Five assassins are gathered together, including Celaena Sardothien, otherwise known as Ardalan’s Assassin, or simply as the best. The rest of her companions are men. Alongside her blades, her beauty is another weapon – one her male fellows do not share, but one they could easily use against her.
Now Celaena has a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the notorious Pirate Lord of Erilea, who it is said sold his soul to have a map tattooed on his hands. A map that shows him all a pirate needs – treasure and tides.
Thus begins the first of five novellas gathered together in this collection, which progresses from this mission chronologically and takes the reader up to the start of Maas’ Throne of Glass series.
The first couple of novellas follow adventure stories which have a fun and light-hearted feel like fantasy of old, but by the time the third novella kicks in we begin to see that although these may be episodic snapshots of the assassin’s life they are no less lacking in emotional punch or game-changing discoveries.
The episodic approach made the flow of the story a little clunky and interrupted at times, but this is undoubtedly a delightful way to discover an origin story and get to know a character and what shaped them. If you haven’t read the trilogy, you will want to after this.