In honor of Throne of Glass' release today, here's a review of the four novellas released during the past few months.
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass #0.1)
The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass #0.2)
The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass #0.3)
The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass #0.4)
By Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
The Throne of Glass Novellas are basically the setup to the conflicts of Throne of Glass. In other words, it's the explanation of "Why Celaena is in this crappy situation?" I have not yet read Throne of Glass, so I won't be able to say if the novellas did a wonderful job in building up the momentum for the first book of the series, but I will say the novellas were action-packed teasers that do prepare readers for Throne of Glass.
Celaena Sardothein is the ridiculously arrogant assassin living in her own bubble. Selfish and ruthless, Celaena obeys her adoptive father, Arobynn, without question, who in return gives her a lavish lifestyle. Until the day when Celaena and her former rival, Sam, disobey Arobynn's orders and have to face Arogynn's dangerous side. The novellas follow Celaena's journey of breaking free from Arobynn's grasp, while suffering hardships such as heartbreak and betrayal.
I usually obsess over high-fantasy assassin series for weeks before I let another book entrance me. Unfortunately, these four novellas didn't seem to grasp my attention as much as I would have liked; the plots were all exactly the same, Celaena doesn't seem to actively show her skill as the "greatest" assassin and the mystery aspect fell flat.
The first novella was a decent read. I enjoyed the romantic aspect of the novella between Celaena and Sam. Then, the second novella served no purpose beyond improving Celaena's already legendary assassin skills (which seems kind of pointless). Finally, the third novella just made me want to scream at Celaena for being so naive when she lives in such a dark, sinful world. She has no problem with the man who introduced her into seeing people at brothels or assassinating people. After all of the cruel punishments he deals out to her, she still trusts the evil guy. I won't even go onto the fourth novella, that was so predictable. After three novellas, it is pretty easy to figure out what Celaena will mess up yet again.
There does not seem to be any hope for Throne of Glass redeeming its faulty novellas. Many of the negative reviews also acknowledge the lack of seeing "Celaena the assassin" and the flat love triangle. The romance in the novellas was so sweet and climatic, so I'm expecting a letdown with the love triangle. However, these four novellas proved to be a refreshing read for someone who wants to escape to a new fantasy realm for a short period of time.