Previously on Throne of Glass, another random Champion’s been Eviled to death off-screen, and Dead Fae Queen Elena helps Celaena cheat on her next 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.
The book forgot to mention before now that yes, Celaena and Nehemia have indeed been doing their hour-a-day language lessons every evening. They’ve advanced from D students to B students, good for them.
Despite Nehemia’s increasing fluency in “the common tongue” (does Adarlan not have its own language? Wow, the world-building in this book is incredible), when they’re out in public they always speak in Eyllwe, in part “to see the raised eyebrows and gaping mouths when others overheard them.”
First: these girls are definitely the type to base their behavior on what would get them the most attention and awe.
Second: surely nobody in the castle would stare at them with mouths literally agape just because they’re speaking a foreign language. Maybe if they were in some podunk fishing village that’s never laid eyes on a foreigner before, but not in this Gotta Conquer The Entire Continent king’s castle.
Anyway, the girls are strolling through the castle, and Celaena’s distracted because it’s page 242 and she hasn’t done a single damn thing to further the plot. No, I’m serious:
“You’re quiet today,” Nehemia said. “Is something the matter?”
Celaena smiled weakly. Something was the matter. She’d slept so poorly the previous night that she’d wished for dawn to arrive early. Another Champion was dead. Not to mention, there was still the matter of Elena’s commands.
Hey, at least she knows she’s failing as a heroine.
Nehemia reminds Celaena that they’ve braided each other’s hair and sworn blood-sisterhood, so Celaena can trust Nehemia with her troubles. Such pure and lovely friendship sends Celaena headlong into an Angst.
“No one has called me a friend in a long time,” the assassin said. “I—” An inky black crept into the corner of her memory, and she struggled against it. “There are parts of me that I . . .” She heard it then, the sound that haunted her dreams. Hooves pounding, thunderous hooves. Celaena shook her head and the sound stopped. “Thank you, Nehemia,” she said with sincerity. “You’re a true friend.”
So you’re haunted by dreams of galloping horses, huh? That’s funny; you’ve never once mentioned it before. Wait, let me guess: this is related to (what’s his name?) Sam’s death, right? Your grief over his death is profound and true.
Nehemia hints that she suspects Celaena’s more than just a merchant’s daughter, then says she’s been trying to make nice with Queen Georgina, because politics are real and holy crap somebody in this castle realizes it.
But just as I’m getting my hopes up for a serious conversation about serious topics, Celaena asks where Nehemia’s taking her, and (wait for it) they’re in the kennels to see Dorian’s new puppies. Can we, like, skip the puppies and get back to the politics, please?
And oh, even better: Dorian’s snuggling with the puppies when they arrive. It’s a litter of mutts, which disappoints him, but the litter mysteriously contains one Gorgeous, Badass, Misunderstood pup that sounds suspiciously like someone we know:
Nehemia pointed to the corner. “Is that dog sick?” she asked. There was a fifth pup, a bit larger than the others, and its coat was a silky, silvery gold that shimmered in the shadows. It opened its dark eyes, as if it knew it was being spoken about, and watched them. It was a beautiful animal, and had Celaena not known better, she would have thought it purebred.
“It’s not sick,” Dorian said. “It just has a foul disposition. It won’t come near anyone—human or canine.”
Guess who’s destined for Celaena?
Okay, maybe not. Dorian promises to choose an appropriate home for it rather than kill it, and she’s cool with that. (Though I’d still lay money down that it ends up with her.)
After a halfhearted attempt at sexual tension between Celaena and Dorian (“She was suddenly aware of how near to touching they were,” yawn), the girls leave. Nehemia apparently has a finer-tuned Romance Radar than I do, and asks if Celaena has a thing for Dorian. When Celaena sputters a negative, Nehemia gets a laugh out of me by saying, “I’ll admit I judged him wrong; I thought him to be a pompous, selfish idiot, but he’s not so bad.”
But all this talk of loving the prince has pissed Celaena off:
Celaena’s head whipped around, her eyes full of long-forgotten fury that made her belly ache and twist. “I would sooner cut out my own heart than love a Havilliard,” she snarled.
Yeah, about that “long-forgotten fury” thing. How did you forget it, exactly? And why didn’t you remember it when you first realized you wanted to smooch him? Or when you got jealous that he was dancing with another woman at the Samhuinn feast? How about when you decided you like-liked him? It’s a little late for your snarling to be convincing.
The girls part ways, and Celaena meanders around the hallways for a bit.
The few guards that followed her remained a respectful distance away—a distance that grew greater each day. Based on Chaol’s orders?
Uh, you might consider being alarmed if the distance is growing every day, because, as you yourself have pointed out, the murdered Champions are only murdered when they’re alone—and you’re getting aloner by the day. Also, Chaol would never order the guards to get farther and farther away from you, and you know it.
She could easily walk right out of the castle, stock up on supplies in Rifthold, and be on a ship to the south by morning.
YES, I KNOW. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I SAID WHEN YOU FOUND THE SECRET PASSAGE. SO WHY AREN’T YOU GONE YET?
She pauses at a window to idly wonder if she’d escape north or south, when BEHOLD, CAIN ARRIVETH.
Something shifted in the reflection of the window, and she whirled as she beheld the man standing behind her.
But Cain didn’t smile at her, not in that mocking way. Instead, he panted, his mouth opening and closing like a fish wrenched from water. His dark eyes were wide, and he had a hand around his enormous throat. Hopefully, he was choking to death.
Celaena being Celaena, she badly feigns concern, snidely asking what’s wrong.
His grip on his throat tightened, as if to silence the words that fought to come out, and the ebony ring on his finger gleamed dully. Even though it should have been impossible, he seemed to have packed on an additional ten pounds of muscle in the past few days. In fact, every time she saw him, Cain seemed bigger and bigger.
unbelievably convenient very fortuitous of him to appear literally out of nowhere while in the (literal?) clutches of Evil, just after she was moaning that she hasn’t made plot-related headway. Wonder how long it’ll take her to start getting curious about his somehow “dully gleaming” ring and the magical steroids he’s obviously on?
Before she can do any sleuthing on him, he runs away with inhuman speed, yet still manages to look over his shoulder a few times as he goes. Celaena keenly observes that he was looking “not at her, or at the confused and murmuring guards, but at something beyond.” Wow, her eyesight’s good.
Appropriately freaked out, Celaena barricades herself in her rooms for the night, and sends notes advising that Handsome Thief Nox and Gangly Assassin Pelor do the same.
You know, I think this is the first kind thing we’ve ever seen her do.
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 0!
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
I rolled my eyes: 4
Still waiting for an answer to the “why haven’t you escaped yet” question, Celaena. Feel free to answer any time now.