Book Rewind ⋅ Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
We are resurrecting our Book Rewind feature! Book Rewind is a meme where we review a backlist title to distinguish reviewed books that are in no way a new release. We noticed we tend to review almost all new or newly released books and wanted to have a feature to spotlight some older books that we either just read or are just reviewing because we never got around to it, or possibly didn’t blog back then! Thinking we will post this meme on Thursdays as a ‘Throwback Thursday’ kind of deal.
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Today we are reviewing The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas, which was released in March 2014!
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: March 4th, 2014; Bloomsbury Childrens
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.
First of all, let me tell you that I know I won’t do justice to this book with my review. This book, this whole series is just so amazingly awesome, that words cannot express my love for it and my gratitude for Sarah J. Maas for writing it. I never thought I would love something as much as Harry Potter, but you, Sarah, achieved the unthinkable; not only I love your series just as much, but even MORE than Harry Potter. I don’t know why was I foolish enough to put it off for so long.
The Assassin’s Blade is where we really get to know Celaena, before the darkness of Endovier dimmed her light. She is an absolute delight to read. She is funny, witty, intelligent; accepting and helpful to those who need it. After reading the last two book of the series, I really missed this version of her, when she was only fighting for herself and Sam, not for a whole country. In these novellas, we get to know more about Erilea, we see more from the southern part of the continent as Celaena travels through on her quests. We meet pirates and assassins, get to join Celaena on the sea, in the desert, and small port towns. Sarah built this world so complex, you can’t help but get lost in it every time you dive into the books.
I loved how these novellas are built and connected to each other chronologically. Instead of getting random events from Celaena’s life, Sarah carefully built a follow-up for each novella, with only a short period of time between two. It’s like the perfect coming-of-age story, with how Celaena (and Sam too) becomes aware of the happenings around her and how together, they realize the evil behind the mask their master, Arrobyn, wears every day. They both grow up to be self conscious, intelligent, and loving individuals, despite their upbringing. Soon, Celaena realizes her feelings for Sam, and tries to save both of them from the grip of Arrobyn and the Assassin’s Keep.
Throughout the series, we get to see the growth of Celaena from a cocky, carefree but obedient assassin to an independent, loving woman. Although she is very arrogant in all of the books, you can feel it the most strongly in the first novella, The Assassin and the Pirate, but I have to say that I love it. The first thing that I fell in love with about Celaena was her arrogance and cocky nature and I hope we get to see more of it in the remaining books.
To be honest, I cannot think about this book (and about this series, actually) without tearing up a bit every time. Knowing how it would end doesn’t help, not even a little bit. I have a small list of “fictional couples that deserved much better fate” and after finishing The Assassin’s Blade, Celaena and Sam became the newest couple on it. What hurt me most, that they only had a few weeks together, barely a month, before they got ripped brutally apart for this life. It was also horrible to read all the torture and nightmares she went through and how she not only had to deal with that both mentally and physically, but she had to accept the death of her lover on top of everything. To make it out of all of that still staying sane is probably the most difficult hardship she overcome all through the series.
The Assassin’s Blade is the last book that I read from this series, but I wanted to hold it off for a little while longer, so I wouldn’t have to wait as much for the fifth book. I didn’t do it in the end, because I just couldn’t read anything else. Celaena’s voice called to me and of course I answered her in a heartbeat. I’m both glad and kind of mad that I left this one for last. Glad because every time where was a mention of something that I already knew from the other books, I just squeeled in happiness and tabbed the page, and mad because if I read this before, more things would have made sense in both the third and fourth book.
I don’t think it’s necessary to mention how beautifully Sarah writes. Every time I open a book of hers, it’s like magic is crackling from the pages and I get lost in the world she created here. The world-building is nothing like I’ve ever read and her writing is beautifully sculptured and flowing. If it wasn’t for Sarah, I don’t think I would be this much into fantasy these days. It’s also kind of a curse, because I can’t help but compare everything to her books.
Without this series, I don’t know where I would be today. I read the first book for the first time a year ago, and fell in such a deep love that I hope I’ll never fall out of it. Sarah J. Maas created a world that I not only want to escape, but would willingly go, if I had a chance. The story of Celaena isn’t complete without these prequels and I highly recommend and urge every one of you to read it. I’ll even beg, if you’d like.
Special thanks goes to Kelly from BookCrushin, who got me a signed copy of this one and the first two books of the series. Also want to thank Nicola, from Queen of the Bookshelves, who introduced me to this series and for whom I am forever grateful for it.
*This review was originally posted on my now defunct blog back in 2015.