This book was SO FREAKING GOOD! 😍 Even though it was a collection of five novellas, everything blended so seamlessly together and fit into a bigger picture that is Celaena Sardothien’s past. I definitely recommend reading this after Crown of Midnight, but as long as you read it at some point, we’re gucci. 👌
These novellas have really humanized Celaena more for me and have shown her growth as a person. 💖 In TOG, Celaena is shown in a too perfect light where her character comes off as somewhat arrogant, especially for someone who served as a slave in Endovier. However, these novellas explain how her arrogance, although an integral part of her charming personality, is also sometimes used as a facade to shield her inner pain. The Assassin’s Blade gets 5/5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It got me feeling all the feels. My heart was breaking, and my mind was turning at all the plot twists. This book is really the starting point of where all the action kicks off in the TOG series, so I definitely recommend it to everyone! Plus, it has the most badass and beautiful book cover. 😉
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Here is where we’re first introduced to the Assassin’s Guild and Celaena’s life prior to Throne of Glass. She’s not only made a name for herself in Adarlan but also within in the guild as Arobynn’s right hand. She and Sam Cortland are sent to Skull’s Bay on behalf of Arobynn, and we get to see their relationship grow from rivals to friends. 🙌 They bond over this mutual understanding that although they have an occupation as assassins, slavery is inhumane and unjust. They learn to work together (which I am living for!!) to defy Arobynn and protect innocent lives.
The Assassin and the Healer
After Arobynn severely beats Celaena for defying his orders (wtf am I right?), she is sent to the Red Desert to train with The Silent Assassins as punishment. On her route there, she stays at the White Pig Inn, a grungy pub and motel where she meets barmaid, Yrene Towers.
This novella was shorter than the others, but I think it was much needed to showcase more female empowerment within the series. 💪 Plus, it hints at how Yrene is going to play an important role later in the series. The ending is somewhat open-ended with Celaena leaving Yrene money to travel to the Southern Continent and learn to become a healer.
The Assassin and the Desert
Our girl finally reaches The Red Desert to train with the Master of the Silent Assassins, and let me just say how there is such a contrast in the guild’s cultures. The Master of the Silent Assassins is actually such a good guy!! His approach to teaching is so much more caring in comparison to Arobynn that I really wish Celaena could’ve been trained by him from the beginning. This guy actually has a heart. 😢
This novella is also the turning point of Celaena’s growth because she is given time away from the guild, or more specifically from Arobynn. It’s difficult for her to question her loyalty to the man who basically saved her life and raised her, yet her upbringing was anything but easy. Having time to herself has really allowed her to reconsider his character as well as discover her own feelings towards Sam. I was super suspicious of Ansel from the very beginning. 👀 I was glad to see Celaena have a friend for the first time, but it was difficult to fully accept because you could easily notice the brief moments of Ansel’s jealousy. Still, at least the friendship wasn’t a total fluke because Celaena still gives her a chance to escape. ✨
The Assassin and the Underworld
Celaena is baacckkk! We get to see her and Sam’s interactions evolve after having spent time away from each other. It broke my heart when Sam said that his punishment for defying Arobynn was to watch Celaena get beaten first. 😢One of my favorite things that I absolutely love about Sam is that he’s Celaena’s equal. 😍 In comparison to Dorian and Chaol (even though I am Team Chaol over Dorian), Sam shares a past very similar to hers. They grew up in the same brutal environment where they weren’t hailed as heroes for their community–they were assassins.
“I love you,” he breathed against her mouth. “And from today onward, I want to never be separated from you. Wherever you go, I go. Even if that means going to Hell itself, wherever you are, that’s where I want to be. Forever.” – Sam
We also learn a lot more about Arobynn and his relationship with Celaena. 😱 It’s so weird and creepy!!
The Assassin and the Empire
MY HEART. 💔 We all knew it was coming, but my heart was not prepared for the pain. 😭 We were teased with a wistful beginning where Sam and Celaena dreamed of leaving Rifthold and starting a new life together, but we knew that it was never going to happen because of how firetrucking manipulative and horrible Arobynn is. 😤It just broke my heart so much to read about how Celaena was just pacing around the home, watching time pass by, not knowing that Sam was being tortured. He didn’t deserve to die like that!! He and Celaena had so much potential together 😭
“My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispered, “and I will not be afraid.”
This quote just got so much more meaningful. I’M IN TEARS. 😭 One thing that’s very cool about this book is that it ends with seemingly no hope left, making Throne of Glass much more symbolic in how it launches Celaena into a new chapter of her life and a new beginning.
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HAVE YOU READ The Assassin’s Blade? WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! 💕