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The Assassin’s Blade
Sarah J. Maas
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(4.5 / 5) Ah, I loved it. I read the rest of the series probably 2 years ago and felt like I knew Sam. When I learned there was a prequel, I knew I needed to do a reread. I also wanted to get this series on my blog because the content changes so much throughout.
There are quite a few stories throughout the series that start with this prequel. It attests to Maas’ writing when the stories already felt familiar to me, even though I hadn’t read this one yet.
Maas is an incredible writer. She has a way of drawing me in like not many can. When I say I felt I knew Sam previously, it’s because her writing brought him to life. Sam, but also her time in the desert with Ansel felt more like I’d previously read it instead of reading it for the first time.
I loved the back story, I love the characters. It’s easy to get lost again. Even knowing the story, I’m excited to keep going. I’m hoping to read about one a month depending on other book deadlines.
Content summary: I would recommend this to older teens. This is definitely more mature in details and later in the series for sex. While there wasn’t sex in this book (she’s a virgin and had her first kiss) it is still talked about. Sex (or learning about it) is also apparent with the courtesans and their training. Violence is also high with many aggressive situations where people are killed or tortured.
Detailed Content Review
Derogatory terms and curses unique to the book etc-
Thank the Wyrd
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
A man drinks brandy.
Free drinks are offered at a tavern and many partake.
Young men chug ale.
A young woman drinks many glasses of ale.
Wine is served at a party. Many teens partake.
A young woman brings a young woman wine to share. She drugged it, making the young woman pass out.
A young woman poisons another drink which briefly paralyzes a man.
Many drink wine at a theater.
Wine is served at a party. Teens drink. A young woman drinks from bottles of wine. She gets drunk.
A man takes a poison to kill himself.
A poisonous gas renders a young woman immobile.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
*No LGBTQ+ aspects included*
A slave is tortured naked.
A man says a brothel madame might buy children at the slavers auction.
A mother was sold to a brothel when she 8 years old.
Multiple men try to pull a woman onto their laps and want her to join for “after.”
A young woman doesn’t come back to her room and a young woman suspects she spent the night with her boyfriend.
A young woman is raised as a courtesan. Her virginity will be sold to the highest bidder. A young woman knows the courtesan is still able to do “other things” and worries just who else she has done them with.
A man has many courtesans.
A man kisses a courtesan’s neck and roams her thigh at a party.
There are a lot of cleavages seen at a party. One young woman purposely pushes hers up.
A young woman kisses a young man. He brushes his tongue against her, he growls in need, and she feels it lower than her core. He pushes her against the wall and his hands roam. They leave disheveled with swollen lips but clothes stay on.
A young woman kisses a young man.
A young woman and young man kiss.
A man spent a lot of money to purchase a courtesan’s virginity. A young woman wonders if he made a deal with the madam to keep her afterwards also.
A young woman and young man share a bedroom but haven’t “crossed that final threshold of intimacy.”
A young man kisses a young woman’s neck.
A young man kisses a young woman. She opens her mouth to his, they kiss and he picks her up, placing her on the bed. He roams her with his hands and hovers over her. He kisses her neck and unbuttons her shirt. She says “not yet.” And says they have time.
A young woman and young man kiss.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A man has been killed.
A man/slave is tortured. He is bruised and bleeding.
A young mother is murdered by a jealous brothel client. She had a young son.
A young woman strikes a man unconscious. She hits another with the pommel of her knife knocking him unconscious. She knocks another unconscious. A man is gagged and bound. Two more unconscious.
Many are drunk and brawling in a tavern. A young woman cuts a few and she is thrown into a pillar. She jams her sword pommel into a man’s groin, dropping him. A man punches her jaw. Many continue fighting.
A young woman and man fight with swords and a dagger. He cuts her arm, she knocks him unconscious.
A young man “skewers” a man with his sword and knocks another down.
A man holds a dagger to a young woman’s throat. She fights back, he cuts her, she knees his face, breaking his nose. She knocks him out.
A man beat a young woman for defying him. Her face is swollen and has bruises, a black eye and a split lip. She fights men regularly, leaving broken bones and unconscious men.
A young girl watches her mother kill a soldier who is attacking them. The mother is burned alive. The young girl watches in secret.
A young woman attacks men that are attacking a young woman. She kills some then faces a man with blood dripping off her knives. She knocks him unconscious then kills him.
A young woman fights many men. Two are dead in pools of blood. Another man grabs another young woman and holds a knife to her neck. She fights back and stabs him with his own knife. The other men are killed.
A young woman remembers when a man hit her in the face, ribs, jaw and gut over and over while her friend watched and screamed. She passed out. The friend is beaten later and is unconscious for days.
Behind a wall, many people shoot fire arrows at a group trying to invade.
A story tells of a witch taking a child and only bones are found later.
A young woman remembers when soldiers broke into her house and killed all her family members abd staff while she hid in a cupboard. Her younger sisters throat was cut while her father watched.
A young woman comes upon a battle. Many bodies are strewn about with streams of blood. She plunged her knife in a man’s gut. A young man has his throat cut. Another is stabbed in the gut. She throws a knife at a young woman’s arm.
Two young women fight with swords and knives.
A young woman fights guards, sticking a blade in one thigh as blood pumps onto her hand, and knocks another out. She is knocked out and tied up and water starts rising.
A young woman uses a knife and splits a man’s spine, blood spraying. An explosion rocks the house. The young woman and a man fight with weapons, blood soaks her glove, she uses a sword to go through his ribs to get his heart. He bubbled blood and died.
A young man is shot in the heart with an arrow.
A young man and man fight in a pit for money. The young man has the man’s blood on him.
A man takes a shackled man into a room. Screams of torture are heard.
As part of her assassin training, a young woman is taught to kill, maim, torture, and skin a man while keeping him alive. Her trainer brought in criminals and rapists for her to practice on.
Men kill a young man and leave his body on his doorstop. His body was mutilated. He had cuts and burns but also fingers bent the wrong way.
A young woman knocks a man unconscious. She throws daggers at two more, killing them. She punches a sword through another, stabs another in the heart, throws a dagger into a man’s neck. She fought many more, blood spraying. They beat her unconscious as a poisonous gas fills the room. Her cheek is cut and she is knocked unconscious again. She is shackled in a cell.
Potentially Intense Themes
Some slaves were kept in cells with their children.
After a catapult hit, many people are dead.
A young woman has some intense moments with drowning.
A young woman lies next to a young man’s body and breathes him in. Her grief is apparent.
**Any quotes from the book are taken from the advanced copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or correctly compare to the final copy of the book.
**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
I finally broke down an got the series for A Court of Thorns and Roses… It helps that it was on sale – I feel a little turned off by it solely from ALL the super fangirls/boys for all her stuff 😕
The most feared assassin who sleeps in and lets people sneak up on her 😂😂 I couldn’t, i just couldn’t, maas passed right over these trials too without even talking about… Was it the second one? I have a whole list of books with good assassins 😂
This series is sure popular with many readers! Fun to find something you love!
I love this series and I enjoyed seeing your thoughts on this one!