Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Short Stories
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
5 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Life isn’t easy, no matter where you are. You’ll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them.”
A prequel to the wildly popular Throne of Glass series, The Assassin’s Blade follows Celaena Sardothien before her stay in Endovier. Five short stories following her adventures as Ardalan’s Assassin. Pirate Lords, new friends, love and loss, experience Celaena’s life before the popular series and learn how she became infamous.
Prequels are a very tricky business, and writing a prequel that adds something to the series is difficult. Maas has done an absolutely stunning job with hers. In a lot of ways The Assassin’s Blade is certainly better than some of the books in the series proper and it is the only book by Maas to bring me close to tears thus far.
When the readers know the eventual outcome, as most readers of this novel would, creating shock and sadness becomes harder. Despite this Maas wrote five beautiful stories full of adventure, excitement and chronicling the beginning and end of a relationship that has hung over the series since book one. She writes a character that readers know is doomed, and it’s still impossible not to fall in love with him.
This is all dwarfed by what this series of short stories does for Celaena as a character. She has experienced quite a lot of growth in the main series, but this peek into her past rounds her out even more. Celaena starts the series broken, and seeing how she breaks, while perhaps not necessary, is incredibly beneficial to the series.
Prequels are normally something that you can pick up if you really love the series, or just leave it if you’re not interested. The Assassin’s Blade is certainly not mandatory reading to understand the rest of Throne of Glass. However I would strongly urge all readers of the series to pick up this novel. The dimension this book adds to the main story and character would be a terrible thing to miss.