Book Review: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Friday 18 April 2014

The Assassin's Blade
Sarah J. Maas
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult, Short Stories
Published: March 13th 2014
Pages: 437
Rating: 4.5 stars

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.

I feel like I can honestly say that The Assassin's Blade is better than Throne of Glass. And that's saying something, because Throne of Glass was very good, extremely well developed, and incredibly enjoyable. However, the novellas in The Assassin's Blade just sort of... overwhelmed me with even more fantastic story telling and additional (and much needed) character development. 

Throughout the book, I felt like I really knew Celaena and that I was in Erila with her. To say I was on the edge of my seat would be an understatement. I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on before I read it, working out who I cold trust, and just overall wanting more more more. As I stated, the characters were a lot more developed in The Assassin's Blade and you see more sides - and a lot of new faces - to the people you already know. 

Reading this after Throne of Glass was probably a good idea, as even though things aren't exactly complicated, it could get a little confusing trying to keep track of who as where in relation to everything else. That being said, I do feel that The Assassin's Blade could have been the first book in the series. Or maybe even the second, but I've yet to read Crown of Midnight and so cannot properly compare.

The world building was helped along greatly by the map at the front of the book and the descriptions and explanations given in Throne of Glass. I feel that it would be possible to understand without having read any of the other novels, but it would have required a little more work from the reader. Despite that, I still got the indescribable feeling of fantasy whilst reading about all the different locations, and I also felt that this did help acquaint the reader with the world of Erilea. Either way, the world was very enjoyable and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

On top of all that, the cover is stunning. 

While that's all well and good, there were a few things that pulled it back from having that perfect five star rating. Mainly, Celaena's habits and expensive tastes. I don't have a problem with wanting to look nice and have nice things, but it felt a little out of place for Adarlan's Assasin, and there were times when I wanted to shake Celaena and scream 'you kill people for a living! Is wearing plain, inexpensive clothing so terrible?!'

Overall, though, The Assassin's Blade was thoroughly enjoyable and an excellent addition to the series. Definitely a must read.

1 comment:

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