“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.”
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.
This review will contain spoilers for Throne of Glass!
This book broke me. I didn’t realize how much I missed the Throne of Glass universe until I read this. Assassin’s Blade is a collection of five short stories leading up to Celaena’s imprisonment in Endovier. I passed up the opportunity to read this novella numerous times, because I didn’t think it would be relevant to the storyline. Although it isn’t necessary to read this collection of short stories before reading all the books, I absolutely loved it. I would also highly recommend that this be read immediately after Throne of Glass. I waited until after the fifth book to read this, but there was a handful of information from this novella that I would’ve loved to have known prior to the later novels. What I truly admired was how well Maas was able to develop the relationship between Celaena and Sam over a relatively short course of time. In Throne of Glass, it is made clear what Sam’s untimely fate is. With this in consideration, I was shocked at how emotionally connected I became towards him and Celaena. My heart was throbbing by the end, and I felt my eyes watering during the last hundred pages or so. I also loved how we see the background of Rolfe and Ansel in these short stories, and explore the complexities of Celeana’s relationship with Arobynn.
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
I loved the set up for this short story, and thought it was a great introduction to what Celaena was like prior to the events of the first book. It was also a beautiful start to the simmering romance between her and Sam. This is the first time we are shown her interactions with Sam, so it was sweet to see how their feelings for one another unfold. Of course, this makes us feel the sting of his death even more … The pacing of the story was also nice, and I enjoyed how we witness a more humane side of Celaena in it.
The Assassin and the Healer
While this was my least favorite of the five stories, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Can you tell I’m slightly biased with Throne of Glass stories? This was the shortest of the stories as well, and centers around Celaena teaching a young woman how to defend herself. I loved how despite the contrast with the two girls’ professions, they’re still able to understand one another to a certain degree.
The Assassin and the Desert
I loved this story, and especially enjoyed Ansel’s character. As punishment for disobeying Arobyn, Celaena is sent to a desert in a foreign country to learn the ways of the Red Assassins. Here, she realizes that her reputation doesn’t account to much, and that she must find other ways to earn the favor of the Silent Master. The relationship she has with Ansel was very intriguing, and it really displays the softer, more compassionate side of Celaena that develops throughout the novels.
The Assassin and the Underworld
Words can’t express how much this story shattered me. This was my favorite of the five, and I couldn’t believe how much emotions were drawn out of me while reading it. After Celaena returns from the desert, she is unsure about how she feels about Sam, and the Assassin’s Guild as a whole. While she contemplates these feelings, she decides to accept a mission. Throughout this story, her and Sam’s feelings for one another are clearly presented. What I loved most about this novel was how much their relationship develops and drives the storyline. Knowing the outcome of this story, hurt so much on the inside, and I felt my eyes threatening to leak throughout the whole story. Needless to say, Niagra Falls was unleashed by the end.
The Assassin and the Empire
I was already so emotional from the previous story, that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to bear reading further. This story shows the final events that lead up to Celaena’s sentence to Endovier. Such raw emotions are shown in this story, and it truly hurts to see how awful Celaena’s predicament is. She’s suffering from her grief, the sting of betrayal, and her unparalleled fear for what is to come. A beautifully heartbreaking story.
I loved this books to pieces, and would highly recommend it for anyone who has read Throne of Glass. This is one of my favorite young adult series of all time. The characters are beautiful, the storyline is phenomenal, and the world building is stunning. It’s a difficult task to write a novella, where the audience already knows the outcome, but Sarah J. Mass hit a homerun. The relationship between the characters and development of Celaena was amazing, and I’m shocked at how emotional this book made me. I loved every bit of it, and suggest that no one refrain from reading this novella!
What are your thoughts on this novella? Have you read Throne of Glass? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! ❤