Hello! I took an unexpected break from blogging, but whilst I was away I have been doing a tonne of reading and writing! I am ready to get back on with blogging now, and today I have another discussion post about The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas. There are going to be spoiler in this post for Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and The Assassin’s Blade; so if you haven’t read the books and don’t want to be spoiled, I will catch up with you in another post!
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.
I knew things were looking a little too good to be true when it came to my enjoyment of the series. I was advised to read The Assassin’s Blade before book three, which is what I did, and I now feel like it’s distanced me from the story. I had a number of people tell me that this was their favourite book of the series and I honestly don’t know why.
The novellas were nice, but I feel like I took nothing out of it really. There are five novellas within the bindup. Part of me feels like I could have skipped it, though many swear this is their favourite of the series which doesn’t exactly spark hope in me for the rest of the series. I really hope I am proven wrong. I feel like I know enough of Sarah J Maas’ writing by now to know that these stories will have a purpose and there is a reason that they were written and published.
One of the main problems I had with is was that I really struggled with the majority of the characters. I didn’t connect with Sam nearly as much as everyone else did. In Throne of Glass, we are already aware of his death, so we know that it is coming; so I wonder if that is why I had a disconnect with him. I already knew he was going to die, so subconsciously I didn’t allow myself to become connected with him? Maybe. I wonder if I had read it first if I would have felt differently towards him. That being said, I actually liked the first novella: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. I enjoyed seeing them interact together in the final scenes where they were freeing the slaves. However, their interactions before that irritated me. Again, I think it was because we had already seen Celaena’s character begin to develop and grow, so going back in time where she hadn’t been through the things that made her change was actually quite jolting.
This brings me to Celaena. I found her so annoying, which was weird because in the other books, even at the start of Throne of Glass, I liked her character and even found her amusing. But, for whatever reason, I couldn’t connect with her character enough to really care about the relationships she was forming with the others.
One character I did like was Arobynn. Okay – no; that came out wrong. I definitely did not like him as he is a horrible man. However, I enjoyed getting to know him and really understand why Celaena is the way she is in the main series. It was a nice insight to see his cruelty and scheming first hand and not have him being a looming over her kind of figure.
Most of the novellas were honestly forgettable to me. In The Assassin and the Healer, the only thing I can really remember is that she saved the healer from being attacked. I have no doubt that this healer will show up later in the series. Especially as she had her own point of view. I hope when she does show up, that I form more of a connection with her because honestly I can’t even remember her name.
With The Assassin and the Desert, I did feel for Celaena when she was betrayed by her only friend there; and maybe only friend in general too. But beyond that, didn’t particularly have an interest in it. I found her interactions with The Silent Assassin very boring. I thought it was far too long for what it needed to be .
I do not remember The Assassin and the Underworld. Honestly couldn’t tell you what happened at all. Let this be a future note for myself to take notes. Again it just emphasises my point that I really didn’t care about these novellas.
The final one, I felt went on for too long. The Assassin and the Empire is the one where Sam dies and Celaena is captured and sent to Endovia, the slave camp. I actually did enjoy seeing her come before the King of Adarlan who then sentenced her to Endovia. We don’t really get too many closeup interactions with the King, so that was nice. However, I had mostly lost interest in the novellas to really care too much at this point.
I feel like these novellas took me much longer and much more energy to read than any others so far in the series. I had to force myself to read it. Mostly out of fear that I would put it down and not return to it.
I have started the third book now, and I am really struggling to get back into the story. I am hoping that is more to do with all I am wanting to do is binge watch Bridgerton. I have watched it twice through in as many days and haven’t really been inspired to pick up Heir of Fire. I really want to read the Bridgerton book series, but I know that if I turn away from The Throne of Glass series, I am unlikely to return to it.
Have you read the novellas? What did you think of them?