Description from Goodreads:
The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.
I'm not sure if I have any bad word to say about The Assassin and the Desert. The plot was once again intriguing and we saw some more of Celaena's fighting. All 103 pages kept me captivated and I was completely absorbed in the world of assassins, conspiracies, and betrayals. Truly these novellas are pleasure to read.
However, the second short story The Assassin and the Desert isn't identical to the first one, even though they share same elements. The #0.2 story is one of those tales which Celaena tells herself in the actual books (book 2, Crown of Midnight to be exact); how she came to learn that witches can only die if their are decapitated and how told her this information. We get to meet Ansel, a girl an assassin-in-training, who provided this piece of information that became life-saving in the future for Celaena. It's wonderful to make these connections between the novellas and the books as the whole story becomes more coherent (not even to mention the epiphanies when you add 1 + 1).
What I really enjoyed was Celaena making her first female friend. Previously, she had only been training with men, and never got a chance to associate with herself with girls matching her age, for the exception of prostitutes. The readers get to see the vulnerable side of Celaena that she hates to reveal to anyone.
In addition, the travel to Red Desert also is a milestone for Celaena as she reaches a realisation during her time there: she doesn't have to accept the vulgar behaviour of Aborynn. This is a huge event for her, because there is no going back once you turn back on Aborynn..
"She'd never seen Aborynn so angry, and it was scaring the hell out of her. He didn't yell, and he didn't curse - he just went very still and very quiet. The only signs of his rag were his silver eyes, glittering with a deadly calm."