After it was announced that the last installment of this book will be called Kingdom of Ash we both decided we missed the world and wanted to read these books again. It’s kind of funny when you think about the fact that we met thorough a readalong of this series, haha. Every month we are going to review one book. It gives us just enough time to read them all before Kingdom of Ash is released. Be warned there will be spoilers in these reviews. So if you haven’t read this series yet, you may not want to read our review! We are starting with The Assassin’s Blade!
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Candyce: Wow, it was amazing to dive back in to this world. I read these stories a few years ago. I forgot that Celaena had a mask in the beginning. Or that Sam and Celaena weren’t in love right away. We notice some change in emotion near the end, but it’s not the love story that broke my heart yet. Being a reread, I can finally understand more why these novellas are important to the story. We see Rolfe again in EoS and the map on his hands become important. Even though Celaena is arrogant and thinks she can handle anything, the slaves really hit her hard. She may not bat an eye killing a cheater, but someone who had no choice goes too far. I love this rare look of her being vunerable. There is plenty of action in this novella. Sarah’s writing style is amazing.
Isabelle: Yes it was so amazing to dive back in! I’m happy we’re starting with The Assassin’s Blade as all of these stories are important somewhere along the way. And I can’t wait to rediscover clues about everything that will happen later on in the series.
I totally forgot that the story started in Rifthold with the murder of Ben! I think it is great to read the development of Sam and Celaena’s relationship beginning with the dislike at the start but slowly growing in to something more. After reading this I think more people should start with this book as it shows Celaena’s softer side. I know a lot of people have a problem with Celaena’s arrogance but I think this story definitely shows her in a better light. Personally, I never had a problem with her attitude myself but think starting here would definitely help for the people who do. I really enjoyed reading about Rolfe and am quite excited for the moment he comes into play.
The Assassin and the Healer
Candyce: Last year when Tower of Dawn came out, a lot of people went and reread this story. I never really thought about it. The Assassin and the Healer was a story I had already read once and wasn’t ready to read it again. I wish I had!!! This story makes me realize that Sarah J Maas had so much of this story already planned. Without the coins Yrene got at the end, she probably wouldn’t have made it to be trained as a healer. Chaol wouldn’t have met her and gotten her help and she wouldn’t be on her way back to the continent!!! This story also made me remember how much I dislike Arobynn. How can someone be so cruel? I think sending Celaena away to be punished, really only has made her a lot stronger.
Isabelle: This was the last story I read the first time aroung and I think I read it about 10 months prior to the release of Tower of Dawn so it was pretty fresh in my mind. Knowing what’s coming makes me really love this story. I must say this one is the shortest and doesn’t seem to do much more than introducing Yrene. Plot wise this is the weakest story in my opinion but I can’t not love it because of Yrene.
It is amazing to see the start of Yrene’s story and know that Celaena helped her on her way. I cannot wait for the moment they meet back up and realise they know each other! There are quite some little details in the story that will remind you of moments in Tower of Dawn and it all just shows what an amazing writer Sarah is and how it is all connected and thought out.
The Assassin and the Desert
Candyce: I forgot why she was sent to the desert. I remember the horse and her getting there. I also remember that Celaena needed to be trained by the Silent Master. On the other hand, I forgot the betrayal that took place in this story. After knowing so much of what will happen in future books, I feel bad. She finally starts trusting people again and this happens. Without realizing it though, Celaena becomes very strong. What she learns during her stay is definitely something that helps her during her future journeys. This story makes me wonder if we will or did see more of Ansel in the story after this. The Silent Master would be an interesting addition to the war that is going on.
Isabelle: This was possibly my favorite story the first time around. It is also a lot longer compared to The Assassin and the Healer and that comes with a better plot. I enjoyed the expansion of the world and together with Yrene’s story I’m getting really excited for my reread of Tower of Dawn haha.
I remembered most of this story but was really happy to reread it. Even though a ton of people died and we got a betrayal this was a hopeful story for me. Celaena healed somewhat and was shown that her relationship with Arobynn was not the only way a master-student relationship works. I also enjoyed the moments she was thinking of Sam, you could just see their relationship develop even though he wasn’t there. I can’t wait to read about him again. Obviously I loved the horses and I liked reading about the merchant again! This might still be my favorite story out of all of them.
The Assassin and the Underworld
Candyce: What bothered me most about this story is that Celaena comes back from her trip so sure of herself and one conversation with Arobynn changes that. That makes me feel so bad for her. She really endures so much! I think in this novealla she still wants to believe that Arobynn really cares and can change. Unfortunately this turns out the opposite way. He used her to get his way with slaves. I was happy this happened though, because she really needed to find the confidence back to leave. I love Sam. The ending of this story made me so happy, but I know it won’t stay that way for long.
Isabelle: Whenever thinking about the Assassin’s Blade I somehow never remember this story. The first page or so feels like the opening of a tv show; ‘last week on…’. I KNOW what happened prior to this story, I read it like two pages ago… While reading I’m remembering more details of this story. Those details are already breaking my heart as I know what we’re building up to. It’s so lovely reading about Sam and I truly wish we could’ve gotten more of him. If there’s ever a character that deserve a different fate it’s Sam Cortland.
The Assassin and the Empire
Candyce: Knowing how this one would end made me not want to start it at all. I still read this novella though, because I don’t want to miss any details that may pop up somewhere in the series or the last book! Once again, this story was heartbreaking. Maybe even more than the first time around. I really believed that Celaena and Sam would get their happily ever after and boy was I wrong. This is an action packed story with a bitter ending. It’s sad to see that Celaena ends up the one place she tried freeing people from. I really hope that she gets justice in the last book for everything that was done to her.
Isabelle: I guess I said most of it when talking about the Assassin and the Underworld, but Sam deserved so much better. He is an amazing character and this is once again a heartbreaking story. Sarah is an amazing writer, even though you know what’s about to happen it hits you right in the feels. Seeing everything come together is so sad but also gets me really excited for the rest of our reread!
Thoughts after the reread
Candyce: I read The Assassin’s Blade before starting the books, so to be honest, I forgot a lot of details. Reading these novellas again made me realize that Maas had so much planned out before most of the books came out. I love how these little details play part in the rest of the books and in the end bring everything together. Being back in this world is amazing and I can’t wait to dive in to Throne of Glass. I’m curious to see the other details I’ve missed. Before Empire of Storms I read the first four books a second time, so this time around will be the third time for some.
Isabelle: This was a great start for our reread of the Throne of Glass series. There are so many important details in these novellas and I wouldn’t want to miss any of them before reading Kingdom of Ash. As Candyce said, it’s amazing to see how all of it comes together and how it was all planned out that way from the start. We’ve seen almost all of the characters come back at some point in the story and that’s just so wonderful. I can’t wait to brush up on the details in the rest of the books before we’re getting our grand finale.
It was amazing to be back in this world again! The fun thing about reading a book again is that you notice stuff that doesn’t pop out the first time around. Up next, Throne of Glass! If you have read these stories, what was your favorite one?