book review: the assassin's blade



The Assassin's Blade is the prequel to the Throne of Glass series, consisting of five novellas. At first i considered to not read it at all, since i'm not a big fan of prequels since we already know what's going to happen. I think prequels are more for people who want to know the hows and the whys and the background of a story. Nevertheless, i ended up buying it and had the intuition to randomly read it one (very, very early) morning. I took my time reading it(for around a week?) and absolutely loved it. I'm rating this wonderful book 4.7 out of 5. It's probably my second or third favourite book in the Throne of Glass world. I CRIED, OKAY.

In this prequel, we discover what Celaena's life was like during her assassin days at the Guild. The five novellas that make up this book are placed in chronological order, but each one is quite independent on its own. For example, if you skipped the first novella, the second one will have a brief explanation about something that happened in the first one, if mentioned. I think all of the novellas are worth reading though, and if you ignore those brief elaborations, it would feel like the whole thing was a novel by itself.

I finished this book with a tortured heart in my chest. Since i have read Throne of Glass(and the other books in the series), i knew generally that it was not going to be a happy ending. So really, it was going to be about reading HOW she had ended up where she did.

I think the first and second novella weren't as interesting as the rest, but i did feel like the story built up more and more the more I read. Although it started a little slow for me, it was still exciting to read.

Sarah J Maas' writing is as wonderful as i expected it to be, and the way she was able to make me feel a lot of emotions is something to love her for. I had my share of excited squeals and unexpected tears. Her descriptions of the setting of the world she created was fantastic. Again, i had felt like the world she created was very vast and full of possibilities and rich with potential. For example, the second novella was set in a desert, when Celaena travels to train with assassins from a different continent. The novella was full of new descriptions of a different part of that world, which had its own interesting culture. I really appreciated that even though this is a prequel from a fantasy series, there isn't much of fantasy elements in it at all, showing how Celaena's life really was different before Throne of Glass.

There were several great characters in this book. Celaena is one of them, obviously, and i can see a lot better now how much her character has developed throughout the series. Even in this prequel, she's such a great character. Her badassery aside, i think it was wonderful to find out why she is the way that she is. I really loved her relationship with two of the characters in The Assassin's Blade(I'll talk about this in the spoiler section). I love how strong she is, despite having a fragile heart.

***SPOILER SECTION***

I felt so, so joyous reading about Ansel and Celaena's friendship in the second novella. It was just so great, the way they had bonded and it felt like i was reading a light, contemporary novel about friendship. And then that betrayal. Damn. Really didn't see that one coming. That was a real plot twist, alright.


Oh, God. Oh, Sam. My heart is crying. I honestly didn't expect to fall in love with you too, because I'm in love with Celaena's love interest in the series. It did make me afraid to keep reading the book, because I knew you were going to die. But seeing how Celaena still grieved for you in the other books, I knew you would become really important. I cried, i really did. This has got to be one of the most painful character deaths i've read. Wait, scratch that. It IS the most painful, physically and emotionally. I was so heartbroken to find out how he had died, and how Celaena had reacted to it.

Arobynn, you bastard.

I'm glad i read The Assassin's Blade, because i can see why Celaena is so broken and i can respect her more for being so strong. She had lost so, so much, and not just in this prequel but from her childhood as well. I had a lump in my chest while reading the last few pages. It's one of the only books i've read with such a depressing, frightening ending for the main character. I am just so consumed with feels for Celaena that i'm thinking of rereading Throne of Glass right away. I think i would be able to understand her character in that better now.

***END OF SPOILER SECTION***

That's it, i am SO going to reread Throne of Glass. The fourth book is coming out in less than a week anyway, so i might as well get ready with feels. Throne of Glass is my least favourite out of the three books in the series so far, but i think i might actually enjoy it more after reading The Assassin's Blade. If you enjoyed the series and am in a dilemma whether or not reading the prequel would be worth it, fret no more. READ IT. I'm glad I did.


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if a house is made from a thousand bricks, then let me be one of those bricks, to help keep the house together, to make a significant difference.

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2017 Reading Challenge
Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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