The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas, published March 2014 by Bloomsbury.
Read: November 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Romance/Fantasy/Short Stories
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.
Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…
Before I start this review I need to get something off my chest – I need to meet Sarah J Maas. I need to ask her why?! I need to shake her hand and thank her for making me realise that I can actually read Fantasy, and that I may just have found a new favourite genre, and I need to kiss her feet for giving me a series to fangirl over almost as much as I fangirl over Harry Potter.
I read and LOVED Throne of Glass (check out my review of Throne of Glass here) and decided that I wanted to know more about Celaena, her past and her motivations, before I moved on to devour the rest of the series. While this bind-up is a collection of five novellas, it reads more like a novel – the stories move seamlessly into each other and they all build to form a great picture of our favourite female Assassin’s past. And what a past it is – I laughed, I cheered, I fangirled and (I’m not ashamed to say it) I wept. *Wept*.
A lot of seasoned Fantasy readers felt there was information missing from Throne of Glass – I definitely didn’t find this problematic, as I knew it was a series and expected the other books to reveal more over time – no one likes being info-dumped on – and The Assassin’s Blade answered A LOT of questions for me.
I went into this book struggling with the concept of Sam. I ship Celaena and Chaol so hard and didn’t want to ruin that ship by introducing some other swoon-worthy guy.
But Sam stole my heart, my feels, my sanity and every other teeange-girl feeling I didn’t know I still had at 24. One thing I love about this series though, is that while it does very much focus on romance, it doesn’t at the same time. There is so much to these stories – there’s action, adventure, politics, world-building, culture, betrayal… Maas is a genius story-teller who gives me everything I could want in a fantastic read.
I will say that I feel this bind-up is essential reading for any fan of the series – novellas are usually added extras that don’t add a whole lot to the overall story unless you’re a die-hard fan, they’re the literary version of a Behind The Scenes documentary, but in this case The Assassin’s Blade feels like a must-read if you want to understand Celaena and her motivations.
I can’t cope with my love for this series. I can’t cope with the wait until the next books are out. Even though we’re currently going through “death-by-YA-adaptation” I can’t cope with how much I would love for this to be a movie or TV show. But damn they would need to do it right! I just have zero coping going on, basically.
Interesting information for fans who want to know if they’re pronouncing names correctly, Maas has released this guide. I was only messing up two of them!
Have you read The Assassin’s Blade? Are you obsessed with this series?? Tell me in the comments! (No spoilers please!)
I wish I can find a book that will make me fall in love with a genre that I don’t normally read. Sigh.
Have you tried TOG? Or do you read that genre normally? Oh, Oh! I sense a challenge! What genres do you not normally read and I’ll see if I have any recs I loved?!
Fantasy. Definitely, fantasy. lol. I haven’t read this series yet. I’ve hoarded the books, of course, but have not read them yet. Fantasy draaaaaaaaggggggsssss for me.
It’s a genre I’m just starting to get comfortable with, so assuming you’ve read and loved Harry Potter, I’d say definitely give Throne of Glass a try!
Ack. No. I haven’t read nor seen Potter. I know right?!
Are you planning to??? At least tell me you’re planning to?! 😀
Uhm…no? Don’t hate me! I’m planning on buying the whole set for my kidlets though.
Awwwwwh. Well, you might end up reading it to them…. right?! Lol R x
one day man. One day I will actually get this bloody bind up and read those novellas!!!
Have you read the rest of the series?! They novellas are really worth reading!
yep! Read the main books, just never got around to the Novellas. I can’t decide if I hate this current trend of Novellas in YA fiction, but I hate them a bit less since they are actually being published in physical format now.
I’m not a fan of novellas unless they’re very cheap as eBooks, or bound up like this. This type of novella I can handle, it’s more like a prequel novel.
I have Throne of Glass on my Kindle waiting for me! You’ve made me so enthusiastic now! Curse starting a new book already tonight! *speed reads faster than Barry Pierce*
I have to say, Throne of Glass was a little bit of a slow starter for me – I put that down to my lack of experience with different worlds, but apparently a few other people felt the same. From the half-way mark though I was hooked and immediately went online and bought the rest of the books in the series – big, big hit for me this one!
Lol – I LOVE the Pierce comment!! I need to let him know he’s now being name-dropped. He should blog too, but his sarcasm probably wouldn’t come across just as well!
I saw that guide after reading book one. I was pronouncing Chaol wrong the whole time, but I can’t bring myself to say it correctly now. It doesn’t feel the same, haha.
Love your review!!!! You’ve basically summed up exactly how I felt about this. It reads like a novel and a brilliant one at that. It destroyed my feels.
That and one other (can’t remember) were the only ones I was getting wrong, but I still say Chaol in my head wrong, I pronounce it more like Cole… I was ruined after this, couldn’t bring myself to read Crown of Midnight, had to take a break. Actual tears in my eyeballs. R x
I never really read Fantasy either until I started reading TOG and now it is all I want to read! SJM is a freaking genius! I wish she would come to Ireland or the UK, I would be on a plane so freaking fast!
I ship Celaena and Chaol so hard but yeah Sam definitely wormed his way into my heart and will stay there forever! Precious Baby Assassin! Excellent review Rachel! Can’t wait to see what you think of Crown of Midnight!
I love it too, and I was intimidated by fantasy for so long – maps, the words “high fantasy”, and weird names kept me away, but TOG has definitely changed my mind! I would LOVE for her (or any other authors) to come even close to where I live lol thanks for the feedback, Carol 😀
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Celeana and Chaol!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ I felt the same way going in, it was so hard to read a story that was essentially redefining your opinion of a main character and a relationship with a person that was really just a name. I DID NOT WANT TO FEEL THE THINGS THAT I FELT FOR SAM.
I'll stop here to avoid spoiling anything for you – but I am definitely looking forward to your reviews for CoM and HoF!! 😉
I SHIP THEM SO HARD!! And I’m so scared, because I’ve heard of this Rowan person, and if he gets in the way of my ship I’m not going to be happy! I didn’t want to like Sam either, but I did, I couldn’t help it. As sad as it is (I’m going to try and be cryptic here in case anyone hasn’t read it), what happened with Sam was kind of OK, because there was no conflict then for Chaol. Still broke my heart though. I need to read the next ones immediately, don’t I? Le sigh.
[…] such mixed emotions. I was obsessed with Chaol, and when I first picked up the prequel novellas (The Assassin’s Blade) I was dubious of this Sam character I’d heard about. But then I fell for Sam SO HARD. I […]