Two Minute Review: The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Title: The Assassin and the Empire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #0.4
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Pages: 102
Published: July 2012
Source: purchased
Rating: 4/5

Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . . 


I have a hard time rating novellas - of any length - more than three stars. As fun, interesting or detailed they might be, I always find them to lack real depth, emotion or plot.

That said, The Assassin and the Empire, the last of the the four prequel novellas, deserves those full four stars. (Which is, amusingly, more than I gave Throne of Glass.)

I had read and moderately enjoyed the first full length Celaena Sardothien novel last year. I didn't love it - I wanted more assassinating, less love triangle; more strength and less indecision - but I was curious enough to keep my eye out for the sequel. When Gilly B said the prequels add to the experience of reading Crown of Midnight, I bought all four.

And I am glad I listened. These short stories, full of murder and betrayal, and exposition have helped me to like Celaena a lot more than I did at the close of Throne of Glass. I maybe even understand her better. I don't begrudge her her liking for fine things, or her arrogance, because now I can see there is more to the character than that. I can see where she has come from, what she has gone through, and what she has learned in order to become the person she is during the full-length novels.

The mystery angle is a bit obvious and predictable, and needs work. It's a consistent problem for Maas to write with subtlety, and it shows in all four novellas and especially in Throne of Glass. That said, these prequels, the last especially, show a marked improvement in Maas's writing ability, both in terms of plot and character. Celaena especially comes across more vibrantly, and the chance to see Sam as real character, rather than a memory, provided real depth and emotion to Celaena's grief for him.

I sped through all four ebooks in one day, and it was a great way to get pumped up and excited for Crown of Midnight.

There had just be copious amounts of Chaol. That's all I saying.

Team Chaol!

(Also, all four ebooks are under $2. A worthy investment for fans of the series.)

1 comment:

  1. Lol. Great review(:


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