Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
“She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest.”
Where do I begin? This book (a compilation of five novellas) takes us back to a time long before Celaena is brought into the glass castle to fight for her “freedom”. It was quite nice getting to see how Adarlan’s Assassin came to be who she is today. Some novellas were slower than others (“The Assassin and the Underworld” was my favourite) and frankly, much longer than they needed to be, but I was still grateful that there was more of this world to read about. I needed something—anything—to hold me over until the release of Empire of Storms. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a little more about her childhood in Terrasen.
In the other books, Celaena is painted to be quite merciless when it comes to her occupation. These novellas paint a completely different picture. Each novella is a portrait of her humanity. They show her compassion, wit, dignity, strength, and vulnerabilities. After reading these, I’m not quite sure why we’re forced to believe that she’s always been ruthless. If anything, I feel like she’s forever been a hero with a rebel heart. She’s always tried to do good, no matter the circumstance. I liked seeing this side of her.
More importantly, we finally get to read about how Celaena and Sam fell in love. These two alone make the book a must-read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Throne of Glass. It’s so nice finally getting to read about the little adventures that are hinted at throughout the TOG series. It’s like the final pieces of the puzzle coming together.
★★★★ (4 stars) because of my dear, dear Sam. My heart hurts for you.