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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Assassin and the Empire is the fourth prequel novella released in the run up to Sarah J Maas' debut novel Throne of Glass. You don't need to read these stories in order to understand the novel but they do give more of an insight into main character Celaena and the events that happen in the year leading up to the beginning of the book so I would definitely recommend them. I would suggest reading the novellas in order though and it would be better to read them before Throne of Glass.

In this novella Celaena and Sam have paid back their debt to Arobynn but if they ever want to be free of his influence over their lives they must risk it all in order to make enough money to leave him and Rifthold far behind. But how much will this latest job really cost them and is it a price they are prepared to pay?

As I have already read an advanced copy of Throne of Glass I had actually given myself a major spoiler for this final prequel novella. Even though I knew one of the major things that would happen I still found myself holding my breath as I was reading just hoping that I would be proved wrong. I think if I hadn't already known what was going to happen I would have been shocked to the core as events played out, I know when I was reading the book I was horrified but it did mean that the novella didn't have quite as much impact as it should have done. Anyone reading this having only read the first 3 novellas should be prepared for an emotional ride though and possibly keep the tissues on hand just in case!

I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the novellas and I loved Throne of Glass so would definitely recommend the series to any fantasy fan. I can't wait to see what Sarah J Maas comes up with next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2013
I knew the end was coming, and I kept hoping I was wrong. If you have read Throne of Glass main novel. You will know how this one had to end. Even as an assassin Celaena is still young trusting and most of all a little naive. This leaves her open to people she believes she should trust. I enjoyed the book for the most part I enjoyed the interaction between all the characters. I know what was coming (one of the reason I hate prequels), I was hoping I was wrong. There are at least two more characters that Celaena must take revenge on in the series. In my opinion I hope she in not gentle.

In this story Celaena and Sam have left Assassins Keep to make their own way in the world. Now they have to fend for themselves, and are realising how expensive life (and the lifestyle Celaena is accustomed to) is. To make thing worse even though Arobyn has promised to leave them alone they have been essentially black balled. Sam is fighting in the Vaults (fight club), because he does not like living off Celaena. The lovers realise that they only way they are truly going to be free is if the leave completely. Still they need Arobyn's blessing so no assassins are sent after them. For this they need money. A lot of money. They need a big job, big risk for the needed big reward.

I think Sarah J Maas is excellent at writing the emotion the characters are feeling. The end of this book and the beginning of the main book I felt everything from Celaena's rage, hopelessness to resolve. I am even impressed with the action scenes. They are not over the top, they have a realistic technical, and tactical side to them. Very impress with the series so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2012
This is the fourth and final throne of glass novella in which Sam and Celaena are living together and trying to get enough money to leave Rifthold for good by doing one last but dangerous assignment.

This novella is heart breaking but it is nice to know how Celaena ends up where she is at the beginning of throne of glass. Celaena does make a lot of mistakes in this book but she is still a really interesting character which I have liked getting to know.

I love the relationship between Celaena and Sam but I'm annoyed about how this storyline ends, but I can see why it needs to happen this way for Celaena story to progress.

I love how Maas makes you really care about the character even in a story as short as this and I am counting down the days until throne of glass comes out and I hope it is as good as the novellas suggest it will be.
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This is the fifth and final story of the 5 novella's which precede the first full book in the series Throne of Glass: 1. They are also available in a paperback book format together; The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas (Throne of Glass Omnibus), which is what I have bought and read and absolutely loved from cover to cover. The reading order of the novellas if you want to read them individually instead is:-

1. The Assassin and The Pirate Lord
2. The Assassin and The Healer (please note this is only available in the paperback format at the time of writing this review)
3. The Assassin and The Desert
4. The Assassin and The Underworld
5. The Assassin and The Empire

Although these are a prequel to Throne of Glass I have actually read them after reading the first three main books of the series (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire) and I think that because of this I have enjoyed them so much more than some of the other reviewers. I would actually suggest reading these prequel novellas after reading Throne of Glass as then the character Celeana Sardothien will be much more lovable as I think if reading these novellas without knowing her character she may come across as a bit annoying and full or herself. I have been a fan of the series since reading Throne of Glass and I absolutely adore the characters in the series but most of all Celeana herself and I can't recommend the whole series enough.

If you haven't read Throne of Glass and the novellas are the first time you have ventured into the world of Celeana Sardothian then stop reading here as there are spoilers next. For anyone who has read Throne of Glass then you already know the fate of a certain character and so my review as below should offer no further spoilers than what you already know.

This collection of prequel stories basically tells the events of Celeana Sardothian and Sam Cortland before he met his fateful end and she was sent off to Endovier and fills in the gaps in her story that we have only had snippets of in the three books so far. I couldn't put the book down with the five novellas in from start to finish and despite already knowing the outcome of Celeana and Sam, the story's were brilliant and I can't recommend them enough to fans of the series. When read together in book format the five novellas actually become their own book and pretty much run fluidly from one novella to another. An absolutely fantastic read that despite knowing the ending left me felling very sad for Celeana and Sam.

In The Assassin and the Empire we travel along the road to the inescapable conclusion of Celeana and Sam's relationship and lives and despite knowing the outcome it was absolutely heartbreaking. If you don't know what the inexorable conclusion is then stop reading now as I am not revealing any spoilers to anyone who has already read Throne of Glass. Celeana and Sam have paid off their debt and have moved out of the Assassins Keep however know if they are to make a new life elsewhere that they will need more money to do so as Arobynn has basically cleaned Celeana's account out having somehow known how much she had in there. They agree to do a last job but an incredibly dangerous one where they are to kill both the leader of the underworld and his absolutely insane and sadistic second in command. There is no easing around the conclusion and reading it when you have identified with Celeana and Sam over three main books and the previous four novellas was horrible for me and I kept wishing for a different ending which of course was not to happen. By far one of the best novellas out of the five and it tells the events right up to Endovier but as I said above absolutely heartbreaking for the two very lovable characters of Celeana and Sam.

The main books in reading order are as follows and the author Sarah J Maas has just announced that the 4th book will be called Queen of Shadows and will be released in September this year and I absolutely cannot wait to read it!

1. Throne of Glass: 1
2. Crown of Midnight: 2 (Throne of Glass)
3. Heir of Fire: 3 (Throne of Glass 3)
4. Queen of Shadows
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"The Assassin and the Empire" concludes the series of "prequel novellas" (or, more accurately, pre-release advertising teasers) for Sarah J. Maas' teen romance/fantasy novel, "Throne of Glass". It neatly wraps up all of the prequel threads and also sets things up perfectly for the opening of the main novel.

Anyone who has already read the main novel will be fully aware of the outcomes and events which unfold here and it is to the author's credit that she does nothing to string things out or attempt any surprises along the way. Instead, she cranks up the tension by having events roll steadily and relentlessly towards their inexorable conclusion, making this easily the most gripping of the prequel stories.

Established fans will love this story, as it provides lots of additional detail to the Celaena Sardothien's back-story and provides some tantalising hints as to how the main novels may yet develop in future. Anyone coming afresh to the stories by reading the prequels first will not be disappointed here, either. It cannot, of course, really be recommended on its own, needing the reader to be familiar with the earlier novellas ("The Assassin and the Pirate Lord", "The Assassin and the Desert" and "The Assassin and the Underworld" all being heavily referenced.)

Since the release of the omnibus edition of all five 'Throne of Glass' novellas, "The Assassin's Blade", it has become pointless buying each of the stories separately -- especially as the second tale in the prequel sequence, "The Assassin and the Healer", is only available as part of the omnibus collection.
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on 4 September 2012
This was actually my favorite of the four Throne of Glass Novellas. We finally get to see how Celaena ended up in the Endovier salt mine prison and we get confirmation of who double crossed her to send her there.

I continued with my observations that Celaena acts like a brat in this book. Yes I know that sounds harsh... I do love her as a character I really do but there were just a few more scenes that I was finding it hard to connect the girl from these novellas to the girl we get to see in Throne of Glass. There was one scene where Sam (the man she loves) hugs her and she smells her lavender soap on him. They are discussing their future and moving away from Adarlan and from under the thumb of Arobynn Hamel and all she is thinking in her head is about how she needs to hide her nice soap and put inexpensive soap out for Sam. She is quite obsessed with fancy clothes, nice things, etc... I just didn't get that vibe from her in Throne of Glass, but again that novel was after her year in the salt mines so I am sure she had a bit of an attitude adjustment during her time in prison.

***POSSIBLE SPOILER*** As I had read the full length novel first, I already knew Sam's fate from the start of the first novella. It didn't stop me from falling for him during these novellas or from getting upset when he was murdered in this one. It was a very sad scene when she finally sees his body. She did love him, although I do not remember a time where she actually said it to him. Sam has said it to her but she never repeats it. Obviously she showed him her love by picking to be with him over Arobynn but she never actually said the words from what I can remember. But it is not until his death that I think she really realized just how much she did love him.***POSSIBLE SPOILER***

As before, I am very happy that I read Throne of Glass first and then these four prequel novellas rather than the other way around. I would suggest this order to everybody it may be a good idea to spread the novellas out over the next year. As book 2 is not due out until 2013 (as of right now no date has been set) it would be nice to read one every so often in order to help lead up to book 2. I did like reading these I just found toward the end that reading all four in one go was a bit much.

Rainy Day Reads
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on 10 February 2013
I love these books all five of the them!!!! I know a lot of people say you should read the novellas before throne of glass, but I totally disagree. If you read throne of glass first, it makes you want to discover more about celeana sardothien and her past which is referred a lot in the main book. Words can't describe how much I love these books and their story lines. I can't wait until book number two is released, so I can enjoy the the next storyline and adventure. I love the way Sarah J. Maas writes, in the third person yet gives you so much emotion on how the characters are feeling or suggests how they might be feeling. My favourite part about celeana is her cleverness to stay one step a head of the game in which she is being forced to play, by the king of assassins and her fellow master. The other thing I love about these books is how they twist and turn, for example you think you know how it's all going to plan out but then you are presented with a shocking twist and the story takes a turn perhaps for the worst, ad that is one of the elements that keeps you hooked in! I was so shocked at the ending, even through I had a rough idea since I had already read throne of glass. I recommend anyone to read these books with the hope that they will enjoy them as much as I have!!!!!!
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on 7 June 2013
So I read 'Throne of Glass' last summer and, while I was impatiently waiting for the next book, 'Crown of Midnight', to be released, I decided to read the prequel novellas. (The order the novellas work in, by the way, are: 'Pirate Lord', 'Desert', 'Underworld' and 'Empire').

I loved them! I know novellas are only little, but I found that I had devoured all four in about two days. Brilliant. Credit to Maas as a writer: even though I have read 'Throne of Glass' and know that certain events would have to happen in the novellas in order for the full-length novel to begin where it does. Yet even knowing this, I found myself shocked by some things as they happened. Sorry, that's so vague, but I don't want to spoil anything!

I love Celaena even more for reading the novellas; depth is really added to her character. I understand why she acts certain ways in the novel, for instance her reluctance for a romantic relationship. I am treating this review as a review of all four novellas because they are all equally worth a read. My personal favourite is 'Desert' if you cared to know. :)

Price-wise, these are fantastic value for money. So go ahead, buy and read them. I don't think you will regret it!
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on 2 January 2014
This book is so captivating and full of detail with lots of thrilling scenes. It is absolutely amazing and grabs your attention at an instant thus making you want to read on without stopping. i would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves adventure books and this series. The Throne of Glass novellas are just incredible and keeps you gripped all the way to the very end and i ended up reading all the novellas. it definitely exceeded my expectations.
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on 21 November 2012
Having read the 'Throne of Glass' novel first I was thrilled to learn that there was more on offer. The four e-novellas each give a little more of Celaena's backstory which have all been both unexpected and intriguing. I'm really looking forward to the next in the series ..... there's still so much more to know!
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