Buy “The Assassin's Blade The Throne of Glass Novellas (Audible Audio Edition) Sarah J. Maas, Elizabeth Evans, Audible Studios for Bloomsbury Books” Online
I would recommend still reading the main novels one and two in the series before reading these novellas, but you MUST read these after reading books one and two. With that stated, I was really blown away how enraptured I became in reading about Celaena’s past adventures. I thought since I knew how things would end for her that I really wouldn’t be able to get too into these novellas and would feel forced to hold myself at a distance so I didn’t get too close to any one of the characters knowing what I knew. I was very wrong and I fell in deep as I began to read. I will admit at times I thought Celaena could be a bit of an immature, selfish and very naive girl for growing up as an assassin like she did, but I think that really was just a bit of the growth you needed to see in her life to better understand the woman she became. These novellas did solve some of the mysteries of her past that were left lingering within the the novels. I would recommend getting the novellas as a bundle as it made it slightly cheaper and you got the feel of it being more of a novel than novella. No cliffhangers but you will want her next adventure right after finishing the first novella. Overall very impressive and well worth every cent spent. Highly recommend this author for a greatly weaved suspenseful fantasy with an outstanding female heroine. Check it out!
The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas Audiobook – Unabridged Sarah J. Maas (Author), Review
~The Assassin and the Pirate Lord~First, I think it’s important to recognize that one of–if not the–main purposes of these novellas to grow Celaena from an intolerably insolent and arrogant adolescent into a world-wiser (but still cocky) young adult. The #1 complaint about this series is that readers don’t like Celaena. Personally, I love her, but I understand why others might not. She’s a superlative character who some people can’t handle her extremes, and that’s only one of a dozen legitimate issues. BUT. There are several loudly voiced complaints that, as far as I’m concerned, don’t hold water. I’ve already addressed my feelings in regards to the claim that she is too girly to make a believable assassin in my Throne of Glass review. The other assertion I cannot abide is that Celaena "never does anything," or "never kills anyone. "That she’s basically all talk. Maybe I’m confused, but I’ve never supposed that assassins are meant to go around killing EVERYONE indiscriminately. And she’s not just an assassin. She’s the King of Assassins’ heir. Adarlan’s Assassin. At least half of her identity is reputation, and it wouldn’t behoove that reputation (or be good for business) to run around like a maniac slitting throats and eviserating passersby. In this novella, she’s a sixteen-year-old girl who single-handedly disarms and disables the entire crew of a pirate ship. She easily defeats the Pirate Lord in combat, using his own weapons to do it. How is that nothing? How is that all talk? *mind is boggled*Beyond establishing herself as a seriously kick-ass heroine, the foundation for something that will shred your heart into teeny, tiny pieces is also laid. <——*WAILS*And, you know . . . there are pirates. Everything is better with pirates. SO. Not my favorite of the bunch, but a close(ish) second. ~The Assassin and the Healer~This novella wasn’t part of the original four. I chased down pieces of it on various blogs, over the course of several days before CROWN OF MIDNIGHT was released. Anyway, I liked this one a lot, too. So should anyone who thinks Celaena doesn’t kill often enough. How about six or eight mercs in a dark alley after they try to rob and attack a barmaid?All I’m saying is that’s an awful lot of bodies piling up for an assassin who allegedly doesn’t assassin. Moving on. We also learn some Celaena background: that her country was destroyed by war, and she feels a kinship with others who have suffered similar fates. That as a child she had dreams that are in complete contradiction to her current status. Aaaannddd we (once again) get to observe the softer side of Celaena. The side that compels her to intervene on behalf of others when she can. many reasons I’m able to overlook her more abrasive qualities. Bottom line: a worthy addition to the canon. ~The Assassin and the Desert~Oh, my FEELS. They hurrrrrrt *sobs*So what does is say about me that this is my favorite of the group? Hmm . . . In the inevitable aftermath of her actions in Pirateville, Celaena is sent into the blistering, unforgiving heat of the desert to train with the Mute Master, Arobynn’s (infinitely more benevolent) Southern counterpart. She has one month to train with the Silent Assasssins. One month to earn the Mute Master’s respect in the form of a letter to Hamel on Celaena’s behalf, commending her efforts and abilities. One. Month. This is the novella that makes me determinedly profess that readers’ NEED to read the prequels. There are people and places and events that have already begun to play a greater role in the main books, with half a dozen foreshadowings of things to come. You. NEED. To. Read. It. And it won’t make sense, if you haven’t read the first one, and after that . . . Well, why not just read them all?Besides . . . Don’t you want to see Celaena fumble her way through her first friendship? And not just her first friendship, but her first friendship with a GIRL?Of course you do. And who could blame you?~The Assassin and the Underworld~This novella should have been called THE ASSASSIN AND THE TANGLED WEB OF AROBYNN HAMEL, but I guess it doesn’t rollllll of the tongue the same way. I really wish I could give you an accounting of the events that take place here unhindered by the knowledge of what’s to come. But I can’t. I read it too many times and it broke my heart too completely. THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD is about what happens when Celaena returns to the Assassin’s Keep after Arobynn beat her into unconsciousness and sent her to the desert. Celaena arrives full of confidence and more than a little bit of self-satisfaction. She succeeded in accomplishing her nearly-impossible-to-complete task. More than succeeded. Was sent home from the Red Desert with a fortune great enough to purchase her freedom. When she struts into Arobynn’s office, she has every intention of telling him, and leaving him. Unfortunately . . . It doesn’t work out that way. Instead, she allows herself to fall back under his spell. Not fully, she’s been made too wary for that, but enough that she becomes an unwilling accomplice in his nefarious plans one last time. This is where we first see the depth of Arobynn’s treachery. My thoughts on Celaena’s lack of immediate response to said treachery upon her return to Rifthold in ToG: [Many think Celaena is being willfully obtuse about the role her mentor played in the events that led to Sam’s horrific death and her imprisonment at Endovier, but this is something I understand: [for spoiler see Goodreads or blog reveiw]~The Assassin and the Realm~THE ASSASSIN AND THE REALM starts at the end. Celaena is suddenly a prisoner of we-don’t-know-whom/we-don’t-know-why. All we know is that she’s shattered. She does not care that she’s caged like an animal. She does not care that she’s in chains. Cold, hunger, thirst, all things beyond her concern. And then . . . in the dark . . . she remembers. Maas is an expert at cultivating DREAD. It may not be as stealthy here, what with us already knowing that Celaena—in some context—has failed, but that doesn’t negate the fear, the roil in your belly, as you push yourself to keep reading, to find out what happened, what went wrong, so that at least then . . . it will be over. As I said earlier, I read these before reading THRONE OF GLASS, so I can’t state from experience that if you’re having issues with Celaena, reading THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE will fix them. BUT. I can say that I’ve never had any issues with her character development, and the majority of readers who have taken my advice have found themselves understanding her better than they had previously. Beyond that, you need the background from Celaena’s time in the Red Desert to fully appreciate what’s happening in the main series (my favorite YA series, incidentally). <——FYI. SO. Read it. I’m so far passed "recommending" it that I’m brandishing it wildly. My name is Celaena Sardothien, she whispered, and I will not be afraid. -Read Reviews-
This was a great prequel. It’s interesting on it’s own and we learn more about the main character and her personality as well as more of her background. But best of all, it directly sets up the plot for the first book in the series. The writing is funny and sarcastic with a few minor cliche moments like the classic "letting go of the breath that she hadn’t realized she was holding" (eye roll) and a few exclamation points in the prose that made it feel cheesy. It wasn’t too bad, though. I didn’t want to chuck it out the window or anything but I did notice it which pulled out of the story for a minute. That being said, I liked the writing for the most part mostly because of freaking hilarious quotes like this :"He smelled of her lavender soap-her expensive lavender soap that she’d once warned him to never use again. " – pg 346HAHA! I love that it’s set up to be romantic, but this is totally the reaction I would have. I read this right after reading Throne of Glass, which is the first book in this series that this collection of novellas is a prequel to. I thought it was perfect timing. I read book 2 right after these novellas and the background that I learned in the prequels was referenced. Knowing the details of what they were talking about really filled out the story in book 2 and changed my perspective of what happened in book 1. Magic is briefly mentioned in this book and it was so beautiful that I’m hoping magic starts showing up more in the series! It talked about singing sands which I loved. The main character, Celaena, meets this girl Ansel who has an epic revenge quest going on the rivaled the Princess Bride. Celaena meets a wise master (he goes by the name "Mute Master") and gets some off the wall training with him that was something like Kung Fu Panda. My favorite quote from this wise master:"The Mute Master had told her that people deal with their pain in different ways-that some chose to drown it, some chose to love it, and some chose to let it turn into rage. " – pg 236So much fun. Can’t wait to continue this series.