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The Assassin's Blade

The Throne of Glass Novellas
Written by: Sarah J. Maas
Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 0.5
Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (144 ratings)

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2014 - I’ve been a huge fan of Celaena Sardothien since first listening to the Throne of Glass novels. While I was fascinated with her journey to become the King’s royal assassin and win her freedom from the treacherous salt mines, I always wondered about her early years and the events that led her to become the world’s deadliest assassin. Assassin's Blade treats fans to twelve stories looking back at Celaeana’s past adventures, which helped shed light on mysteries left unanswered in the novels. If you love Sarah J. Maas’ series, or are looking for an action-packed YA fantasy series, don’t miss this one. —Sarah, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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 listeners 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

©2014 Sarah J. Maas (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Assassin's Blade

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome side stories

I love that we got to hear about her little side quests and how she met all of these people along the way. I did the whole series then this one and I think I like it better that way....I don't know maybe not. it would have been nice to have the prices to put into the puzzle as I got to that part of the puzzle.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

This book was well written and and kept me hooked from the start until the end. The narrator was great and gave the various characters just the right amounts of difference in their voices and tones. I can't wait until the next one in the series comes out, I will definitely be getting that audiobook too. #Audible1

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Has its moments. A little too Mary-Sue'ey

When it comes to pleasing descriptions and flowery writing, the author has that part down to a 8.5/10, some great stuff on that end.

However the characters aren't very interesting. The protagonist is insufferable. She feels like a rebellious self-insert of someone who wants to write themselves into a story but giving themselves high morale integrity but also being a skilled peerless killer at merely 16 years and old and giving her this 'badass' attitude that feels annoyingly artificial and forced.

Also beware. If you dislike sappy love-stories that play out in awkward unrealistic fashion, stay away from this one. There is some major wishy washey wish fulfillment chick-flick level stuff going on. I know some people love that, but it wasn't for me.

What made this worth a buy for me however, was the narrator. At first her 'overly-serious' tone and overacting annoyed me, but it really grew on me the more I listened. For some reason I love the way she performs the male cast of this story, particularly the not so nice ones.

If you're a serious fantasy fan looking for a intriguing universe and deep characters, I would not recommend this. The geopolitics at play here are weak and the locales fairly generic. However I can see casual fantasy fans, particularly younger women enjoying this.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Wow Maas You Don't Disappoint

Plot
There are five novellas in this book an every single story is so carefully woven that you can’t help but have to get lost in it!
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: Arobynn sends Celaena and Sam to finish the deal set in motion with the Pirate Lord. Things are going according to plan until Celaena learns the deal has to do with slavery. While she might be a lot of things, Celaena isn't going to let them all get involved with the slave trade and makes a plan to go against Arobynn. It's the first time she has stepped out of line and she knows it might really be the last.

The Assassin and the Healer:
After the nasty fall out with Arobynn, Celaena finds herself in a tavern where she meets a young healer. Her family used to have all kinds of magic and she's always wanted to head out and help others but has gotten stuck trying to make a living in the dangerous town. Celaena helps give her a push to get going where she has always wanted to go.

The Assassin and the Desert:
Exiled and sent to train with the mute assassins in the desert, Celaena must earn a sealed letter from the leader to return to Arobynn. There she meets her first true friend but along the way she loses so much more.

The Assassin and the Underworld:
Celaena is finally able to return home but there are conditions set forth by Arobynn. She accepts them and takes on a mission to eliminate a man involved in the slave trade. But a bunch of secrets and lies tears Celaena's entire world apart and nothing is ever going to be the same for her again. It puts into motion the next phase of her life.

The Assassin and the Empire:
After everything, Celaena and Sam decide to leave Arobynn behind and the Assassin's Guild as a whole. They just have to buy their freedom from both before they head off somewhere else to start their lives. To do so they need to take one last job but it really does turn out to be the end of everything.

Characters

Celaena
Oh my god!! I can’t even say how much I loved Celaena in this book! At first I thought her to be arrogant and spoiled, but the longer I read the more I began to see the real Celaena! Deep down within her she’s actually a very gentle and kind soul and no matter the consequences, she always opted to defend the weak! She even freed 200 slaves that otherwise would have been doomed to a life in shackles and even though she always tried to live up to her reputation as Arobynn’s favourite assassin, she still knew the difference between right or wrong! I loved that she cried when she listened to the music in the theatre and I adored her for sparing Ansel’s life (Which I wouldnt have done btw)! This girl is amazing and it hurt so much to see her pain!! To experience what she felt when Sam died… At the end of the book she’s broken and nothing but an empty shell… and OH GOD did it hurt!!! It hurt so much I can’t even put it into words… I want her to be happy again! I want her to laugh and to joke! I want her to tease Sam… I want her to feel alive again!!!!!

Ansel
A very good friend till she's a friend.A character with her own conflicts.She told Celaena to "𝘓𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦". She gave her some of the best time and she's one person Celaena would never forget. Wherever she is, I'm sure we'll come across her too.

SAM
This guy was so sweet and it was so unrealistic it hurt. I don’t think a normal person would encounter a guy as caring and precious as him. Sarah sure knows how to pull on the hearts of her fans. I mean seriously!! Could he have been any cuter? Nope! I don’t think so!!! I loved how he cared about Celaena! That he loved her for years and never told her! That he wanted to protect her at all costs and that he despised Arobynn for what he did to her! He didn’t deserve to go like that. One thing I wish Sarah would’ve done in this book was tell the story from multiple P.O.V’s. I would’ve loved to hear what Sam was thinking in the last hours of his life or what he endured. It's sad to think that Sam won’t be in future books but since i’m reading this book after I finished the rest of the series things make way more sense now.

Arobynn
The King of Assassins. A very smart and witty Leader. He is very charming and manipulative and one way or the other, he makes his own way through everything to achieve what he desires. He plays with people, makes it up to you when he realizes he was wrong but he will remind you again and again in whatever way he can that he is the boss! But I must say, every detail about him made him a strong character! This guy really had me on edge the whole book. I kept wondering if there would be a epic showdown soon or if there would be a finale of Celaena VS Arobynn. Even though that wasn’t the case Sarah did do a great job of making me hate him. Just to rap my head around what someone’s mentality has to be to come up with a plan to betray Celaena and have an assassin kill Sam just because he loved Celaena!? I hate you Arobynn!!!
I despise you with all my heart!

Overall
Im glad I read the rest of the series before I decided to pick up these novellas. The problem im facing now is that I’ve finished the last official book in this series and I have no more books to check out by Sarah J Maas that I haven’t already read yet. Wow its hard to think about. I definitely have a book/author hangover.

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Calaena & Sam

I'm so glad that we were able to delve more into the years of Calaena before she became the King's Champion. It really shows just how she really is WHO she is and the justifications for everything she does.

Considering everything she has been through, everything she has lost, everyone she has lost. She has still so much capacity for kindness and she also wants friendship eventhough she has been burned by so many in the past it's simply amazing she's so forgiving.

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  • Jim
  • 2017-11-08

Great Characters

The characters are well written and intriguing, with Selina standing out amongst them of course although I really enjoyed Sam as well.

The voice acting was good, I found the male characters often were given a slight inflection that made them sound a little dumb. Almost like all men are a little dopey.

Great story and great read/listen overall

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  • a.nava
  • 2018-09-05

Remember this book is a "back story"

For those who have not read/listened to the rest of the books yet, you need to understand 1 thing about this book. This is her back story, this is when she was still a teenager, acting like a spoiled brat with a history of anger issues. The whole point of this book is so you can understand why she does something and who her allies are in the rest of the series. You get to understand why she is so broken in book 1.

When I first started this series I had to stop listening to it for a while before I finally came back and gave it a chance. Sarah is character building through the whole series. You have to keep in mind this WHOLE series starts with her at 16 almost 17 and end with her in her 20 or almost 21(I believe). She is bringing this character to life, you will see her grow and learn from her mistakes and make more and learn from them again. The main character is whinny and emotional to the point of annoying but she is ridiculously kind hearted to a fault but doesn't like to show it so she puts on this "tough" face and try's to be someone deep down that she is not. You wont realize this so much in this book, but you will as the series continues and you watch her grow in the the amazing bada** person she is meant to be.

I HATE whinny characters that are supposed to be strong people, and I usually will stop reading a book if the main character doesn't start "growing up" or learning from their mistakes quick enough. BUT that is NOT what is in this book, this is a BACK STORY. This is just so the other characters in the rest of the series have more dept, and it helps you realize why she has such a love/hate relationship with the "King of the Assassins".

This audible book was not available when I got all of the other books in the series, so I had the privilege of knowing the story line before listening to this particular back story. You really could wait to listen to this one after the fact and still understand the rest of the series. This book just brings in the "AHHHH I get it now" when you hear the names of other characters in the story.

Give this book a chance or at the very least save it for like the 5th or last one you read/listen to. It gives you time to understand the growth of the character that Sarah brings to this story. Still one of my favorite character development stories.

41 people found this helpful

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  • irishred507
  • 2014-05-26

Entertaining and annoying at the same time

Any additional comments?

As with all of the books in this series so far, I found the story to be good and entertaining, but Celaena's pride and anger are really grating! Maybe if I read the books, rather than listened to them with the narrators own interpretations and inflections, I might not find Celaena to be so hostile and prideful nearly every waking moment. Another thing I find silly is that she is supposed to be THE assassin, but yet she is so trusting of the wrong people and is so easily duped, and all the while she is not trusting the people that she should be. But those gripes aside, they are all good short stories and give you some insight into her life before becoming the King's Champion.

26 people found this helpful

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  • N. Ross
  • 2014-08-26

Interesting Story, I'm game.

I'm looking forward to starting Book 1 (this was Book 0.5). I downloaded the rest of the series, even preordered Book 4 (September 2) as well as the kindle versions. This is an interesting story about a young girl rescued & turned into an assassin. It's reminiscent of the tv show Nikita only w/ Kings, Queens and Kingdoms. I liked the idea of it all and found the story interesting.

My only confusion or thing I graple with is this young girl is an assassin, how is it w/ her caution, care & training does she not catch on to the betrayal she is delt. I give her a pass based upon the fact that she is 16 when this story starts. I'm hoping to see her mature through out these next books.

Performance: Please forgive me, I'm picky. I'm an Emma Galvin, Therese Plummer fan. Some review I've read dislike my chosen narrators. It's just me. I feel Evans read Celina a bit too snotty but the voice for her is perfect. Make sense? I don't like how nasty she reads her at times when I feel Celina may have been being defencive not a brat. Her male voices are awful. But I'm sticking w/the audible & kindle version as I enjoy the story. Evans isn't horrid perhaps not my cup of tea is all.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Atkins II
  • 2019-03-28

I could not finish this book.

I found the main character lame. spoilers kinda. I find it hard to believe the same women that risked everything to free slave would turn around and say now that i have my freedom its ok you bought me some earrings. I realize this story is written by a woman , but find it offensive towards women and just poor character development.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Makoto Ichijoji
  • 2015-02-11

Schlocky

I wanted action and got tricked into a romance. The protagonist was obnoxious with no redeeming qualities; her moments of grief or guilt felt disingenuous and did not convince me. Nothing about her screamed "world class assassin" as it seemed like luck and other people were responsible for her success or saving her life - making her narcissism even more unendurable. Then when the romance hit, the main characters all seemed to go stupid and saccharine.
Not my kind of fantasy novel ; it was not deep, exciting, nor did I learn or find a new perspective on the human condition.

38 people found this helpful

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  • DLRV
  • 2019-03-11

Not for Me

I love Sarah J. Maas novels but, this one was not for me. I tried several times to listen to it and just couldn't get interested. I don't recommend this one.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • JSM
  • 2018-06-17

Sad day, I REALLY wanted to like it.

I picked this up because I love the ACOTAR series, but was in for a rude awakening as the characters are much different. As the writing style is the same the characters I have a hard time getting through. The main character is just not my cup of tea. Sad day I really wanted to like this.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Itsuwari64
  • 2016-09-24

Read this book first!

Audible recommended this series. I read some of the reviews but wasn't sure which book to start with. sometimes prequel s give away too much of the later books. not the case with The Assassin's Blade. The stories were riveting and gave some great insight into the characters and land. Maas is an excellent author. I didn't care for the narration but thats me. I don't care for most female narrators, give me a hot European everytime!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Odette Schlageter
  • 2018-08-16

Not bad of a book, horrible narrative.

The book is good enough. I could do without the cheese love parts but the action is actually cool. I intend to listen to the rest of the series despite the horrible narrator. beware, she is whinny, her voices are less than mediocre, and although she tries to add passion to the main character, she only sounds like a bratty child who is about to burst out crying.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A Terrell
  • 2018-05-29

Repetition in the story

Extreme repetition made the book feel like it was aimed at a younger target audience. Every few chapters there was a recap of information in the book, from details about the assassin's suit, to character relationships. I felt that there wasn't enough content mixed with the repetition. I'm bummed because I really liked a different series from this author.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DUBOIS
  • 2015-03-25

Amazing

Undoubtedly the best story I have ever listened to. Sarah J Maas writes and describes everything so perfectly that you livr every single moment with the characters. And Elizabeth Evans is an amazing reader