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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2014
READ THESE NOVELLAS BEFORE YOU READ THRONE OF GLASS! These give you so much backstory to Celena and her life prior to the events of Throne of Glass, you should really read them first. I'm reading them afterwards but I wish I'd done them beforehand.
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on 11 January 2015
Amazing book, full of prequels of the Throne of Glass Series. Great read as there's full of plots twists , sad and happy moments. All focused on the bad ass heroine/ assassin. So easy to read and yet so informative to help you imagine the world of this book series.
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I have already reviewed most of the Throne of Glass prequel novellas included in this anthology separately so I'm not going to discuss them individually in this review. Instead I'm going to talk about the anthology as a whole and say how much I enjoyed re-reading these novellas for a second time. I initially read most of these stories before the release of Throne of Glass so looking back at them again now really allowed me to appreciate how much Celaena has changed since the beginning of the series.

Celaena hasn't always been the nicest character and that is especially the case in these prequels, she comes across as very selfish and self centred and I actually spent a lot of time disliking her for her snobbish attitude to anyone she considers beneath herself but underneath all that there she does have a softer side. She's just spent a lot of years having it beaten out of her thanks to her training with Arobynn. Celaena knows how to handle herself and she does slowly start to care more about the people around her and make a few unexpected sacrifices along the way. These changes continue throughout the series and I like her more and more with every book.

For anyone who hasn't read these novellas before you'll find they go a long way in explaining Celaena's background and how she ended up in the salt mines at the beginning of Throne of Glass. They also explain a lot about her actions at the beginning of the first book. I'll warn you now that these novellas absolutely broke my heart the first time I read them so you might want to have tissues to hand (for The Assassin and the Empire in particular). Even though I knew what was coming I still found it hard to read without sniffling and I found myself praying that the ending had changed this time around! The fact that Sarah J. Maas managed to get such a reaction out of me after just a few short novellas is incredible really.

The Assassin's Blade is a great addition to the series and I'm happy that I now have all of the novellas in one beautiful paperback to sit alongside the rest of the series on my shelves. If you're new to the series then this is a great place to start but I think fans who have already read Throne of Glass will enjoy this look into Celaena's background just as much. This just whet my appetite and made me even more excited to read Heir of Fire!
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on 29 September 2015
A lot of people - including the author - recommend to read this book first. I wouldn't necessarily say so. I read the Assassin's Blade after finishing the 4th ToG book and while I thought it a must-read in terms of filling the gaps, it was not my favourite. I found the story somewhat less gripping or maybe I just didn't like the main character that much. I like Celaena much better when she is a bit older. So I thought, it was actually good that I did not start with The Assassin's Blade. I guess if I would buy the book as a present I would only buy it for someone who has already read all the other once, and if they haven't, give them the 1st Book. Saying that, this series is just brilliant, on finishing the latest book & the Assasin's Blade I realised just how much the story is built up across the different books and I started to re-read them all, as I found I had missed a lot of what was actually explained or indicated in the beginning. ToG has got everything: Brilliant Characters - you really can choose your favourite, character development, humor, heaps of action, a thrilling plot, and complex story that intertwines the fates of very different and to begin with distant characters and people. ToG is sometimes compared to Game of Thrones. I can relate to this in terms of it's "Grandness" - however personally I didn't like the way Game of Thrones was written - completely unrelated characters all narrating/ed in point of view style for books on ends and apart from that I found it a bit crude. Good news: you won't have any of that in Throne of Glass, - if you can put up with women and men kicking ass equally and don't mind exchanging the crude with some (teenage) romance, then ToG will make an equally thrilling and maybe much more enjoyable read for you. In this series everything sums up.
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on 8 May 2014
I read Sarah J Maas' book Crown of Midnight first and absolutely fell in love with the story and characters so naturally I downloaded this book on my kindle too. Sarah has become a favourite of mine now and I'd happily buy and read any of her books! A defo must read.
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on 1 July 2014
If like me you enjoyed Throne of Glass then reading these short stories will be great between this and the 2nd book. It fills in useful parts of Celeana's past, particularly how she ended up a prisoner and how she lost the only man she ever loved.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 December 2015
Sarah J Maas has become one of my favourite authors after introducing me to Celaena Sardothien. I absolutely love her world-building, her character's have wit and charm and the storylines are quick and engaging. For this reason, I had to get my hands on this collection of novellas from the Throne of Glass world.

This set of five novellas is actually really generous compared to a lot of novellas I've read in the YA field. Sometimes I find that the novella lasts me about 30 minutes and the remaining 20% of the book is filled with a chapter from the first book in the main series. This is such a rip off and I hate it - fortunately that's not what happens here and fortunately all the book is for the novellas.

Here's a general idea of what's in store:

1. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord - Celaena is sent on a mission by her Master, Arobynn, in the slave industry but she's not following the rules!
2. The Assassin and the Healer - You can ONLY find this instalment in this collection whereas the others can be purchased as e-books separately.
3. The Assassin and the Desert - After going against Arobynn's wishes, Celaena faces a punishment in the Red Desert with the Assassins training with the Master. A strong instalment with some life lessons for Celaena.
4. The Assassin and the Underworld - This details Celaena and Sam's latest mission after coming back from the her punishment in the Red Desert. It's totally engaging and we see Celaena actually being an Assassin.
5. The Assassin and the Empire - This explains how Celaena became enslaved in Endovier and why Sam is missing from the first book. Easily the best of the bunch but also the most gut-wrenching. A fantastic final instalment which leads us straight into Book 1.

Each story leads on from the last so it's integral you read them in order. They're all good, strong reads and offer a lot more than most novellas. I've only read the first in the main series so far and this collection added so much more for me. I'm desperate to re-read Throne of Glass now because I think I'll pick up much more on the subtle clues Maas gave away about Sam and Arobynn that didn't mean a lot to me from the first read. I genuinely wish I'd read this collection first so if you haven't and you're looking to see if this series is for you then I definitely recommend you read this.

If you've already started the Throne of Glass series this will be a really good filler for you with tons of background. I love Celaena so much more now that I've read this and I understand her cocky, sharp character a lot better.

A must read for fans and newbies alike. Get your hands on this fast!
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on 31 March 2015
This book….. daaaammmmn
It was everything I’d hoped for: we see why Celaena is Ardalan’s Assassin (is it wrong to enjoy her killing sprees? Because I unashamedly do) and we also see Sam in his element… *sniffles* If you haven’t started this series yet, I have no clue what you’re doing with yourself! Just be warned for the avalanche of feels this book drowns you with.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord - 5 STARS
This was such the perfect start because you get to see Celaena doing her thing being badass but you can also see some redeeming qualities coming to the surface which Sam is starting to realise too. The love-hate relationship between the two is just perfect!

The Assassin and the Healer – 4 STARS
This novella was short but necessary because it introduced the importance of trying to follow your correct path, and how something so seemingly insignificant as meeting a stranger could impact this.

The Assassin and the Desert – 5 STARS
I loved getting a better insight of the world in this story along with the other assassins guild. The Silent Master was a great edition and made me think about Arobynn… I don’t trust him as far as I could throw him, after all he didn’t become King of the Assassins for nothing.

The Assassin and the Underworld – 4.5 STARS
The relationship between Celaena and Sam that develops here just warms my fangirl heart. So of course I’m on high alert for something terrible to happen.

The Assassin and the Empire – 5 STARS
I wrote one thing in my notes for this novella and it smudged from my tears: “it’s broken me”.

So excuse me while I go cry in the corner a little more…

Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
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To say that I'm completely obsessed with Sarah J. Maas style of writing would be an understatement. I am pretty sure that I would read ANYTHING she wrote, be it a book about our lovable Celaena or a newspaper article about something boring and uninteresting, I can't imagine not being hooked on what she has to say. I've read the available books in the Throne of Glass series, I was even lucky enough to get an eARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses and yes, I have been left heartbroken by both. I meant for a long time to get my hands on the collection of novella's but it always slipped my mind, then when I saw a copy was available from my local library, I knew there wasn't anything else I wanted to read at the point in time. I know a lot of people have their own opinions if you should read The Assassin's Blade before the others but for me the answer is a simple no, from the start of Throne of Glass I was engrossed in the story and dying to know where Celaena's character would go, I never felt like I was missing anything and I didn't need help liking her, nor did I ever need help understand why she is the way she is. It wasn't necessary for me to read Assassin’s Blade before the rest, but each to their own.

The first novella we are greeted with when we open the book is The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, it's where we first meet Arobynn and finally get introduced to Sam. Celaena is Aboynn's second, so it's really important that she not only keeps her identity hidden but learns there's more to the business than just killing. Next we have The Assassin and the Healer. Not very long compared to the first one but still a good novella. For those of us who have read the other books we are aware that Celana isn't just ruthless, we've seen the softer side to her and know there's much more beneath the surface. However for those who chose to read The Assassins Blade first I feel like this short story, about a healer working in a run down joint with hopes to make it out, is a great way to start the process of showing people just how much depth she actually has.

When it comes to The Assassin and the Desert the story starts to get a little bit more gritty. First we see Celaena away training with The Silent Assassins of the red desert, we see her open up and make bonds with people. We see just how far she is willing to go to not only get stronger and be the best but also make Arobynn proud, despite everything he's done. Then comes The Assassin and the Underworld, Celaena is back in Adaralan and back to Sam. This was probably my favourite out of the lot because she's really starting to think for herself. Loyalty may me everything to her but she knows right from wrong and she isn't prepared to put her duty infont of her morals anymore.

And then we have The Assassin and the Empire and we see that Arobynn will stop at nothing to keep what is 'his', does he care about her? No, I don't think he does. She has been a pawn to him from day one always holding her past over her and now he's gone to the next level by making sure she will never been the same again. I for one can not wait until she comes up against him again and makes him pay for everything, its going to be a bloodbath!

Overall I really did enjoy this book. The stories just flowed so perfectly into the next that sometimes I didn't even feel like I was reading something made up of novella's. Every one of those short stories were crucial into really understanding what Celena has been through and to her character development. My favourite thing about the book was finally getting an idea of the type of person Sam was and the relationship they had, it's something I've been wondering about since the first time he was mentioned in the series and I really feel like now everything had been cleared up. If you have yet to start the series, then what the hell are you waiting for? Everyone can't be wrong.
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on 5 May 2014
When i bought Sarah J. Maas's book throne of glass i didnt think much of it but purchased it as i had a 6 week holiday and wante to simply catch up on reading but my god....her style of writing, her imagination, the chracters and above all the Assassin were way beyond what i had ever expected. Her first book led me to reading her seconD and the second led me to THIS....and i loved every bit of this book! iv always wanted to know how the Assassin lived her life before she entered the castle and qute often i m disappointed by prequels but THIS WAS WAY BETTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK! if you're thinking of buying this book....BUY IT! READ IT! ITS A MUST HAVE. A 3am page-turner....thats what happened to me when i grabbed this bok ;)
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