Wednesday, 9 April 2014

THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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? 
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This is the bind-up of the prequel novellas for Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series. I don't have very much to say about it, since I figure anyone who likes the series will want to read them, and anyone who doesn't like it won't be interested one bit. 

There are five stories - one of which has apparently never been released before, and I can see why - and are all connected. They're also in chronological order, which brings me to my first point. What is the difference between a series of novellas and a poorly-constructed novel? (Don't strain yourself too hard, I don't think there is a difference). Maybe I'm being harsh. Maybe that's what a bundle of novellas is supposed to be, I don't know. This is my first. 

I disliked the first three in the book, really liked the fourth, and was a little less enthusiastic about the final one. The fourth, The Assassin and the Underworld was really good until the ending, which was atrocious. 

Really, what I want to say about this book, is that it made me realise what I don't like about the actual series - the magic. There's no magic in these novellas, and very few references to it, which highlighted to me the fact that I don't enjoy the magical elements in the main books. I do wonder if this is because I read Throne of Glass shortly after Shadow and Bone, a book that I adore and which I think did the magic very well. I've long been disdainful of books about magic, I've always thought that Harry Potter wrote the book on it and I wasn't interested in anyone else's take on it, but Shadow and Bone convinced me that there's still lots of ways to keep magic interesting. I think Throne of Glass, a book I didn't dislike by the way, I just didn't love it, came along at the wrong time for me. I'm planning to reread it this summer, before the third instalment is released, and I'll be interested to see if my opinion has changed. Sadly, I'll be rereading it a couple of months after rereading Shadow and Bone in anticipation of its third instalment, so perhaps I'll have the same problem as before.



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