The Good, The Bad, and The Spoilers: The Assassin’s Blade

*sigh* this one really let me down. I usually LOVE novellas that expand a character or story, but this one just wasn’t my favorite.

Contains all five novellas.

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. –goodreads.com summary

Assassin's Blade Star + QuoteReview Header 1For anyone who doesn’t know, I’ve been on a Sarah J Maas binge lately! While I am definitely enjoying reading through all of Sarah J Maas’s books one after the other, I have begun noticing many tropes that have begun driving me insane. So, while I did enjoy The Assassin’s Blade, I didn’t enjoy it near as much as I wanted to.

DISCLAIMER! This review will include spoilers for the novellas, but if you’ve read Throne of Glass, there isn’t much to spoil since this is a prequel. Pretty much any spoilers I’ll talk about were mentioned in Throne of Glass, but read ahead with caution.

TOG header 1This was a great way to start the novellas! It was the perfect introduction to both Sam and Celaena and their sort of rivalry. I love how there relationship turns from relactant friendship to actually caring about one another. It was perfect and not too in your face.

TOG header 2Another great but much smaller story. It was nice to see Celaena as more of a normal person and not so much as an assassin. It’s a more sympathetic and relatable Celaena and the first time we see her just chatting and making a friend. This also introduced healers, which is something I want to learn more about! I want to know if they’re just nurses or if they are using magic to heal people. Magic is my favorite part of this series so I’m excited!

TOG header 3LOVE both the new setting and the new characters! The Silent Assassins are great and they can kick some butt! I love the new character of Ansel and her peppy nature. She was such a breath of fresh air… well until she sold out the assassins… but honestly I’m really glad Celaena spared her because maybe she’ll learn from this and we’ll see her again in the series. I hope her and Celaena met again, because their friendship might be the best part of the novella since it allowed us to see a more human Celaena. While I like seeing Celaena kick butt in these novels, it is when she is acting human and vulnerable that I love her the most!

TOG header 4*sigh* Now we’re getting to the stuff I don’t like… Being honest, these last two novellas are very similar and I dislike them for very similar reasons. Because of this, I will be discussing these final two novellas together. Let’s start by discussing everyone’s favorite assassin… No, not Celaena, SAM! In the past novellas, I was getting really worried that we weren’t going to get anymore Sam and he was just gonna die between novellas. I’m both glad and sad to say, that is not the case! I was so relieved when I found out Sam was okay and were going to get to see more of him and Celaena.

What I didn’t like was Celaena’s mission. I had a feeling Arobynn was still salty and would be planning something so when it turned out he was lying about the intent of the mission, it wasn’t all that surprising. What really bothers me is when Celaena saw the documents, that were obviously NOT about continuing the slave trade, but rather STOPPING it. She made these documents fit what Arobynn had told her instead of stopping to THINK for a second and put things together. I figured out what was happening before her! Then people try to say, “hey look maybe you got this all wrong” but does she listen NOPE! I have similar issues in The Assassin and the Empire when she REFUSES to see that Arobynn is selling her out! But I’m getting ahead of myself

This is when I feel Celaena’s pride is getting the better of her… and it really bothers me. Honestly, it’s baffling how she basically spit in Arobynn’s face by paying back both her and Sam’s debt then ditching and she didn’t think that he might be the LEAST bit salty. He had already tricked her once so I don’t know how she actually thought he was casually talking about getting revenge for Sam RIGHT OUTSIDE HER BEDROOM… HOW CONVENIENT. THEN she is warned AGAIN, and after the last novella you would think she might take this one at least a little more seriously, but NOOOO. THEN when she got to crazy mob bosses house and found a window just conveniently open but DIDN’T THINK IT MIGHT BE A TRAP… HOW HAVE YOU SURVIVED THIS LONG AS AN ASSASSIN? I WOULD BE A BETTER ASSASSIN… GAH! While it was interesting seeing Celaena hit such a low after being captured… MAYBE SHE SHOULD LEARN TO BE LESS TRUSTING HOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY SMASHED HER FACE IN AND TRICKED HER!

Now for the elephant in the room… Sam’s death, and yes everything from how he died to seeing Celaena so heartbroken was incredibly sad. But, and please don’t reach through the screen and hurt me, but maybe he shouldn’t have been so reckless… I mean, maybe telling Celaena specifically not to watch his back wasn’t the best idea… Considering he had to go and save her life in the last novella, maybe you’d need some help dude. With that sad, I was very sad about his death and really loved him and Celaena’s relationship.

Review Header 4*sigh* SO! I’m complaining an awful lot. Was The Assassin’s Blade THAT bad? Honestly, no not really. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of Sarah J Maas novels in a row so I’m just noticing many of her writing tropes and these just bugged me a little more than others. I’ll probably take a break after reading Crown of Midnight (unless I love it) in an attempt to clear my mind before diving into Sarah J Maas’s three other books. Hopefully that will make reading more enjoyable.

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