May 29, 2012 by Heidi
Salute Your Shorts is a weekly (ish) feature here at Bunbury in the Stacks highlighting and reviewing short stories and novellas. Everyone is welcome to join at any time, just grab the pic above and shoot me a link in the comments so that I can include your post in a roundup.
Title: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Sarah J. Maas [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: First in a series of 4 novella prequels to Throne of Glass.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: January 13th, 2012 by Bloomsbury Children’s
Format: Kindle edition; 63 pages.
Rolfe gave her that crooked smile. “Do you act like this because it’s actually in your nature, or is it just because you’re afraid of dealing with people?”
”I’m the world’s greatest assassin.” She lifted her chin. “I’m not afraid of anyone.”
”Really?” Rolfe asked. “Because I’m the world’s greatest pirate, and I’m afraid of a great number of people. That’s how I’ve managed to stay alive for so long.”
Like many of you, I have been incredibly excited about the upcoming Throne of Glass. I know some of you have already read and loved it, but I, in true masochistic fashion, am forcing myself to hold off. Why? Well friends, if there’s something that will override temptation for me, it’s O.C.D., and part of my book O.C.D. involves reading things in order. That’s where these lovely novellas come in. I love getting the chance at a sneak peak into this series. I like the idea that I’ll know where I stand with some of these characters before I even crack the first page of Throne of Glass, and I’ll get to feel all in the know and somewhat superior in regards to their recent history and the world building. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, the first of four novellas leading up to Throne of Glass delivered all of this, and has me salivating for more.
Now, we didn’t gather overly much about this world from The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, but we do get some snippets. It seems that around 8 years ago, Ardalan banished or killed all of the fey, and magic has since disappeared. I don’t quite yet grasp all of the political rivals involved in the neighboring countries, but I do gather that there’s been a great deal of conquering and general uncomfortableness being brandished around. Celeana acts as Ardalan’s Assassin, the right arm and heir of Arobynn Hammel, and favorite among a small council of assassins.
She also believes herself to be the most skilled. Now, I’m not going to argue against that notion, I don’t yet have all the facts, but I will say that Celeana is rude, selfish, vain, arrogant, and not nearly so good at hiding her emotions as she might like to think. It took me a good long while to warm to her, I’ll be honest, but warm to her I did. She’s still not my favorite heroine ever, but she has potential, and I’m leaving her some room to grow. I like a girl who will stand up for what she believes is right, can kick some butt, and is as quick with her mind as she is with a knife. Her grief over the loss of a friend and her compassion towards the innocent show us her humanity and keep her from being utterly dislikable. Training since she was eight and originating from the distant city of Orynth, Celeana is young, beautiful, and deadly.
Arobynn Hammel, the head honcho where the assassins are concerned, sends Celeana together with Sam to barker a deal with Rolfe, the Pirate Lord. Of course, her and Sam have been at each other’s throats for years, each training under Arobynn’s tutelage and seeking his favor. I didn’t like Sam much to begin with either, but as with Celeana I certainly warmed to him throughout. Our pirate lord isn’t much better. He rose to power and fame by utilizing the magical treasure map tattooed on his hands, but when the magic disappeared, so did his luck, and he’s gone into darker business than hunting treasure.
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord was a quick, fun read, and a fantastic way to be introduced to this story. I may have found the characters a bit grating, and the story a bit ho-hum to start, but the action certainly picked up and took off leaving me biting my nails and pumping my fists before it was through. I will certainly be checking out Celeana’s next adventure in The Assassin and the Desert!