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{February 18, 2013}   {Review} The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #0.3)

13546173From Goodreads: 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.

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This is a great novella following the growth of Celaena as she is once again back in her hometown, having completed her training in the desert.  What I’m noticing is that, as each novella unfolds, we are given more insight into Celaena’s life, her thoughts and feelings coming to the forefront, and we realize, more and more, that she really is just a 17 year-old girl looking for her place in life.  Yes, she is an assassin, the best around, to be sure, but she is also completely naive and innocent in life and love. I am glad to see that the romantic aspect of Celaena’s life is finally addressed in this novella, I was wondering when it would come to light, but having read Throne of Glass, I know how this will end, and it breaks my heart.  Now, I know all the key players, so it is a more heart-wrenching development than when Celaena alluded to it in the full novel, a year later, when I didn’t know the extent of her past experiences and betrayals.  Or just how pure and true her loving romance was.

Aside from love, though, Celaena’s innocence in terms of life was stolen when she made her first kill under the orders of Arobynn.  I haven’t liked the Assassin King since I first learned of him, and his actions in both The Assassin and the Pirate Lord and The Assassin and the Desert made me like him less and less.  He is a soulless dominant male ready to exploit those around him, yet his charm and taste constantly undermine Celaena’s resolve to quit his service once and for all.  It is in this novella that we finally meet the man who pulls Celaena’s strings, and I have to say, he does carry himself very well, but his motives had me on edge from the get go.  I just wish they would have set Celaena on edge as well.  This novella is full of betrayal, though it isn’t made plain right away.  Even so, I really enjoyed this novella and the depth of personality we get to see in both Sam and Celaena.  This novella, I believe, is the one that helps turn Celaena into the strong character she is in Throne of Glass, and I absolutely adored it.  Four and a half stars.

4.5 stars

I purchased this novella from the Amazon.

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