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The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J Maas

Release Date: March 4th 2014

Bloomsbury USA Childrens: Young Adult/Fantasy 

435 pages (hardcover)

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“My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispered, “and I will not be afraid.”

I put this book down mere minutes ago and the speed of which my mind is reeling is too fast for me to comprehend my own emotions and thoughts over the whole thing. For a fleeting moment, there is a vague idea of something I want to say or express about how I feel about finishing this book but like a wisp, its gone and I’m left with the sense of dread and no way to word vomit all the swirly feelings in my chest.

I hadn’t read a book like this in a while. I haven’t had the feeling of wanting more and wanting all of it now, all of the knowledge of the world and characters in my head in a instant because waiting to read about it all is a waste of time because dear god I need all of it NOW. I’d like to preface this by saying I have read Throne of Glass years ago went it first released and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it. But the sequel wasn’t out at the time and I had no need to buy it when it did come out, now the sequel after that and then after than … and so now that there are seven books total – I’m thinking what a great decision it is now to binge all of them and probably break my heart all over just as The Assassin’s Blade did.

There isn’t much to tell about the book without spoiling it as it is a collection of five novellas set before Throne of Glass. Our main star is Celaena Sardothien, a 17 year old assassin protege in training. She works for the Assassin’s Guild under her Master Arobynn Hamel who sends her out on missions through the book (each novella is a different mission or task) and more often than not she is accompanied by a fellow assassin she loves to hate, Sam Cortland. As a prequel, the book sets a closer scope on our favorite assassin – into her life and friends before Throne of Glass. 

I very much wish I had read this before Throne of Glass just because it would have led me to stay with the books and be that adamant fan that several others are today. I wish so hard I delved into the world and stayed for I can’t fathom not finishing the series now. There is a lot of darkness in the novellas, topics and scenes played out that you would expect from people who are trained to kill at all costs. To not let emotions dictate contracts and to only care and lean on ones self. But we also get to see how lonely and sad of a life that can be and that when you start to see and realize that, you get to empathize more so than sympathize with others of the same rank. The bond between Celaena and Sam begins this way and it warmed my heart to see two lethal killers realize they do have feelings and emotions other than kill kill kill because it is important to know that everyone is human and has human emotions and that an important thing to being an assassin is to being to feel. Because once fear and empathy is gone is when the real monster comes forward.

Pretty much that’s my favorite aspect about this book. That the author is sure to show how lethal these assassin’s can be and how dark they job itself is. Yes there is a lot of money to be made and yes you could be helping the world by ridding them of other evils in the form of slave traders or other assassins but the facade of it all isn’t necessarily true – that our main characters aren’t just the killers they are made to be. I can’t explain how many scenes in the book I wanted to highlight that involved a person’s humane judgement and emotions. For instance whenever Celaena danced for hours just to dance or played the piano because of piece of music that made her cry was stuck in her head, it made me happy, it made me happy to see that just because your life and job is full of the dark that everyone avoids, there is something so mundane and joyful to see a character embrace the light in everyday things. There is a particular scene where Celaena mentions that everything just feels right and it was interesting due to the fact that nothing in her life has felt ok enough for her to feel ok and to feel happy or safe. I love when characters get to truly be themselves and not wear the mask society has given them and marked their personality for life.

Also. Sam Cortland. No one, and I mean NO ONE, will live up to you. You are forever in my heart of soul and I will love you to the ends of the earth. Your bright and shining soul will keep me warm on my coldest days and your smile brings light into my life. I wish so badly you were real and here with me as I write this review. Also you being an assassin is really cool. Like, really cool. I love you.

Other than that, the book was amazing. The world, the characters, and quests that Celaena went through was so much fun to read through. Her trials and tribulations both built me up and then knocked me the hell down. There I was, at work, and trying not to cry while people ordered coffee and food and went about their day as I desperately tried to a keep a grip on reality and remember the book wasn’t real and that I needed to save my tears for my pillow at home and not in someones drink. At one point my manager was concerned and I had to wave it away like it was nothing. But this book was anything but nothing.

Anything but nothing.

Overall, I gave this book 5 stars (5 stars!), my first one in a long time and I cannot wait for more in this series. As you read this I am probably halfway through the first as I will not wait any longer to bury myself in these books and throw myself into the fandom. Thank you readers for reading and I will have another blog post up soon.

Over and out.