Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5
Sarah J. Maas
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
This review is going to be a touch different from my standard essay-style reviews (I can’t help it, the essay format was drilled into me in high school and college and it’s just how my reviews normally come out when I start typing!) because I need to preface this review with a confession. Throne of Glass, book one in this series, was a huge challenge for me. I didn’t care much for heroine and self-proclaimed badass assassin Celaena until the very end, mostly because there was a lot of talking about how amazingly deadly and how deserving of her reputation she was, but yet I saw no evidence of it on page. There were hints of past jobs done here and there, but for the most part Celaena seemed to have a high opinion of herself unsupported by action.
I was told by many that I really should have started with the prequel novellas before tackling Throne of Glass, but it seemed strange to me that I would need to start a series prior to book one in order to care for the main character. When the opportunity to review all five prequel novellas presented itself however, I thought it was more than time to give Celaena a second chance.
I couldn’t be happier I did. The young woman in the five novellas comprising The Assassin’s Blade is the Celaena I expected to find in Throne of Glass. The Celaena I'd been hoping for all along. She still has an undeniably inflated ego, but over the course of these stories it becomes clear she has a heart to match it in size, and she more than proves her ability to put her fists and her blades where her mouth is. She has moments where her young age gets the best of her and a perceived slight causes her to lash out with some unnecessarily sharp words, but she shows growth and maturity with each novella, and I repeatedly found myself with an evil grin on my face whenever someone made the mistake of underestimating her physically or mentally.
Each novella gets progressively darker, building up to something those who’ve read only the synopsis of Throne of Glass would pick up on through the notable absence of a certain character, but even knowing it was coming didn’t fully prepare me for the delivery of such a brutal blow. The cold young woman who seemed as though her ego could use a check or ten in Throne of Glass suddenly made much more sense; the loss she struggles with at the end of The Assassin’s Blade leaving her with her guilt and her former sterling reputation–dulled from its previous shine–wrapped tight around her like armor against the person who betrayed her. It’s with vengeance and a need for retribution to match Celaena’s own that I closed the back cover of The Assassin’s Blade, eagerly anticipating the moment when the man who cost her everything will inevitably find himself on the lethally right side of Celaena’s blades.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.