Seeing how much I
obsessed over loved A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, I decided to give Sarah J. Maas’s other series a try. I read online that people recommended reading this collection of novellas before starting the actual Throne of Glass series, so I gave it a shot!
This book is a collection of five novellas following notorious assassin, Celaena Sardothean, in a series of related adventures. The novellas are really important because it introduces us to her, it shows us where she’s living, it builds the world a little bit, and it it introduces us to her fellow assassins and her boss, King of Assassins, Arobynn Hamel, who becomes important in Queen of Shadows and is mentioned otherwise in the series.
There were some that I felt weren’t incredible important to plot at all, such as The Assassin and the Healer. Maybe to introduce the healers because they are mentioned later, but I kind of breezed past that one. It also gives us some depth to Celeana right off the bat. It shows us she’s stubborn and spoiled and a brat, but she also is a stone-cold killer with a heart. She doesn’t tolerate men being rude/aggressive to or taking advantage of a woman and she doesn’t like the idea of slaves whatsoever. So much so that she frees 200 slaves and later has to risk punishment for it.
It also introduces us to a place called The Red Desert and tells us about important things like Spider Silk, all of which come into play at some point. And it introduces us to Sam.
I’m not a huge fan of novellas. I have no real reason, I just don’t particularly enjoy them. I’m glad, however, that these were all tied into each other. It could have been written as one continuous book, actually. So it was much more bearable than a collection of five random novellas.
And it gave us more background into Celeana, to the Assassins Keep, and to the jobs she does and the world she lives in and it flawlessly sets up the story of Throne of Glass. Going from Assassin’s Blade to Throne of Glass I wasn’t sure how people read the first three books before the novellas came out because the stories are actually alluded to quite a lot.
Should you read it?
If you haven’t already, then yes you should. If you haven’t started the series yet, definitely start with this. If you’re on the first or second book, I would try to squeeze some time in between the next one in line to read this one because some things will make more sense. And some novellas are just unimportant side stories, but I read online that Queen of Shadows will be kind of confusing if you skipped these, so if you want to read the series, definitely read this first.
The fact that they were short stories made the book go by a lot quicker for me, but I’m still not a huge fan of novellas. It really could have/should have been one straight through novel, but it was still good.
I gave it 4/5 star on goodreads.