The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Summary:
Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassins’ Guild, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam.
When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes-and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches-and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom but their lives…
A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling-and deadly-world.
Review:
I am actually deceased after reading this collection of novellas. In case you don’t already know I am a die hard fan of Sarah J. Maas. So it should be a surprise that I haven’t managed to find time to read The Assassin’s Blade yet. (READ: I have indeed read the rest of the Throne of Glass series, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading this book of novellas.) Mostly I was just waiting for the right opportunity. That right time being four days before the final book in the series, Kingdom of Ash, is released. I am planning to spend the next four days doing nothing but reading (rereading) the Throne of Glass series. Usually, this would be no problem to accomplish, but I’ve become a mother and caring for my two-month-old baby takes priority. Good thing she’s a great baby and sleeps A LOT still.

“That girl wasn’t like wildfire-she was wildfire. Deadly and uncontrollable. And slightly out of her wits.”

So, The Assassin’s Blade actually just ripped my heart out, stomped on it a bunch and then said, here have it back so we can do it again in a few more books. I loved everything about these novellas. I think The Assassin and The Desert was my favorite. I really enjoyed everything about the Silent Assassins. I thought it was a super cool place and I enjoyed watching Celaena learn about herself. It was honestly just really nice to get to see her be happy for once. Even if it didn’t last that long.

“And for that one heartbeat, when there was nothing more to it than that, she tasted bliss so complete that she tipped her head back to the sky and laughed.”

I loved how the novellas were all leading up to something. I liked that they all kind of tied into one another and also tied into the later books in the series. I enjoyed reading about characters that I know we’re going to meet (again) in the later books. It made me just that much more excited to continue rereading these books. I really just loved being back in this book universe. I liked getting to know more about Celaena before she went into the salt mines. Also, getting to see how her relationship with Sam developed was GREAT. I love him, he’s adorable. He definitely didn’t deserve the fate that he got, but yaknow everything happens for a reason.

“He brushed his lips against hers. “I love you,” he breathed against her mouth. “And from today onward, I want to never be separated from you. Wherever you go, I go. Even if that means going to Hell itself, wherever you are, that’s where I want to be. Forever.”

I’m interested to see if we’re going to meet other characters from these novellas in the final book, Kingdom of Ash. Specifically, the friend she made in the desert. I really liked seeing all of the things that happened to create who Celaena was in the first book. I also totally enjoyed all of the little hints that were left for us about who she really is. Nothing that’s obvious unless you already know who she is. I love how fierce and kickass she was in this book, even after she’s been completely broken and given what’s essentially a death sentence.

“She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow.”

Once again, I love ALL of these characters, even the ones that I actually hate. They’re just written so well. The villain (yes, you know who I mean) is one that’s hard to hate. You want to love him for Celaena’s sake because he’s been there for her for so long, but he’s actually a giant shitbag. This book gave me ALL THE FEELS and I’m totally not over it yet. But I really just want to dive into Throne of Glass, so I’m going to end this here. Also, my baby just woke up, so I have to feed her and I’m not skilled at feeing baby and typing at the same time. So, if you haven’t read anything by Maas go buy them ALL now and read them so you can love her characters as much as I do. Until next time bookdragons.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Reading Slump

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is top ten books that pull me out of a reading slump. This may or may not just turn into a list of favorite books. So here’s my list in no particular order.
top 10 tuesday1. Any of Nora Roberts books – I would list some specifics but then this would just turn into a list of my favorite books by Nora.
2. Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich – These books are always funny and interesting. They’re books that I can read super fast and can always pull me out of a funk.
3. Looking for Alaska by John Green – I just adore this book. I adore these characters. I adore all the feels it gives me. Even though I know it’s going to make me cry this is one of my go-to books when I’m in a reading slump.
4. Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands – These books are fast paced, interesting and just trashy enough for me to read no matter what mood I’m in.
5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – I love these series too much. Like, honestly I worry sometimes about how much I love these characters. Reading these books are like going to spend time with my best friends.
6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I don’t know what it is about Maas and the characters that she writes, but I adore all the characters in this series. They impress me and make me laugh. There’s never a dull moment with this series.
7. Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson – I’m a sucker for a good mystery. A bit of mystery and suspense, throw in a handsome male character and you’ve got a book that I’ll read in almost any situation.
8. Crank by Ellen Hopkins – Hopkins’ books are fast-paced and thrilling. I used Crank for this list but really I could put any of them. Her books are almost always about heavy hard hitting topics, but the way they’re written make them quick, but intense reads.
9. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – This is a sixty plus book series. I can read three of them in a day. They will always get me out of a reading slump because they’re unique and funny and the action never stops.
10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – This was a recent read for me. But if all of her books are as good as this one was, I have no doubt I will turn to her books in the future when I find myself in a funk. The characters were funny and ridiculous and made it so I couldn’t put the book down.

Here are my top ten books that get me out of a reading slump (so basically a list of my favorites.) What would you put on your list for this week’s topic? Do you think I missed any? Let me know in the comments.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Popular Books That Lived Up to the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is the top ten popular books that lived up to the hype. This is going to be a fun one for me because I frequently buy or read books because of the hype.

tttttt
1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I read this series book by book when it was first released. But even back then there was so much hype that was all accurate. This series still gets hyped up all the time, which says a lot right there.
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – If you read any of my posts on a regular basis you already know how obsessed with this series I am. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I jumped on this bandwagon pretty early and had to wait for each book to be released which made it ten times worse.
3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – After reading ACOTAR I knew I needed to check out her other series as well and I’m super glad I did. I can’t wait for Kingdom of Ash to be released.
4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I originally got these books from the library a few years ago and loved them so much I had to buy my own set.
5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – The first two or three books were already published and I had to not so patiently wait for the next three. But I also had to wait for the Infernal Devices and now I’m not so patiently waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness.
6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I am realizing that I am easily convinced to buy books. I bought this one not too long after it came out and have had to wait for each book to come out. Now that the whole series is out I somehow haven’t managed to reread them all.
7. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – I totally bought this series for the hype. I wouldn’t say they’re the best books in the world, but I’ve enjoyed them enough to read them more than once.
8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I love a good fairytale retelling so when I heard the hype for these I obviously had to see what the deal was.
9. The Gender Game by Bella Forrest – Once I signed up for Kindle Unlimited (after I got my Kindle as a Christmas gift from my mother in law) I saw this series all over and eventually gave it a shot. I’m glad I did, these were fantastic books. I love everything Forrest writes.
10. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I was super late to jump on the bandwagon for this one. I read this last month and I was just blown away.

This is my top ten for this week. What popular books have you read that lived up to the hype?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Book Tag – Halsey

halsey book tag.jpg

Hi lovelies!

Back at it again with another book tag. I love Halsey so when I saw this book tag done on Downright Dystopian’s page I knew I had to play too! This tag is originally created by Paper Riot. Now, onto the book tag!

castle

Amanda- Aelin Galathynius for sure. She’s from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She’s kickass and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She even has the choice to not become queen and abandon her throne but steps up and shows the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Antonia- Definitely Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I just loved watching her grow throughout this series.

coming down

Amanda- I’m going to say all of the scenes written by Lynsay Sands. Sexy vampires from Atlantis? Yes please.

Antonia- Hmm… this is a tough one because I read a TON of romance. I’ll say anything by Julia Quinn because her love stories are just the best.

control

Amanda- The Darkling, for sure. He’s from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I don’t know what it is, but momma loves some Darkling.

Antonia- Queen Savilla from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. She’s the queen of the endarkened (demons) and is simply evil. I just love that she has no redeeming qualities. She’s terrifying and awful and makes a fantastic villain.

drive

Amanda- This was the hardest one for me out of all of these questions. I’ve decided to go with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Our main character is forever trapped in a love triangle between the (mostly) marriage material  Joe Morelli and the sexiest man alive, Ranger. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of communication, more like a stalemate. They communicate but not enough for Stephanie to be able to actually make a decision between the two. (Though I don’t think I ever want her to actually make that final choice.)

Antonia- Kvothe and Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I really enjoy them together and wouldn’t mind seeing them actually get together in the future but they keep so many secrets and they’re both so mysterious that it gets in the way of them ever actually having a relationship.

empty gold

Amanda- Tamlin and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I talk about this in my reviews for this series, linked here. Though I’m sure many people feel this way. This is the couple that popped into my head as soon as I read the question. I loved them so much in the first book and then Tamlin just, ugh.

Antonia- Ember and Riley from The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa. I wanted them to be together for the first couple books so bad then somehow I ended up loving Garret so much that I stopped wanting her to be with Riley. (I still love Riley though.) And me changing my mind about characters that drastically really doesn’t happen often.

ghost

Amanda- This may be biased because of my pregnancy hormones. But when I read the breakup scene in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova I literally spent a solid hour crying. To the point where my husband wasn’t sure what to do with me and just hugged me while I cried for an hour. I’m pretty sure he thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia- For me, this will always be Lyra and Will’s breakup at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I was around twelve when I first read it and cried for days. I still cry hysterically every time I reread it.

haunting

Amanda- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Every once in a while I say to myself, “you know what was a good book, Love Letters to the Dead. I should read that again.” I have recently bought it on my Kindle (I got it from the library the first time.) and I’m planning to reread it soon.

Antonia- All of them. This is actually a huge problem for me because I continue to think about books long after I’ve read them; it actually keeps me up at night. It’s why I reread so many books over and over again.

hold me down

Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’m super not sorry about this either. The whole series is being written and released from Christian’s perspective. I have the first two and am waiting for the third to be released. While I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I will absolutely be buying and reading the third so I have all six books.

Antonia- Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I actually need to catch up on this one but since I first discovered these books I’ve been a little obsessed with them even though there’s now 29 books in the series and Kenyon’s still writing.

hurricane

Amanda- If you read my posts on a regular basis you should already know the answer to this question. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven’t read it read my review here.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. This will forever be my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptation. I reread it at least once a year and it always just gives me this light, happy feeling inside.

is there somewhere

Amanda- Every and all of the couples we find in The Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. This is a 50+ book series that spans over a ridiculous amount of years, several generations, and many worlds. Every couple we meet and read about has to go through some (usually life-threatening) struggle before they get their happy ending.

Antonia- Adrian and Sydney from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. One of my favorite book couples but they struggle so much to keep their relationship going when both vampires and humans judge them for it. At one point Sydney’s actually institutionalized by her family for it.

new americana

Amanda- I try not to use the same book over and over when I do these tags, but I can’t help it for this. I would LOVE to be part of the Night Court squad from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, reviewed here. It’s from the ACOTAR series, but we don’t get to meet them until the second book, so I’m using that one.

Antonia- The Demigods from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome magical powers? Check. Funny and amazing and need to be my best friends? Double check.

roman holiday

Amanda- Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. See my review here to get a more detailed post of my thoughts on this book. I love Hazel and Gus together because they’re both just kids that had to grow up too fast and spent too much time thinking about death. Then they found each other and had a bright spot in their lives, a reason to live if you will.

Antonia- Amanda and Chris from Beheld by Alex Flinn. I talked about them in my review (here) and I just loved them together so much I think I actually squealed while reading it.

strange love

Amanda- Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a good one for this I think. So many people hate him after certain events in the series. I understand why he did what he did and still love him even though it cost him his relationship with Celaena.

Antonia- Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who didn’t like her which kind of astounds me because I adore her.

trouble

Amanda- Rose and Mason from the Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank. I wanted to put them for an OTP with obstacles, but honestly I don’t think they’ll end up together no matter how much I want them to be.

Antonia- None. Toxic relationships are pretty much an instant DNF for me. I’ve read about a lot of flawed relationships (e.g. Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by John Green) but nothing that I would actually consider toxic. Even with examples like Quentin and Margo, I enjoyed reading about them but still didn’t ship them.

walk the line

Amanda- Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. This series is a super interesting twist on the Gods (from all different cultures) which is a topic I really like. I couldn’t put this series down once I started it.

Antonia- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is still one of the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve read.

young god

Amanda- This one is easy. Lyss and Hal from Cinda Williams Chima’s Shadowcaster (reviewed here) are both totally falling in love (if they’re not already in love) with one another. But neither will admit it.

Antonia- Hazel and Frank from Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. They get together later on in the series but for pretty much this entire book, they both are secretly pining for the other. It was adorable.

gasoline

Amanda- Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, reviewed here. I hate to even say this because I love her but I also really hate her. I guess I love to hate her. Okay, I lied. I don’t hate to say it. She’s totally my favorite destructive character.

Antonia- Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He’s so focused on his revenge the entire time that he ignores the chance to make a better life for himself but at the same time, his revenge plot is absolutely insane and amazing at the same time.

 

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week’s topic is top ten bookish worlds I’d want to (or wouldn’t want to) live in. I like both of these, so this week I’m going to do five that I would want to live in and five that I wouldn’t want to live in. Here’s my top ten for this week!

top ten tuesday picture

Bookish worlds I would like to live in

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Yes I know that they just went through a huge war and a ton of people died, but now all is hopefully well and I’d love to live here. I would love to get to visit all the different seasonal courts and the solar courts. I would also enjoy helping (or trying to) create a better world with the fae and the humans. Plus, who wouldn’t want to live in a world with Rhysand, Cassian and Aziel?

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling – Would I be a twenty something year old bookworm if I hadn’t read Harry Potter and fantasized about getting my letter and attending Hogwarts?

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – This is a world similar to ACOTAR with the different seasonal territories that I would love to visit. But in this book universe they have magical abilities instead of being Fae. So who wouldn’t want to have magic and be able to visit whatever season you wanted?

Zodiac by Romina Russell – One word: Space. I love outer space and most space themed books are ones that I’ll buy as soon as I know they take place among the stars. This book universe sounds so cool. The different zodiac planets with the different personalities, I just love everything about this series.

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld – Superheros are yet another autobuy topic. So this book, while it’s set in a regular realistic world, it has kids with super powers. Yes, please?

Bookish worlds I would not want to live in –

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – While I love these books and I love  the characters and the story, I wouldn’t want to live in this world. A world that’s on the brink of war and treats most of the people horribly. No thank you.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Living in this super oppressive world? No way. I wouldn’t survive in this book universe for very long and if I did, I would be very miserable.

Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast – I love this story and all of the characters in it. But I definitely wouldn’t want to live in this ruined futuristic world.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – This book universe seems how I imagine England in the 1800s. I’ve always said that I would live in that time period, but only if I was a woman of wealth. The same goes for this world except I still don’t think I’d want to live there because well, electricity and running water and the internet and all of the modern day amenities I probably couldn’t live without.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima – This book universe is one that I wouldn’t want to live in for one reason that I could use for so many other series that I considered putting here. I wouldn’t want to live in a world that was in the middle of fighting a war. Even though by the end of the series the war is over, there’s always going to be another war in these kinds of worlds even if that story doesn’t get written. Yes, I would love to see this world and meet the characters that I love, but I wouldn’t want to have to constantly worry about the next battle to be fought.

This week’s topic was so fun I considered doing one post with worlds I would want to live in and a different post with worlds I wouldn’t want to live in, but I just did five of each here. What bookish world would you or wouldn’t you want to live in and why?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Best Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish (feel free to put your own spin on it). This week is “Best Character Names (make this as narrow/broad as you’d like)”. Since this weekly post is something that is completely up to me and my opinion, I’m going to choose names that I liked or really stuck with me for one reason or another. This is also in no particular order.

top ten tuesday picture

Alaska – The main character of my favorite book Looking for Alaska by John Green. This name has always stuck with me, maybe because it’s my favorite book. But I think it’s more the story behind the name. Alaksa’s parents let her change her name once she reached a certain age and she chose Alaska because it means “that which the sea breaks against” and that’s just beautiful to me.

The A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – Every name in this series by Sarah J. Maas is one that I really liked. Again, this may be because this is one of my favorite series, but as you read through the books the names just keep getting more interesting. Our main character Feyre, her sisters (Nesta and Elaine), her two love interests, Tamlin and Rhysand. Theres not a single character in this book that doesn’t have an interesting name that’s stuck with me.

Celaena Sardothien – This is the main character from Sarah J. Maas’s other series, Throne of Glass. She’s a kick butt assassin who we later find out is someone who goes by another name (that I’m not going to say because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it) that is just as cool as the name we first know her by. There are other characters in this series with cool names, but Celaena’s is one that’s stuck with me.

Adrian sul’Han – From The Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. So I love all the names of the royal family in this series and the one before it, but I didn’t want to be a copy cat and steal one of the ones Antonia chose, so I’m doing the kids. I really like the way that royalty is named in this series, using the names of those that came before them.

Cass, Del and Nix – They’re from the first three series in the Dragon’s Gift Universe by Linsey Hall. Their full names are Cassiopeia, Delphine, and Pheonix. They named themselves after the stars and I just love that. They named themselves in their past when they escaped something horrible together with no memories of before, so they chose constellations. But we find out that they all chose the right names for themselves when the girls learn more about their pasts later in their lives.

Zeroes Series – By Scott Westerfeld. I had to have at least one “superhero” book on this list. I just really love the whole super hero trend going on. And this one is great because they’re a bunch of kids that try to do good and usually just mess things up. But they’ve got some cool and funny names.

Rhoma Grace – The main character of the Zodiac series by Romina Russell. I think she makes the list just because I really liked her as a character. Also this series is mostly in outer space and traveling among a few different planets and there are lots of cool and interesting space names throughout the whole series.

Lexi JardineShadows of the Immortals series by Marina Finnlayson. This series really stuck with me. And interestingly enough for our main character, we have another situation where her name isn’t actually what she thinks her name is. Again, I won’t say what her name really is because I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s a plot twist for sure. I liked this character and all the others in this series some have basic names, but their characters are so much more than their names. Also, there’s a ton of different gods and goddesses from different cultures and I love stuff like that.

Mae WaylanderThe White Hart Series by Sarah Dalton. Our main character, Mae Waylander, a peasant girl who has the name of a hero, I just hear her name and it gives me hero feels.

Aza – She’s our main character in Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I just like this name. It’s interesting to me, just like who she is as a character.

These are my top ten “best” character names. Mostly they’re just names I liked enough to remember while I was making this list. What’s your top ten on this fine Tuesday evening?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.