Previously on Throne of Glass, Supposedly Badass Assassin Celaena agrees to participate in the ridiculous contest that will determine the King of Adarlan’s new Champion/personal assassin; Potentially Dumb Prince Dorian will be her sponsor.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold, it’s paraphrased snark.
Once dismissed from Prince Dorian’s royal presence, Celaena wastes no time reinforcing my negative perception of her: she’s bathed by “brutish servants” (judgmental!), and manages to dismiss her meal—the first she’s had in over a year that wasn’t “soggy oats and hard bread”—as “unimpressive” (snobby!).
Dude, it was roast chicken. I don’t care if you’ve tasted better chicken; after a year of slave-food, even “unimpressive” roast chicken should be an orgasm in your mouth.
Guys, I really hate this girl. And that’s before she literally starts crying because of her hideousness:
And her breasts! Once well-formed, they were now no larger than they’d been in the midst of puberty.
Yep, small breasts are the greatest tragedy we’ve seen so far. Oh, ignore those screams—that’s just one of the thousands of slaves doomed to die within weeks of entering the mines (self-absorbed!).
The next morning, she’s dressed for her journey—“[s]he loved clothes” we’re told, to nobody’s surprise—and Chaol, Captain of the Royal Guard, “irked at how Celaena stood in front of the mirror for five minutes, admiring herself, half-dragged her out of the room” so they could leave on time (vain!).
Sure, her “stomach clench[es]” at the sight of some slaves, but she “avert[s] her eyes” and gets distracted by Prince Dorian’s three yappy dogs, who accost her in typical yappy-dog fashion.
This sparks an inane interaction between Celaena and Prince Dorian (after which she feels “the unbearable urge to splatter someone across a wall,” because she wouldn’t be our precious Celaena if she went one chapter without desiring unnecessary murder), and finally the group of twenty mount up.
Celaena’s wrists are shackled and attached (via long chain, which she considers a possible murder weapon) to Captain Chaol’s saddle, and off they ride. There’s one last nod toward the slaves, their agony, and their swift deaths, but “Celaena faced forward, pushing those thoughts from her mind as they entered the passage through the wall.”
The group travels for a while, allowing Celaena time to devise a ridiculous escape plan:
[The chain connected to her shackled wrists] was attached to [Chaol’s] saddle, which was cinched around his horse, which, when they stopped, could be subtly unbridled, just enough so that with a fierce tug from her end, the chain would rip the saddle off the beast, he’d tumble to the ground, and she would—
- You don’t “unbridle” a saddle,
- I sincerely doubt Chaol would let you close to any saddle (much less his own) long enough to loosen its girth,
- If you loosened the girth enough for a yank of the chain to tug the saddle off the horse, the saddle will fall off when Chaol attempts to mount,
- And anyway, every horse-person worth their salt checks the girth before remounting, so he would’ve noticed it was loose even before trying to mount.
There’s passing narrative mention of a “fallen Witch Kingdom,” who presumably had magic, and Celaena (vainly) attempts to pry information from Chaol about the King’s impending conquests in the wild West. The only information she gets out of him is that he’s twenty-two. She tells him she’s eighteen, and tries to get him interested in her awesomeness:
“You might ask me how I did it.”
“Did what?” he asked tightly.
“Became so talented and famous so quickly.”
“I don’t want to hear about it.”
Those weren’t the words she wanted to hear.
“You’re not very kind,” she said through her teeth. If she were going to get under his skin, she’d have to push a lot harder.
Uh, he’s done nothing all day but glare at you and clench his jaw. You’re under his skin.
She proceeds to ask him some personal questions, and discerns (through his silence) that he was born a Lord, but doesn’t bear the title despite not having an older brother.
“Then why don’t you bear the title?” Again, no response. She knew she should stop prying, but she couldn’t help it. “A scandal? A deprived birthright? In what sort of messy intrigue were you involved?”
His lips squeezed together so tightly they turned white.
Wait, “[s]he knew she should stop prying”? Wasn’t she thinking on the previous page, “[i]f she were going to get under his skin, she’d have to push a lot harder”? So which is: is she trying to get under his skin or not?
Chaol (thank god!) finally threatens to gag her—but she manages to get a couple more tidbits from him (including the fact that he’s not married, and therefore ripe for her impending Angsty YA Love Triangle) before they stop for lunch.
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 4
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
Celaena fantasizes about murder: 2
Celaena murders someone: 0
Chaol’s surly teen-boy rage: 2
Someone’s plan is dumb: 1
Am I supposed to feel romantic tension between Celaena, Chaol, and Prince Dorian? Because I don’t; I feel only despair.
Here’s hoping Chaol’s gag makes an appearance in chapter five.