I’m not usually a fan of novellas, but what Sarah J. Maas has done with this bind-up makes this collection feel like a book in its own right. I’d even go so far as to say that these novellas are necessary. Or at least, they are if you want the full experience and to feel all. the. feels.
The Assassin’s Blade (Throne Of Glass #0.5) by Sarah J. Maas
Pub. 2014 | 435 pages | Fantasy
Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to 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 makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship.
But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks 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…
I just want to preface this review by saying that Throne Of Glass is my favourite series of all time. That being said, I appreciate this collection of novellas for their importance later in the series, but my gosh do I hate Celaena in this book. I adore what Sarah J. Maas did with Celaena’s character development throughout this series, but her arrogance and stubbornness in these early books is just painful. Knowing everything that happens in this series, it’s much easier for me to swallow my frustration with Celaena, but if you’re a newbie to the books, you’re probably going to wonder why the hell she’s one of my favourite characters in the world.
So if you don’t know, this collection of prequel novellas tells the story of the year before Celaena’s enslavement (that’s not a spoiler – she’s literally a slave at the beginning of Throne Of Glass). Because of that, I would probably recommend waiting until after you’ve read the first couple of books before exploring these novellas. I mean, you totally can read them first, but the emotional effect won’t hit you unless you already know a bit about Celaena’s character.
It’s difficult to give this book a full review because, while a lot does happen, you need to experience it for yourself to understand why these novellas are so important. We’re introduced to a lot of characters and are hit with a lot of backstory, but everything contained within these pages is so well put together, and just a rollercoaster of emotion from start to finish.
Despite my dislike for Celaena throughout these novellas, this is a great bind-up that really adds to the series in a huge way. Like I’ve mentioned, it’s not immediately apparent why this book is so important, but just read it anyway. You just have to trust me, okay?