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.
First sentence: “There was nothing left in the world except sand and wind.”
We are a couple months after the events of The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, Arobynn Hamel had punished Celaena by beating her and sending her out to the desert to be trained by the Mute Master of the Silent Assassin.
This was kind of hard for me to get into. I blame the weather. (It’s been extremely stuffy-hot, which is completely unbearable to me. It’s fitting though – the weather. As I read The Assassin and the Desert, I felt like I was with Celaena as she trekked through the hot desert.) Though, I did eventually got sucked into the story during the halfway point when Ansel, a girl that’s training under the Silent Assassin, took Celaena to the Xandria on some business for the Mute Master. That was when the story moved forward, whereas I felt everything before was stagnant.
I really enjoyed Ansel more than I did with Celaena. She’s a different She’s a nice contrast to Celaena’s serious, arrogant personality. Ansel’s personality and actions show that assassins are capable of smiling and having fun (even though we find out it was a ruse). Life should be lived, fun should be had. When Ansel’s true personality/mission was revealed, I was saddened by it, but her actions are important to show Celaena’s growth and moral conduct .
This novella sets up the difference between Adarlan’s Assassins and other assassins (like the Silent Assassins). For Adarlan’s Assassin, they are subjected to an environment that rewards brutality, and forces these particular assassins to see each other as enemies. Their three rules would be: “1. Look out for number one, 2. No weakness, and 3. Be vicious.” And for the Silent Assassins, everybody learn from each other. They genuinely value what everybody has to bring to the table. I enjoy seeing the differences and seeing how Celaena continues to grow disillusioned by Arobynn’s treatment of his assassins. I wonder what the next novella will bring us.