Previously on Throne of Glass, Chatterbox Celaena begins her journey toward the king’s city; along the way, she and Grumpy Dude Chaol confirm they’re of similar ages and single, and Chaol kindly offers to gag her for the remainder of the journey. Hot!
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold, it’s paraphrased snark.
Lunch is served in a forest conveniently littered with bench-sized logs, and “Celaena became a bit more than irritated when the captain did not immediately remove her irons,” which reminds me that eternally irritated needs to be added to her list of character traits. Chaol gives her a good glare before shifting her shackles from her wrists to her ankles, which makes her “roll her eyes,” much as I am doing now.
Celaena notes that Prince Dorian—who “had been all arrogance and amusement the previous night” (what happened to his “glorious boredom”?)—seems uneasy with evil Duke Perrington, he who wrestled Celaena into a bow in chapter two.
Duke Perrington’s evilness status: Confirmed.
She also notices that the Oakwald Forest they’re lunching in is beautiful and creepy, which for some reason segues into a recounting of Celaena’s childhood: the King of Adarlan had razed her home country of Terrasen, leaving her family dead and eight-year-old Celaena half-drowned in a frozen river. Arobynn Hamel, King of the Assassins, stumbled upon her impending corpsehood and was apparently overcome pity and goodwill. We’re not told what he was thinking, but I’m guessing it was something like, “This poor child, I must CPR her and de-frostbite her and transform her into a serial murderer.” Like you do.
Back in the present, the soldiers joke uneasily about the creepy forest and how great it is that all those damned faeries and Fae have been got rid of, ha ha, which gets Celaena’s hackles up. (Not that they were ever down, of course.)
Info-dump time! Faeries, you see, were ruled over by the immortal, human-like Fae, who were the continent’s original settlers. But “[t]he King of Adarlan had outlawed it all—magic, Fae, faeries—and removed any trace so thoroughly that even those who had magic in their blood almost believed it had never really existed, Celaena herself being one of them.” (Because being the world’s most feared assassin by age sixteen isn’t cool enough for Celaena, oh no.)
- Inhumanly badass (allegedly)
- Casually arrogant
- 99% fearless
- Pale and beautiful
- Hates the Adarlan royal family
- Painfully dumb
- Dreams of freedom
- Eternally irritated
Within a month of this random human king banning magic, “magic had completely and utterly disappeared of its own accord. Perhaps it had realized what horrors were coming.”
This book had damn well better offer an excellent explanation for magic’s apparent sentience and its fear of the Adarlan king’s conquests.
In case you were wondering, Celaena’s abilities are lost to her, too. We’re not told what they are, but it’s ominously hinted that magic “was far too dangerous for any sane person to wield; her gifts might have destroyed her by this point” if she’d still had them. Aaaand I’m guessing she’ll get those gifts back, and the fact that they don’t destroy her will be further evidence of her general Badassitude.
Lunch is finally over, and they mount up and continue on their way. Celaena notes that “[i]t was painful to ride,” which I would believe for someone in her position, but she adds that “her nose also suffered a blow as the continual stench of horse sweat and excrement floated to the back of the entourage,” which indicates (as if the whole “unbridled saddle” fiasco in the previous chapter hadn’t already) that the author has never ridden a horse.
And anyway, after a year packed in with thousands of other hard-physical-laborers who (presumably) never or almost never bathe, Celaena’s nose should barely detect the smell of horse sweat.
Ha ha, I’d actually tried to apply reasonable human responses to her, my bad. Of course Celaena’s Most Delicate and Pure nose would be able to detect someone else’s stench, the better to ensure (and inform others) that she herself is (at least relatively) stench-free.
Also: surely she’s not allowed to ride at the back of the line, right? Shouldn’t she be in the middle, to make escape more difficult?
The rest of the day passes in blessed silence (no need for Chaol’s sexy-times gag after all!), and she finally flops down to sleep in a little tent—awakening the next morning to find a bouquet of flowers at the foot of her bed, and a trail of tiny footprints leading into and out of the tent.
I’m less shocked by this evidence of faeries than I am by the fact that someone wants to give Celaena flowers. Can we meet this faerie, please? I have questions for them. (Also: Celaena totally strikes me as the person who’d order themselves a bouquet on Valentines Day, have it signed “Your secret admirer,” and have it delivered to them at school or work. Gotta keep everyone impressed and jealous, you know.)
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 2
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
Celaena fantasizes about murder: 0!
Celaena murders someone: 0
Chaol’s surly teen-boy rage: 1
Someone’s plan is dumb: 1
Can’t decide if this boring info-dumping/traveling chapter is more or less aggravating than the ridiculousness of the chapters before it.