Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Writer's View - The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas

From Goodreads: On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about

The Writer's View

This was a really fun, quick read. I love novellas, and this one delivered on all levels. The main character, Celaena, was a bit hard to take in the beginning--she's hostile, rude, and goes to great lengths to alienate everyone around her. But as the story progresses, we learn that beneath her rough exterior is a very compassionate soul. I expect that more of her character's back story will be revealed in later volumes. I did really enjoy getting to know Celaena and seeing different sides of her.

The stucture of a successful novella

In my opinion, a good novella delivers a complete story with the classic story arch: opening, rising action, climax, falling action, resoultion. (If you sketch it out, it looks like a triangle.) You get a complete story with only one main conflict / one story thread, as opposed to a novel which can have have multiple conflicts / story threads.

I have this dream of writing good novellas, but all of my attempts turn into novels because I always have too much going on. I admire a story that can be delivered as succinctly and successfully as this one. If you're in the mood for a great novella, I definitely recommend this!

For those of you out there who are writers, what do you find easier to write -- novels or novellas? For those of you who are readers -- what so you prefer, novels or novellas?


  1. It's my dream to be able to write a good novella too. I've never been able to even come up with a good novella idea because I tend to think on epic scales and to think ahead in whole series. The other thing that worries me is that no matter how great a novella is, readers always seem to comment that it should have been longer!

    1. Lan, I'm with you! It's always been my dream to write a good novella, but my worldbuilding and plots tend to balloon as I write. :)

  2. I'm not one for novellas. These days I like my novels lengthy. That way I get more character development and the story lines get juicier too. Throne of Glass was an interesting novel, but I doubt I'll likely get into the novellas. Interesting review. Glad you enjoyed it though :)

  3. I adore fun, quick, reads ... and pretty much any good read;)