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

This is the collection of 0.1-0.5 prequel novellas for the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The five novellas include: 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.

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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.

I read the collections of novellas first in the series and haven’t read any of the other books yet. I was given conflicting opinions about what order to read the novellas with the rest of the series and I decided to follow Maas’s recommendation and read them first. Also a few people said to read them based on publishing order, which would not be novellas first, but it’s my understanding that the novellas actually were published first but just individually as ebooks before the first full length and then later published in print all together as The Assassin’s Blade.

I thought I’d make my final decision about how I felt about reading them first after I read more of the series but honestly I’m already glad I read them first because I know myself well enough to know I wouldn’t have read it at all after I started the series.  I am just not a big fan of going back and reading prequels, or perhaps prequels at all. So “glad” is a bit of an overstatement but since I wanted to read them it’s good I got them over with.

Reading this was SUPER anxiety inducing and devastating, especially with the last novella.  I could sense what was happening with one of the characters and their impending doom and I just could. not. handle.  It took me way too long to read these because of that.  Also, prequels hardly ever have a happily ever after because you know, then there would be no point to WHOLE series about to happen where there is going to be trials and tribulations and characters working very hard towards the real happily ever after.  So it was hard for me to read knowing that.

However, it was all very well written and I’m confident a ton of the material will be referenced in the main series and I would be very surprised if a number, if not all, of the characters from the prequels didn’t show up in the main series.  I’m most interested in seeing the healer again.

I’d recommend this if you can handle prequels and don’t die of anxiety from them and if you like to have more detailed back story and explanation of the character’s history, world, and motivations and are looking for more depth and layers to the main story. I’ve also heard from others it makes the main story much more emotional if you’ve read the prequels first.

I think I’ll probably have a better sense of if it was worth it to me to read these once I get through the other books in the series so I’m not going to actually give it a star rating. I’m still undecided if I want to do a review of each book in the series or if I’ll just do a full series review later so we’ll see.  But I am excited to eventually be able to participate in the ToG vs. ACOTAR debate!


Without spoiling for me, since I’ve only read the prequels, did you guys like the novellas and feel like they were worth the read?

 

5 comments

  1. I’m so glad you went ahead and read this. ♥ You’re right, it’s super anxiety inducing, but once you get into the first 2 books of the main series, it just makes such a huge difference regarding how much emotional weight certain things carry. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cry in the corner remembering the last novella 😥

    Liked by 1 person

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