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.
The Assassin’s Blade is a bound compendium of five prequel novellas to Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. These novellas explore Celaena’s backstory and several events that were hinted at in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight.
But before we get into that, I just have to say that this cover is just stunning. I bought this entire series as ebooks and I’m really regretting that decision because these books are just beautiful and I want to see them on my shelf. I’ll probably start looking for some deals because I have no will power.
Next, let’s talk about reading order. I started reading Throne of Glass before I realized I should figure out where the novellas came in. I came across a review on a blog (I can’t remember which right now – sorry!) that said they recommended that you read the novellas after Crown of Midnight so that you have more of the context of the world and that made a lot of sense to me, so that is what I did. However, while reading the FAQs on Sarah J. Maas’ website, she recommends that you read them first.
Personally I was glad that I had context and could think to myself “Oh yeah! I remember Celaena hinting at this scene!” It just made the experience seem more enriching even though I knew what the ultimate ending was going to be.
These novellas are in order and read like their own full-length novel. I was SO glad that we got to see these scenes fleshed out.
Overall I really liked these novellas and I’m very glad that I read them when I did. They give you a lot more insight into Celaena’s character and I just know we’ll be seeing more about these stories and the characters introduced in future books.
The following paragraphs will contain spoilers so if you haven’t read Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, or The Assassin’s Blade yet, stop here!
Let me say this: all of the novellas were good. Some were better than others, but they all really help to round out Celaena’s character and show you how she became so broken before Throne of Glass begins. I’m also pretty certain we’re going to see some of the characters introduced in the novellas again in some of the later Throne of Glass books.
My biggest complaint was this: In Throne of Glass, Maas makes it seem like Celaena and Sam had been in love with each other for years. In the first novella, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, they actually hate each other. Sam isn’t even included in the second and third novellas, and the fourth and fifth go so fast that I just sat there scratching my head. Their relationship ends up spanning only a few months and yet everyone and their mom seems to be totally head over heels and ships their relationship hardcore. Am I missing something?
To me, what Celaena and Chaol have is far more substantial and heartbreaking than her relationship with Sam, but from what I’ve seen a lot of people seem to think that Sam is the greatest male character in the series. Maybe there’s more about him in Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows and I just haven’t gotten that far yet, but honestly I was pretty disappointed in the portrayal of their relationship.
Have you read these books yet? Without giving spoilers to Heir of Fire or Queen of Shadows, let me know what you think! Is Sam your favorite?
Until next time…