Review, possibly rant: The Assassin's Blade

18243700Title: The Assassin's Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young adult, fantasy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary: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.

The blogosphere has practically exploded with excitement for the third book in this series, Heir of Fire. With all the amazing reviews and book-pushing happening with this series, I figured it was about time I gave it a shot.

Some of these novellas were very good, but others, not so much. The Assassin and Pirate Lord was a good start, and I felt like I got a good feel for the world and the fierce, righteous gorgeous, best-assassin-in-the-world-while-only-sixteen Celaena Sardothien. Yeah. She's the best at everything, and she knows it. That got a few couple of skeptical eyebrow raises on my part. My skepticism only grew in the second novella, which is told from a healer's adoring and awe-filled point of view.

I think The Assassin and the Desert was my favorite novella, possibly because Celaena started acted like a human being. She struggles with things for once, and surprise surprise! she realizes that she actually cares about people. The "villain" of this novella was complex and unexpected, which I enjoyed.

The next two novellas flesh out Celaena's relationships with Sam and Arobynn. Celaena and Sam were adorable, and Arobynn...I think he was supposed to scare me witless, but I was just confused. I mentioned that the villain of Desert was complex, and I was looking forward to more of that complexity with Arobynn, but that didn't happen. Arobynn does the whole "I may be mean to you but it's only because I care" thing, but that's about it. I'm really hoping he stops being such a caricature in the novels, because right now, this supposedly scary guy isn't cutting it.

Another thing that bugged me a little was that the novellas read more like one prequel novel instead of five prequel novellas. I expected this to be a couple of unrelated adventures, with maybe a few overall tie-ins. Instead, I got a string of novellas that not only referenced the others constantly, but also could not be read as stand-alones in any capacity. I'm confused as to why the author didn't just publish a prequel novel instead of these highly inter-related novellas.

I enjoyed the world of assassins, and I enjoyed Celaena and Sam (including how that relationship turned out. Does that make me evil? I just appreciated that not everything was all happy rainbows for our dear assassin). Celaena has grown a bit over the course of the novellas, but I'm still not quite rooting for her.

In a nutshell, I'm not sold on Celaena Sardothien, but I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.

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  1. Hi! I've nominated you for the book gif tag! Here's my post:

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks


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