Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass novellas, The
Full review posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide: I had been meaning to start THRONE OF GLASS for a long time and was juuuust about to start it when Nikki from There Were Books Involved advised me to read the novellas first. See, this would haven’t been my first read of THRONE OF GLASS. I had actually tried back when the book first came out in 2012 and made it about 80 pages before my book was due back the library… But I hadn’t been really interested it in. I had found it a bit hard to get into and I think I wasn’t at a point in my reading life at that point in time where I could really appreciate fantasy as much as I do now. When Nikki advised me to read the novellas first because they actually helped her appreciate THRONE OF GLASS that much more, I decided that was definitely the best route for me.
The funny story is… I was only able to borrow some digitally from my local library so I had to purchase the others… and ended up accidentally reading them out of order (I read the third one first and the first one third). It didn’t really affect my overall opinion too much, but more of a funny little story which obviously wouldn’t have happened if I was actually reading THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE. Oh well!
THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD is the first novella of the bunch (and the one I ended up reading third. Oops) and I’m actually kind of glad I ended up reading it out of order. I really loved all of the novellas but I think this one was my least favorite. Since I read the third one first, I already knew essentially what happened here and it wasn’t that it was anticlimactic but more so that I had already seen a more mature Celaena — even two novellas later — so I grew a bit impatient with her at times. It wasn’t a huge deal for me, but I did notice it a bit. I also felt like the plot was probably the least interesting out of the four that I read and felt more like a string of sequences than something that really flowed. It did have quite a bit of important foreshadowing in there, though, and it was really great to get that foundation for both the world and the characters. This was also an extremely important story because it really sets to motion absolutely everything that leads up to THRONE OF GLASS.
The second novella (skipping over the one that is only in TaB… so technically # 0.3) is THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT. I think I enjoyed this more than THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD because Celaena really starts to learn things about herself and is both mentally and physically pushed to the limits on so many levels. It’s easy to know who you think you are but once you’re put in extremely trying situations, you start to see the person you really are and what weaknesses emerge. It was heartbreaking too, because I think Celaena really opened up and discovered a lot about herself but then both of those things made her close herself off again. I really loved the relationships in this novella a lot and I think it was a really important piece of Celaena’s background that we got to know.
The next novella was THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD (that I accidentally read first) and I just fell in love. It was so intriguing and so complex for a novella! I really felt like I got to know all of the characters so intimately and each of the characters — as well as the plot lines — really begin to grow. There were TWISTS and things I did not see coming and it was probably one of the best novellas I have read in a long time (maybe ever?)… That is until….
THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE — HOLY CRAP, you guys. This novella BROKE me. It was flat out amazing and also set up a lot for THRONE OF GLASS but there were so many things I didn’t expect and so many things that completely floored me. If you read the main novels first — as goes for any of these novellas — you already know what happens in the end but I got to experience all of that backstory first hand and it was… well it was a wild ride. This is one of THE best novellas I’ve ever read and all of these are worth the read, whether you’ve already read all of the books so far in the series or not.
My overall opinion of the novellas is that they’re must-reads for fans of this series. I know a lot of people actually aren’t a fan of novellas but these four (and I’m assuming the fifth that I haven’t read yet) all fit together to really kind of form a whole new story in one book. I read them all before I started THRONE OF GLASS which you don’t have to do, but I really enjoyed it because these are all prequel novellas and I really felt like I was reading the series in chronological order. Given what I’ve learned so far in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, I think it’s important to read these novellas before book two because there is a lot of history explained there that really makes more sense and draws on more emotions if you’ve read the novellas first.
This was one of the most thrilling and heartbroken book I've read yet. It gave me so much feelings and as I turn page after page I couldn't stop. I just simply need to know what happens (I actually already knew what was going to happen and I was dreading towards the end BUT it was a really good book and I couldn't help but feel like I was part of the scene) This book is about when Celaena was with Arobynn and back at the Assassin's Keep. She went through this mission with Sam which they had to do something risky. Celaena then went far away a few chapters later to train with someone. When she came back to the Keep something changed between her and Sam and one thing led to another. The ending is something that's not easy to handle and just plain out sad. We learn a lot about Celaena's background while she was still Arobynn's protegee. Definetely something you should read before reading the actual first book which is: Throne of Glass (ToG). Though I read this series in the wrong order, I just really love Sarah J Maas's world she had created. My new favorite author at the same time favorite series so far.
This is a book of five short stories that take place before Throne of Glass and really helped get me into Celaena's head. Since I read it after reading the rest of the series, it helped with back story on the characters from Celaena's past that she grows to love or hate over the course of the series. There was a ton of great action and adventure and romance and despair. This book is beautiful and the last story will gut you.
I like the romance between Celaena and Sam before Sam ever lived on the page. As much as I like him as a character in his own right, I didn't love the way the romance between them was written. I had such high expectations. This also did weird things to my thoughts about Arobynn.
Still, I loved it, as I am firmly devoted to this series at this point.