Contains all five novellas.
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.
“My name is Celaena Sardothien, and I will not be afraid.”
As a first time reader of the much revered Sarah J. Maas, I had pretty high expectations for this book. Although it did take me a bit longer to get emotionally invested into this novella bind-up, I did overall enjoy THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE. Each of the five novellas explored a new event or task for Celaena, and it was interesting to see her character development throughout.
The first novella, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, was the hardest for me to get through because I hadn’t read THRONE OF GLASS before reading the prequel novellas, and there was so much going on. Although this novella gave a good idea of the sort of environment Celaena lived in, I would have liked more character buildup of Ben especially, and more world-building. I definitely saw a lot of character buildup of Celaena, which I think is pretty useful before reading the THRONE OF GLASS series. This is especially prevalent in The Assassin and the Healer, in which it’s clear that Celaena isn’t just a cold-blooded assassin, but still has interests and hobbies and a conscience of her own.
The Assassin and the Desert was probably one of the two novellas that I really enjoyed. It had a lot of action and seemed to have a conclusive plot (with beginning, middle, and end). I loved this novella because it had betrayal, some flirtation, and lots of badass fighting. The betrayal completely took me by surprise and I enjoyed how everything was connected.
I loved the romance in this novella bind-up. Sam was lovely and beautiful and I adore him. I knew that (highlight for spoiler) Sam was going to die because I was spoiled before I read this book but it still surprised me when it actually happened. You guys know how much I love to cry because of a book, but unfortunately I didn’t cry at that aspect of the novel. Maybe in the other books. I have hope!
Overall, I definitely suggest reading this novella bind-up! It gave me a good premise of what happened to Celaena before she was sent to the salt mines of Endovier and before the events of THRONE OF GLASS. I would consider reading the these prequel novellas before reading the rest of the series just because it’s all in chronological order and takes away some of the confusion when reading THRONE OF GLASS.