The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas is a bind up of the five prequel novellas (The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Healer, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld and The Assassin and the Empire) leading up to the events in Throne of Glass. Overall I really enjoyed this collection and the insight it allowed into Celaena’s past. Many of these events are casually mentioned throughout the books I’ve read (I’m currently up to Queen of Shadows and I was told to read the novellas prior to starting the fourth book) but I wanted to have a fuller understanding of everything before we get to the final two books. There were definitely some novellas that I liked better than others and I was surprised that I didn’t like Celaena as much in certain stories as I do in the Throne of Glass series as a whole. She’s very arrogant and a bit less likable but I appreciated seeing her past and the events that have slightly humbled her.
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
I love pirates so I knew going in that this would be a story for me. In The Assassin and the Pirate Lord we really see the initial seeds of friendship and more between Celaena and Sam. Their personal morals and the decisions they had to make played a huge role in why I enjoyed this tale so much.
The Assassin and the Healer
This was my least favorite of the novellas but by no means was it dissatisfying. It shows another side of Celaena (sadly there’s no Sam) and how she cannot avoid helping innocent people.
The Assassin and the Desert
This is one of my favorite of the novellas. Arobynn forces Celaena to leave Rifthold and travel to the Red Desert where she is to be trained by and get a letter of approval from the Mute Master who is sort like an Arobynn from the South. Celaena is befriended by another female assassin in this story, her patience is majorly tested by the Mute Master, and she undergoes some unconventional training. And there’s this one scene on horses that was such an excitement to read!
The Assassin and the Underworld
This novella was probably my second least favorite. I loved that Celaena and Sam teamed up together and again, there’s a lot of growth between their characters but the ending is not my favorite. I think Celaena should’ve known better at this point considering what a top notch assassin we are always reminded that she is. I can’t say I ever liked Arobynn but this story really just put my loathing for him over the edge.