Published by A&C Black, Bloomsbury on 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassins' 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 prequel 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 . . .
Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.
FIRST DATE: with The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. I have to admit that I didn’t love Celaena when I first met her in Throne of Glass. She was cocky and seemingly uncaring, with a massive chip on her shoulder. But blogger friends who loved the first novel encouraged me to pick up the prequels, telling me I’d change my mind. I poo-pooed them, waving them off. Even when I got my hands on the prequel collection with all five novellas packaged between a beautiful cover, I didn’t jump into it. And then I did and my whole perspective on Celaena changed. Of course, with this first prequel, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, Celaena still wears her cocky pants but she’s young and impulsive and very, very good at what she does. I can understand it. When you’re talented like that a lot of times you have many sizes of cocky pants (I don’t know. I just like saying, “cocky pants”.). Even better when you can save a whole bunch of slaves and piss off that annoying guy when your plan comes to fruition because of your awesome talents and sparkly cocky pants.
SECOND DATE: with The Assassin and the Desert. This is the third prequel (number two is The Assassin and the Healer — good but the least of these stories, I think) and by far the best, in my opinion. I liked how, once separated from Sam (*swoons over Sam*) and her overbearing father figure, Celaena really shapes up into a BAMF, even if she does wind up puking in the desert a bunch of times (hell, I certainly would, if forced to do what she did). I also really liked the people of the desert, the Mute Master, and a particularly gorgeous dark-eyed boy (*swoons over yet another boy*), all of whom taught her and challenged her, really shaping her into the young woman we see in Throne of Glass (of course, there’s that time in the mines, too).
THIRD DATE: with The Assassin and the Empire. This is the fifth and final prequel (number four is The Assassin and the Underworld, which is awesome in its own right, filled with romance and the deep connection between Celaena and Sam. Plus, plenty of fight scenes) and, holy crap, what an ending. I mean…seriously? Way to completely shatter a person (hey, of course I’m talking about Celaena! *sniffles* *wipes at eyes*). And this was when I became a Celaena fan. She survives. “I am Celaena Sardothian.” She may be headed to the mines, a place from whence no one returns, where people are sent to die. She may be stripped of her weapons. She may have lost and been betrayed by everyone she loves. “I will not be afraid.” Chillbumps, people. Seriously. And, DAY-am, Sarah J. Maas can write.
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