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 misson 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.
First sentence: “The cavernous entrance hall of the Assassin’s Keep was silent as Celaena Sardothien stalked across the marble floor, a letter clutched between her fingers.”
In The Assassin and the Underworld, Celaena has returned to the Assassin’s Keep after three months in the desert. When she gets back, Arobynn is apologetic and showers her with lavish gifts. He commissions her to kill Doneval, a businessman from Melisande, and retrieve important documents to prevent a slave-trade business from occurring. Celaena prepares herself by staking out Doneval’s place with the help of Sam, who reveal a part of himself to Celaena. And then something happens, revealing everything and everyone is not what it/they seem to be.
I enjoyed this novella a lot more than the other two. I think most of it had to do with all the Sam and Celaena interactions. All the scenes made my heart want to burst out of my chest. They like each other. It’s so obvious! And Sam is too cute. Of course, he’d do something so sweet to make Celaena happy and something so selfless to protect her. Where can I get a guy like him?
Another reason why I enjoyed this novella was because we get to see Celaena in action and see how she makes mistakes. (I complained about the lack of it in previous novellas.) It was interesting to see how she wasn’t entirely successful in her infiltration of Doneval’s house. She made mistakes that led to her capture. I liked that we saw she had been too blinded to see Arobynn’s true motives and see that she had been misled. A real critical error on her part to trust Arobynn.
I was extremely fascinated by Sam’s comment about Lysandra, a courtesan who’s getting ready for her upcoming Bidding. He claimed that Lysandra annoyed Celaena and did shit things to her because Lysandra wanted Celaena’s attention and acknowledgement. So interesting because despite not liking each other, they both yearn for acknowledgement from those who are much powerful than them. Here are two females who live in an extremely male society. They need acceptance and they don’t get it from each other. However, I was discouraged that yet another female is portrayed in a negative light.
I wonder what the next novella will show us – in Celaena’s growth as an assassin and her budding romance with Sam.
Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . .
First sentence: “Curled into the corner of a prison wagon, Celaena Sardothien watched the splotches of shadows and light play on the wall.”
The Assassin and the Empire is set a month after Celaena and Sam left Arobynn’s home, trying to find their way out from under Arobynn’s thumb. They decide that, to truly escape Arobynn’s hold on them, they have to leave the Assassin’s Guild and leave Rifthold. However, they do not have enough money to sustain them. Sam finds a job for them, to kill Ioan Jayne, the biggest crime lord in Rifthold, and Farran, Jayne’s right hand man. However, things do not go as expected. This novella sets up how Celaena ended up where she is in Throne of Glass.
I didn’t enjoy this novella as much as I did the previous one. A large part of that had to do with Celaena’s naivety. Even though she’s knows not to trust Arobynn, she does it anyway. I would be extremely suspicious of Arobynn’s motives, even if he shows regret or whatever because of the shit things he’s done. Arobynn shouldn’t be trusted whatsoever. When Celaena wonders who betrayed her at the end, I’m like JUST THINK, CELAENA. I find it interesting that Celaena is not as observant as she thinks she is. If she really had been, then she would’ve seen this coming; she wouldn’t have played into Arobynn’s hands. This flaw of Celaena shows that she still has a lot to learn.
My favorite scenes are: 1. after Celaena sees Farran torture a prisoner, she thinks about her own actions and killings (love this scene because she acknowledges that she is, in a way, no different than Farran), 2. when Celaena waits and waits and waits for Sam to come home (my heart breaks because y’know, the tragic thing that happens is just terrible and ahhhh), and 3. when the King speaks to Celaena in the dungeons (I find their interaction interesting because he’s an asshole and she tries to maintain herself.)
I don’t want to spoil anything that happens in the novella, but it certainly is a good read.