2012

The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass 0.2) by Sarah J. Maas

The most frustrating thing about falling in love with a book is when you find yourself lying in the middle of night in your bedroom, unable—unwilling— to accept that the book is truly over. That feeling you get is a combination of turmoil and gratification, which usually comes about when a story has left me breathless. Turmoil, because in some way without even trying, my view of the world has now been slightly altered (in a good way)…and gratification, because I’m so very thankful for having the opportunity to read something so brilliant. Thus, it’s safe to say that if a book has this sort of impact on you, it must be pretty amazing right?

Right.

Because when you think about it, The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J. Maas leaves readers reeling in all the right ways. And the best part about it all…is that the story has barely begun! A story that is only at the very beginning stages of an epic tale but has already left me pondering all of humanity’s nuances — both good and bad — and I know in my heart, that Throne of Glass will be one of those books that everyone will remember years from now.

The Assassin and the Desert Summary

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.

What is it about Sarah J. Maas’s writing that has me acting like an obsessed fanatic? Literally, the woman continues to throw curve balls left and right. Her storytelling is simply fantastic. I can’t even fathom the sort of attention she’ll receive once Throne of Glass is released. The Assassin and the Desert was excellent in every single way. What I learned about friendship, love and life from that tiny novella alone can’t even compare to the past twenty books I’ve read in the last few months! That’s simply the gist of it – good quality writing, wonderful characters, epic battles and subtle life lessons all packaged into one.

Celaena Sardothien certainly won me over. How Maas was able to develop a character so perfectly and in such a short about of time—two novellas—baffles me. Here we’ve got a kick ass girl with a bad bad attitude. Beautiful, vain and so very arrogant. Yet, this girl feels more than your average character could ever feel — and oh-so-deeply does she feel. For someone who’s a tad bit shallow, Celaena’s pretty damn deep. Nevertheless, Celaena Sardothien leaves a lasting impression on every single person she encounters because for some reason, she just does. And it’s done so very smoothly and subtly by Maas.

All I could think about after finishing this book were the cookie crumbs dropped by Celaena during the first two novellas. No doubt, they will inevitably continue to drop as the series progresses. My questions are: Who will meet her? Whose life will change because of her? And most importantly: Who will leave a lasting impression on her. The character growth in Celaena alone from The Assassin and the Pirate Lord to this novella is astounding, and I’m eager to see how and where she stands two novellas and three books from now.

What I simply love about the way Celaena’s story is told is how easy it was to grasp the world she lived in. I honestly don’t remember any information dumping…yet, from the stygian spiders that lurked the Ruhnn Mountains to the beautiful ancient breed of Asterion horses from Erilea, I could literally see and live in the world that Maas created — and I loved it. And though I did sort of wish there was more SAM in this novella (I’m beginning to think it’s going to be very hard to accept a new man in Celaena’s life any time soon), I was quite content with Ansel. If anything, I was actually happy to see the relationship between Celaena and Ansel grow and change into something quite beautiful. I was practically in tears reading the bittersweet moments between the two friends. Girls rock. Enough said. But no matter what, I am a hopeless romantic, and my favorite parts of the book still consisted of my favorite boy Sam. I think I reread one of the lines — when Celaena recalled Arobynn needing three men to hold Sam back — at least five times before moving on to the next page. I cannot wait until the next novella — May 1st. Mark your calendar now!

There’s so much more I want to say, but I think you’d all just get sick of me obsessing and throwing around as many adjectives as I can describing how much I love Sarah J. Maas’s writing. The music theme I chose is none other than the Gerudo Valley theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Why? Because Ansel’s red hair reminded me of the Gerudo warriors and of course… the desert. If you haven’t read The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, pick it up and read it now, followed by the Assassin and the Desert. I don’t think I need to tell those who have already read the first novella to pick up this one—I think the first novella can speak for itself. Definitely a five out of five.

Rating: 5/5

Theme Music: Gerudo Valley Orchestrated and Conducted by Eimear Noone, Performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra

*Photo: Photo Credited to Rob Chiu as seen on http://vi.sualize.us/view/f3ff420bb2196e94d6bed2f315e2887b/

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