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Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5

The Assassin's Blade

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Contains all five novellas.

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.

448 pages, ebook

First published March 4, 2014

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About the author

Sarah J. Maas

89 books337k followers
Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Crescent City, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and the Throne of Glass series. Her books have sold more than twelve million copies and are published in thirty-seven languages. A New York native, Sarah lives in Philadelphia with her husband, son, and dog. To find out more, visit sarahjmaas.com or follow @therealsjmaas on Instagram.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 33,478 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
June 10, 2021
"You said you didn't care what I thought. Or what I did. Or if I died, if I'm not mistaken."

"I lied! And you know I lied, you stupid bastard!"
Ohmygosh. I'm still reeling.

The five novellas are so well written and woven together that this almost feels like a book in its own right.

Set far before Celaena bacame the King's Assassin, we watch as she fights to the top of the assassin's guild and claim her rightful spot.

Along the way, she meets true friends and dire enemies. She learns exactly what she's capable of and she manages to piss off some very, very important people.
Ansel stalked past her and said, "You're just a spoiled, selfish bitch."
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord - Celaena Sardothien and her ever-present companion (Sam) are sent to secure a deal with the Pirate Lord on behalf of their master (Arobynn).

Only when they arrive, they quickly realize that Arobynn wants to get in on the slave trade. Celaena may be many things to many people but she will never condone slavery. She's about to disobey the ruler of the Assassins for the first (and possibly) last time ever.

The Assassin and the Healer - Celaena - bruised and battered due to her fallout with Arobynn - meets a young healer-girl whose family used to be gifted with magic. That magic is gone now and while the girl dreams of leaving this crumbly tavern, she hasn't the courage to make that final step. That is, until Celaena comes by...

The Assassin and the Desert - Exiled Sent to train among the mute assassins in the desert, Celaena must obtain a sealed letter from the leader in order to return to Arobynn. That proves nearly impossible, and while she makes a true friend, she also loses a part of herself in the process.

The Assassin and the Underworld - Arobynn allows Celaena to return under a few conditions. She accepts but remains wary of him. He sends her to kill a man involved in the Empire's slave trade and during the process, Celaena becomes absolutely shattered by her own actions. She swears off Arobynn and the Assassin's Guild - forever.

The Assassin and the Empire - Celaena and Sam are determined to leave the guild but to do that, they need to buy their freedom from Arobynn (done) and the Assassin's Guild (not done). Celaena and Sam take one last job...only to realize far too late that it really will be their last job.
"When we die," she said, "I don't think the gods will even know what to do with us."

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Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
March 13, 2019
”My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispered, “and I will not be afraid.”

So here’s the thing:
I read “Throne of Glass” at the beginning of the year but never continued with the series, because back then I just didn’t have the necessary time to read all that much. Well, and then I met Gemma on goodreads and we decided to read the entire series as a buddy read. ;-)

So far so good!
Said and done!
Still, before I re-read “Throne of Glass” I wanted to read “The Assassin’s Blade” because I already knew that the five novellas play before the book and ToG was full of references to Celaena’s time before Endovier! ;-)
In short: It got me damn, freaking curious! XD

I already knew I was in for a heartbreak!
And my naïve me decided that she’d survive it! That it couldn’t be that bad, that it would be okay! I mean I already knew what would happen, so how could it hurt?

See, that’s where I made my mistake!
I was prepared and yet I still wasn’t able to anticipate how much this would actually hurt!
I certainly wasn’t prepared for THIS kind of pain!!! And now I’m desperately trying to glue my heart together, thinking of Sam… gentle, sweet and caring Sam!! I can’t even…. T_T

Well, I guess what my rather deranged mind is trying to tell you, is that I really loved this book!
Every single story, every moment that formed Celaena into the person she’s become!!! I freaking love Celaena Sardothien and by now I feel like her pain is my own!!! <3333

The plot:

There are five novellas in this book an every single story is so carefully woven that you can’t help but have to get lost in it! I enjoyed them immensely and even though the first two stories weren’t all that exceptional they still contributed to the overall plot! ;-)
I won’t go into detail until I reach my characters section, also known as “The Spoiler Zone”, but for those of you who are afraid to read the entire book because they know what’s going to happen and don’t want to be heartbroken here’s a little tip:

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire

The characters:

And here I go with the aforementioned “Spoiler Zone”! Beware and tread carefully!!! XD

”I can wait,” he said thickly, kissing her collarbone. “We have all the time in the world.”


”She had made a powerful enemy of the Pirate Lord, and she was fairly certain she’d ruined her relationship with Arobynn, but she had been right. It was worth it; it would always be worth it, she told herself.”

Oh my god!! I can’t even say how much I loved Celaena in this book! At first I thought her to be arrogant and spoiled, but the longer I read the more I began to see the real Celaena! XD Deep down within her she’s actually a very gentle and kind soul and no matter the consequences, she always opted to defend the weak! =)) Hell! She even freed 200 slaves that otherwise would have been doomed to a life in shackles and even though she always tried to live up to her reputation as Arobynn’s favourite assassin, she still knew the difference between right or wrong! I loved that she cried when she listened to the music in the theatre and I adored her for sparing Ansel’s life! This girl is amazing and it hurt so much to see her pain!! To experience what she felt when Sam died… At the end of the book she’s broken and nothing but an empty shell… and OH GOD did it hurt!!! T_T It hurt so much I can’t even put it into words… I want her to be happy again! I want her to laugh and to joke! I want her to tease Sam… I want her to feel alive again!!!!! T_T

”I suppose it depends on who is telling the story.” Ansel chuckled.
“If Arobynn Hamel is telling the story, then yes, I suppose I did deserve it. I cost him a good deal of money – a kingdom’s worth of riches, probably. I was disobedient and disrespectful, and completely remorseless about what I did.”
She didn’t break her stare, and Mikhail’s smile faltered.
“But if the two hundred slaves that I freed are telling the story, then no, I suppose I didn’t deserve it.”

For me this was probably one of the most powerful scenes in the entire book and gosh I still get goose bumps whenever I read it! XD


”Sam smiled, his brown eyes turning golden in the dawn. It was such a Sam look, the twinkle of mischief, the hint of exasperation, the kindness that would always, always make him a better person than she was.”

This boy was such a precious cinnamon roll!!! I mean seriously!! Could he have been any cuter? Nope! I don’t think so!!! I loved how he cared about Celaena! That he loved her for years and never told her! That he wanted to protect her at all costs and that he despised Arobynn for what he did to her! But oh Sam!! My poor and precious Sam!!! He didn’t deserve to go like that!!! He didn’t deserve to be tortured just because Arobynn was jealous!!! And the way they tortured him… what he had to endure in those last hours of his life… Oh god!! I can’t even!! T_T It broke my heart… When Celaena found him and saw what Farrand had done to him… Gosh! I get sick thinking about it… Sam... it hurts… it hurts so much!!! T_T

”My price was his oath that he’d never lay a hand on you again. I told him I’d forgive him in exchange for that.”

”I love you,” he breathed against her mouth. “And from today onward, I want to never be separated from you. Wherever you go, I go. Even if that means going to Hell itself, wherever you are, that’s where I want to be. Forever.”


”Father, brother, lover – he’d never really declared himself any of them. Certainly not the lover part, though if Celaena had been another sort of girl, and if Arobynn had raised her differently, perhaps it might have come to that.”

I WANT HIM TO ROT IN HELL!!!! Please someone tell me that he’s going to die for what he did to Celaena and Sam!!! Please someone tell me that he’s going to suffer in one of the next books, because I can’t live on if I know that he’ll never get his punishment!!! I HATE HIM WITH A FIERCE PASSION AND I WON’T REST UNTIL HE’S SIX FEET UNDER!!! ARGH! Just to think about him makes me so angry!! Who is he to do things like that?! To betray them the way he did?! To kill Sam just because he loved Celaena!? I hate you Arobynn!!! I despise you with all my heart!

After another moment of quiet, he asked, “Why did you do it?”
Arobynn’s attention drifted back to the wagon, already a small dot in the rolling foothills above Rifthold. “Because I don’t like sharing my belongings.”


”Where do men find it in themselves to do such monstrous things? How do they find it acceptable?”

I’m still torn when it comes to Ansel. I understand why she betrayed the Silent Master but I can’t forgive her for what she did. I really thought she’d become Celaena’s best friend, but then everything changed and I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about her now. I really liked her, but the way she chose to deal with her problems was more than just wrong and I can’t help but wonder if she’ll make an appearance in the other books. If yes, I really hope that she managed to overcome her problems and was able to make peace with herself…

”He’s an amazing warrior; he’s taught me far more than I would have learned without him. So they can tease me all they want, but at the end of the day, he’s still the one giving me extra attention when we train.

Overall conclusion:

I loved “The Assassin’s Blade” and even though my heart still hurts I don’t feel sorry for reading it. I’ll eventually survive the pain, but those five short stories will stay with me forever! I will remember them when I read the other books and the optimist in me still believes that one day the fond memories of Sam Cortland will be able to bring a smile to my face. =)
Profile Image for Sofia.
231 reviews6,977 followers
April 16, 2021

review to come when I stop dying



buddy reread with a bunch of amazing humans. we are ready to cry



My heart has been torn out of my chest, stepped on, rolled in the dirt, and smashed into a million shards with the hammer of heartbreak. It's been ripped into shreds, thrown into the fire, and burned. I can't anymore. I just can't. Someone dig me a grave.

Sarah J. Maas, I hate you. But I love you. But I hate you.
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews560 followers
July 4, 2021
"The only way to kill a witch is to cut off her head."

Throne of Glass had been on my TBR for quite some time now, but some of the contrasting reviews made me putting this off several times. And then I came across this compilation of the five prequel novellas. Normally, I don't like to read those #0.1 versions of a series, at least before reading the first book. However, as these novellas had been released prior to the first book, I hoped The Assassin's Blade would give me some indication, whether or not this is a series for me. I'm happy I've done so. This gives a clear understanding on the new world, characters, and underlying stories upon which the series would hopefully build upon.

I really like the vivid, complex, and mysterious world Maas is creating here. Though the novellas only visit a handful of locations, I'm looking forward to visit all the places as the series progresses. The plot-line, which is being established as a single continuous thread in these five novellas, is plenty intriguing to make anyone curious about next books. Right now, it's a little too overwhelming to imagine in which particular areas, or in which particular sequence, the events would take place, but I'm hoping it'll be an exciting journey.

I just have one misgiving: the main character, Celaena Sardothien.
"She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow."
And I felt like she was a little inconsistent. She is extraordinarily beautiful, insanely lethal, have impeccable taste in fashion, music and books, and then always impulsive. Some of those traits kind of conflicted each other, making the character appear a little too unrealistic. I mean, she would've been fine for a children's' book, but not here. Again, I'm hoping this will abate in time.

But overall, I loved this thorough beginning, covering all the things needed to get the reader started from the first page in next book, which, I'm going to dive in to immediately.
Profile Image for Angela.
676 reviews1,398 followers
July 11, 2022
This review will be a little different from my others for several reasons. This is a series we are way too deep into for me to go over each character or plot. I won’t me writing a super detailed review for each one, just a small summary, my favorite quote, and the rating.

The Assassin's Blade is a bind up of five novellas for the Throne of Glass Series. I’m just going to say this right way... I wish I would have read this right after Throne of Glass. I wish I wouldn't have waited till I was four books in to pick this up. This book would have changed the way I viewed this series, and I mean that in the best way. These stories changed the way I see Celaena ,answered both little and big questions I had, and ultimately decided whose "team" I'm on... but I'll get to that part in a few. These stories cover everything from young Celaena up until the point she ends up at
Endovier (a salt mine prison).

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord-

Celaena is sent with Sam to meet up with a Pirate Lord (obviously) to set up a deal for her boss. This is the first time we really get too see her and Sam actually interact. If you’ve read any of the other books, even just the first, then you know how sassy Celaena is and we get a look into why she is this way. Especially towards Sam. We get to see how she got her start, and how their relationship actually started. I know we’ve heard bits a pieces in the other books, but these start filling in all the cracks. After a twist in the plan is presented the two they have to deceive what path they want to take, and pick whose side they are going to be on.

Favorite Quote: “You want my advice?” he asked her. “No.” “I’d watch my back around Sam. You might be the best, Sardothien, but there’s always someone waiting for you to slip.” Sam, the traitorous bastard, didn’t hide his smirk. The other pirate captains chuckled. Celaena stared hard at Rolfe… “You want my advice?” He waved a hand, beckoning her to go on. “Mind your own business.”

Assassin and the Healer
- 9/10
After returning home from her mission with the Pirate Lord she is sent to the Red Deseret. This is where she will spend her summer as punishment. Before arriving to the Red Desert she is stuck in a small town waiting for her boat to arrive the next day. She finds herself helping a barmaid and teaching her how to defend herself. This was my least favorite story in the book. I also believe it is the shortest one. I didn’t hate it; it just didn’t have the same effect on me the other ones did. I didn’t feel like it gave me as much. I did like that it had a lot of the bitter angry Celaena that I love so much.

Favorite Quote: “Let me give you a bit
of advice, from one working girl to another: Life isn’t easy, no matter where
you are. You’ll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them.”

Assassin and the Desert
- 10/10

Celaena finally arrives at the Red Desert to spend the summer training with
the Mute Master as punishment. While she is there she has to go through a Kill Bill style training to redeem a letter from the master before she can return back to the Guild. While there we learn how she got to be as good as she is, how she is starting to feel for Sam, and we get to hear about the “first real” friend she’s ever made. This is the
story that I feel lays down the foundation for why Celaena became the softer version of herself that we have all grown to love so much. Think this is where she goes from villain to something more. Some might disagree or think it happened at some other point, and some might think it hasn’t happened at all.

Favorite Quote: “Go to Hell” Ansel
chuckled “I’ve been to Hell.”

The Assassin and the Underworld- 10/10
Celaena is back from the desert and ready distract herself from owning up to her feeling. Not just the feelings she has for Sam but towards everything. She decides throwing herself fully into a mission is the best way to do this. The Underworld was the biggest surprise read to me. Out of all five this one was my favorite. Everything finally
clicks, things really starts happening, and everything we’ve been waiting for is slammed into us. This story will always have a special place in my heart, and in this series. The best part is we get so much Sam and Celaena time. I thought that the last story was going to be the one that choked me up, but this is the novella that got me.
I was sneak reading at work and had to cry on the inside like a winner. So many

Favorite Quote: “and from today onward,
I want to never be separated from you. Where you go, I go. Even if that means
going to Hell itself, where you are, that’s where I want to be. Forever.”

Assassin and the Empire
- 10/10

If you’ve read even just the first few chapters of Throne of Glass, then you already know what is going to happen in this story… I would like to say that you’ll be ready for it… but I won’t lie. You won’t be. This story has everything in it. The emotions, the fighting, the betrayal, the answers about what really happened to Sam that terrible evening,
and how Celaena ultimately got caught. This story will break you. Second favorite in this bind up.

Favorite Quotes: “Deep down, she said,
“I’m a coward.” His brows rose. “I’m a coward,” she repeats “And I’m scared. I’m
scared all the time. Always.”

“I am Celaena Sardothien… and I will
not be afraid.”

This book had me laughing, crying, swearing, praying, and completed me. I thought it would help with the pain of waiting for book five, but all it did was make me crave it even more. I love
Celaena, she is my favorite literary female. She falls in this area of being a villain
and being a hero. She is everything I want from my leading lady. She is fire
and smoke. She is hard and soft. Loving, strong, and weak. She is changing the game...

I thank Sarah J every day for this series. I finally want to end this long review with these two statements: (this isn’t a spoiler it’s just my theory) I in no way shape or form believe
Sam is dead. I might be in denial but I just don’t. I think the biggest twist in this series will be that he is still alive. Also for the question I left hanging at the beginning of this; whose team am I on… Thought it was Rowan, but then again something always felt like it was missing. That’s because Sam is what was missing. I am officially and 100% on Team Sam. If he really really isn’t
around, then I want Celaena to stand on her own. This series is phenomenal.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
302 reviews40.2k followers
June 8, 2015
I really enjoyed this! Some stories I liked more than others, but it was nice to see what happened to Celaena leading up to Throne of Glass.
I would have liked to have seen more of her when she was younger and training, though.
Now, on to rereading Throne of Glass!
Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
June 18, 2022
“The only secret I’ve borne my entire life is that I love you.”

Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam…
Forever pain, forever depression. This will forever hurt.


I don't know how this book continues to destroy me with every reread. This will always be one of the most heart-wrenching stories for me. The way Sarah J Maas fleshed out the characters in this book and their emotions pulled at my insides. It hurt like nothing else. I hate it. And I'm incredibly in love with this collection of novellas.

Original review!
“She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest.”

Reread. 5 stars, of course.

This is the kind of book that once you're finished reading, you'll need all the chocolates and ice cream to stuff yourself with and all the comedy movies to watch, because the gaping hole and emotional heaviness it leaves you with is slightly torturous.

This book is a bind-up of 5 novellas which explore events that took place before Throne of Glass. Rereading it now, I think that it's probably best to start off with this book, then continue on with the rest of the series, because you'll gain a better appreciation for our main character.

Celaena is such a great female protagonist. Utter boss! This book sheds a lot more light into her history and how she became the person she is. There's so much more emotion and vulnerability to her in this book that we don't get to see that often. But she's also an assassin. Hardcore and cruel and the fact that she encompasses both ends of the spectrum is so great to see. I love how that human element has been added, that not everything you know about a person and how they react to certain situations is always going to be black and white. Your past has a lot to do with it. Your circumstances which will have shaped you. The people you surround yourself with and I adore Sarah J Maas for incorporating that into a story about assassins.

Profile Image for Ceceliaₓₒₓₒ | hotforbooks.
134 reviews282 followers
April 17, 2023
《 4.5 ✰ 》

“Where do men find it in themselves to do such monstrous things? How do they find it acceptable?”

The Assassin’s Blade was a great introduction to the series. I was immediately invested in the story. I do love a flawed and fierce fmc. Even though her boneheaded reactions and stubbornness made my eye twitch. Each novella was loaded with action, twists, life lessons, and so much heart. I was screaming, gasping, gasping some more, rolling my eyes, and sobbing. THE PAIN. Utterly devastated. This is likely going to be my favorite SJM series.

ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕒𝕤 𝕀𝕟𝕔𝕝𝕦𝕕𝕖𝕕
1. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
2. The Assassin and the Healer
3. The Assassin and the Dessert (❤️ my favorite ❤️)
4. The Assassin and the Underworld
5. The Assassin and the Empire (🤧 so much pain 😭)

➳ Sam — he can do no wrong!
➳ The Mute Master — ahhh I love him so much! Think Yoda or Mr. Miyagi.
➳ I want to train in the Red Desert with the Sessiz suikast. The Silent Assassins—the legendary order..
➳ All the Karate Kid moments/influences.
➳ Pirates — hot, but can they ever be trusted?
➳ Ilias — I really hope he makes a reappearance in the other books. (Btw, I would have 😚)
➳ I want an entire Spidersilk wardrobe AND an Asterion horse.
➳ Antica sounds fun. The one place magic is not outlawed.
➳ Curious about Yrene’s fate. The world needs more healers..
➳ Ironteeth witches.
➳ Being dosed with Gloriella is scary af! Wondering who the supplier is.
➳ I cannot wait to go to the Ruhnn Mountains for a mysterious merchant. The land of giant spiders!

𝔻𝕠 𝕃𝕖𝕤𝕤
ᚷ A certain tagline that I personally feel is undeserving to be taken. 😠
ᚷ She never said it back. 😭
ᚷ Impulsiveness with reactive tendencies. 🙄🙆🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️
ᚷ LISTEN to people and stop knocking them out!! 😤
‎ᚷ Share the lavender soap! 😑


Her beauty was a weapon—one she kept honed—but it could also be a vulnerability.

This girl wasn’t like wildfire—she was wildfire. Deadly and uncontrollable. And slightly out of her wits.

She’d have to leave her furniture and most of her shoes behind for now, but there was no way in hell she was going to move to the southern continent without all of her books.


Sam smiled, his brown eyes turning golden in the dawn. It was such a Sam look, the twinkle of mischief, the hint of exasperation, the kindness that would always, always make him a better person than she was.

“Well, I care what you think of me. I care enough that I stayed at this disgusting party just for you. And I care enough that I’d attend a thousand more like it so I can spend a few hours with you when you aren’t looking at me like I’m not worth the dirt beneath your shoes.”

“And from today onward, I want to never be separated from you. Wherever you go, I go. Even if that means going to Hell itself, wherever you are, that’s where I want to be. Forever.”

𝓜𝓾𝓽𝓮 𝓜𝓪𝓼𝓽𝓮𝓻:

“Oh, you won’t find him. Not until you prove yourself. Show that you’re willing to leave behind all that you know and all that you were. Make him think you’re worth his time. Then he’ll train you. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.”

“If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything.”

𝓜𝓸𝓻𝓮 𝓠𝓾𝓸𝓽𝓮𝓼

Being hired to kill corrupt government officials was one thing, but taking prisoners of war, brutalizing them until they stopped fighting back, and sentencing them to a lifetime of slavery …

“from one working girl to another: Life isn’t easy, no matter where you are. You’ll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them.”

“Everything has a price”

“Because I’d pick you.” 😭

“I can wait,” he said thickly, kissing her collarbone. “We have all the time in the world.”

“To be honest,” he went on … “I’m disappointed. ... You didn’t even stop to think twice about it, did you?” SAME!!! I’m heartbroken, angry, and running to the next book!

Big thank you to my incredible soul sister Rebecca for rereading this to support my first read. Thanks for putting up with all of my reactions and rants. Love that you never confirmed ANY of my predictions and took me off the scent! The, I knew it and totally called it moments were so satisfying! But, also, painful. ❤️‍🩹

⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆

Am I really doing it? Am I finally starting this series?

BIG thank you to my ride or die Rebecca for holding my hand through this! Excited to read this with you!

Shoutout to my beloved bestie Lila for telling me to start this one next! I’m finally taking your advice, bb!
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
February 17, 2022
Soy Celaena Sardothien y no tendré miedo.

Tenía muchas (muchísimas) ganas de leer por fin La espada de la asesina. Estos relatos sobre la vida de Celaena previa a conocerla en el primer tomo de la saga, Trono de Cristal, nos hacen conocer un poquito más de su pasado, así como personajes que tienen apariciones en los libros de este universo. Así que sí, es necesario leerlo.


Sin duda alguna, para mí Celaena es una de mis protagonistas favoritas EVER. No puedo describir con palabras lo que me gusta, lo que me hace sentir... Creo que no es solo definida, sino que constantemente se batalla en sombras, traumas y decisiones arriesgadas. Asume las consecuencias de sus actos, pero también es rebelde. Eso sí, para todo siempre tiene un plan y casi siempre sale airosa de las situaciones peliagudas. No sé, me encanta. ¡Y más sabiendo que esto es una precuela! Ha sido genial conocer un poco más cómo funciona su cabeza, y sobre todo, porque aquí es un poquito menos fría en algunos temas que en el resto de libros.

Mi relato favorito ha sido sin duda alguna el de La asesina y el desierto, seguido muy de cerca de La asesina y la curandera. Me parecen no solo más interesantes por sus localizaciones y misiones, sino porque siento que también muestran algo muy importante en el universo de Trono de Cristal. Personajes como Ansel me han fascinado, y espero que tengamos un poquito más de ella en siguientes libros. ¡No puede terminar de esa manera!

Los relatos La asesina y el Señor de los Piratas, La asesina y el inframundo y La asesina y el imperio no me parecieron tan espectaculares, aunque los disfruté igual. Creo que cada uno de ellos juega una parte importante en la trama, tanto interna como externa, así que son indispensables en todos los aspectos. Lo que me enfada es no haber sabido antes nada sobre Bahía de la Calavera. ¡Si esa historia es una bomba! Me encantó.

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Otra de las cosas que más me ha gustado es conocer más a fondo el continente. Ya no solo las ciudades que Celaena visita, las diferencias que estas tienen con Rithfold, sino también ahondar en el Gremio de los Asesinos, en el desierto, en la costa y los piratas, o por ejemplo, lo que más me ha flipado: Los Asesinos Silenciosos. De eso sí que necesito más, por favor. Una maravilla.

No podemos obviar que en todo esto, la causante que unas historias tan aparentemente sencillas sean tan espectaculares, es la Maas. Es de las pocas autoras que disfruto por el simple hecho de leerlas. No me pierdo ni una coma, ni una tilde, ni un punto. Todo me encanta, y lo que digo: disfruto muchísimo del concepto de leer con su estilo. Puede parecer una tontería, pero autoras como Sarah J. Maas me hacen recordar todo lo bueno y bonito que tiene la lectura.

Respecto a las tramas que se tocan he de admitir que creo haber leído esta entrega un poco tarde (aunque bueno, es cuando se ha publicado en español). Considero que es mejor leer La espada de la asesina después del primer o segundo volumen de la saga. Por mi parte, hay personajes que apenas ya recordaba y he tenido que hacer un esfuerzo para recordar esas tramas. No ha importado, sin embargo, para que disfrute el libro como un enano.


Esta precuela es más que una serie de relatos: es sumirnos en la mente de Celaena, su vida antes de ser una esclava en Endovier, conocer a Sam y más sobre los asesinos de Rithfold. Hay detalles muy importantes en este libro, pero sobre todo, lo vas a disfrutar. Si te gusta la saga, es un imprescindible.
Profile Image for emma griffioen! .
269 reviews1,555 followers
September 1, 2023
i am very happy with my decision to start my throne of glass journey with the assassin's blade! this was a fast-paced prequel, especially since it was broken down into 5 novellas. my favorites were the assassin and the pirate lord, the assassin and the desert and the assassin and the underworld. i really enjoyed the insight it gave me on celaena, arobynn, sam and all of the other characters who i'm sure will pop up throughout the rest of the series.

that ending had my eyes watering 🥲💔 now, on to throne of glass! (for the third time uhhh time to see if i can finally make it through this series, but it's looking the most promising compared to my 2 other attempts)

⭐️ - 4 stars
🌶️ - 0.5/5
tropes: female assassin, enemies to lovers
perfect for: fans of sarah j maas, fans of fantasy novellas
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
October 24, 2018
i actually wasnt planning on reading this until after ‘kingdom of ash’ but the wait was just too much for me, so i quickly snuck it in!

ughh, i wish this book was a part of the main series in the same way ‘tower of dawn’ was. i think if the series started off with this, instead of ‘throne of glass,’ i would have had a much deeper understanding and connection with celaena. this provides so much character development and insight into who she is, which was really lacking in the first few books.

also, the events and characters of each and every one of these stories are mentioned/alluded to throughout the other six books, so this would have been a great foundation with which to start the series.

overall, these short stories were enjoyable and a great addition to a wonderful series!

the assassin and the pirate lord - 3.5 stars
the assassin and the healer - 3.5 stars
the assassin and the desert - 4 stars
the assassin and the underworld - 4.5 stars
the assassin and the empire - 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,752 followers
April 18, 2018
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

***Please be aware that while refraining from spoiling the specific novella I'm reviewing at the time, there may be spoilers from any prior novellas.***

I view these stories as five separate but related tales--like a series--b/c that's how I originally read them. I'll include links at the bottom of the post to the individual reviews on Goodreads, for those of you who are afraid of being inadvertently spoiled.

In the summer of '12, I was desperately seeking new reading material, and stumbled across the preview chapters of THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas.

I downloaded them, devoured them, and gashed my teeth in impatience when I discovered the full book wasn't due to be released for several more weeks.


There were four prequel novellas that were available. So I one-clicked all of them and read them immediately.

They only increased my hunger for THRONE OF GLASS.

~The Assassin and the Pirate Lord~

First, I think it's important to recognize that one of--if not the--main purposes of these novellas is to grow Celaena from an intolerably insolent and arrogant adolescent into a world-wiser (but still cocky) young adult.

The #1 complaint about this series is that readers don't like Celaena.

Personally, I love her, but I understand why others might not. She's a superlative character, and some people can't handle her extremes, and that's only one of a dozen legitimate issues.


There are several loudly voiced complaints that, as far as I'm concerned, don't hold water. I've already addressed my feelings in regards to the claim that she is too girly to make a believable assassin in my Throne of Glass review.

The other assertion I cannot abide is that Celaena "never does anything," or "never kills anyone."

That she's basically all talk.

Maybe I'm confused, but I've never supposed that assassins are meant to go around killing EVERYONE indiscriminately. And she's not just an assassin. She's the King of Assassins' heir. Adarlan's Assassin.

At least half of her identity is reputation, and it wouldn't behoove that reputation (or be good for business) to run around like a maniac slitting throats and eviserating passersby.

In this novella, she's a sixteen-year-old girl who single-handedly disarms and disables the entire crew of a pirate ship. She easily defeats the Pirate Lord in combat, using his own weapons to do it.

How is that nothing? How is that all talk? *mind is boggled*

Beyond establishing herself as a seriously kick-ass heroine, the foundation for something that will shred your heart into teeny, tiny pieces is also laid. <------*WAILS*

And, you know . . . there are pirates.

Everything is better with pirates.

SO. Not my favorite of the bunch, but a close(ish) second.

~The Assassin and the Healer~

This novella wasn't part of the original four. I chased down pieces of it on various blogs, over the course of several days before CROWN OF MIDNIGHT was released.

Anyway, I liked this one a lot, too.

So should anyone who thinks Celaena doesn't kill often enough. How about six or eight mercs in a dark alley after they try to rob and attack a barmaid?

All I'm saying is that's an awful lot of bodies piling up for an assassin who allegedly doesn't assassin.

Moving on.

We also learn some Celaena background: that her country was destroyed by war, and she feels a kinship with others who have suffered similar fates. That as a child she had dreams that are in complete contradiction to her current status.

Aaaannddd we (once again) get to observe the softer side of Celaena. The side that compels her to intervene on behalf of others when she can--one of the many reasons I'm able to overlook her more abrasive qualities.

Bottom line: a worthy addition to the canon.

~The Assassin and the Desert~

Oh, my FEELS. They hurrrrrrt *sobs*

So what does is say about me that this is my favorite of the group? Hmm . . .

In the inevitable aftermath of her actions in Pirateville, Celaena is sent into the blistering, unforgiving heat of the desert to train with the Mute Master, Arobynn's (infinitely more benevolent) Southern counterpart.

She has one month to train with the Silent Assasssins. One month to earn the Mute Master's respect in the form of a letter to Hamel on Celaena's behalf, commending her efforts and abilities.

One. Month.

This is the novella that makes me determinedly profess that readers' NEED to read the prequels.

There are people and places and events that have already begun to play a greater role in the main books, with half a dozen foreshadowings of things to come.

You. NEED. To. Read. It.

And it won't make sense, if you haven't read the first one, and after that . . . Well, why not just read them all?

Besides . . . Don't you want to see Celaena fumble her way through her first friendship? And not just her first friendship, but her first friendship with a GIRL?

Of course you do.

And who could blame you?

~The Assassin and the Underworld~

This novella should have been called THE ASSASSIN AND THE TANGLED WEB OF AROBYNN HAMEL, but I guess it doesn't rollllll off the tongue the same way.

I really wish I could give you an accounting of the events that take place here unhindered by the knowledge of what's to come.

But I can't.

I read it too many times and it broke my heart too completely.

THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD is about what happens when Celaena returns to the Assassin's Keep after Arobynn beat her into unconsciousness and sent her to the desert.

Celaena arrives full of confidence and more than a little bit of self-satisfaction.

She succeeded in accomplishing her nearly-impossible-to-complete task. More than succeeded. Was sent home from the Red Desert with a fortune great enough to purchase her freedom.

When she struts into Arobynn's office, she has every intention of telling him, and leaving him.

Unfortunately . . . It doesn't work out that way.

Instead, she allows herself to fall back under his spell. Not fully, she's been made too wary for that, but enough that she becomes an unwilling accomplice in his nefarious plans one last time.

This is where we first see the depth of Arobynn's treachery.

My thoughts on Celaena's lack of immediate response to said treachery upon her return to Rifthold in ToG:

~The Assassin and the Realm~

THE ASSASSIN AND THE REALM starts at the end. Celaena is suddenly a prisoner of we-don't-know-whom/we-don't-know-why.

All we know is that she's shattered. She does not care that she's caged like an animal. She does not care that she's in chains. Cold, hunger, thirst, all things beyond her concern.

And then . . . in the dark . . . she remembers.

Maas is an expert at cultivating DREAD. It may not be as stealthy here, what with us already knowing that Celaena--in some context--has failed, but that doesn't negate the fear, the roil in your belly, as you push yourself to keep reading, to find out what happened, what went wrong, so that at least then . . . it will be over.

As I said earlier, I read these before reading THRONE OF GLASS, so I can't state from experience that if you're having issues with Celaena, reading THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE will fix them. BUT. I can say that I've never had any issues with her character development, and the majority of readers who have taken my advice have found themselves understanding her better than they had previously. Beyond that, you need the background from Celaena's time in the Red Desert to fully appreciate what's happening in the main series (my favorite YA series, incidentally). <------FYI.

SO. Read it. I'm so far passed "recommending" it that I'm brandishing it wildly.

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

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Untitled (Throne of Glass, #5)
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
260 reviews4,947 followers
June 5, 2017
No, I'm not ok. Rather than tell you how I feel, let me show you how I feel. Spoilers.

Sam. I cannot. I just cannot.

Was this a necessary read for the series? Yes. Does it make it any easier? No.

For those of you have a REALLY hard time with death in a book.. let me prepare you.
The ONLY way I was able to cope with this book was:

1. Chocolate
2. Tissues
3. Bookmarked moments from book 3 and 4 of TOG in order to go back and read happy moments of sweet, sweet justice.

That is all.

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Grace (kanej & evajacks' version) .
285 reviews222 followers
February 17, 2023
THIS WAS SO GOOD AAAAHHH!! 😩😩🤌🤌 I initially couldn't get into it and was really worried it would disappoint me, but Sarah J. Maas worked her magic and I ended up loving it! It really adds to the series as a whole 🤩🤩

“This girl wasn’t like wildfire—she was wildfire. Deadly and uncontrollable. And slightly out of her wits.”

The Assassin's Blade is a collection of novellas giving us a glimpse into Celeana's past before the events of Throne of Glass. It's a prequel of sorts and elaborates on things hinted at in the books. Since there's so much to unpack, I'm gonna go through the novellas one by one.

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

♤ The Assassin and the Pirate Lord:

In this novella, Celeana and Sam head to Skull's Bay together to broker a deal between their master Arobynn Hamel, and the Rolfe, the leader of the pirates. It seems like this should be a really great novella- pirates, plenty of action, plus some scheming on Celeana's part. Yet I found I didn't really love this one for some reason. I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but it just didn't quite grab my attention 😕

Though I must admit that the way Celeana and Sam's relationship developed in that novella alone was SUPERB 😍😍 They went from hating each other at the beginning to reluctantly working together to something ELSE- *dreamy sigh* I know they only got together MUCH later, but this was also just a great introduction to seeing them together 🤌🤌

Overall, it was entertaining enough but didn't have much depth. Not my favorite of the novellas tbh 😬😬

~ The Assassin and the Healer:

In this novella, Celeana was staying in the tavern where she met Yrene Towers, a lowly barmaid there. They develop a connection when Yrene is threatened. Once again, unpopular opinion, but... I didn't particularly like this one. It was fun enough and obviously well-written, but I feel like not much happened. And the climax felt rushed. That's honestly just me. I know a lot of other people will love this novella, but I sadly wasn't one of them 😔😔

~ The Assassin and the Desert:

As punishment for what happened in Skull's Bay, Arobynn Hamel sent Celeana to the Red Desert, where she would train with the Silent Assassins and have to get the Master's letter of approval to return. There, she meets other assassins, faces new challenges and has to battle a mysterious threat.

I actually really enjoyed this novella! It had lots of things that made it really fun to read: an exotic setting, loads of new characters, action AND a great twist. 😏😏 It was really fun to read and that climax was SO GOOD. It definitely helped me regain interest after not loving the first 2 novellas 🥰🥰

~ The Assassin and the Underworld:

This one takes place back in Rifthold, after Celeana has returned from the Red Desert. Arobynn has given her another job: an assassination. As she works on the job, tensions between her and Sam develop further and that's when the romance REALLY starts 😏😏

I also really liked this one. It was really action-packed and again had a really surprising twist. However, even tho that was all cool, the best part was the new tension between Celeana & Sam. This was when the romance really began and lemme tell you, it was AMAZING. Seriously their chemistry is off the charts!! If I had to choose between him and Rowan, I'd honestly have no idea. I LOVE YOU SAM 🥰🥰😍😍❣❣

~ The Assassin and the Empire:

*hysterical sobbing*
WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY 😭😭😭😭😭😭😵😵😵😵😖😖😖😖😭😭😭😭☹☹😱😱😫😫😫😣😣

I knew it was coming for the entire book and yet when it actually happened.... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I would've started full-on ugly crying if I hadn't been in a public space. IT WAS JUST TOO CRUEL

That is all I have to say about that novella

“She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest.”

Overall, I really enjoyed the Assassin's Blade! I struggled to get into it at first as the first 2 novellas didn't really grab my attention, but the last 3 were really great. Tho #5 FREAKING BROKE MY HEART. But anywayyy.... So yeah, this was really great. Definitely recommended for all Throne of Glass fans!! 😁❤

~ 4 stars


Throne of Glass series:

0.5 The Assassin's Blade- ★★★★☆ 😘
1. Throne of Glass- ★★★★☆
2. Crown of Midnight- ★★★★★
3. Heir of Fire- BEYOND ★★★★★ ❤😘
4. Queen of Shadows- BEYOND ★★★★★ ❤😘
5. Empire of Storms- BEYOND ★★★★★ ❤😘
6. Tower of Dawn- BEYOND ★★★★★ ❤😘
7. Kingdom of Ash- BEYOND ★★★★★ ❤😘

❤ - favourites
😘- amazing romance



This was sooo good!! 😁😁❣❣Definitely a great addition to the series 🤌🤌 RTC!
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,745 reviews5,292 followers
March 8, 2023
#0.1-#0.5 The Assassin’s Blade ★★★★★
#1 Throne of Glass ★★★★★
#2 Crown of Midnight ★★★★★
#3 Heir of Fire ★★★★★
#4 Queen of Shadows ★★★★★
#5 Empire of Storms ★★★★★
#6 Tower of Dawn ★★★★★

She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow.

As anyone who knows my taste in books is already aware of, I’m total trash for Sarah’s other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and have been for a while, which is why I know it’s kind of surprising to a lot of people (myself included) that it’s taken me this long to finally start on this series! That said, I decided that I would make an effort in 2018 to get caught up on the series before the finale this fall, and per Sarah’s own website’s recommendation, I started with this novella bind-up.

I was honestly nervous to pick this book up, because I kept thinking, “What if it doesn’t live up to my love for the ACOTAR series?!” Luckily, my concerns seem to be invalid – based on this collection, at least – because losing myself in the word of Celaena and the Assassins was effortless, and made me so eager to move on to Throne of Glass!

Quiet as mice, quiet as the wind, quiet as the grave.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord – ★★★★★ ←
Celaena thinks that she and her colleague Sam Cortland are being sent to meet the Pirate Lord to seek repayment for a slight he’s caused the King of the Assassins. Upon arrival, the teens learn that they’ve been tricked into an escort mission for a batch of slaves that Arobynn is hoping to sell. I thought this was an fantastic introduction to Celaena’s character, and it immediately made me fond of her as a protagonist. I loved that she was willing to risk her career and her name to free a few hundred strangers, and the ending set a wonderful stage for her relationship with Sam and his willingness to follow her, no matter the cost.

The Assassin and the Healer – ★★★★☆ ←
After the debacle with the Pirate Lord, Celaena is sent away for a while, as part of her punishment. In this installment, she stays at the White Pig Inn, where she meets Yrene Towers, a young healer barely scraping by as a waitress, and in desperate need of learning how to defend herself. Who better to teach her than a trained killer? This was my least favorite of the stories, but I still thought it was enjoyable enough for 4 stars. It just didn’t feel nearly as three-dimensional as the other novellas (which is to be expected, since it’s substantially shorter at only 40 pages).

The Assassin and the Desert – ★★★★★ ←
As Celaena arrives in the Red Desert, she begins her punishment: training with the Silent Assassins, and earning a letter of recommendation from their leader, the Mute Master. This was such a fleshed out, well written story, and while reading this one, I remember thinking to myself that this was where the real story telling in this collection began. I loved getting to know the ins and outs of the Silent Assassins and their homes, as well as watching Celaena’s friendship with Ansel come into form. Most of all, I enjoyed the world-building that was given in bits here and there, like the story of Spidersilk.

The Assassin and the Underworld – ★★★★★ ←
Upon her return to Rifthold, Arobynn surprises Celaena by apologizing, and offering her a mission picked specially for her: to kill a man who wants to help the King of Adarlan create a booming slave business. This story was positively gut-wrenching to watch unfold. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that certain aspects of Celaena’s mission seemed suspicious from the beginning; Sarah J. Maas is the queen of painful foreshadowing, but like any other trickery she inflicts upon her readers, all you can do is sit back and watch it unfold.

The Assassin and the Empire – ★★★★★ ←
A few weeks after Celaena discovers Arobynn’s treachery, she and Sam are living happily on their own, but there’s one problem: to leave Rifthold and Arobynn behind forever, they must leave the Assassin’s Guild, and that costs coins that are going to require one last, dangerous job. Just… see what I said about the last story: with SJM’s writing, sometimes you know something horrible is well on its way, but there’s nothing you can do besides waiting patiently for the heartache. I didn’t think I had grown quite so attached to the characters in this collection until reaching the end of this particular novella, but I found myself devastated and immediately wanting more. I think this was a brilliant story to end this collection on, and it cemented my beliefs that The Assassin’s Blade is the perfect opening to this series.

“My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispered, “and I will not be afraid.”
Profile Image for Tricia Levenseller.
Author 16 books13.4k followers
September 10, 2022
I don’t usually care for novellas, but these were addictive. Together, they do read like a book, and I cannot get enough of Celaena’s voice. I’m excited to start my reread of the beginning of this series so I can finish it!
Profile Image for Jeff.
143 reviews405 followers
August 1, 2018

Just sobbing, dying, laughing and dying again.
Enjoy readers. :)

This was a mix of billions of wonderful stories and I guarantee y'all, ur in for a sobbing-fest.

So yes, you'll be needing......:
-donuts (idk, just get SWEETS)
-more SJM books.....
-you're mom's credit card to go buy those books or you could rob a bank
-a buddy to scream and cry to
-6000000 tissue boxes


Alright alright.
No, u ain't just gonna cry ur eyeballs out.

How fun is that?

Just......everything was brilliant.
Celaena was an amazing character.
Some were obviously jerks.
I was a potato who cried my little heart out

We shall end this review/sob-fest.

Good bye, peeps. ;)
Profile Image for anmol.
140 reviews522 followers
August 28, 2023
“I can wait. We have all the time in the world.”

sometimes i still think 2022 me was right and i should've stayed away from this book forever. atl i would've been happy. (not rly but a bitch can dream right?)

“My name is Sam Cortland… and I will not be afraid.”

and the fact that i alr knew what was gonna happen didn't help AT. ALL. i know i say this with every book i read but i rly don't cry okay but this book acc had me sobbing the whole time i was reading it and literally any time i think about it even now- 😭😭

i never knew i would love sam cortland as much as i did i never knew sam cortland would break me as much as he did i just love that boy sm

but as much as i hate this book, meeting all the characters and especially celaena again was everything. ansel 🥹 rolfe 🥹 yrene 🥹 lysandra 🥹


and i'm so glad i had my lulubean with me to go through this i wouldn't have made it out alive without her 😔❤️‍🩹

still never touching this book again bye-
Profile Image for Rebecca(lifes chaotic catching up).
335 reviews795 followers
April 14, 2023
*4.5 Stars*
"My name is Celaena Sardothien," she whispered "and I will not be afraid."

Reading this book for the second time and I am equally if not more heartbroken than the first time I read it. Each novella grabs your attention and wraps you up in adventure and intrigue. Celaena is such a compelling fmc. She is gloriously flawed. Impulsive, stubborn and cocky but also generous, strong and confident. I love all of her wonderful nuances. Considering she is 16/17 I think it tracks and I appreciate the genuine feel of her personality given her age and her history. Every single secondary character in this books feeds something to the reader, nothing is wasted, and I love how it shapes the way the plot moves forward in the following books and how you perceive Celaena.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord- Our introduction to Celaena starts off with a bang! Assassin guilds and a murder. Pirates and brawls. Slave trades and rivals.
Highlights-Captain Rolfe, Sam (aka perfect angel baby), Celaena going to the mat for what she believes to be right and working with Sam.
"If you ever tell anyone about me embracing you...... I'll gut you." 😜

The Assassin and the Healer-💙Yrene Towers💙Celaena teaching Yrene to defend herself makes my heart squeeze.
"If you get the chance, teach it to any female who will take the time to listen."
We love a girl's girl!!

The Assassin and the Dessert- I love the vibes of this novella! The Fortress, the dessert, the horses, the master, and the BETRAYAL! It's all just such a mood! The characters you meet in this novella are so interesting and setting is captivating.
"If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it-to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger."

The Assassin and the Underworld This novella you start to see the depths of the power Arobynn holds over Celaena, after years of grooming and manipulating her since she was a child and it's heartbreaking and infuriating. Sam is just perfect; I love him so much and he's everything and I want to strangle Celaena so many times bc COME ON!!
"I love you, I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he's always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you'd choose Arobynn and I. Can't. Take. It."

The Assassin and the Empire- The one that broke me and I have never ever recovered. 😭
Why?! Just WHY?!! It was so obvious, and it could have been avoided so easily!! That person deserved better, and I will never be okay with it. Also, "I hate packing"?!!!! ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?!! SAY IT BACK!!!! Just, I can't.
"I just want to be with you, I don't care where we go. That's all I want." 😭😭😭

This book makes you feel all the things and I actually think it's super underrated in the series bc I find it to be gripping. Also, I am firmly team "read this book first" which I know is controversial, but I will DIE on this hill!! So don't come for me in the comments! 💙💙💙
Thank you to my beautiful SS Cecelia for reading and ranting with me! Can't wait to read the rest of the series with you babe!
RE-READING my absolute favorite series of all time with my Soul Sister Cecelia
Profile Image for Avery (Taylor's version).
217 reviews451 followers
March 1, 2023
“My name is Sam Cortland... and I will not be afraid.”


I feel no emotion. I am just staring at the screen, completely blank and void of emotion as I type this out. I did cry, obviously and as I expected, but I don't think I've come to accept that I've finally actually finished this whole entire series.

I'm also in denial about a certain thing that happens in this.

I may as well get into this review to distract myself from the numbness and denial.

The plot

I have known all along that I should've read this before reading Throne of Glass, but alas, it's fine. I picked up on a lot of foreshadowing for the rest of the series and I felt so smug and proud of myself whenever I saw those clues.

So, there were 5 novellas in this book and I think the reason it took longer than expected for me to read this was because the first novella was pretty boring. Nothing really happened in it. But I'll put in separate descriptions of each novella below.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: ★★★
-This one was pretty slow and not much really happened, except near the end, but it just felt so tame compared to the other novellas. We got introduced to Sam, Rolfe, and Celaena. We got to see their characters, and while I already knew Celaena and Rolfe, I hadn't read about Sam yet. But I'll talk about the characters later. Overall, this was my least favorite novella.

The Assassin and the Healer: ★★★.5
-I loved seeing Yrene again in this one. When her name popped up, I gasped and shouted "Yrene!" It was wonderful seeing a member of the main Throne of Glass crew, even though it made me a little sad. This one didn't have much going on in it either, the only reason it's better than the first novella is because Yrene was in it and Yrene is amazing.

The Assassin and the Desert: ★★★★.5
-This one was much better than the previous two. There were plot twists that literally made me gasp, and it was fast paced. I liked seeing more of Ansel's character as well. I'd felt meh about her in EoS and the beginning of KoA, I didn't really care for her. But in this one, I really liked her. But then she did some things and I began to dislike her. Now I don't know how to feel, but I think she was better in KoA. It pains me that I don't remember.

The Assassin and the Underworld: ★★★★★
-Arobynn is an absolute disgusting pig. Trying to get her to forgive him for BEATING HER? Nuh uh. This novella was so gooood. My second favorite. We were introduced to Lysandra (I LOVE HER. Not in this one, but in the rest of the series) and Celaena was in denial over her feelings towards Sam. There was action and twists and I loved it. Sorry, I'm still feeling numb and my brain can't remember what happened because all I can think about is the next novella:

The Assassin and the Empire: ★★★★★
-PAIN PAIN PAIN. I'd gone in knowing what would happen but I still am in P A I N. This was definitely my favorite, no matter how much I HATE what happened. Was Sam stupid in this one? Yes. Should he have let Celaena go with him to go take on Farran? YES. NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF HE HAD JUST LET HER GO WITH HIM. Or maybe it would have. BUT WHATEVER. The ending of the novella was just a punch to the gut and I will never recover.

All I can think about is this: If none of this had happened then we would have never gotten what happened in the other books. That doesn't really help much, but it's something.

“If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it- to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger.”

The characters

Well, I guess I have to say goodbye to these characters all over again WHAT FUN.

Celaena Sardothien

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

Celaena was interesting in this book. I love her throughout the series, but I was annoyed by her in this book. While Celaena did periodically annoy me throughout the series, she always grew from her mistakes and she is such a strong character.

I feel so badly for what happened in this book. She just wanted to have a future where it was just her and Sam, where they were happy and in love.

Sam Cortland

“I can wait,” he said thickly, kissing her collarbone. “We have all the time in the world.”

....it was lines like these that made me cry because of what I knew.

I had gone into this terrified I wouldn't like him since I am in love with Rowan, but oh my gosh SAMMMMM 😭😭 HE IS THE ABSOLUTE SWEETEST. HE GOT HER SHEET MUSIC TO HER FAVORITE SONG. HE ASKED THAT AROBYNN NEVER HURT HER AGAIN FOR HIS FORGIVENESS.

PAIN PAIN PAIN. That is the only word that can comprehend my feelings. 😭

Yrene Towers

“This girl wasn’t like wildfire—she was wildfire. Deadly and uncontrollable. And slightly out of her wits.”

I love Yrene so much. I understand a lot about her background now, and a lot of stuff she talked about in Tower of Dawn, and I loved her in this. Not much to say since I already loved her before I read this.


Ok look. I love Lysandra. But in this one I DESPISED her. She was so annoying to Celaena, and the way she kept flirting with Sam irked me. I do feel bad for her over what Arobynn's doing with her *gag* and I understand a lot of why Celaena hated Lysandra in Queen of Shadows.

“She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow.”

The relationship

“I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.”
“You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed, grabbing the front of his tunic. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face. “Because I’d pick you.”

I HATE EVERYTHING. I HATE IT. I feel painnnnnnnn.

I literally started crying when I read this line: “I hate to admit it, Sam Cortland, but I missed your sorry ass, too.”

And this one: “And from today onward, I want to never be separated from you. Wherever you go, I go. Even if that means going to Hell itself, wherever you are, that's where I want to be. Forever.”

It's not fair. They just wanted their happily ever after. BUT NOTHING IS THAT EASY IN A HIGH FANTASY BOOK, NOW IS IT.

Please pardon my little breakdown, I'm feeling crazy right now.

But I remind myself. Nothing in Throne of Glass would've happened if the events in this book had not taken place.


“Life isn't easy, no matter where you are. You'll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them.”

Anywho, I'm very sad that I'm done with this series and now I want to go curl into a ball and never leave my room ever again.

4.5 stars

“She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest.”

I will say it one last time: P A I N

I feel numb.

I'd give anything to read this whole series for the first time again

Profile Image for caitlin.
147 reviews557 followers
August 20, 2023
"she had believed she could love sam and not pay the price."
am i okay? no. will i be okay? probably not.


199/5 stars. it lost a star because now i'm incredibly dehyrated.

“‘i can wait,’ he said thickly, kissing her collarbone. ‘we have all the time in the world.’”

you might notice i've read this book twice. the first time was from february 4-5, 2023. the second was from febuary 8-10, 2023. yes, i'm insane. if you have thoughts about it, i don't care. i need to drink some water because i've cried all the hydration out of my system.

warning: this review is ungodly long (like actually i have no idea how that happened whoops) and honestly, it's not for you. i needed to talk through this and get all this down somewhere.
(and, like always, in case you're not aware, "janet" refers to sjm because surprise! that's her middle name and i find that unrealistically funny)

before i get into it, this is my way of processing the emotional trauma i have as a result of this book. if you also have emotional trauma from this book, i apologize for the flashbacks i'm about to trigger. alexa, play all too well (ten minute version) by taylor swift.


the assassin and the pirate lord: 4.5/5 stars

“sam smiled, his brown eyes turning golden in the dawn. it was such a sam look, the twinkle of mischief, the hint of exasperation, the kindness that would always, always make him a better person than she was.”

this was such an interesting story! it hooked me into the novella and i wasn't let go until janet decided to let me go. i had stuff to do, but hey- to hell with reality! its overrated anyways! also i loved the conflict and getting to know sam and watching them get closer and become friends 🥹🥹

also, i immediately liked celaena more here. one of my biggest problems with this series thus far is how annoying i found celaena, but i actually kind of like her in this book!

‘if you ever tell anyone about me embracing you… i’ll gut you.’”
aww she's so cute 🥰

the assassin and the healer: 4.75/5 stars

i've only read up to qos so don't spoil anything for me- but i can't wait for yrene to come back, because i'm pretty sure she does?? anyways, this was short and sweet and i loved it... like everything else in this book.
you're going to get so tired of me saying that.

“‘life isn’t easy, no matter where you are. you’ll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them. so if you’re going to be miserable, you might as well go to antica and be miserable in the shadow of the torre cesme’”

the assassin and the desert: 5/5 stars

OKAY. SO. first, because i have priorities, "alexa, play 'from the dining table' by harry styles". now, ansel. i have so many mixed feelings ohmygodohmygodohmygod. (also, i caught the callback in qos when aelin calls herself "ansel from briarcliff" in a fight!)

“‘this is not the way.’
‘says the assassin,’ ansel spat.
‘i’ve become an assassin because i had no choice. but you have a choice, ansel. you’ve always had a choice. please don’t kill him.’
please don’t make me kill you was what she truly meant to say.”

i don't know how to feel about ansel. i want to like her. i feel bad for her. but also WHAT THE HELL?!?
i'm excited for her to come back though, because i know at least she comes back.
🎶 angelina by lizzy mcalpine for them becoming friends and celaena's heart breaking 🎶

“‘live a little, sardothien!’” ... that moment when they were stealing the asterion mares!! oh my god i love it, it was so magical!!
[insert: the chorus "love song" by lana del rey]
“of all the girls in all the world, here she was on a spit of beach in the red desert, astride an asterion horse, racing faster than the wind. most would never experience this—she would never experience anything like this again. and for that one heartbeat, when there was nothing more to it than that, she tasted bliss so complete that she tipped her head back to the sky and laughed."

random shower thought: ansel is like SO into celaena. i feel janet often writes amazing chemistry between same sex characters and then ignores it and pushes them into indifferent (or at least less convenient) hetero relationships anyways, and i'm not calling it queerbaiting... but like a little bit. so if ansel isn't gay i'm going to be so mad.

and shoutout to ilias! he's so cute! ♡

but overall i loved the setting and the characters and i thought it was great. also, this is when i started to realize that i genuinely like celaena now. i've spent so much time with her so far in these novellas without much love interest action (so far), and for once i really do like her!

“‘if you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. some people learn to embrace it—to love it. some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. others turn it into anger. but ansel let her pain become hate, and let it consume her until she became something else entirely—a person i don’t think she ever wished to be.’”
(that is such an amazing quote)

the assassin and the underworld: 11/5 stars


🎶 champagne problems by taylor swift 🎶

“‘you want to know what price i asked for forgiving arobynn, celaena?’
‘my price was his oath that he’d never lay a hand on you again. i told him i’d forgive him in exchange for that.’”

“‘he sent you to the red desert,’ sam went on, his words soft and low. ‘but my punishment was having to watch him beat you that night.’”


when she went to that party for the melisanders and danced with dorian! i love janet's clues 🥰

“‘well, i care what you think of me. i care enough that i stayed at this disgusting party just for you. and i care enough that i’d attend a thousand more like it so i can spend a few hours with you when you aren’t looking at me like i’m not worth the dirt beneath your shoes.’”

another random shower thought: someone needs to limit janet's access to the italics key lmfao

“‘i love you. and from today onward, i want to never be separated from you. wherever you go, i go. even if that means going to hell itself, wherever you are, that’s where i want to be. forever.’”
🎶meet me in the hallway by harry styles🎶
🎶the great war by taylor swift🎶

and arobynn. this started to explain a lot about their very, uh, interesting relationship. but i'll rant about him in a little bit.

🎶 also, that moment when she was trying to escape the sewers = runaway by ramin djawadi 🎶

AND NOW FOR MY LIKE NEW FAVORITE MOMENT EVER: (🎶 cornelia street by taylor swift 🎶)
“‘please don’t go.’
‘you’ll be fine without me. you always have been.’
‘how can i convince you to stay?’
‘you can’t.’
‘do you want me to beg, is that it?’
‘then tell me-'
‘what more can i say? i’ve already told you everything—i’ve already told you that if i stay here, if i have to live with arobynn, i’ll snap his damned neck.’
‘but why? why can’t you let it go?’
‘because i love you!’
‘i love you,’ he repeated, shaking her again. ‘i have for years. and he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how i felt, too. but if i asked you to pick, you’d choose arobynn, and i. can’t. take. it.’
‘you’re a damned idiot,’ she breathed. ‘you’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.’ he looked like she had hit him. but she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, ‘because i’d pick you.’
and then she kissed him.”

the assassin and the empire: 10000000/5 stars

that moment when they're in the kitchen 🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺
and celaena and her lavender soap 😭😭😭😭😭

🎶 paris by taylor swift 🎶

“‘tell me your deepest secret,’ she said softly.
after a long moment, he spoke. ‘the only secret i’ve borne my entire life is that i love you.’ he gave her a slight smile. ‘it was the one thing i believed i’d go to the grave without voicing.’ his eyes were so full of light that it almost stopped her heart.
‘what’s yours then?’
‘deep down,’ she said, ‘i’m a coward.’
‘i’m a coward,’ she repeated. ‘and i’m scared. i’m scared all the time. always.’
he removed her hand from his cheek to kiss the tips of her fingers. ‘i get scared, too,' he murmured onto her skin. ‘you want to hear something ridiculous? whenever i’m scared out of my wits, i tell myself: my name is sam cortland…and i will not be afraid. i’ve been doing it for years.’


the last two novellas (but really the whole book) totally and completely changed my relationship with and how i look at celaena. honestly i disliked her in the first few books because she was always so special. that's not new for janet's protagonists as far as i know, but it was annoying the hell out of me. she kept getting more and more special and kept "deus ex machina-ing" her way out of situations and into more powerful and special roles. but (finally) here, i saw her struggle with the prideful and more unsavory parts of her personality and competitiveness and her relationship with arobynn, and actually mess up. and then to see her then deal with guilt and grief and with myself ugly crying right there with her, it felt relatable and touching, unlike her healing in throne of glass and crown of midnight because i had no reason to like or care for her then.

🎶liability by lorde🎶
“‘celaena, when you’re good and ready to tell me the truth, you’ll do it. And no matter what it is, when that day comes, i’ll be honored that you trust me enough to do so. but until then, it’s not my business, and it’s not arobynn’s business. it’s not anyone’s business but your own.’”
janet should actually go to jail for this shit. man, i got so attached.

okay, and before i pull out the really sad quotes and we get into it: arobynn. let's talk about it.
AROBYNN (or as i like to call him, slimy narcissistic motherfucking bastard) DID NOT DIE NEARLY SLOWLY OR PAINFULLY ENOUGH. I HATE HIM WITH MY ENTIRE BEING.

it's very clearly an abusive and codependent relationship between the two of them because of his narcissistic tendencies and some fucked attraction to celaena. it's giving... grooming. i actually loved how janet explored this with when celaena was living with arobynn and then when she tried to leave him and then when she did eventually leave for endovier- i though it was super interesting!

“‘why did you do it?’
‘because i don’t like sharing my belongings.’”
he's such an ick.

also idk if you know, but taylor wrote "would've, could've, should've" about celaena and arobynn!!

okay and now, you know what's coming next...

🎶elastic heart - piano version by sia 🎶
“the king of the assassins slowly got to his feet. she saw the expression in his eyes and knew what he was going to say long before he opened his mouth and whispered, ‘i’m sorry.’”


[insert love song by lana del rey (yes, again)]
“now that sam was dead, there wasn’t anything left outside of the dungeons worth fighting for, anyways. not when adarlan’s assassin was crumbling apart, and her world with her. the girl who’d taken on a pirate lord and his entire island, the girl who’d stolen asterion horses and raced along the beach in the red desert, the girl who’d sat on her own rooftop, watching the sun rise over the avery, the girl who’d felt alive with possibility… that girl was gone.

[🎶my tears are becoming a sea by M83🎶]

basically, this book was everything i wanted it to be and so, so, so much more. i don't know how long it will take me to get over this. i don't know if i want to.
and out of all the songs i've been nerding on about, the song that will forever and always belong to this is "my tears ricochet - the long pond studio sessions"

“‘my name is celaena sardothien,’ she whispered, ‘and i will not be afraid.’’

also, my review for...
throne of glass
crown of midnight
heir of fire
queen of shadows
empire of storms
tower of dawn
kingdom of ash
Profile Image for Baba.
3,620 reviews988 followers
April 4, 2022
"My name is Celaena Sardothien and I won't be afraid."

Want to know a secret? I don't particularly like Aelin... but I stan Celaena. And this! This is Celaena's story. This is all assassin. This is recklessness and play. This is taking control and using her voice. This is pain, betrayal and emptiness. This is Throne of Glass. This is what happened before the first book Throne of Glass, and it fills in gaps and provides details of Celaena's last year with Arobynn Hamel's assassins. In hindsight a book I should have read before Empire of Storms, but hey :) A easy Four Star Read, it rates an 8 out of 12... because this series... is this series.
2019 read
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
July 18, 2015
This was such a wonderful book. It is 5 prequel novellas, but the novellas read as one story with small gaps between the stories. I loved every second of it and I loved learning more about Celaena!

Reread July 11-17, 2015 for #fivefaves

Profile Image for Gillian.
145 reviews200 followers
October 6, 2022
“My name is Celaena Sardothein,” she whispered, “and I will not be afraid.”

These novellas were so good!! This book is a collection of short stories which include 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. These novellas are about, love, betrayal, revenge, power and friendship. The novellas follow Calaena who is the best assassin in Erilea and she is a member of the Assassin's Guild. In these novellas Celaena's master Arobynn sends Celaena on missions and she makes friends and enemies along the way and realizes she has feelings for Sam. During each mission Celaena faces new challenges. Celaena questions her allegiance to the Guild when she realizes the true purpose of one of the missions. Celaena and Sam must decide whether they will risk everything for freedom and a chance to escape the Guild.

These novellas are told from Celaena's point of view. The pacing was inconsistent in the first novella, but in the second novella the pace picked up. The world building was excellent, I really felt like I was living in the world that the author created. I love Celaena so much, she is awesome, strong, brave, fierce, stubborn and loyal to the people she cares about. I'm in love with Sam, he is sweet, strong, stubborn, very handsome, and loyal. I really like Yrene, she is kind, helpful, resilient, and smart. I don't like Arobynn, he is mean, ruthless, violent, and a liar. I love Sam and Celaena's relationship, they bring out the best in each other and really care for each other. I loved their chemistry, the connection between them was very strong. The character development was well done, Celaena grew so much from the first novella to the last novella. I loved seeing both sides of Celaena and Sam. The ending was so surprising and heartbreaking.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,483 reviews79.1k followers
December 7, 2022
3.6 stars rounded to 4

I'm not sure how I missed reading these before when I finished the series, but I'm thoroughly enjoying diving back into this familiar world!

#0.1 The Assassin and the Pirate Lord-★★★★

#0.2 The Assassin and the Healer- ★★

#0.3 The Assassin and the Desert- ★★★★

#0.4 The Assassin and the Underworld- ★★★

#0.5 The Assassin and the Empire- ★★★★★
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