Author- Sarah J. Maas
My Rating- 5 STARS
Synopsis- 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.
My Review- The Assassin's Blade is the set of 5 Novella's about Celaena Sardothien's life before we meet her in the Throne of Glass series. They are the stories that have shaped her character development in the series we love. Each tale was hinted at in TOG and it was great so see them in action.
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord visits the time Celaena went against her Master's orders to free hundreds of slaves from an infamous Pirate with a magical map tattooed on his hands. There we meet Sam Cortland, another Assassin of her Guild, properly for the first time. He is hinted at constantly in the Throne of Glass series, a lost love who was taken from her far too soon and gave her the darkness simmering within her. This was a great, sassy tale of the girl who fights like death but has a heart of gold.
The Assassin and the Healer was a much slower tale, a novella filling in the time between freeing the slaves and Celaena's Master's punishment. Arobynn, the King of Assassins and the one who took her in and trained her. Arobynn beat her to unconsciousness and sends her on her way to the middle of a scorching hot desert to be trained and seek the approval of a legendary Assassin, but before that, she has a lot of rage to burn.
The Assassin and The Desert was great to read. While seeking the approval of the Mute Master, Assassin of the Red Desert, Celaena meets Ansel. They become fast friends, train and fight enemies together. They steal expensive, rare horses from a man who tries to end the Desert Assassins. And then she is betrayed and must choose between her rage and letting someone close to her, leave with their life intact.
The Assassin and the Underworld was a cruel and cheap shot delivered by Arobynn as payback for Celaena losing him money in the slave trade business and for choosing to love Sam Cortland, paying off her debts to him and moving away. After saving hundreds of Slaves in Skulls Bay, Arobynn pretends to give Celaena the opportunity to save more...thought his plan is far more twisted than that. He is spiteful and succeeds in pushing Celaena further away from him and making her hate him.
And then there is my personal favourite of the 5 Novellas. The Assassin and the Empire. This is a story that has created the Celaena we love in the Throne of Glass series. She has been used, betrayed, beaten and lost love. She has been part of a twisted plan, using her kindest parts against her. Arobynn uses his words to hurt, his plans to destroy her are heartbreaking. This tale had me near tears and so angry that I couldn't wait to re-read the main series to watch her pay them all back for what they did to her.
A great set of 5 novellas. Some better than others, but all worth the time to read and understand what happened to our heroine before she is taken from the slave camps and used by the Prince as a champion to battle for her freedom.