Book Review: “The Assassin and the Underworld” by Sarah J. Maas

Hello! Today we will be discussing the fourth novella in The Assassin’s Blade bind up. This is a continuation of the last novella, The Assassin and the Desert. For that reason, I can’t really tell you what it is about other than it is a prequel novella to the Throne of Glass series. I think you definitely should read Throne of Glass prior to this novella series, but you should read this before you read Crown of Midnight. It will just enhance your reading experience a lot. So I ended up giving this one a 95%. While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed the last novella, it was still really good. The synopsis might spoil you for the previous three novellas, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, you should read all of these novellas, come back and we can discuss it together. Let’s go ahead and get into the review!

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, read the synopsis and don’t read any other part of this review.***


“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.”


Celaena: she is as fabulous as always and I actually really liked the direction her character went in this novella. While she annoyed the hell out of me in the beginning by accpeting all of Arobynn’s gifts and not severing her ties with him, she finally did sever her ties with him and not only did she free herself, but Sam as well. She also finally figured out her feelings for him, which was great.

Arobynn: I hate this prick and I want him to rot in hell for all of eternity. I hate him for what he did in this novella and I want Celaena to kill him. Alas, to my chagrin, he did not die.

Sam: I love this man. He cares about Celaena so much and for a while there she just doesn’t see it. I just really love how fierce he is, but also caring. He is willing to do anything for Celaena and he hates Arobynn about as much as I do, more so, and that just makes him even more appealing to me.

Lysandra: I hate her. I really want her to die and I don’t understand why she likes Arobynn in the slightest. I also just really hate how slinky and slutty she is and how much she hates Celaena. She just makes my skin crawl.

Doneval: I have mixed feelings about him. While he is definitely a pervert, in my opinion, he was trying to do a good thing by helping out slaves and that makes him a better person than most in this series.

Phillip: I can’t decide how I feel about him. On the one hand, I really hate him for torturing Celaena. But on the other, he was just protecting his boss. But he’s still a dick either way.

Leighfer: Even though we didn’t see much of her, after everything, I really hate this bitch and hope she dies a painful death.


After being in the desert for three months, Celaena has finally returned to the Assassin’s keep with her letter of approval from the Mute Master. Arobynn showers her with gifts to sort of buy her back even though he beat the shit out of her. It seems to be working when Sam finds her and he is pissed about her accepting them. A slinky and slutty Lysandra keeps trying to make Celaena think Sam is with her when he is in fact not and despite what Celaena thinks about herself, we all know this got under her skin.

Arobynn gets this special suit made for Celaena and Sam both, though Celaena’s is free and his is not. It has places for knives and other weapons, it allows her to climb and it is just really an awesome (and expensive) suit. He then offers for her to take an assignment in killing Doneval, a businessman who is making a slave-trade agreement. She needs to kill this man and retrieve those documents.

A notable scene is when Arobynn, Sam, Lysandra and Celaena go to a ball that Doneval is at. She gets the information she needs to figure out when the meeting of the slave-trade agreements is being made. It should also be noted that Sam was extremely protective of Celaena and got jealous when she danced with another guy. I loved his jealousy.

Anyway, so Celaena stakes out Doneval’s house and ends up caught by one of his guards and is tortured. She is left for dead and almost drowns, but Sam saves her. A night or two later, they both stake out his place and Celaena kills the guard that tortured her, kills Doneval and the man that had the documents ran off, so she went after him and he kills himself. He did burn most of the documents, but from what she could tell of the remaining ones, he wasn’t making a slave-trade agreement. He was trying to set up safe houses to free slaves. And to help slaves.

Also, before this, when Sam and Celaena are waiting to strike against Doneval, they are beneath the sewers and Celaena kisses Sam. They have a good full-on make out session before they kill Doneval. It was great and yes, I was screaming, “Yes, oh, hell yes,” when I was reading it. #NoShame

So basically Arobynn was a lying asshole and made her kill a man that was trying to do a whole lot of good for slaves. That is the last straw for Celaena. She buys out her freedom from Arobynn and Sam’s as well. Arobynn, the prick that he is, uses that money to bid on Lysandra and he wins. So all the money is gone.

The book ends with Celaena and Sam living in an apartment that is well hidden. Also, they were kissing at the end and it was very cute and I hate that I ship them. Because of things I know from the Throne of Glass series.

My Thoughts:

Well, I hate Arobynn more than ever. I want him to die. I want Celaena to rip him apart limb from limb. I want a lot of things to happen to that horrible man, but alas. He didn’t die.This novella really was complex and I really enjoyed seeing the dynamic between Sam and Celaena. I ship Celaena and Sam so freaking hard. I hate that I ship them because of things that I know from the Throne of Glass series. But they are very cute and I was so freaking happy when they kissed. I love Sam’s character and I love how much he cares about Celaena. I hate Lysandra and hope she rots in hell. I just really enjoyed learning about all of the characters in this novella and the amount of development they went through is super extensive. The writing was on point, the plot was interesting and complex and action-packed, and the characters were wonderfully developed. Super excited to get into the next novella!

4.5/5 hearts

And that is the end of this review. What is one thing that surprised you with this novella? I was pretty surprised that Doneval, while he may have been a pervert, actually was trying to do some good things and Arobynn made her kill him. That just really rubbed me the wrong way and pissed me off. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time.


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