I just skimmed through my first several recaps and was surprised to see I was much lighter-handed with the cursing and the all-capsing then than I am now. I mean, sure, I’d noticed deepening indentation on my desk where I’ve been bashing my face, and the pits of despair that were once my eyes, but I hadn’t realized this book was affecting my language so much.
At this rate my recaps will soon devolve into incoherence, when my headdesking becomes headcomputering and I’m too far gone in my rage to notice.
Previously on Throne of Glass, Flawless Heroine Celaena flawlessly passes the first Test.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold, it’s paraphrased snark.
Three days later, Chaol clips on Celaena’s leash and takes her out for another run, which—not for the first or even second time—results in her “legs buckling” and fountains of vomit.
I probably should’ve taken a moment in the earlier chapters to point out that you’re doing physical training terribly horribly wrong.
While Celaena’s stomach’s considering a few more heaves, Chaol decides it’s a fine time to ask about the scars on her back (visible through her white, sweat-soaked shirt). She goes all dark-and-broody and tells him how she was whipped twenty-one times on her first day in the mines.
“That was before I had befriended any of the other slaves—and I spent the first night wondering if I would make it until morning, if my back would become infected, or if I would bleed out and die before I knew what was happening.”
Whoa, hold on. She made friends?
First: I’m 100% unconvinced that this girl’s capable of making friends. Maybe she just misspoke, and actually meant to say “That was before I had an opportunity to determine which slaves were gullible enough to use for my own benefit”?
Second: why has she never thought or spoken about having friends in the mines before? Sure, she’d referenced an unknown quantity of saintly slaves who’d sacrificed themselves to tend her wounds, but she never indicated that they were her friends.
Chaol then gently asks if the guards had ever raped her, and thank goodness her answer is no; the remainder of this post would’ve consisted entirely of capslocked swearing if she’d said yes, and I’m trying to tone that shit down.
Celaena then privately wonders if “perhaps somehow [King of Assassins] Arobynn had bribed the guards in Endovier for her safety.” If so, he needs his money back; wasn’t it Celaena’s own badassness that let her survive for so long in the mines? Wait, no, she also said that the king demanded that she be kept alive as long as possible, so—oh, but after that she claimed that only the inhumanly compassionate care of her maybe-friends kept her alive.
Celaena then briefly puzzles over “the softness in the look he gave her,” and the scene ends.
Lest Celaena’s vomit-spree make readers question her abilities, the book hastens to inform us that, “[t]he following afternoon, the Champions stood gathered around [Weapons Master] Brullo, who lectured them on different weapons and other nonsense she’d learned years ago and didn’t need to hear again.”
But hey, look! My tired rant about her boring perfection is forestalled by actual action! A random Champion makes a bolt for the exit, and immediately sprouts an arrow through his throat. That was . . . less exciting than I’d expected.
Celaena wonders if he realized he wouldn’t win, so committed suicide-by-archers to avoid being sent back to whatever (presumed) hellhole his sponsor dug him out of. She decides the guy wanted to make a point, that point being:
Adarlan could take their freedom, it could destroy their lives and beat and break and whip them, it could force them into ridiculous contests, but, criminal or not, they were still human. Dying—rather than playing in the king’s game–was the only choice left to him.
I think this book’s having an identity crisis; having already committed to being America’s Next Top Model, it wants in on that dark and gruesome Hunger Games action.
Remember: these people were NOT dehumanized and forced to play “in the king’s game.”
Remember: this is an opt-in competition between carefully-selected (willing!) participants, who (figuratively) signed a contract to live in a house together and learn about
smizing killing stuff and compete in a bunch of little mini contests until only the most photogenic deadly remained. At which point all the other competitors would be sent home/back to prison.
The book makes a grim spectacle of this random Champion’s suicide-by-archers, and seems to expect the reader to be horrified. But, uh. These aren’t Hunger Games, and I’m not horrified.
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 2
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
Celaena would’ve smized if she knew how: 2
I’m glad we don’t have to read descriptions of Celaena smizing.