The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas
Release: July 20, 2012
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 went into reading this novella, prepared to have my heart broken, torn, and shattered. It never happened to the degree that I was expecting. This isn't to say I felt nothing, though. This novella evoked, in me, and incredible sense of sadness for both Celanea and Sam. Just like that, their future dissipates into puffs of smoke--remnants of a life they could have had together.
My one complaint about this novella is the lack of emphasis on the "terrible thing" that happened. I felt somewhat distanced from the grief Celaena felt because there no time to process or dwell on the tragedy. Celaena had to pick herself up, and fast. She couldn't afford to dwell. I do admire her for her strength and determination, I just wish her grief had been more tangible. This grief, however, becomes more realized as it transforms into anger and a thirst for revenge.
And this leads to her downfall.
*sigh* I don't blame Celaena completely. Grief and anger clouded her judgment. And for this reason, Celaena still managed to be incredibly relatable. Really, the girl is only human and she's allowed to make mistakes! No one is perfect.
Again, I loved the world of Throne of Glass. Sometimes I can get a little frustrated with fantasy novels that dump loads of description and history. This never happens, and this is what makes the novellas and the novel so easily accessible to readers who don't usually venture into the fantasy realm. I also applaud Sarah for the haunting and complicated father/daughter relationship between Celaena and Arobyn. It is extremely well done. These novellas have instilled in me a great curiosity about Arobyn and his past. Please, Sarah, can we have a novella about him? *bats eyelashes*
The Assassin and the Empire sets up nicely, the opening scene of Throne of Glass. In Throne of Glass, you get a picture of an embittered Celaena. You see how circumstances changed her, and yet strengthened the foundation that makes up the core of her character. This particular novella completes that arc.
So, if you are still debating on reading the novellas (they are only 99 cents!) or the book--DON'T. Read them and see the awesomeness for yourself. The book is already released in the UK and it will be out in the US, AUGUST 7, 2012.
RATING: 4 SLICES
Stop by Citrus Reads on August 21, 2012. I will be interviewing Sarah about the book, her characters, music, and her journey to publication!