Discover where Celaena Sardothien's thrilling saga began.

Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom's most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin's Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam.

When Celaena's scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes—and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn's orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn's clutches—and if they fail, they'll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives…

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers listeners a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling—and deadly—world.

Included in this volume:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 stars! I don’t know whether to say I should have read this sooner so that I could appreciate Celaena’s journey more or if I appreciate this book now that I’ve already seen how far she’s come since it. Either way, I know this series was made better because I read it, and I definitely think that you should read it, too!

♥ Review: There might be some slightly spoilery bits for this book and the series in general in this review, so proceed with caution! This will be my only warning…

Part of me wants to exclaim I don’t know what took me so long to read this book! but I know that would be a lie. I think part of me as always tried to shield my heart because from the very beginning we saw how much Sam’s death impacted Celaena and how it shaped her, and seeing as this was a book about them falling in love, I didn’t want to fall in love with him too only to be kicked in the heart at the end because we know these two kids don’t get their happily ever after. (Or rather, you already know that if you’ve read the books, I should say.) But after devouring Empire of Storms last week and having so many new characters show up–ones that Celaena/Aelin had obviously encountered before–I knew it was long past due to jump on it and see where our badass came from and how she got to be who she was today. And I can honestly say that I think I need to go back and reread the whole series now because of it. So many decisions that Celaena makes in the beginning of this series and why she was even in Endovier (the salt mines) to begin with is directly related to the stories you’ll find in the compilation of these novellas. But more than that, if you’ve read Empire of Storms (which if you haven’t, what in the hell are you waiting on, crazy?) then that scene at the end was deeply more emotional than it was for me because I hadn’t read these yet. I wish I would have read it prior to it, to be perfectly honest.

All in all, I gleaned so much about Aelin/Celaena’s character from these novellas. I can see how Endovier really broke her and I truly notice how her character has slowly picked herself back up after all the pain and hurt she’s endured. I respect her so much more than I had previously, which was already a great deal. I also enjoyed getting to know these secondary characters and how she connected with them when she was just Adarlan’s Assassin and Arobynn’s protégée and heir. I better understand why they would cross oceans and thousands of miles to be at her side, to champion for her when she needed them. Now that I know who they all were before she was the Fire-Breathing Bitch Queen, I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the final installment of the Throne of Glass series.

♥ Teaser Quote: This book had me laughing, crying, cursing, praying even though I knew how it ended, swooning, and feeling all the rage one can muster. There’s so many quotes that I can use here, but I’ll pick a bittersweet one because while I love it and it had my heart pitter-pattering, it’s like roughly shoving my finger into a deep, dark bruise.

    He brushed his lips against hers. “I love you,” he breathed against her mouth. “And from today onward, I want to never be separated from you. Wherever you go, I go. Even if that means going to Hell itself, wherever you are, that’s where I want to be. Forever.”
-quote taken from The Assassin’s Blade (The Assassin and the Underworld), pg. 333

Book Rating Breakdown
Cover
Writing
Characters
Plot
Pacing
General Book Feels
Overall:

♥ Rec It? Yes! Do I think it’s a requirement that you read these novellas to continue with the other books? No. Do I think it will enhance your reading experience and help you better understand Celeana and her motivations throughout the series, plus give you a better idea of who these new secondary characters are when they’re introduced in Empire of Storms? Absolutely. Plus, I’m pretty sure this cover is my favorite of the entire series.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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