Published by Bloomsbury Australia on March 4, 2014
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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