The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas


Title: The Assassin's Blade 
Author: Sarah J. Maas 
Series: Throne Of Glass #0.1-0.5 
Genre: Fantasy, YA 
Publication date: March 4, 2014 
Rating: ★★★★★ 


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?


Dorian Havilliard
Aedion Ashryver
Rowan Whitethorn
Chaol Westfall
Sam Cortland
I was naive. I've been misled by countless average novellas that were never more than mildly pleasant ways to pass the waiting between book releases. I was definitely not prepared for The Assasin's Blade to be worthy of the name book or for the pain it would cause me. The five novellas are one story, even if they were originally published separately. I'd expected them to be random stories about Celaena Sardothien's past life, maybe a glimpse at her life within the Guild. I never dreamed this would be her full history before Throne Of Glass. Never thought this would be the full tale of her downfall, the betrayal by Arobynn Hamel and the death of Sam Cortland. I hoped, sure. And now, maybe I wish I hadn't.

I was prepared for Sam to make an appearance. How could he not? I knew he'd been Celaena's boyfriend before she was sent to Endovier. I also knew Celaena had been captured and arrested when she was trying to avenge his death. So I tried not to care too much about him. Tried not to let myself get attached to a character that had no future. One I knew was going to die. I failed, miserably. When we learned Celaena had had a boyfriend before she entered the competition to become the King's Champion, I felt bad for her. She was tormented by his death and so I felt sorry for her. I hardly knew anything about Sam, except that he'd been her companion in the Guild. That he himself was a trained assassin and that one day a job had gone wrong. I didn't really have an opinion of him. Didn't care much about him. Oh, the irony.

This time, I got to know Sam and I almost wish I hadn't. Because I fell for him. Hard. He's not like any of the other male characters we got to meet throughout the series. I suppose if I really had to compare him to anyone, his personality would be mostly like Chaol's. And yet, he's not the same at all. Sam's brilliant. Literally. He's smart, lethal, strong and an assassin to his core, but he's also compassionate and kind to those he cares about. Chaol has this profound 'goodness' that defines him. An urge to live by the rules that Sam lacks. Still I think they're worthy of each other. Sam's a good guy. Not in the literal sense of the word maybe, he is an assassin after all, but he is when it matters. And also, which I find important, he doesn't try to cuddle Celaena. He knows she's his equal, probably his superior and he's okay with that. He worries, sure, but he doesn't try to keep her from doing what she's been trained to do.

Their romance is not cheesy, it is honest and pure. Thank god. Because I'm 100% done with your typical boy-meets-girl-and-sweeps-her-of-her-feet romance. Celaena's not one to be swept of her feet. She's distrusting, brutal, and frankly not a very nice person to be around. Not when she doesn't want to open up. It's only when she lets her walls down that one gets to see that she can be nice if she wants to be. She's one of the most interesting YA characters I know. She's had a tough life and not some semi-tough life (like lots of YA try to sell us). There's nothing to be envied there. Her life has been hell. And still she stands tall. Oh, it's one of her defense mechanisms, sure, but there's nothing to downplay her achievements. She's worked hard to get where she is. She didn't get anything for free. And she's flawed. And I'm not talking about some little remarks to avoid her being too 'perfect'. No. I guess that's what made me care for her so much. She was not perfectly imperfect (which has been the new perfect lately) and neither was Sam.

Try not to stain them with your tears when you play. 
It took a lot of bribes to get these.

This was lovely. He got her a piece of piano music she loved. It's a small gesture, but it is an excellent example of his lovely character. Sam cared for her so deeply, way deeper than Celaena realized and I don't think she ever thanked him for this anyway, but it was such a beautiful gesture. The fact that he gave it to her with somewhat of a smirk, referring to her crying over a piece of music, but yet admitted to going through a lot of trouble to get them was.. *swoon*

I realise I'm acting like this was merely a love story, which it wasn't of course. We got some intense missions, Celaena's punishment in the Red Desert for her disobedience and her life in the Guild. The people she knew growing up, the way she was trained. I enjoyed the dynamics between Celaena and Arobynn, the fact that they both couldn't really let go of each other. The fact that she still didn't want to think the worst of him, even when she suspected he was the one who betrayed her. The fact that he betrayed her. I hate Arobynn. I respected him because he gave Celaena a life, because he made her Adarlan's Assassin when she had nowhere else to go. Now I want to rip his face off. He killed Sam. He might as well have. Out of mere jealousy.

Because I don't like sharing my belongings.

And not some silent, peaceful death. Sam. Sam . They tortured him. Literally ripped him to shreds. Broke every bone in his body. Mutilated his face. He seemed so invincible..

I guess Arobynn must have felt he stole Celaena from him. But she was never truly his. Not like that. It's easy to manipulate a child. When you shape a girl into a ruthless, lethal and especially intelligent weapon, you can't expect her to just blindly follow orders. It was only a matter of time before she started deciding for herself. Sam was the one who payed the ultimate price in the end. I can't wait for Queen Of Shadows, can't wait for the moment Celaena walks to his door and unleashes every bit of rage that's in her. The confrontation with Arobynn. The one last thing she has to do before she can finally let go of Celaena Sardothien and become who she was born to be. I'm not usually a vengeful person, but right now, it's all I can think about.

I was warned and yet I let myself care for Sam. I did this to myself. There are still others who's stories I need to see unfold, but god, I wish Sam's was still one of them. He had to die before the story even began. It hurts. A lot.

FIVE MONTHS UNTIL QUEEN OF SHADOWS. Gods help me.

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