Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

In the prequel to Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series, we learn more about notorious assassin, Celaena Sardothien's, dirty past. The Assassin's Blade consists of five intertwining short stories, all featuring the world's finest assassin. 

Celaena works for Arobynn Hamel, who gave her a place at the Assassin's Guild many years before. Since then she has become his protégé, and the worlds best assassin. In these novellas we follow Celaena as she travels far and wide on assignments for Arobynn, along with what happened leading up to her capture and enslavement in Endovier. 

Rate: 4.5/5 stars 

I decided to pick this up since Queen of Shadows (book four of six) is coming out this fall, and I wanted to read it before then. Also, I heard that some characters in this book will be showing up in Queen of Shadows, so I though it would be a good idea to read this before it comes out. I really enjoyed these short-story-prequels, and that's saying something, because I'm not a huge fan of short stories. I thought each novella was great (although The Assassin and the Healer was lacking a bit for me)! I loved how they each had their own storyline, but were all part of one big story. As per usual, there was lots of action, and great writing! I highly suggest that you pick this book up if you are a fan of the series. And if you haven't started reading this series yet, get on it!


First off, let's talk a bit about the first novella, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. We got to see a bit of Celaena's softer side in this novella. We saw that she does actually have a heart, and isn't just a cold, hard killing machine. I thought that it was great that she freed the slaves, even when it was against her orders, and I thought that it was great that Sam joined in. I really love when Celaena does things like that for the good.

The Assassin and the Healer was lacking for me as I mentioned above. It was still good, but I enjoyed the others far more. I didn't care too much for Yrene, and it was a bit boring compared to the other stories.

Next was The Assassin and the Dessert. I liked how we got to see that there was more than one place for assassins, and it was interesting to see the stark difference between the two keeps. I was not expecting that betrayal from Ansel. But it just made the story just that more interesting. I did like their friendship while it lasted though. I think that it was good for Celaena to have a friend of the same gender. And you could tell that she definitely still cared for Ansel at the end.

Fourth was The Assassin and the Underworld. This one was quite good, my second favourite actually. We began to see just how treacherous Arobynn could be. I loved the storyline of this one, it had lots of action (which you may have noticed is what I love in a book)! The scene where Celaena was trapped in the sewer was probably my favourite. I was really glad Sam showed up to save her (and they finally became a thing! I was waiting for that the whole book!). But the worst part was when Celaena realized that the person she was hired was actually working for the rebellion and not against it. And just think, this was only the beginning of Arobynn's horribleness.

The fifth and final novella was The Assassin and the Empire, my personal favourite. The action, the romance, the betrayal, it was all great (and horribly sad). Sam's death, although we knew it was coming, was just horrendous. I felt so bad for Celaena. And then she finds out that his death and her capture was all a plan set up by Arobynn, making it even worse. But this novella was still so amazing. I just loved it because of all the tragedy, that's what made it so good. 

Overall these novellas were great! I can't wait for Queen of Shadows to come out in the fall! 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Joel wishes he was a Rithmatist. He wishes that he could create elaborate defences, bring his chalk drawings to life and defend the American Isles from the deadly chalk creature know as wild chalkings. But sadly Joel is the only student at his school that isn't from a wealthy family or a Rithmatist. 

But things begin to change when students begin to disappear from Joel's school, leaving blood at the crime scene. He befriends a Rithmatist, Melody, and the two are assigned to help the professor that is investigating the crime scenes. And they begin to discover things that could change the world of Rithmatics forever.

Rate: 4.5

I have yet to read something by Brandon Sanderson that I didn't like. This was a pretty great book in my opinion. The world building was great as always. The magic system was elaborate, interesting and well put together. Plus I loved the characters, especially Melody. I also enjoyed the steampunk/gearpunk aspect to the book. I thought the illustrations of the chalkings and defences at the end of each chapter really helped the readers understand the magic system better. This book was super unique and it left many directions for the rest of the story to go.


Like I mentioned above, I love the characters in this book, especially Melody! I loved her spunk and overall personality. Plus, her friendship with Joel was great! Melody was the dramatic one, whereas Joel was the more thoughtful type, plus  were the two odd ones out, and it made for a great friendship. I loved how at the end, they teamed up at the tournament and won. That was a great scene to read. 

I really loved the magic system in this book, it was just so great! The chalkings and the defences were so cool. It was quite mathimatical, and sometimes complicated, and I know some people may not have liked it as much because of this, but I thought that was what made it so great. I really love complex magic systems, story lines, ect. Iv've come to the conclusion that Brandon Sanderson is a genius.

The end was a tad complicated, and I don't have the book with me (it's currently floating over the ocean) to look back on, so please excuse the vagueness (if there is any).

I loved the ending. The mystery, the Rithmatics, ect. The fact that Inspector Harding was being possessed by a forgotten was quite interesting. That changed things quite dramatically. And the same goes for Professor Nalizar, but we never found out exactly what he was. 

Then there were the newly discovered Rithmatic lines. That also changed things quite a bit. There could be many more out there that haven't been discovered yet. 

These two things combined leave the story line wide open. Many things could happen in the next book. You never know. But I'm excited to find out!