Previously on Throne of Glass, Brave Assassin Celaena toured only the non-glass portion of the glass castle, got some books, and almost beaned a noblewoman with a flowerpot.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold, it’s paraphrased snark.
Chapter nine begins:
Celaena stood before the rosewood mirror, smiling.
I like where this chapter’s going already.
I’ll spare you the details of her dress, which is gorgeous, and her hair, which is gorgeous. Her servant Philippa admires Celaena’s gorgeousness (why do you betray me, Philippa, I thought we were buds), then reassures her that the rumors about her harlotry will pass once the Prince is seen with his inevitable next woman:
“Beautiful ladies are always associated with the Crown Prince—you should be flattered that you’re attractive enough to be considered his lover.”
“I’d rather not be seen that way at all.”
THEN WHY DID YOU SIMPER AND PREEN AT THE PRINCE TO MAKE THOSE “RIDICULOUS” TOWNSWOMEN THINK YOU’RE DOING HIM? WHAT WAS THE POINT, EXCEPT TO BE A MALICIOUS ASSHOLE?
This girl is nothing but brainless, impulsive self-absorption and aaaaaugh.
Apparently the competition is kind of a secret from the court, and everyone believes Celaena’s the prince’s latest lay rather than an assassin-competitor. Celaena’s not sure how she feels about this, and belatedly wonders if her glorious dress isn’t a bit much and “[p]erhaps a tunic and pants would have been better.” No shit.
Chaol erupts into her rooms in the surly werewolf fashion we haven’t seen since the first couple chapters, but the sight of Celaena’s glory halts him mid-snarl. After taking a moment to adjust his erection, he grabs her arm and drags her through the castle—“her shoes cut into her heels quite terribly,” but infinitely more important to her are the “approving glances” the guards cast her way—toward their meeting with the king.
Celaena gasps that Chaol should’ve given her some sort of schedule of events so he wouldn’t have to sprint through the castle with a whiny girl slung over one shoulder and his hard-on thrown over the other, to which he replies, “My mind was elsewhere; you were fortunate to be dressed, though I wish you’d worn something less . . . frilly to see the king.”
- Way to fail at doing your job, Chaol, you’re inspiring a lot of confidence.
- Who are you to be criticizing her clothing—her overbearing mother?
- Are you really going to criticize clothing she wears to an event you failed to tell her about?
At least he deigns to tell her that today’s merely the formal announcement of the competition, and the real excitement begins tomorrow.
They haul ass up into the glass part of the castle, which is terrifyingly high up and totally not where Celaena wants to be, and Chaol runs her through the protocol for meeting the king: bow, look proud but not too proud, constantly remind him of his own majesticness, and try not to say anything that’ll get you executed.
Celaena goes all sickly: nauseated, faint, pale, with a brewing headache, fretting about how tight her corset is and how glass the glass castle is and how much the king sucks. Mysteriously, she frets that “[s]he couldn’t be in the glass castle,” which could be just fear of the castle collapsing, but could perhaps be something else entirely? Is she too magical and destined-for-greatness for the castle to bear?
Chaol notices her pallor (though her cheeks are also “burning,” so I don’t know) and reassures her that this meeting isn’t a big deal and she’s got nothing to worry about.
When this doesn’t immediately perk Celaena’s spirits up, he does what he obviously should’ve tried in the first place, and looks deep into her soul with his “rich, molten brown” eyes and . . . compliments her appearance.
And behold, Celaena suddenly feels ready to face down her greatest fears, because someone thinks she’s pretty.
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 0!
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
I despise Celaena: 5
Excuse me while I go die in a corner.