This novella picks up right where the last one left off. Celaena just found out that Arobynn had betrayed her (again) by having her kill the person trying to stop the slave trade (Doneval) instead of the one trying to establish it like she thought. He thought to break her by this, but really she just deposited the gold that The Mute Master had given her to pay off her debt to Arobynn, sold her Asterion horse to pay off Sam’s debt and informed Arobynn that she would be moving out.
Sam and Celaena wanted/needed to move to another city so they wouldn’t be under Arobynn’s thumb. They needed to leave the Assassins Guild amicably so that they wouldn’t be hunted down and killed. The price for leaving was everything they had left. So Sam and Celaena needed to find one last job in order to get the money needed to move somewhere else.
The job was to take out the crime lord, Ioan Jayne and his second-in-command, Farran. This was to be their most dangerous assignment, but would allow them the freedom to leave Rifthold behind. Arobynn tried to talk Celaena out of it. Sam insisted that he would take on the sociopathic, sadistic enforcer. He wanted Celaena nowhere near Farran. They quickly learn they have been betrayed again.
This novella was still phenomenal. I don’t like sad endings, but I saw this novella as a means to an end. I needed to read this one, in order to read Throne of Glass. I can see how this novella is important. The reader should understand all the heartache and treachery that Celaena went through in order to get where she is at the beginning of the novel. The novellas guided the reader gently through the growth that Celaena experienced.
"The breeze grew into a wind, and she closed her eyes, letting it sweep away the ashes of that dead world-of that dead girl. And then there was nothing left except something new, something still glowing red from the forging."