The Assassin’s Blade

The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: That is no Moon! (Ok, 3 Moons- keep reading)

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Ok, so here’s the deal. I tried to read this book because my wife and daughter love the series so much. They both told me I wouldn’t like it- and dagnabbit they were right.

I really can’t tell you why I didn’t like it, it is well written and well thought out. But I got about fifty pages in and at that point I just didn’t care what happened. In short the book failed to grab my attention in fifty pages, and I have a 2000 page book I’m trying to finish and review by the end of the year.

So here is where we get to the conflicting ratings. By my scale, if I can’t finish a book it gets no Moons. But 3 Moons is the rating for a good enough book if there is nothing better to read. Well, I had something better to read… which made me stop reading this. Maybe I’ll come back to this someday, part of me wants to do that, and if I do I’ll write another review. But I can’t give a dishonest review in the interim.

The take away here is that my wife and daughter know me better than I know myself.

Author Twitter: @SJMaas

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Lilith: Part III

“Who?” I asked in genuine bewilderment. The encounter, defying expectations, becoming more unpredicted and unpredictable with each passing moment.

“Samael,” she repeated in an earnest plea that appealed to my maternal instincts to provide her with her needs. She pleaded in a tone I expect the kids on those TV commercials to use when asking for food. But my heart hardened when she continued, “Samael, my consort, he should be here. I summoned him” Then she said to me in a voice of self doubt, and looking for validation, “did I do something wrong with the ritual?”

“Lilith, you’re six years old. You don’t have a consort. Do you even know what a consort is?”

She smiled. It was a smile full of mirth and amusement, but it was also mocking with a hint of sadism. “Of course I know what a consort is. Do you think I’m a child?”

The Witch: Part III

Neither the sergeant nor I craned ourselves out beyond the merlons to watch our visitor enter the ward behind our moat and curtain. But we knew that she was inside our sanctuary by the sound of groaning beams and clacking gears that told us the drawbridge was once again being raised into its defendable position. The bridge met its resting nook beneath our feet with an ominous thud underscoring the finality of the event. A heretic has been admitted entrance to our fortress. Neither of us spoke, for there were no more words that could be said.

“Welcome to Panther’s Forge,” I heard a voice from below. I knew the voice and hearing it disturbed me. “We offer you hospitality. In accordance with the customs of our land, please accept this meat and mead as testament to our pact,” I heard the voice of My Lord, not his seneschal say.

“Return to your duties, sergeant,” I said as I disengaged from our embrace and ran towards the stone stairs that led back down to the ward.

“We prefer to eat and drink of the vines,” the voice I heard was melodic and unknown to me but distinctly female. The tone was not rude, but matter of fact with a slight air of arrogance as if explaining something that should already be known. “I accept your hospitality.” I heard her continue and saw her take a bite of the venison back strap and then sip a mead that was of such a fine quality that my lips had never touched it.

The Witch had accepted the hospitality, and it was offered by My Lord’s own hand. The avenues of being able to wriggle ourselves out of the conundrum that we were fixed in were becoming increasingly scarce.

Lilith: Part II

Lilith turned to look at me.

Her eyes are something different. They always have been since her birth. A shade of blue that eludes description. They have a strange beauty and a haunting quality. They are fixed with a perpetual smirk which meets all that she gazes upon. The smirk is not of arrogance or distaste, but of amusement. As if all she sees is absurd. As if she posses some otherworldly knowledge that she keeps hidden behind those eyes. But one other thing distinguishes her eyes from others.

Iridescent, bright and almost luminous. It wasn’t until this moment when I see the candle light reflecting in them that I realized how ominous they were.

“Lilith”, I repeated again, fighting the urge to scream at her for a dozen different things that doesn’t sit right with me about this scene of a six year old, out of bed past midnight, with blood all over her, surrounded by decapitated rabbits, chanting a strange language in front of a candle and has clearly been ‘playing’ with a hatchet and matches. Or maybe it was a lighter.

“Lilith,” I said again. She was looking in my direction but didn’t seem to see me.

“Lilith,” I said again to my daughter who seemed to be in some trance.

Finally she spoke-

“Where is Samael?”

The Witch: Part II

The captain and I watched as the woman approached along the road that more closely resembled a muddy river than a thoroughfare for foot, horse and cart. She moved with a deliberate grace- quickly without haste. Sensuously without eroticism. The result of centuries of practice and millennia of breeding.

This is wrong! I told myself, pitch the captain through the merlons and order the gate closed! Nothing good will come of this. I knew this voice was right…

“Captain,” I said to the man who still held me as if he had considering throwing me off the wall instead- “Do you think this will end well?” I slipped my hand down to my belt knife and braced myself against one of the merlons with my other hand.

“No, I don’t sergeant,” the response was candid. It carried with it an unspoken respect that surprised me. “Her High Holiness is the most powerful woman in all the known realms- nothing will save us from her righteous anger,” he put a mocking emphasis on the closing words.

“Then why are we doing this?” I asked, ready to draw the knife.

“Orders are orders, sergeant.” The captain said it matter of factly. It was the conditioned response of a man who had considered not following his orders as much as he had considered not breathing. Both were synonymous in outcome in his mind. And perhaps he was correct.

“Sometimes orders are wrong, sir,” I said it with a pain I didn’t bother to hide. The hilt of the knife was in my hand, but still sheathed. I hesitated- I didn’t want to kill the man.

“Orders are orders. Now leave the blade be, sergeant,” he said as the left foot of The Witch, bare, met the drawbridge ball first.

Too late! The voice in my head chided me, I always knew you were a coward!