Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

"Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom's most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin's Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam." -Goddreads synopsis

This review will be a little different from my others for several reasons. This is a series we are way too deep into for me to go over each character or plot. I won’t me writing a super detailed review for each one, just a small summary, my favorite quote, and the rating.

The Assassin's Blade is a bind up of five novellas for the Throne of Glass Series. I’m just going to say this right way... I wish I would have read this right after Throne of Glass. I wish I wouldn't have waited till I was four books in to pick this up. This book would have changed the way I viewed this series, and I mean that in the best way. These stories changed the way I see Celaena, answered both little and big questions I had, and ultimately decided whose "team" I'm on... but I'll get to that part in a few. These stories cover everything from young Celaena up until the point she ends up at Endovier (a salt mine prison).

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord- 10/10
Celaena is sent with Sam to meet up with a Pirate Lord (obviously) to set up a deal for her boss. This is the first time we really get too see her and Sam actually interact. If you’ve read any of the other books, even just the first, then you know how sassy Celaena is and we get a look into why she is this way. Especially towards Sam. We get to see how she got her start, and how their relationship actually started. I know we’ve heard bits a pieces in the other books, but these start filling in all the cracks. After a twist in the plan is presented the two they have to deceive what path they want to take, and pick whose side they are going to be on.

Favorite Quote: “You want my advice?” he asked her. “No.” “I’d watch my back around Sam. You might be the best, Sardothien, but there’s always someone waiting for you to slip.” Sam, the traitorous bastard, didn’t hide his smirk. The other pirate captains chuckled. Celaena stared hard at Rolfe… “You want my advice?” He waved a hand, beckoning her to go on. “Mind your own business.”

The Assassin and the Healer- 9/10
After returning home from her mission with the Pirate Lord she is sent to the Red Deseret. This is where she will spend her summer as punishment. Before arriving to the Red Desert she is stuck in a small town waiting for her boat to arrive the next day. She finds herself helping a barmaid and teaching her how to defend herself. This was my least favorite story in the book. I also believe it is the shortest one. I didn’t hate it; it just didn’t have the same effect on me the other ones did. I didn’t feel like it gave me as much. I did like that it had a lot of the bitter angry Celaena that I love so much.

Favorite Quote: “Let me give you a bit of advice, from one working girl to another: Life isn’t easy, no matter where you are. You’ll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them.”

The Assassin and the Desert- 10/10
Celaena finally arrives at the Red Desert to spend the summer training with the Mute Master as punishment. While she is there she has to go through a Kill Bill style training to redeem a letter from the master before she can return back to the Guild. While there we learn how she got to be as good as she is, how she is starting to feel for Sam, and we get to hear about the “first real” friend she’s ever made. This is the story that I feel lays down the foundation for why Celaena became the softer version of herself that we have all grown to love so much. Think this is where she goes from villain to something more. Some might disagree or think it happened at some other point, and some might think it hasn’t happened at all.

Favorite Quote: “Go to Hell” Ansel chuckled “I’ve been to Hell.”  

The Assassin and the Underworld- 10/10
Celaena is back from the desert and ready distract herself from owning up to her feeling. Not just the feelings she has for Sam but towards everything. She decides throwing herself fully into a mission is the best way to do this. The Underworld was the biggest surprise read to me. Out of all five this one was my favorite. Everything finally clicks, things really starts happening, and everything we’ve been waiting for is slammed into us. This story will always have a special place in my heart, and in this series. The best part is we get so much Sam and Celaena time. I thought that the last story was going to be the one that choked me up, but this is the novella that got me. I was sneak reading at work and had to cry on the inside like a winner. So many feels.

Favorite Quote: “and from today onward, I want to never be separated from you. Where you go, I go. Even if that means going to Hell itself, where you are, that’s where I want to be. Forever.”

The Assassin and the Empire- 10/10
If you’ve read even just the first few chapters of Throne of Glass, then you already know what is going to happen in this story… I would like to say that you’ll be ready for it… but I won’t lie. You won’t be. This story has everything in it. The emotions, the fighting, the betrayal, the answers about what really happened to Sam that terrible evening, and how Celaena ultimately got caught. This story will break you. Second favorite in this bind up.

Favorite Quotes: “Deep down, she said, “I’m a coward.” His brows rose. “I’m a coward,” she repeats “And I’m scared. I’m scared all the time. Always.”

“I am Celaena Sardothien… and I will not be afraid.”

This book had me laughing, crying, swearing, praying, and completed me. I thought it would help with the pain of waiting for book five, but all it did was make me crave it even more. I love Celaena, she is my favorite literary female. She falls in this area of being a villain and being a hero. She is everything I want from my leading lady. She is fire and smoke. She is hard and soft. Loving, strong, and weak. She is changing the game when it comes to Ya/Na females...

I thank Sarah J every day for this series. I finally want to end this long review with these two statements: (this isn’t a spoiler it’s just my theory) I in no way shape or form believe Sam is dead. I might be in denial but I just don’t. I think the biggest twist in this series will be that he is still alive. Also for the question I left hanging at the beginning of this; whose team am I on… Thought it was Rowan, but then again something always felt like it was missing. That’s because Sam is what was missing. I am officially and 100% on Team Sam. If he really turns out not to be an option, then I want Celaena to stand on her own. This series is beyond phenomenal.

Overall Star Rating- 10/10 Stars