Suped Up! Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA | Fantasy

BLURB

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

FAVORITE QUOTES

I think [Celaena] like to suffer. You collect scars because you want proof that you are paying for whatever sins you’ve committed – Rowan

She would not let that light go out.
She would fill the world with it, with her light–her gift. She would light up the darkness, so brightly that all who were lost or wounded our broken would find their way to it, a beacon for those who still dwelled in that abyss. It would not take a monster to destroy a monster-but light, light to drive out the darkness.

Lots of people have and will review HEIR OF FIRE which is fine by me, gives me the perfect excuse to do a lazy girl review…
There are wyverns and badass witches and this is from the Baba Yellowlegs thread. I don’t know yet if these nefarious witches led by this lady called, Manon, will be Celaena’s allies or nemesis but they sure are a curious and scary bunch. Their storyline sure was interesting even if they pose a threat.
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I love Aedion, Celaena’s long lost cousin. He is like the combination of Legolas and Eomir with his fae looks, keen sense, ruthlessness in the battlefield, and loyalty to Celaena/Aelin’s memory. 
Dorian is coming to his own. I’m glad that his infatuation with Celaena is finally put to rest however it seems like tragedy isn’t far behind…
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… and well you know how this ended. 
Oh Chaol, why do you have to be such a hero?! 
As for Celaena, this girl is barely unrecognizable and she went full on Carrie here, I loved it!

Photo credit

She has grown tremendously in HEIR OF FIRE. I could write up a review just about her character alone but I thought I’d “sing” it instead. This is a lazy girl’s review after all…

*fast forward to 3:53, to me that’s how it felt like when Celaena
faced off with Queen Bitch Maeve*

So boys and gals, the mad gushing and wild fangirling is valid, HEIR OF FIRE, the latest Throne of Glass novel by Sarah J. Maas is EPIC! It’ll make you feel a wide range of emotions from the wholesome, to the romantic, down to the bloody and manic. I surely took my time reading this baby, savored each and every chapter for days because I don’t want it to end. I have to make myself slow down otherwise this will be a quick read not because of its length but because its packed. HEIR OF FIRE killed it! This book is a game changer in more ways than one starting with the genre. IMO, HEIR OF FIRE transitioned the series from YA to full on epic fantasy. So if you’re a fan please do us and yourselves a favor, get the book today and start reading. If you haven’t started this one yet then you’re missing out on something really good. Every installment is jaw dropping. SJMaas is a true fan of fantasy, she knows what we readers love and she delivered.

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Braine Reviews: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass 2
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA- Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

This was not the sort of hunt that began at the front door.

Holy YA Fantasy!
It took me some time to sort out my thoughts and come up with a decent review for CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, the sequel to Sarah J. Maas epic fantasy series, Throne of Glass. Following the events of book 1, Celaena Sardothien is now the Royal Assassin, killing off the King’s dissenters and enemies one by one. Given that Celaena’s day job is an executioner, still I was astonished that SJMaas pushed the envelope further by going a tad graphic with the kill scenes. My eyes bugged out and my jaw dropped on the floor from the first chapter alone because I know this will be another epic installment. Blood, gore, dismemberment and decapitation, it’s all part of Celaena’s JD and I give SJMaas props for staying authentic to Celaena’s character. I’m just not sure if her young adult readers will appreciate these compelling scenes as much as I did. 
There’s so many plot twists and mini-resolutions that happened in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT it completely shunned the “sequel-filler” curse. For starters, the conundrum that is Prince Dorian or Captain Chaol Westfall has been semi-resolved. It seems Celaena has finally made her choice but we never really know with these YA novels. These heroines are fond of getting caught in complicated love triangles, relishing on being courted and seduced by two guys, if not more, a clear indication of their low self esteem. Fingers-crossed, I’m hoping that Celaena will remain steadfast especially after sampling the bitter taste of losing several loved ones. 
As for the other characters, I was ecstatic when Kaltain Rompier got her comeuppance in Throne of Glass, now I only feel pity for the former Queen B. As a prisoner, she’s been deduced and humiliated like a common thief and left to rot in her own filth in her dark and musty prison cell. I was really hoping that SJMaas will take up the Arobynn Hamel, Celaena’s mentor who turned out to be Judas, subplot. Since the novellas, I’m really itching for at least a confrontation between these two. But it seems either Arobynn has been forgotten or he’s reserved for a latter book. Baba Yellowlegs (I imagine her like a blowfish, very poisonous), the gypsy-like lastborn Witch of the Kingdom gave me the creeps! I’m only happy that Celaena got rid of her but not without consequence. My gut tells me we’ll hear more from these witches in the coming book/s. 
And as with Throne of Glass, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT has influences if not parallelisms with Game of Thrones. In one scene where Celaena was simmering and reciting the names of those people who died under her watch, she reminded me of Arya ennumerating her hit list. Renegade Queen, Aelin Galathynius, is reminiscent of (Lady Boner) Denaerys Targaryen, building an army of slaves from afar with a promise of a future siege. Like Denaerys, Aelin is expected to free the people from their oppressive King and bring balance to the land. 
There was a great tragedy that happened in the book and though it was heartbreaking, I find it necessary. This death started a chain of events which will define Celaena, Chaol and Dorian’s loyalty and future role in the series. With this, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT ended with a big promise: more blood and an even bigger plot in book 3. Celaena’s significance in this brewing dissension and discontentment with the King is quickly growing and with more players added to the mix, I can easily see a great war brewing in the distance. How it will play out is yet unknown but I’m pretty sure SJMaas will and can deliver. 

Never Forgive, never forget.

Braine Reviews: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass 2
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA- Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

This was not the sort of hunt that began at the front door.

Holy YA Fantasy!
It took me some time to sort out my thoughts and come up with a decent review for CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, the sequel to Sarah J. Maas epic fantasy series, Throne of Glass. Following the events of book 1, Celaena Sardothien is now the Royal Assassin, killing off the King’s dissenters and enemies one by one. Given that Celaena’s day job is an executioner, still I was astonished that SJMaas pushed the envelope further by going a tad graphic with the kill scenes. My eyes bugged out and my jaw dropped on the floor from the first chapter alone because I know this will be another epic installment. Blood, gore, dismemberment and decapitation, it’s all part of Celaena’s JD and I give SJMaas props for staying authentic to Celaena’s character. I’m just not sure if her young adult readers will appreciate these compelling scenes as much as I did. 
There’s so many plot twists and mini-resolutions that happened in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT it completely shunned the “sequel-filler” curse. For starters, the conundrum that is Prince Dorian or Captain Chaol Westfall has been semi-resolved. It seems Celaena has finally made her choice but we never really know with these YA novels. These heroines are fond of getting caught in complicated love triangles, relishing on being courted and seduced by two guys, if not more, a clear indication of their low self esteem. Fingers-crossed, I’m hoping that Celaena will remain steadfast especially after sampling the bitter taste of losing several loved ones. 
As for the other characters, I was ecstatic when Kaltain Rompier got her comeuppance in Throne of Glass, now I only feel pity for the former Queen B. As a prisoner, she’s been deduced and humiliated like a common thief and left to rot in her own filth in her dark and musty prison cell. I was really hoping that SJMaas will take up the Arobynn Hamel, Celaena’s mentor who turned out to be Judas, subplot. Since the novellas, I’m really itching for at least a confrontation between these two. But it seems either Arobynn has been forgotten or he’s reserved for a latter book. Baba Yellowlegs (I imagine her like a blowfish, very poisonous), the gypsy-like lastborn Witch of the Kingdom gave me the creeps! I’m only happy that Celaena got rid of her but not without consequence. My gut tells me we’ll hear more from these witches in the coming book/s. 
And as with Throne of Glass, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT has influences if not parallelisms with Game of Thrones. In one scene where Celaena was simmering and reciting the names of those people who died under her watch, she reminded me of Arya ennumerating her hit list. Renegade Queen, Aelin Galathynius, is reminiscent of (Lady Boner) Denaerys Targaryen, building an army of slaves from afar with a promise of a future siege. Like Denaerys, Aelin is expected to free the people from their oppressive King and bring balance to the land. 
There was a great tragedy that happened in the book and though it was heartbreaking, I find it necessary. This death started a chain of events which will define Celaena, Chaol and Dorian’s loyalty and future role in the series. With this, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT ended with a big promise: more blood and an even bigger plot in book 3. Celaena’s significance in this brewing dissension and discontentment with the King is quickly growing and with more players added to the mix, I can easily see a great war brewing in the distance. How it will play out is yet unknown but I’m pretty sure SJMaas will and can deliver. 

Never Forgive, never forget.

Review Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


Series: Throne of Glass 1
Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 7, 2012

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Courage of the heart is very rare, let it guide you.

To protect the House of Havilliard’s reputation and for her safety, Celaena was made to assume another identity throughout her training for the title of Royal Champion, she became Lillian Gordaina: a spoiled daughter of a rich merchant and jewel thief extraordinaire. In addition to assuming another identity, Celaena was ordered to play average on tests to avoid suspicion from other champions and their sponsors, after all her reputation precedes her and springing her from Endovier will certainly cause problems for Prince Dorian. Celaena struggled with this because she takes pride in being The Celaena Sardothien and it was challenging for her to pretend defeat and take the other champions’ mockery. 
Reeling from the events in the prequels, especially the heartbreaking ending of The Assassin and the Empire, I started THRONE OF GLASS filled with sorrow and bloodlust in Celaena’s behalf. Here we meet a very vulnerable but unbroken Celaena. Gone is the over confident girl we met in the prequels, she’s still lethal but her edge has been tempered by her loss and horrible experience in the Endovier salt mines. Grieving and in denial that she and Sam was betrayed by someone close to them, Celaena  hardly resembles her former sharper self. 

Here’s a lesson for you, Weapons Master. Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I’ll bother trying.

Even if I’m craving for the Assassin, I still love the soulful Celaena. I like her character growth, the heart that she showed to balance her jagged edges, the grace she exhibited despite the difficulties. It’s so easy for Celaena to spiral down, be vindictive and bitter but I love how she still found reasons to laugh and show gratefulness for what she have and not dwell on what she lost. It was these dark-to-light contrast that SJMaas did that made Celaena even more endearing to me. Dorian and Chaol also proved to be wonderful distractions to our fallen heroine, they gave her joy and hope plus Celaena finally found a friend and a powerful ally in Princess Nehemia Ytger of Eyllwe.

What’s the point in having a mind if you don’t use it to make judgments?What’s the point in having a heart if you don’t use it to spare others from the harsh judgments of your mind?

I like the brand of romance SJMaas used in THRONE OF GLASS, there’s no insta-love and even if there’s the staple love triangle, it was far from a tug-of-war rather it’s a classic case of passive-agressiveness between Dorian, Celaena and Chaol. I can’t help but get invested in this three-point entanglement especially when you add a scheming and ambitious courtesan like Lady Kaltain Rompier in the mix. Kaltain’s character was well-written, she’s evil and it’s hard not to hate her especially when she’s always looking for ways to get Dorian’s attention at the expense of Celaena. 
THRONE OF GLASS was compared to Game of Thrones (Song of Fire and Ice) but to me it felt more like Lord of the Rings than the George R.R. Martin series with fae thrown in the mix. I’m certain that those of you who have read the novel first before the prequels will disagree with me but I love the main idea of the novellas with its straightforward Guild of Assassins and the Underground world filled with rivalries and politicking power players where trust is a commodity and respect is garnered through fear. I love magic but in this case, I rather it remained an urban legend than a reality.

“No matter what happens,” she said quietly, “I want to thank you.”
Chaol tilted his head to the side. “For what?”
Her eyes stung, but she blamed it on the fierce wind and blinked away the dampness. “For making my freedom mean something.”

But despite my very subjective pondering, I truly, madly, deeply love this book! SJMaas created a well thought out plot designed to keep us invested in the characters. I felt extreme emotions throughout the stories from wrath, to hate, love, amusement and fear, rolling off together into this big snowball of zealousness for Celaena Sardothien’s life I can’t get enough of it. My thirst for vindication for Sam’s death is still intense but I’m also happy to read Celaena’s fate change and hopefully when she finally faces Arobynn, they’ll be in equal footing.

Throne of Glass Novella Prequels by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass Prequels 1-4
Format: ebook (purchased)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Purchase: Amazon

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. Sent by the Assassin’s Guild to a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena is supposed to be to collecting on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when she learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes–and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

The Assassin and the Desert
The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.

The Assassin and the Underworld
The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.

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. But Celaena won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel – so she and Sam decide to take one last daring assignment that will liberate them forever. And that’s how Celaena learns that having everything… means everything can be taken away.

I love epic fantasies because it’s rich in imagination and very unique as it’s usually set in a different world altogether. The thought that goes into writing a good fantasy is boundless and when translated into paper right, one can’t help but get sucked into the world the author created. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is exactly this and so much more, I have to restrain myself from feasting on her series in one sitting lest I might miss something because of the heart pounding excitement it brought me. 
I delved on the novellas first before jumping in to the novel itself, I usually find it hard to get acclimated to fantasy novels because of all the jargon, hard to pronounce names and out of this world places that fantasy writers are fond of doing. These four novellas did that job perfectly for me, it gave me a feel of Celaena Sardothien’s world, her reputation and the people around her that by the end of the fourth novella, I was having bloodlust over some of the characters for betraying my now favorite assassin. 
But let me take you through the prequels briefly before I fangirl over the novel itself in case you haven’t read these yet. In THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD we are fairly introduced to Celaena, Arobynn Hamel and Sam Cortland, the key players that shaped and continued to shape Celaena throughout the story until the novel itself. Here Celaena and Sam were sent on a mission to bring slaves for Arobynn which the two failed to complete earning them Arobynn’s fury because though Celaena can kill you in cold blood and bathe in it after, her vulnerability lies in her humanity. Celaena feels strongly against slavery and even if she knew that Arobynn will go livid, she went ahead and freed the slaves, jeopardizing her and Sam’s position in the Guild.
Their disobedience didn’t sit well with her mentor and King of Assassins, Arobynn, and after beating her and Sam to a pulp, he sent Celaena to the Red Desert to train with the Silent Assassins. It’s in THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT that we see the other side of Celaena, she’s vain with a penchant for fine and luxurious things. It is here that her relationship with Arobynn started to crack and though her mission and training was fruitful, enabling her to pay off her debt to Arobynn, she’s far from being free from his clutches and the Guild’s. 
My favorite has to be THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD because it is here that Celaena and Sam’s love story began to unfold. The tension between these two has been evident from the start but it is here where it became tightly coiled until it uncurled into this wonderful and touching romance. This volume was truly a love story more than anything else but we also get a sense that Sam and Celaena’s chances for HEA are grim. SJMaas tortured us for 96 pages, giving us false hopes that maybe, even if it’s a long shot, Sam and Celaena will be victorious. Apparently the cost for that HEA is steep because Sam and Celaena’s world shattered in novella 4. 
THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE is where we get our hearts broken, it is here that our heroine was forced to grow up, her positive disposition is blighted by Arobynn’s betrayal and Sam’s death (no spoiler here since Throne of Glass‘ synopsis is telling), striking any hope for happiness and freedom. SJMaas gave us the absolute ending to innocence and the perfect beginning to a life set in bloodlust, grief and revenge which had me all psyched and hyped for Throne of Glass.

She didn’t want to go out into a world where he (Sam) didn’t exist. So she watched the light shift and change, and let the world pass by without her.

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


Series: Throne of Glass 1
Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 7, 2012

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Courage of the heart is very rare, let it guide you.

To protect the House of Havilliard’s reputation and for her safety, Celaena was made to assume another identity throughout her training for the title of Royal Champion, she became Lillian Gordaina: a spoiled daughter of a rich merchant and jewel thief extraordinaire. In addition to assuming another identity, Celaena was ordered to play average on tests to avoid suspicion from other champions and their sponsors, after all her reputation precedes her and springing her from Endovier will certainly cause problems for Prince Dorian. Celaena struggled with this because she takes pride in being The Celaena Sardothien and it was challenging for her to pretend defeat and take the other champions’ mockery. 
Reeling from the events in the prequels, especially the heartbreaking ending of The Assassin and the Empire, I started THRONE OF GLASS filled with sorrow and bloodlust in Celaena’s behalf. Here we meet a very vulnerable but unbroken Celaena. Gone is the over confident girl we met in the prequels, she’s still lethal but her edge has been tempered by her loss and horrible experience in the Endovier salt mines. Grieving and in denial that she and Sam was betrayed by someone close to them, Celaena  hardly resembles her former sharper self. 

Here’s a lesson for you, Weapons Master. Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I’ll bother trying.

Even if I’m craving for the Assassin, I still love the soulful Celaena. I like her character growth, the heart that she showed to balance her jagged edges, the grace she exhibited despite the difficulties. It’s so easy for Celaena to spiral down, be vindictive and bitter but I love how she still found reasons to laugh and show gratefulness for what she have and not dwell on what she lost. It was these dark-to-light contrast that SJMaas did that made Celaena even more endearing to me. Dorian and Chaol also proved to be wonderful distractions to our fallen heroine, they gave her joy and hope plus Celaena finally found a friend and a powerful ally in Princess Nehemia Ytger of Eyllwe.

What’s the point in having a mind if you don’t use it to make judgments?What’s the point in having a heart if you don’t use it to spare others from the harsh judgments of your mind?

I like the brand of romance SJMaas used in THRONE OF GLASS, there’s no insta-love and even if there’s the staple love triangle, it was far from a tug-of-war rather it’s a classic case of passive-agressiveness between Dorian, Celaena and Chaol. I can’t help but get invested in this three-point entanglement especially when you add a scheming and ambitious courtesan like Lady Kaltain Rompier in the mix. Kaltain’s character was well-written, she’s evil and it’s hard not to hate her especially when she’s always looking for ways to get Dorian’s attention at the expense of Celaena. 
THRONE OF GLASS was compared to Game of Thrones (Song of Fire and Ice) but to me it felt more like Lord of the Rings than the George R.R. Martin series with fae thrown in the mix. I’m certain that those of you who have read the novel first before the prequels will disagree with me but I love the main idea of the novellas with its straightforward Guild of Assassins and the Underground world filled with rivalries and politicking power players where trust is a commodity and respect is garnered through fear. I love magic but in this case, I rather it remained an urban legend than a reality.

“No matter what happens,” she said quietly, “I want to thank you.”
Chaol tilted his head to the side. “For what?”
Her eyes stung, but she blamed it on the fierce wind and blinked away the dampness. “For making my freedom mean something.”

But despite my very subjective pondering, I truly, madly, deeply love this book! SJMaas created a well thought out plot designed to keep us invested in the characters. I felt extreme emotions throughout the stories from wrath, to hate, love, amusement and fear, rolling off together into this big snowball of zealousness for Celaena Sardothien’s life I can’t get enough of it. My thirst for vindication for Sam’s death is still intense but I’m also happy to read Celaena’s fate change and hopefully when she finally faces Arobynn, they’ll be in equal footing.

Throne of Glass Novella Prequels by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass Prequels 1-4
Format: ebook (purchased)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Purchase: Amazon

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. Sent by the Assassin’s Guild to a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena is supposed to be to collecting on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when she learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes–and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

The Assassin and the Desert
The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.

The Assassin and the Underworld
The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.

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. But Celaena won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel – so she and Sam decide to take one last daring assignment that will liberate them forever. And that’s how Celaena learns that having everything… means everything can be taken away.

I love epic fantasies because it’s rich in imagination and very unique as it’s usually set in a different world altogether. The thought that goes into writing a good fantasy is boundless and when translated into paper right, one can’t help but get sucked into the world the author created. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is exactly this and so much more, I have to restrain myself from feasting on her series in one sitting lest I might miss something because of the heart pounding excitement it brought me. 
I delved on the novellas first before jumping in to the novel itself, I usually find it hard to get acclimated to fantasy novels because of all the jargon, hard to pronounce names and out of this world places that fantasy writers are fond of doing. These four novellas did that job perfectly for me, it gave me a feel of Celaena Sardothien’s world, her reputation and the people around her that by the end of the fourth novella, I was having bloodlust over some of the characters for betraying my now favorite assassin. 
But let me take you through the prequels briefly before I fangirl over the novel itself in case you haven’t read these yet. In THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD we are fairly introduced to Celaena, Arobynn Hamel and Sam Cortland, the key players that shaped and continued to shape Celaena throughout the story until the novel itself. Here Celaena and Sam were sent on a mission to bring slaves for Arobynn which the two failed to complete earning them Arobynn’s fury because though Celaena can kill you in cold blood and bathe in it after, her vulnerability lies in her humanity. Celaena feels strongly against slavery and even if she knew that Arobynn will go livid, she went ahead and freed the slaves, jeopardizing her and Sam’s position in the Guild.
Their disobedience didn’t sit well with her mentor and King of Assassins, Arobynn, and after beating her and Sam to a pulp, he sent Celaena to the Red Desert to train with the Silent Assassins. It’s in THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT that we see the other side of Celaena, she’s vain with a penchant for fine and luxurious things. It is here that her relationship with Arobynn started to crack and though her mission and training was fruitful, enabling her to pay off her debt to Arobynn, she’s far from being free from his clutches and the Guild’s. 
My favorite has to be THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD because it is here that Celaena and Sam’s love story began to unfold. The tension between these two has been evident from the start but it is here where it became tightly coiled until it uncurled into this wonderful and touching romance. This volume was truly a love story more than anything else but we also get a sense that Sam and Celaena’s chances for HEA are grim. SJMaas tortured us for 96 pages, giving us false hopes that maybe, even if it’s a long shot, Sam and Celaena will be victorious. Apparently the cost for that HEA is steep because Sam and Celaena’s world shattered in novella 4. 
THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE is where we get our hearts broken, it is here that our heroine was forced to grow up, her positive disposition is blighted by Arobynn’s betrayal and Sam’s death (no spoiler here since Throne of Glass‘ synopsis is telling), striking any hope for happiness and freedom. SJMaas gave us the absolute ending to innocence and the perfect beginning to a life set in bloodlust, grief and revenge which had me all psyched and hyped for Throne of Glass.

She didn’t want to go out into a world where he (Sam) didn’t exist. So she watched the light shift and change, and let the world pass by without her.