The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J. Maas | A Book Review

The Assassin's Blade - Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin’s Blade

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s a book of five novellas, serving as a prequel to the Throne of Glass series. The stories follow Celaena, an assassin in a guild. She encounters a whole host of various people along her journey. Of course, Celaena being Celaena, she starts to defy Arobynn, her master during his missions for her. Each novella features a new conflict that tends to get resolved by the end. But as Celaena acts against Arobynn’s wishes, he begins to punish her.

First impressions: I read the first novel and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The hype almost made me pass on these books. But after finishing Queen of Shadows, I very much looked forward to learning more backstory about certain characters. The Assassin’s Blade begins with an interesting tale about Calaena and a pirate lord. Safe to say, I had high hopes for the rest of the book.

Characters: There’s a lot of different characters introduced in a short period of time. Celaena Sardothien is the female protagonist. In general, I think Maas creates likeable, complex characters readers want to root for. She also does a fine job making you dislike evil ones. I’m all for well-developed characters who actually develop.


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

Writing: When I first read her books, I wasn’t expecting the writing to be amazing. This is partly why I found myself surprised at how well-written her stories are. There’s a balance of world-building with story-telling. With the five novellas, I felt the plot advancing at a fast pace.

I had an idea of how the book would end because I knew some events after reading the first four books in the series. That didn’t stop me from appreciating all the novellas on the whole.

A part of me wishes I had read The Assassin’s Blade before the other novels. And now after finishing it, I’m tempted to reread the series from start to finish. I haven’t read Empire of Storms yet, but it’s on my mental to be read list. Maybe my head isn’t the best place to store things…

Final thoughts: I’m biased. I’m a fan of Maas. Her books will always have a special place in my heart. I read The Assassin’s Blade during a great time in my life, unlike Queen of Shadows. Enjoying good writing has a way of making my bad days better.

The ending left me feeling sad. I would’ve been more upset if I didn’t already know what would ultimately happen. Even knowing beforehand made the last handful of chapters tough to get through. I don’t know how to describe my feelings. I definitely had a subdued book hangover.

Give The Assassin’s Blade a go if it sounds like something up your alley. The five novellas read very much like a novel. I would not have been mad at all if the stories were turned into full-fledged books.

Let me know what you think down below.

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