Review | The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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.

5 cupcakes

“She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow.”

The Assassin’s Blade is easily my favourite book in the Throne of Glass series. I had initially read the set of e-novellas before starting the series, which I definitely recommend doing; they lend so much depth to Celaena’s character. They’re just as powerful when you know the continuation of Celaena’s story in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, though, as you can see how the events in this collection shape her actions and the person that she is today.

Over the course of these novellas, which are set before the events in Throne of Glass, Celaena undergoes a tremendous amount of growth. It was thoroughly enjoyable watching her transformation from an arrogant assassin who blindly follows orders to someone who makes decisions based on her moral centre, placing her compassion for others fully on display. My favourite part, though, was watching her develop tentative relationships, especially her hate-to-love relationship with Sam Cortland, a rival assassin. Even though I knew it was going to completely crush my heart when I got to The Assassin and the Empire.

The Assassin’s Blade also gives readers a better feel for the world that Celaena inhabits. While much of Throne of Glass was spent in the castle, The Assassin’s Blade takes readers all across the continent: from Skull’s Bay to the Red Desert, so many elements of this world were open for exploration.

Overall, The Assassin’s Blade is a wonderfully written introduction to the world that Sarah J. Maas has created, and I highly, highly recommend giving it a read.

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