The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas Review: Adarlan’s Assassin in a web of deceit

March 10, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas Review: Adarlan’s Assassin in a web of deceitThe Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Australia on March 4, 2014
Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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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.

Where a simple act of defiance and moral justice transforms into a web of deceit, betrayal, and death, The Assassin’s Blade completely blew me away as a prequel to Throne of Glass. It all starts from a simple mission which Celaena Sardothien chooses to disobey, leading into her entire livery being crushed before her very eyes and into the bitter, jaded assassin that we know today.

The five novellas each cover separate missions: one, to rescue thousands of slaves from a Pirate Lord, to teach a healer how to defend herself, to learn from the Mute Master of Assassin’s in the desert, to help fight slavery from an evil crime lord and lastly, the assassination that was never going to pan out. In the first story, we see Celaena rescue thousands of slaves from a Pirate Lord, which sets the tone for the rest of the novellas. Celaena’s past is one I couldn’t tear my eyes from, as the events all lead up to her inevitable imprisonment in Endovier.

The stranger couldn’t have been older than seventeen but…But Adarlan had made them all grow up fast. Too fast. – Yrene the healer

In The Assassin’s Blade, we see what shapes Celaena into the person she is today, with her love of finery, cocky confidence, intelligence and mastery of assassination present here. Her master and mentor, Arobynn has taken her in as his protégé and like a cult leader, she doesn’t question his decisions. As the King of Assassins, he’s given his group board, missions and even gifts in exchange to do his dirty work.

One in his position of power cannot be infallible however, as his anger towards Celaena and Sam are enacted throughout the novel. With multiple layers of deceit and trickery, Arobynn’s cruelty knows no end as he toys with Celaena and Sam with his influence and missions.

Celaena is certainly a kick ass character and we are given some background as to why she holds herself to high standards and morals. Pampered and entitled as Arobynn’s favourite, she has high regard for herself and her master, and she lets everyone know it. She even treats Sam as a competitor ready to swoop into her title, but slowly warms to him across the course of the novel. With all of her morals and penchant to do the right thing, we wonder why she’s in her chosen career. The Assassin’s Blade demonstrates to us that her love of finery and skill actually allows her to right wrongs against slavery and evil by dispatching the toughest enemies.

The romance with Sam is slowly developed over the course of the novel, and we see her slowly regard him as a competitor, to companion, to someone who she truly cares for and loves. With his never ending devotion to Celaena, his honour and power protecting her throughout, he holds on his own against Chaol and Dorian. Having grown up with her, he really does know her the best out of all them. Sam just feels totally right for her, which reinforces my belief that there is no The One out there for us. There are several people who could become them, each with their different things to offer us.

“I love you…I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.” – Sam

The Assassin’s Blade is a compelling, in-depth prequel filled with fantasy, romance, action and deceit that fleshes out Celaena’s background as Adarlan’s Assassin. The author has taken her time to illustrate to us Celaena’s relationship with her mentor, her moral high ground, and the protectiveness that her and Sam share. This is a MUST READ for any fans of the series and even as an introduction to the novel. I couldn’t put it down, and it’s the perfect filler until Reign of Fire is released.

I received a review copy from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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48 responses to “The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas Review: Adarlan’s Assassin in a web of deceit

  1. castergurl

    I started Throne of Glass a couple of days ago and I'm now reading Assassin's Blade (no, I haven't started Crown of Midnight yet) and I am hooked!!! I'm currently reading Assassin and the Underworld and I keep thinking…was that Dorian and Chaol at the party??! Oh dear! I really am hoping for Sam to still be alive. ♡♡♡

  2. I love this series so much, like literally WITH ALL MY HEART (crown of midnight gave me a two week book hangover…I know right?) so I've been DYING to get my hands on a copy of this book! So glad you liked this one and im so happy to be hearing good things about it! YAY

    Lily @ Lilysbookblog
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  3. I've only read the first novel in this series, but I didn't like Chaol or Dorian and was constantly thinking, "Sam would've been a lovely love interest," throughout the novel. I bet they were really sweet in this one! <3 I'm not a fan of Calaena, either, but she's okay and hopefully she's more badass in this novella collection than she was in the actual first book! Lovely review, Jeann! <3
    Aimee @ Deadly Darli recently posted…Review: Ask Again Later by Liz CzukasMy Profile

    • Yeah, Celaena is actually a lot better in the 2nd book as well as this one. You kind of see why, she's more assassin and kick ass rather than dilly dallying around the palace. I think you'd like this one if you didn't like either of the other 2 guys!

  4. Oh, wow! A 5-star review for this sequel?! That's fantastic! I struggled a bit with Throne of Glass, so I've debated on whether or not continuing the series is a good idea. I have to admit…this makes a strong case for it! Lovely review, Jeann 🙂

  5. Any higher praise and you'd probably be dry humping the cover 😀

    I read Throne of Glass quite a while ago, and just couldn't get into it. But I've heard the novellas are fantastic. Your review has me wanted to pick up a copy and see if it'll help me appreciate the series more. Awesome review Jeann, super passionate.
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  6. Ahh Jeanne! You make me want to read this book right away. I'm not personally a fan of novellas and I feel like I would be heart-broken with what happens to Sam, but you've convinced me to give it a shot. I would love to see how Celeana become who she is now.

    Lovely review!
    Nick @ Nick's B recently posted…Quick UpdateMy Profile

  7. So I guess in this prequel we really see Calaena in all her kick-assery?! 😛 Jeann, you make this book sound so good and compelling. I already read the first book, so I think I'll be able to read this one without any problems. Funny though that there's another love interest… we already have Chaol and Dorian, don't we? O_O Does Sam show up in the second book at all? I haven't looked into that yet so I'm not sure :))
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…Review: Vitro by Jessica KhouryMy Profile

    • Oh, yeah there was so much kick assery it was awesome! I know there wasn't much of it in the first book, but these novellas were full of it. Yeah, there aren't too many spoilers for CoM in this one. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, you'll just have to read on and see 😉

  8. It's actually amazing that they put these into print. I still haven't read them but now I have the chance. I can't wait to discover these stories and it's wonderful that instead of a small novella we get like a full book full of adventures. Arobynn at first was someone I was glad that she had in Throne of Glass, but then as the secrets began to reveal I found myself secretly hating him for all the stuff that he had put her through and seems like I had reason to. I actually think that Celaena could make it work with either Dorian or Chaol, but I'm still fiercly rooting for my boy Chaol. Sam.. Ahhhhh. I have such mixed emotions. I want to know him, but do not want to fall in love for obvious reasons. So glad you enjoyed this!
    Siiri recently posted…Review: The Destiny of Violet and Luke by Jessica SorensenMy Profile

    • I know Siiri, the 5 novellas together couldn't be more perfect because there seems to be an overarching direction to them! I just loved this book so much, and it was like a bumper edition of Celaena and her adventures. Arobynn was just amazing, and it kind of sickens me that she kind of never figured it out in ToG. I'm a Chaol shipper too but who knows what will happen? Sam was so sweet too.

  9. It's awesome that each novella covers a mission, and that you get backstory on the characters. I love that publishers are starting to put novellas out in print form, too–why not when readers want them?!

    I'm really looking forward to starting this series soon. My coblogger Kim just wrote a glowing review for book 2 and I'm kicking myself that I haven't even read the first one yet.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Rebel Belle: hummingbird cake recipe + giveawayMy Profile

    • Oh Wendy in that case I can't wait until you start the books! It's my turn to be forceful now, these ones were all 5 star reads for me. The series were absolutely AMAZING.

  10. *gazes longingly* I would LOVE to read this. Words do not describe how much I would LOVE to read this. I'm totally saving up to buy it now (like, I only say that about half a billion books, but I'm seriously addicted to this series). I just adored the first book, and I'm soo curious about Sam and all Calaena's backstory (though, dang it, I never remember how to spell her name on the first try). 😉
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