Publisher's Note:  

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 readers 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

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury Children's Books

The Assassin's Blade

by Sarah J. Maas

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Overall Review:  

Having been a while since I read Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, it took me a bit to realize that the novellas from this book take place prior to Throne of Glass. It was great to learn more about Celaena, where she came from, and what experiences she went through to become the character she was for Maas's other novels. Celaena is such a powerhouse, seemingly unbreakable, but you get to see a vulnerable side of her in these novellas as she goes through some nearly impossible experiences. The transition that her and Sam's relationship goes through was interesting to watch unfold throughout the stories. Sarah Maas is an incredible writer and has you glued to the pages. Her intriguing character development often has you guessing who the characters really are. If you enjoy books with strong female protagonists who are willing to take a stand--as in Lady Thief or The Hunger Games, then this is a must read!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  13 religious exclamations (gods); 48 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities (gods); 10 derogatory names; 7 scatological words; 6 anatomical terms.


Violence/Gores:  Many (71) characters joking about killing each other; verbal threats; characters thinking about or wanting to kill or hurt another; character learning self-defense; characters discussing how they think a character will be killed; second hand reports of murder, torture and suicide; character mentions having been spanked badly by parent; second hand report of fighting; second hand report of character's family getting killed; story told of witch eating child; second hand report that kingdom was left in ash and ruin; mentions of fights in bars; second hand report of character's hand getting shattered; mention that characters are killed in dungeon; characters kicking each other; characters left unconscious; characters fighting; character punched; character poisoned (but not killed); character accidentally cuts self with little damage; dagger thrown and nearly hits someone; fantasy character gives something in return for human flesh; bar fight; character kidnapped, knocked unconscious and left to die; professional fighting; character gassed, knocked out and throat cut (not too badly); two explosions (unsure of fatalities); murder; suicide.


One extended incident of characters being attacked and many killed.


Sex/Nudity:  Many (44) brief incidents including flirting; sitting on lap; leaning on shoulder; arm around; holding hands; male characters trying to grab female character; grabbing waist; dancing; kissing hand; kissing; touching hair, neck & face; hugging; making out; man who was beaten was naked; innuendo; mention of crude story being told; female character taught to yell, "rape" if attacked by men; character calling another a whore; character in low-cut dress; girls in lingerie at party; rapists mentioned; mention of prostitutes, adulterous spouses, and courtesans; second hand report of characters with harlots for days; characters kissing and touching everywhere including areas normally covered by bathing suit (no more detail given).

Mature Subject Matter:  

Stealing, mention of prostitutes, rapists, courtesans, adulterous spouses, and orphans, suicide, murder, slavery.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Character drinking during meeting; several drunk characters mentioned; characters drinking at tavern; characters drinking at party; characters drinking while at theater; building smells of stale ale; characters smoking pipes. 

Reviewed By Jenny
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