The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Celaena Sardothien is sent to Skull’s Bay to collect on a debit owed to the Assassin’s Guild by the Lord of Pirates. Along with her came Sam Cortland, a fellow assassin that had never gotten along with Caelena. When Celaena learns that the payment will be made in slaves, she will go against her orders and risk everything to free the slaves. In the process, her relationship with Sam changes as their usual antagonism changes to something like friendship.
I loved this view of Celaena when she’s still that “carefree” assassin, if you could even call it that. Having already heard of Sam from other reviews, I was quite surprised to see that Sam and Celaena did not get along at all. Even though the story is short, we see that Celaena is someone who clearly knows what’s right and wrong despite her career choice. Once she’s set her mind on something, she’ll do it no matter what. The story was over quite quickly but a lot of changes happen to the characters that are explored further in the later novellas.
The Assassin and the Desert
After the events of the first novella, Celaena is sent far away to the Red Desert to train with the Silent Assassins for a month. This story isn’t as fun as the first, mostly because Sam is missing. I also don’t think I learned anything new about Celaena. Her training with the Silent Assassins didn’t really help with her character growth. I think it’s in this one I realized that no matter what, Celaena thinks herself the best and it’s in this one that I started getting annoyed whenever she thinks herself as Adarlan’s Assassin. Maybe because I binged on these books a bit and had read too much about Celaena, but other than how the ending of this ties to the next novella, you don’t really have to read this one.
The Assassin and the Underworld
Having returned to Rifthold from a summer in the Red Desert, Celaena takes another mission from the King of Assassins – something to help fight against slavery in the kingdom. I liked this one better because Sam’s back and we can see Celaena and Sam’s relationship continue to change for the better. After the Pirate Lord, this one is where Celaena’s entire world changes as she struggles between staying and leaving the Assassin’s Keep. I can understand her feelings for Arobynn, who filled a lot of roles in her life but Arobynn also someone who doesn’t hesitate to hurt her whenever he gets the chance. This story explores a lot more of the complicated relationship between Celaena and Arobynn.
However, I also decided that Celaena is pretty brainless in this one!! Ahhh! It was so easy to see who she shouldn’t trust. There’re so many hints in the book and I just want to hit Celaena with something to knock some sense into her!! For an assassin, she’s an airhead! She’s really just all brawn and no brains at this point! I’m not even mad at the “evil person” because Celaena should’ve seen through all of the lies, if not at the beginning, then at least at the end, but no, she’s the kind who won’t listen to others once she believes that she’s right, so she just goes ahead and act without thinking. She’s really like a robot.
The Assassin and the Empire
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 . . . (so I got lazy and didn’t want to write my own).
Oh my god!! This is the one where I wish Celaena is dead, if only she wasn’t so important in Throne of Glass!! There were a lot of character development in this one as Celaena and Sam become accustomed to living together. Even though I know what was going to happen in this one, it still broke my heart. I prepared myself for it, but when the time came, I still cried along with Celaena. Oh poor girl! On the one hand I wanted to shake her and scream that it’s her fault, on the other hand I just want to hug and comfort her! Once again, the bad guy is pretty predictable, so I can’t wait till Celaena finally faces her demons later in the series hopefully! This is definitely the must read in all the novellas, even if you only want to understand how Celaena ended up in Endovier.
I enjoyed these back stories on Celaena. However, I had hoped to see what made Celaena Adarlan’s Assassin, but she already had that title before the first novella. I just felt like I never saw how she’d earned that title, other than that it was given to her because she’s Arobynn’s protégé. There was a lot of reference to her past works, but nothing in these novellas indicated her earning the titles, so I was a bit disappointed with that. Also, I’m not sure why she was so important to be sentenced by the King of Adarlan himself since she’s just an assassin. It’s not like she targeted the king or any of the nobles.
Anyway, I really loved the world-building in these novellas. Celaena goes to different parts of the continent so we get to see Skull’s Bay and the Red Desert and get to learn about more legends like the Spidersilk and Ironteeth Witches.
I’d recommend reading these novellas after reading Throne of Glass. Celaena is a lot more likeable in Throne of Glass. I’m just really mad at her for what happened! *sigh* Hopefully Celaena becomes smarter in the later books. Thanks again, Braine for letting me borrow these!!