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

July 24, 2014 Review 47 ★★★★½

Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas by Sarah J. Maas
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Purchased
Pages: 435
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Series: Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
four-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-stars
Celaena Sarthodien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, she yields for no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.

When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes–and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she discovers friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena riskes unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches–and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives….

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling–and deadly–world.

alise

Oh, Throne of Glass series, you kill me.

emotionsc
“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.

Bec also wanted me to reiterate the feels:

bec
bec2

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.

Characters in a gif:

Celaena Sardothien

badass

It doesn’t get any more badass than Celaena.

“She was fire, she was darkness,
she was dust and blood and shadow.”

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.

Sam Cortland

feels animated GIF

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

If you haven’t started this amazing series, you really should! Meanwhile, Bec and I are off to reread Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight before Heir of Fire :)

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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Overall: 4.3

47 Responses to “Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas”

  1. Andreea

    I still haven’t finished the first book in this series. Don’t know if I ever will. When I picked it up, I just couldn’t get into it. I guess it’s because I’m not a fan of fantasy, since I love paranormal and other genres more.

    But I am glad that you loved it. And everyone seems to love this series. So it’s not the book, it’s me:)
    Andreea recently posted…Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

  2. Tanja

    LOL This is so accurate. Really but this series makes me swim in my feels. Also SAM! I always tell people to read this one as they’d meet Celaena better and see her character development. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Alise :)
    Tanja recently posted…Reclaiming the Sand by A. Meredith Walters

  3. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    Saaaaaam *wails forever and always* Like I KNEW what was going to happen there because I’d read books #1 and #2 first. I KNEW. And I still…I still just was a mess. I just messily loved this book and cried and threw it and said “IT’S NOT FAIR” and then hugged it. (It should be illegal to write books like this though, seriously. IT IS SO SO GOOD.) I totally agree for reading ToG and CoM first though. I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one, juuuust ’cause I think it’d mean more to read this one later. x)
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Why You Should Read WE WERE LIARS

    • Alise

      Seriously >< That chapter just killed me where she was waiting and expecting him D: Gah. Right? These books are just on a whole new level. Exactly!

  4. Romi Foster

    Wonderful, wonderful review! You described Celaena’s growth in this so well, and I completely agree! I think it would have been interesting to read this first, and I do think it would work, but I think I also agree that it’s probably more powerful reading the books currently out and then going back. I just felt so much for her and grew to love her even more than before, which is hard to believe possible. Wow… this was jsut such an incredible, intense book. AND SO SAD.
    Romi Foster recently posted…Well Read Women by Samantha Hahn…

    • Alise

      Thank you! Yeah, I guess it depends on whether you prefer more back-story before going into Throne of Glass versus seeing the development in retrospect. I know… it’s insane! I felt the same :'(

  5. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    GAH. I love the prequels. LOVE them. But I can totally pick a favorite: The Assassin and the Desert. This is my favorite YA fantasy series. For once, I’m actually glad that there are going to be six books instead of resenting the long wait between installments. I don’t care. Just give me MORE. Glad you loved these too, Alise ;)
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

    • Alise

      That’s a good one! It probably be my favorite in terms of stuff going on-it was like an entire book all in a little novella. The last one though… heartbreaking. I agree! It’s on a completely different level from all the other YA fantasies. Right? I’m so excited! Thanks!

  6. A Canadian Girl

    I’ve only read Throne of Glass – which I wasn’t too crazy about – but the reviews for Crown of Midnight have convinced me to at least give it a try in the future to see if some of the issues I had with Throne of Glass are no longer present. If I end up liking it, I’ll be sure to give these novellas a go as I’ve heard how well-written they are.
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

    • Alise

      Yeah I’ve seen quite a few reviewers who didn’t like ToG fall in love with CoM so you never know :) Let me know if you ever do!

  7. Wattle

    I still haven’t started this series *sigh* it’s been like, forever. Pretty sure I own the first book too…it must be somewhere. I need magic, so I can just call books to me at will instead of actually having to look through my shelves (or I could just stop being lazy?)
    Wattle recently posted…Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #13

    • Alise

      I think you would really enjoy this series! Aha I guess I can get that, although my books are all over the place too so I tend to just go looking for them haha.

  8. Emma @ Never Judge a Book

    I loved the first two books, and I have bought the Assassin’s Blade and I can’t wait to read it. But I think I’d read it after I finish Heir of Fire. I love novella, they always to shape and develop the characters more and you see a whole another side to Celaena! :) Love the gif by the way, I’m a huge I am Number Four film fan! :D Lovely review, Alise!
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…REVIEW – TEMPEST by Julie Cross

    • Alise

      They really do! I hope you enjoy Heir of Fire :) And this one when you get around to reading it. Thank you! Yeah, I really liked the movie, I wish they would have continued on with them. Thank you!

    • Alise

      Oh gosh I don’t even know because I was all over the place D: Haha. I think all of the above feels but wow, this series. Yay! I’m really excited to read what you think of them :D

  9. Sarah

    I’ve read Throne of Glass and half of Crown of Midnight. I honestly don’t why I stopped reading Crown of Midnight, it was very intense and so good. I MUST read it and prepare for some very hard shipping in time for Heir of Fire!
    Sarah recently posted…Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

    • Alise

      Intense would be a perfect way to describe this series. Crown of Midnight also killed me, so many feels towards the end of that one :/ They are just so.. epic. YES! :D

  10. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    Book is totally speaking to its readers – I choose to drown in sorrow through rereading said book.

    I completely agree; it’s better to read the first two books, then the novellas. It just has more of an impact when you read the novellas afterward. I actually refer to it as a prequel novel most of the time – once all five novellas are together, it flows exactly like an entire book.

    *applauds your Celaena gif* On point! *cries over Sam again* STAHP
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Tagged! The Seven Deadly Bookish Sins

    • Alise

      Most definitely. It’s a conspiracy.

      Exactly! Yeah it really does, I like how well they all come together.

      Thank you :D And I know D:

  11. Ashtyn @ Wonderland's Reader

    I just got the second book! I’m only about 28 pages in and loving it already! I’m (hopefully) going to get the chance to read this once I finish Crown of Midnight and a couple other books on my TBR. I’m so interested in these characters and world! And you’re so right, it doesn’t get more badass than Celaena! A+ gif use!
    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader recently posted…Review: Thorn Jack

    • Alise

      That’s great! Crown of Midnight is probably my favorite so far (haven’t read Heir of Fire yet) but the FEELS are abound in that one too :/ Hope you like it! Thanks :)

    • Alise

      *evil laughter* Excellent.
      Crown of Midnight definitely has its emotional moments too but this one just killed me towards the end D: Hope you enjoy both of them!

  12. Chiara@ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    YES to everything you said here. The Assassin’s Blade would have to be my absolute favourite Throne of Glass book so far!

    Why?

    Sam. Sam. Sam. SAM.

    Like, I ADORE Chaol but I just cannot with the feels that Sam gave me. I don’t cry in books (like, ever), and I was on the verge of tears with this one.

    And I also adore the fact that it really let us get to know Celaena even more than we already did (which I appreciated since that was sore topic for me when reading Throne of Glass).

    I still hold out hope for fae magic or SOMETHING for a certain someone because I ship that so hard. SO SO HARD.

    I cannot wait for Heir of Fire! EEEP.

    And if my HTML is hideous, I apologise XD
    Chiara@ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…My Mid-Year Book Freakout

    • Alise

      Oh, tell me about it. Sam… Whew. I like Chaol and Celaena so much too but Sam and Celaena get me every time. I KNOW. TRUST ME, I KNOW D:

      Definitely! It really adds a lot of depth to her, more than we already knew.

      Gosh, I know. I was talking theories about that with Bec, I’ll take any excuse for him at this point. I just want ONE other scene with those two to sort of conclude things. Like when she had that one with Nehemia.

  13. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    hahaha ok so 1. I loved reading your thoughts on this one and 2. I can SO understand and relate to ALL your feels guys!! GAH! This book nearly killed me! And you know, I think you’re right: reading this one AFTER ToG & CoM really does make for a bigger impact and emotional punch. We already knew Celaena but going back to who she was before ToG really does put everything into perspective. Who she is now, how she acts and how she thinks make all the more sense knowing of the events in TAB. And yeah Sam pretty much destroyed me with the feels, that gif was dead-on. Anyways, I’m glad you both loved this one and I can’t wait to chat HoF with you ladies :D
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…ARC Review: The Young World

    • Alise

      Haha, thanks! I KNOW. Bec and I read this one together and skype was pretty much just filled with asdfghjkls and CAPS the entire time during that section. Exactly! “Who she is now, how she acts and how she thinks make all the more sense” exactly. Yeah, definitely-can’t wait! :D

    • Alise

      I do kind of wonder how I would feel about Throne of Glass if I had read the novellas first. Haha, yeah, I have the books all on a special shelf all to themselves.

  14. Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    I love this series and was deeply impressed with these novellas. Oh Sam ;( I put off reading The Assassin and the Empire because I knew what was coming. Oh the feels ;( It was interesting getting to meet Arobynn and see how worse he was in person. I’m reading Heir of Fire right now, I think you’ll enjoy it!! Lots of new characters introduced and interesting plot developments :) Lovely review!
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted…Review ~ The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

    • Alise

      Totally agree about Arobynn, he is so incredibly interesting and I loved getting to know his character. Yay! I’m really excited to start than one and meet all the new characters :) Thank you!

    • Alise

      Oh yes! D: I was thinking the exact same thing, we got to see so many different sides of characters we already knew. Yeah! Thanks :)

  15. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    I haven’t read this novella yet, but I’m so excited to give it a try after being really impressed with the Throne of Glass series thus far. Looking forward to getting ALL THE FEELS and whatnot! xD Thanks for sharing Alise, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Dangerous Boys

    • Alise

      Yay! I really think you will like the novellas because they give you so much insight to all the characters, as well as introduce ones you’ve only had little mentions of. YES! Thank you :3

  16. Wendy Darling

    Hah hah, that gif for Caelena is PERFECT. I only just read the first 3 books in this series a couple of weeks ago and I am now a die-hard fan. I think ASSASSIN’S BLADE is actually my favorite of the three, Sam and that whole story arc hit me so hard. Ugh, so much love I’m glad you love it, too!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Silver Shadows: review

  17. Alise

    Thank you! I’m so glad you are enjoying them, Wendy! I know, even though you were expecting it actually reading it is just…argh. So sad.

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