The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas: A Review

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas: A ReviewThe Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #0.1
Also in this series: Heir of Fire
on 1st March 2014
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback

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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.

I’m not normally a fan of novellas but The Assassin’s Blade is a great collection of stories bridging the gap of from when Celaena Sardothien was Adarlan’s Assassin to her time in the salt mines.

One of the highlights of this book is you can be new to the Throne of Glass series or a veteran fan – there is something in this book for everyone. The five stories each focus on a different mission Celaena had to undertake for Arobynn Hamel – King of the Assassins. Her assignments take her from the high seas to the depths of the arid desert and back to the capital, Rifthold. No place is too remote or too dark for Celaena but we get to see that there’s more to Celaena than meets the eye. Her own moral code often conflicts with that of her patron and she finds herself questioning the closest thing she has to a father.

I’ve been a fan of Sarah J Mass’ writing since I first read Throne of Glass. And whilst this collection of novellas is not required to understand and enjoy the books, The Assassin’s Blade is a great addition to the world Maas has created. Thoughout this collection, Celaena’s growth is evident and she’s one of those characters I would NEVER want to meet but I adore reading her stories. Brave, intelligent and fierce, Celaena gives her all to everything she attempts and lives her life on the edge. She’s cocky and egotistical but her track record shows she has reason to be.

This book introduces some brilliant new characters – including a well dressed pirate lord, a want-to-be healer and a girl who would do anything to get revenge – and they fit perfectly in the world. I enjoyed reading Celaena’s antics with these people and would love to see them pop up at a later stage in the series. Another lovely thing about these novellas is the romance. Celaena’s involvement with a certain young assassin has been mentioned several times in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight but it was brilliant to get to see the relationship unfold from the beginning. It must have been hard to show a softer side to the legendary Adarlan’s Assassin but Maas managed the task and it felt true to Celaena’s character.

I loved this book and am so glad that I got the chance to see where Celaena’s story began. For fans of the series or those just wanting to read a great high fantasy story with brilliant characters and an assassin like no other – I could not recommend this book more highly. Great writing and engaging stories, this is a book that would appeal to young adults but also older readers too.

Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for providing me with a review copy



  1. I’m reading Crown of Midnight right now and oooh my gosh. I LOVE IT ALREADY. And I’m only like 50-pages in. The sass and wit knocks me down. Absolute love. I’ve got a review copy of this one too, so I’m definitely starting it just as soon as I finish Crown of Midnight!

    • YAY! Another Throne of Glass series fan. They’re just so good! I’ve lost all my copies of my books because I keep pushing them on people… Hope you enjoy the end of Crown of Midnight and The Assassin’s Blade, Cait!

  2. Woooo, totally agree!! I’m not usually a fan of novellas either, but these ones totally made a believer out of me. It helps that when they are bound together, they make a very solid read. I haven’t read Crown of Midnight yet, but I can’t wait! Hopefully soon.

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