Mixed Feelings, Galore! | Review: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

5:30 AM

Although I adore Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses and Crescent City series, we all know my feelings for the Throne of Glass series are mixed at best. I definitely delayed diving into the novellas in The Assassin's Blade.

The Assassin's Blade 
by Sarah J. Maas

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.

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Rating: ★★★☆☆

There's always going to be a huge part of me that feels like I'm missing out when it comes to the Throne of Glass series. For the most part, I enjoyed the series, but didn't love it. (I think I rated only two of the books higher than three stars.) Sarah J. Maas' writing is full of magical compulsion, intensely drawn romance, and driven characters.

In theory, Throne of Glass was everything I love about literature. Namely, within young adult fantasy. There's a great deal of action; an addictive quality to the series that is undeniable. Sometimes, I just didn't connect with the way that SJM built the world within Throne of Glass. Other times, I did.

The Assassin's Blade encompasses all of the usual Sarah J. Maas highlights: strong-willed characters, shadows, plot-twists, the inability to look away and so much more. It keeps readers on their toes even in its weaker points.

It also holds true to my general interest and disinterest in the series as a whole. Sometimes, it was all too easy to lose myself in the stories featured throughout The Assassin's Blade. Other times, it wasn't. Unlike many collections, The Assassin's Blade is woven easily into the bigger picture and really tie into each other and the series in a way that is sharply drawn.

Some of the stories felt a little bit lackluster in comparison to others. At its worst points, in the stories I wasn't fully impressed by, it grows tedious and dull. But, at its best, The Assassin's Blade adds a great deal of emotional depth, more context and a new kind on intricacy to the Throne of Glass world.

Ultimately, I loved seeing Aelin/Celaena's life before we met her in Throne of Glass and felt like it did its best to answer any questions we had about the past. I also loved getting to know Sam, seeing familiar faces (Yrene, who I've seemingly grown rather fond of?) and the like. The Assassin's Blade was fun, in spite of it not being Sarah J. Maas' best work.

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