The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas is the prequel to the Throne of Glass series and is made up of 5 novella’s.
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s Assassin. Five different missions. Five different outcomes. Each one takes reveals more about the person beneath the mask. She faces everything from isolated islands to harsh deserts to crowded cities.
It all begins when Celaena’s master, Arobynn Hamel, sends her on a mission she was not prepared to complete. And who does he send with her, but a man she has hated since childhood, Sam. Teaming up with Sam, she defies orders, knowing that the punishment that will await her will not be pleasant. Will doing what she deems the right thing cost her everything or will Celaena finally be free from the chains that hold her?
I want to start by saying that I read this book after Crown of Midnight, which is the second book in the main series. Therefore, I knew quite a bit going in that I wouldn’t have known if I started with this one. I think that both benefited and harmed my reading experience.
I don’t know which order I recommend other people to read it in. I think this novel would have a much more intense emotional impact if it was read first, but I also think that I was able to catch little details I would have otherwise overlooked if I had read it first. I will say that I am really excited to get back to the main series.
The five novellas in this novel are 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. My favorite novella was easily The Assassin and The Desert, with The Assassin and The Empire coming in second.
I loved getting to see this other side to Celaena and learn more about what her life was like before Throne of Glass started. I already knew I liked Celaena, but this made her that much more loveable.
I had heard quite a bit about Sam going into this book—both in the series and in the real world—and I was really excited to get to know him. However, I was disappointed by what I found. I don’t know if it was just because of the build-up that I experienced or not, but I think my disappointment ruined my enjoyment of this book.
Another character that I enjoyed meeting was Arobynn Hamel. He was mentioned numerous times throughout the first two Throne of Glass novels, but I hadn’t gotten to meet him yet. Seeing the man who was like a father to Celaena for half of her life really brought a new light to why she was the way she was.
As for the writing, I don’t think I spotted any typo’s or mistakes. That does not mean there aren’t any. It just means that I was either so caught up in the story that I overlooked them, or they weren’t noticeable. I felt the writing style was very much like her other novels, so the things that bothered me about the way Maas writes did not seem to stick out as much either.
I really hope that some of the characters in this novel come back in the main series. There are several side and minor characters I want to see more from.
Overall, I gave this novel 4 out of 5 stars. I definitely recommend this series to everyone who enjoys YA or NA fantasy novels.