Saturday, 29 March 2014

Review: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Publication Date: 13th March 2014

Tell Me About It
Including a novella never before available for sale: "The Assassin and the Healer".

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 Thoughts
From the moment I picked up Throne of Glass I was hooked, and when I saw that the novellas had been put into an actual physical book, The Assassin's Blade, I knew I had to read it. I am not going to go into too much detail about each individual novella in this collection, my review will be vague and hopefully non spoilerish.
The Assassin's Blade is a collection of the novellas that take place in Celaena's world and we get to see Celaena before we knew her in Throne of Glass, seeing where she came from, why she left, and how did she end up in the Salt Mines.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
I loved the opulence in the Thieves Guild and how it is disguised, it was basically sitting out in the open for all to see, but not really seeing behind the fa├žade. We also saw who Celaena has close bonds with, and who she would gladly murder in their sleep, Sam. Her one and only ally is Ben, and his loss leaves a huge gaping hole in her heart. I liked how Celaena is a closely guarded secret with no-one knowing who she actually is. I thought she was a bit to sure of herself, and her 'mission' certainly wasn't an easy one, at one point I thought she had bitten off more than she could chew. This is the mission where she finally makes small amends with her 'relationship' with Sam, and sets the scene for the rest of this in the rest of the book

The Assassin and the Healer
This novella follows on from previous book, Celaena is dealing with actions from Arobynn, sulking in a run down tavern in an even run down town, hiding. She meets Yrene, who is a barmaid, and discovers she is a healer. Celaena, looking for a fight, ends up saving Yrene's life, and ends up teaching her a few moves that will save her life if it happens again. I enjoyed getting to see a more compassionate side to Celaena, it makes her feel more human and less 5% human. Helping out someone who is in need, and also assisting them on their path for the future, which is a costly one at that.

The Assassin and the Desert
Celaena is sent to desert to train with silent assassins, and their leader, the Mute Master. Ansel is her room mate and what could be classed as her friend, in a sense of the word. While they do have moments were they bicker, I liked seeing this friendship develop and bloom into something that could be good. But it quickly comes to an end, and one that surprised me as it wasn't something i expected. But after having it revealed I could see the hints that led up to this event.

The Assassin and the Underworld
This novella brings Celaena into the politics of the thieves, and a lot closer to death than I ever thought possible. She is sent on a mission to retrieve a list for Arobynn and while she is doing this, with an idea in her mind over what it is for, when she discovers the truth my heart broke. All her hard work, near death and struggle to get this list is all for something she fought so hard against. But it is also the main driving force that sets Celaena on her path of freedom.

The Assassin and the Empire
This is the final novella in this collection, and really lets us see how Celaena ended up in the mines, who put her there, and why. Celaena and Sam are now free from the guild and are making plans to set up a home somewhere else. But there plan doesn't go as planned, and a job to bring them money to enable the move, ends up bringing them a loss. Knowing what happens after the mines made me feel slightly better about reading this, knowing it wasn't the end of Celaena. However I was shocked at the last few pages, even though I did suspect that someone was involved with this situation, I didn't expect them to be involved in the way they were.

The Assassin's Blade was a great read, and this will sit proudly with the rest of the series on my shelf.

About Sarah
Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, 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 coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

Her debut YA epic fantasy novel, THRONE OF GLASS, will be published by Bloomsbury on August 7th, 2012.

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