOVE! I had no idea that this series would be so awesome! I have not been able to put it down. I have continued to read every book in the series & I think I'm on the last one. I wish this story went on forever, I'm going to hate not having another book to pick up!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vanessa marcoux
Fans of The Throne of Glass series will devour this. The Assassin's Blade compiles 5 novellas in the 1 book and is the prequel to The Throne of Glass, taking us back to the very beginning of Celaena's journey as Ardalan's Assassin. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
radix hidayat
Excellent preclude stores to the series. Enjoyed reading about past events and how they shaped Celaena and the woman she later becomes. I especially appreciated being able to buy all these novellas as one book - great value.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jane l
The book came in good time like the delivery schedule said. It was in good shape except for the first few pages were crumpled! Which is upsetting especially since it's a bran new book!! It should have been in perfect shape! Other than the first few pages being crumpled I have no other complaints. The books are amazing per usual! Sarah Maas is a great writer!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
valerie
Has little in relation to any possible reality. How does one make money to run an assassin's guild. That would be so expensive, and there would be little revenue, in fact we saw little in the way of revenue. Plus, and assassin would be stealthy, and use lots of things like poison, not flashy, using swords and spilling lots of blood. Would make more sense to have been just another crime lord, but I guess that would not give a reason for the heroin to be taught so well in fighting. Also, this is a small woman, and no matter what, you cannot totally make up for lack of size in a fight. Also, takes a really long time, like at least 10 years to become accomplished at most things, let alone the best. Also, wearing frilly things with all those sword cuts. Sword cuts and woman's finery just do not go together.. Then there are bathrooms that are not common, but they need infrastructure, and even so, trying to create the infrastructure for running water without motors. So much stupidity. Would have been nice if the author did even a little research. George R. R. Martin would agree. I can also complain about the hypocrisy of an assassin taking people's lives complaining about slavery, or prostitution.
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