Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on 2014
Also by this author: Heir of Fire, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Crown of Midnight
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassins' 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 prequel 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 . . . Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.
In The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, we get to meet Celaena a super pretty and extremely cocky sixteen years old assassin, on a mission for her master, along with Sam, another assassin she grew up with. Both teenagers thought they were going to the pirate lord to settle a business with him, after some assassins were presumably killed by pirates, but both youth are in for a surprise.
I really enjoyed this story because even though the novella is only 69 pages long, it was enough to fall in love with both main characters. They also showed a bit of growth and their opinion of each other evolved enough to make a difference. The story and its ending were also heart-poundingly exciting!
The Assassin and the Healer takes place next and Celaena is on her journey toward the Silent Master. She stays at a inn and meets a young girl with a difficult life. Despite the beating she took from Arobinn she decides to help this girl too. I like how she is so though on the outside, but is also soft when it come to helping those in needs. This story is the shortest of the bunch, but still an interesting one.
In The Assassin and the Desert, Celaena is punished for her actions of the first story and sent to the desert heat. She is suppose to gain the approval of the Silent Master, or not come back. But how to you earn the approval of a master who doesn’t want to train you? Celaena will have to draw his attention but it won’t be easy.
My favorite aspect of this second installment is the dramatic growth Celaena showed us. She used to be a cocky, snob, spoiled girl but the desert heat is hard and did wonders to her personality. Nothing brings you back to reality like a 6 miles run under the desert sun. She was also away from Sam, and this time of loneliness allowed her to think about her relationship with him. The ending was once again breathtaking!
The fourth story, The Assassin and the Underworld, was just as engrossing. Celeana is back with her master in this story and she has to decide where her allegiances stands. Can she forgive him for what he did? How does she really feel about Sam now that she’s back in his presence? All the while working on an assassinating mission.
This novella was my favorite thus far for three reasons. First, we finally get to see her assassin talents at works. Second, the plot is much thicker and not everything is what it seems. And last but not least, there is some romance involved and I really like how it played out.
The Assassin and the Empire is the last novella and is the longest.
Sam & Celaena are in love and want to leave town, but if they don’t want to live their lives as fugitives, they have to strike a deal with the Assassin’s Guild and the price will be a steep one. Even steeper than the astounding number the leader is asking for, but our heroes will find out the hard way…
I’ve already read the following books in the series, which gave me a very interesting perspective. I truly enjoyed discovering about the lovers, especially knowing what came next. Even though I knew the final outcome of the installment, I enjoyed discovering the particulars, and I was simply hooked to the pages. That’s just how enticing Maas’ writing is.
The plot proved to be exciting and engrossing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and felt the weight of grief right by Celaena’s side. The emotions were honest and raw and I truly enjoyed it.
I strongly urge you to read The Assassin’s Blade because even though it’s not absolutely necessary to your enjoyment of the series, it will definitely enhance your experience. Miss Maas often refers to events happening in the stories, and having read them will enlighten those moments.