{Review & Giveaway} The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Yes, you read that correctly! I’m giving away my copy of The Assassin’s Blade.* All you need to do is:

  1. Like this post. 🙂
  2. Follow my Blog (or if you’re already following, just comment).
  3. Invite a friend to Follow me.

That’s it! On Thanksgiving morning, I’ll pick a name at random and contact you for your mailing address. (*The giveaway is only open to US residents; CONUS & OCONUS with APO address.)

If you’re unfamiliar with this volume in the ‘Throne of Glass’ series, ‘The Assassin’s Blade’ is staged as a prequel. It lays the groundwork and gives insight into what makes Celaena Sardothien the person she is in ToG. From the cover:

Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful Assassins’ Guild, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes and questioning her own allegiance. She will have to risk it all if she hopes to escape Arobynn’s clutches – and if she fails, she’ll lose not just a chance at freedom but her life.

So I have to admit something. I’ve not read any of Sarah J. Maas’ books before. Given my love for Bardugo, Collins, Kagawa, Stiefvater, Ee, and Hodkin, all my friends highly recommended that I check out the ‘Throne of Glass’ series. However, when I went to the local bookstore, I couldn’t find the first book. But they did have this one and since it was a prequel, I figured it was as good a place to start as any.

Assassin’s Blade is technically #0.1 – #0.5 in the series. It’s set up as a bunch of different, separate mini stories that flow into one larger book. I wasn’t quite expecting that but after a while I got used to it and it worked. It also doesn’t appear to give too much away regarding the rest of the books so when you read it, in relation to them, is irrelevant.

Since this is the first time meeting Ms. Celaena Sardothien, I didn’t have any preconceived notions. She was a completely new character to get to know. As such, I didn’t really like her in the beginning. She was rude, narcissistic, and selfish. But as she went through these various trials, she grew on me. I enjoyed following along as she matured and eventually began rooting for her to leave the Guild. There were moments when her compassion shined through and I loved that she was a bit of a girly-girl despite some of the not so nice (read: disgusting) predicaments in which she found herself. Unfortunately, and I know it’ll probably upset some, I didn’t totally ship her and Sam. I like Sam. Sam was adorable and sweet. I just didn’t buy that she cared for him as much as he cared for her.

Anyway, the plot and world Ms. Maas created was interesting and intriguing. The first short story, ‘The Assassin and the Pirate Lord’, had Celaena and Sam traveling to a pirate paradise island to work out a deal for Arobynn, the leader of the Assassin’s Guild. After learning that this deal involves slavery, our two leading characters decide to have a say in the deal too. The second story, ‘The Assassin and the Healer’, follows Celaena as she journeys to the desert as punishment for her actions on the island. We get a glimpse of that softer side she keeps hidden. ‘The Assassin and the Desert’ sees her discover who she is when she’s not under Arobynn’s thumb and what she wants out of life. Many lessons are learned in this one. ‘The Assassin and the Underworld’ and ‘The Assassin and the Empire’ are the last two stories in this book. I don’t want to give too much away but suffice it to say, Sam and Celaena try to strike out on their own after buying their freedom and slowly learn that untangling themselves and their lives from the Assassin’s Guild is more difficult than they could’ve imagined. Some would even say impossible.

The book ended with everything more or less wrapped up. There was no big cliffhanger but I wouldn’t expect that from a bunch of novellas anyway. On the other hand, it was just enough of a glimpse into this world, coupled with the knowledge that there is more after it’s close, to encourage me to pick up ‘Throne of Glass’.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars!

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