The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas (2014)
Novella Collection | YA Fiction | Fantasy
“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.
Contains all five novellas.”
pooled ink Review:
This book is a collection of five short stories/novellas in lieu of a prequel to Throne of Glass. It really is just a book of novellas that are snippets of adventures of the infamous Celaena Sardothien before she falls prisoner to the salt mines and I’m totally on board with it.
You can read this before or after Throne of Glass, 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.
Most of the characters in these stories aren’t in the main Throne of Glass series and only a few are merely mentioned, so reading this beforehand really isn’t a spoiler. Actually it’s a good way to get an idea of Maas’ writing style and her main character before choosing to commit to the series.
Each novella was brief but brimming with adventure, blood, and defiance. It was like getting all the entertainment of her books but in miniature. I’m glad that Maas was able to write each story with a rounded out fullness that kept each one just as exciting and insightful as a full-length book might be. Of course as they’re quite short there is a lot that’s excluded but instead of making the stories seem lacking it makes them very focused. They’re like short bursts of espionage and adrenaline.
If you’re a fan of the Throne of Glass series then you should definitely read this book.
If you’re a fan of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series but you’re not sure if you want to dive into this series then I’d definitely suggest checking this book out to get an idea of whether or not you’ll like the style of this series.
And if you haven’t read any of Maas’ books then I’d suggest you definitely start! Both of her series are full of action and they even take place in similar worlds, but I’d say if you like your fantasy to be dark and bloody then start with ToG and if you like your fantasy to have a strong vein of romance (but one that doesn’t overshadow the world-building and gritty plot) then start with ACOTAR. I absolutely swooned over ACOTAR 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!
Purchase here: The Assassin’s Blade
Meet Sarah J. Maas!
Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.