Because I’m lazy, I’m going to do all four prequel short stories in one quick post!
So these short stories are in the world of Throne of Glass, which is the first book in a series, and I personally really enjoyed reading that book!
Summary (I’m just going to do it book by book, and because they’re short stories I’m not going to actively try to avoid spoilers- just warning!)
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Celeana and her rival Sam went to negotiate a deal with the Pirate Lord as compensation for him killing some of their assassins (I think). But then she realizes that the compensation is actually in slaves, everything changes (without trying to sound cliché). She then does everything to try to free them with the help of Sam. (note. If you have read Throne of Glass before at this point she isn’t in love with Sam. In fact she hates him. Him on the other hand…). And so it ends with them freeing the slaves and killing the pirate lord and then going back to Arobynn, who is going to be very very angry at having lost so much money.
The Assassin and the Desert
After going back to Arobynn having freed the slaves with Sam she is sent to the Desert to train as a punishment for a month. At the desert she is trying to get a letter of approval from the head guy to prove that she didn’t just run off. While there she makes friends with this girl called Ansel who then in turn betrays her and the locals- she comes with them with an army because the guy with the army promised her an army to regain her homeland. But while this was all happening Celeana was also having flashbacks of what happened when she got back. Once she got back from the Pirate Lord Arobynn was very angry and therefore beat her up in front of Sam, and throughout the whole short story she was trying to remember what she heard him saying while Arobynn was beating her up. In the end it was “I will kill you”, showing that he suddenly is on her side rather than the guy who basically acted as a very bad father towards them.
The Assassin and the Underworld
To try to make up beating her up Arobynn lets her have a mission to kill someone who is supposedly with the slave trade. But Shock. Horror. He isn’t. He was actually against the slave trade and was trying to work a path of safe houses and a route for escaped slaves. So in this book Celeana actually becomes the villain. This book also progresses her relationship with Sam as they were on the mission together.
The Assassin and the Empire
This was probably my favourite out of the short stories. Celeana and Sam have broken away from Arobynn because he is just evil, but he doesn’t want them to leave. So they struck a deal with him saying that if he allowed them to leave they would pay him a great sum of money. But the slight problem is, they are unable to get that sort of money, until this assassination comes up which involves killing their old clan’s rival; a seemly impossible task which many have attempted and failed. Sam eventually after much persuasion goes alone to deliver the final blow, but he then goes missing for a night and doesn’t return on time. The morning after Arobynn turns up uninvited at their apartment and delivers the note that Sam is dead. Celeana obviously angry goes to seek revenge and tries to kill all of the people who lead to the death of Sam. But it turns out to be a trap and she then gets captured. The book then ends with Arobynn standing and looking over her prison cart as it drove away, and being questioned by someone why he did it. His reply was “Because I don’t like sharing my belongings”
The length of the titles
It just take me so much effort to type out but at the same time I’m too lazy to copy and paste letters and words.
For some reason, I’m not sure what, she just seems different in these short stories than in the actual book. I can’t quite place my finger on what it is. Maybe I just imagined it.
Backstory vs Present
I liked how in these books it kinda explained the personality of Celaena and why she is like that. For example when she goes “I will not be afraid” because it was what Sam used to do and why she won’t trust any girls because of Ansel (sexist. I know.)
I always feel that once you know someone’s backstory you end up knowing them better and I did feel this was true for Celeana. It made us understand her more and why she is so icy and steely.
He was a good hero/ villain. Even at the end he was still a “hero”ish in Celeana’s eyes. Even in Throne of Glass she was refusing to admit to herself that Arobynn was the one who sold her out even though there was no other good suspect. I just kinda liked/ hated their relationship.
- “She lifted her chin. “I’ve been shouting for you.”
Sam shrugged, sauntering over to her. “I figured you could wait a few minutes, given that I saved the day and all.” His brows rose high on his ash-covered face.
“Some hero.” She gestured to the ruin of the tower around them. “I’ve never seen such sloppy work”
- “Well she’d kill him if he was dead”
- “Words could be just as deadly as steel.”
- “If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it—to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger. But Ansel let her pain become hate, and let it consume her until she became something else entirely—a person I don’t think she ever wished to be”
- “When we die,” she said, “I don’t think the gods will even know what to do with us.”
- “Now that Sam was dead, there wasn’t anything left outside of the dungeons worth fighting for, anyway. Not when Adarlan’s Assassin was crumbling apart, and her world with her”
So yeah. These stories were good. I personally read these after Throne of Glass but I don’t think it really matters. It might be better to read before just so you know all the characters and stuff, but then reading it after would intensify the mystery of who sold her out and who is Sam, but I’ve basically just gone and told you the plot anyway so too late now 😉
I would probably still give these 5 shuriken stars overall as a short story series, but I felt that some of them were clearly much better than others.