The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas | #COYER Short Review

August 18, 2014 Reviews 30

The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas | #COYER Short ReviewThe Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #0.4
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 1, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 102
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

When the King of the Assassins gives Celaena Sardothien a special assignment that will help fight slavery in the kingdom, she jumps at the chance to strike a blow against an evil practice. The mission is a dark and deadly affair which takes Celaena from the rooftops of the city to the bottom of the sewer--and she doesn't like what she finds there.

Read as part of the Anthology:The Assassin's Balde
The Assassin's Blade

My Initial Reaction…

Man do I wish I had read The Assassin and the Underworld before reading Throne of Glass! I have a feeling I wouldn’t have seen some of those twists coming. And I would be happier right now about some of the developments.

The Good…

Is EVERYTHING a good enough answer?! Okay, yeah that’s not entirely true either, but Gah! This was good! I’m such a character driven reader and the character development in just 100 some pages is just incredible. We’ve been getting to know Celaena in the other ToG novellas, but in The Assassin and the Underworld I feel like we’re getting a feel for the other players better than ever before.

After reading ToG I thought I was all about Chaol and Prince Dorian, but now I get why she’s not falling all over them. She had someone even better! Sam Cortland people! Okay to be fair, I haven’t read the rest of the series and I may end up falling head over heels for one of those guys, but I official love Sam. He’s strong and capable and wants to protect Celaena. But he doesn’t think that protecting her means squelching her independence. He lets her be strong and capable all on her own. He just wants to be her partner. Is it possible that my feelings for him are a bit altered by having read ToG and knowing where all this is headed? Hmmm… possibly!

The Bad…

So only one thing really bothered me in The Assassin and the Underworld and it was Celaena’s attitude toward Sam. She’s so mean to him and sometimes I got it – she’s hurt and on the defensive for a multitude of very good reasons. But other times I just wanted to reach in and smack her around (except that she’d obviously kick my ass, if not kill me LOL). She’s supposed to be smart – this bad ass assassin, but she’s not a very good judge of character – at least not that I’ve seen so far. Poor, shockingly naive for an assassin Celaena. This is kind of a good point too, though. What a complex character – assassin and yet still young and naive!

Concluding Sentiments…

Obviously I loved this, but some elements were very predictable. I think this is because I already read Throne of Glass, though. So, my recommendation: If you’re new to this series, start with the novellas. I think you’ll appreciate them and the book more if you read them in the right order.

I loved it

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About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J Mass

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she’s not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

30 Responses to “The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas | #COYER Short Review”

    • Berls

      That’s exactly what I’m doing Anya. I don’t think I even knew they existed when I read Throne of Glass. Now that I’ve read them all, I’m thinking they shouldn’t have been packaged as an anthology of novellas but as an actual book. Yes, there’s time skipping between the stories, but they are one coherent story and not at all superfluous to the series. Wish I had known πŸ™
      Berls recently posted…Scent of a White Rose by Tish Thawer | #COYER Audio ReviewMy Profile

  1. Heidi

    And here is my two cents. I hate that publishers are continuing to pull important parts out of books and put them in novellas. Not everyone has access to novellas and that isn’t fair. I hate the steep price tag for some of them as well. I already read both books before I was even aware that the novellas existed. At least these novellas are all bundled now in a book but still….
    Heidi recently posted…Tour Stop: An American Girl in Italy by Aubrie DionneMy Profile

    • Berls

      I agree 100% Heidi. I actually would have skipped these novellas if Jessica (Rabid Reads) hadn’t told me that they were a must read. I tend to skip novellas and I hate how much they cost. You want me to pay $3.00 for 100 pages? What? Thankfully this collection wasn’t too expensive, but I really feel like it should have been sold as a book, not novellas. They read like 1 book once you get through them all.
      Berls recently posted…Scent of a White Rose by Tish Thawer | #COYER Audio ReviewMy Profile

  2. Carmel

    I’m relieved to hear that this was a legit prequel because more often than not, I find that you need to read the full length books first, then go back which is incredibly misleading IMO. But then the whole predictability issues can come in to play, so you’re kind of damned if you do, and damned if you don’t… Either way, I’m glad to learn that this was a worthwhile addition to the series.
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  3. Tanja

    I totally agree that these short stories should be read before the Throne of Glass. They really give a nice intro into this story and yeah this one was my fave of all short stories πŸ˜‰ Great review πŸ™‚
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    • Berls

      Thanks πŸ™‚ This one was a great one for sure – I’m not certain I can pick a favorite, but it’s in the running! I’m glad they’re still good if you read them after ToG, but wish I had read them first. At least I’ve read them before Crown of Midnight.
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