Friday, 20 July 2012

Review: The Assassin and the Empire (novella #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 5/5 owl heads, if that's worth anything to you
Release date: 20 July 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Goodreads | Amazon

Summary (taken from Goodreads):

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 . . .

Oh gosh. I really loved this, as I did the previous three novellas, but in an angry, bitter sort of way. That ending! I sort of felt like I'd been sucker punched. What's worse is that somewhere between The Assassin and the Pirate Lord and The Assassin and the Desert I REALIZED with horror that this was going to happen but tried to push it out of my mind.

Let me explain: The Assassin and the Empire is the fourth and last novella released in anticipation of Sarah J Maas' upcoming YA fantasy debut, Throne of Glass. The novellas cover the events leading up to the start of the novel. If you've read anything about it, you probably know that the main character, Celaena Sardothien, has been serving out a prison sentence in the salt mines of Endovier when the book starts .

Because we already have some information about where the characters end up, it becomes quite obvious that certain things need to happen in the novellas to get the characters to that place. If you've read the novellas and the ToG summary, it's pretty easy to connect the dots. However, though I predicted some of the events in this novella, I didn't know how everything would go down and was desperately hoping that somehow some of them wouldn't.

They did. Quite horrifically. I'm being pretty vague and uninformative to avoid spoiling anything, but let's just say I'll have a hard time switching loyalties when Throne of Glass releases. This whole mini-series has been like watching a train-wreck in slow motion. I didn't know it was coming till book 2 or 3, but once I did, I had to continue.

Despite my frustration with what happened, I understand it. If I step back and look at the big picture - at character development, and the quality of the story - it's clear how much it helps. I can see Celaena's development over the course of the novellas and understand how she could transfrom from the girl in Pirate Lord - arrogant, reckless and full of possibility - into the cold and hardened prisoner she's described as in TOG. I find myself warily anticipating what Celaena will do in the novel now that I have seen some of what she has been through. She's endeared herself to me, and the book hasn't even come out yet. I believe this was Maas' intention, and in this sense she's done an amazing job.

There's a big, twisty unresolved thread in the novella. I don't know whether the novel will expand on it, but here's hoping it's addressed. Another entertaining, fast-paced novella that left me angry but more excited than ever for Throne of Glass' release. Why, Sarah?!

Side note: Throne of Glass was my first Waiting on Wednesday, almost exactly a month ago! So weird to think that it's been a month.


  1. I feel like an idiot not knowing there were novellas. =)) I think I love bitter stories the most. I mean, yes, after reading it the first time you just want to cry your heart out or rip the book to shreds... but then that's where you realize how attached you are to the book. You're sad because the characters have endeared themselves to you. And then you look back on it and see how, like you said, important it was for those characters to go through it.

    Great review, Lauren!!!

    1. Go read them!! I totally agree with you. This story was so heartbreaking, but stories like this are always the best because you know you've emotionally connected with the characters and they've actually affected you in some way. Thanks, Gellie!! Hope you enjoy them if you read them. :)

  2. Oh, snap. I did not know there were novellas for this series. I am anxiously awaiting for Throne of Glass (it looks like it is gonna be bad-ass). I'm gonna have to add these to my TBR. By what you said, they seem awesome, Lauren! :)


I love meeting other bloggers and readers, so let me know what you think! I try to always reply to comments, either directly or on your blog.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...