Previously on Throne of Glass, Celaena receives some Yulemas presents, and decides she needs to infiltrate tonight’s Yulemas ball.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold, it’s paraphrased snark.
Celaena’s crammed into a pew for the Yulemas service, overwhelmingly self-conscious at the idea of anyone seeing her candy-reddened teeth. To prevent this blow to her dignity, she’s holding her lips so tightly closed that they hurt. Because pinched-white lips don’t look incredibly weird or noticeable, not at all.
The temple’s beautiful, the High Priestess does some generic religiony stuff, and our heroine’s bored out of her skull. Me too, Celaena, me too.
After just a few minutes of sitting, Celaena—the Greatest Assassin, she who has presumably exhibited great feats of silence, stillness, and patience over the course of her illustrious murdering career—gets squirmy as a toddler and asks Chaol what time it is. His response: a pinch on her arm to shut her up.
You know a man’s a true romantic hero when he treats the heroine like a dog he plans to abuse into abject submission.
The High Priestess must’ve agreed with my repeated complaints about Celaena’s fruitless research in the library, and kindly chooses to grace us with a tantalizing bit of potentially important plot information:
“Today is the day on which the Great Goddess gave birth to her firstborn, Lumas, Lord of the Gods. With his birth, love was brought into Erilea, and it banished the chaos that arose from the Gates of the Wyrd.”
Celaena’s response? She falls immediately asleep.
(I’ve found that a neatly-folded towel laid across the table does wonders to both dull the sound and reduce the furniture-damage of an intense headdesking.)
Time skip! She slept through almost the entire service (I’m laughing out loud here, incredulous), and Chaol is pissed. Why didn’t you employ a few more stealthy applications of physical abuse to keep her awake, Chaol? That’s what all the other sexy guys would do.
Oh—he didn’t keep her awake because he’d fallen asleep, himself. In that case: take your pissiness and shove it, Chaol.
They’re conveniently awake in time to watch the last part of the service: nine blindfolded children dressed up like the gods walk through the congregation. If a child stops in front of you and gives you the item they’re holding, you’ve been blessed by that god.
The God of War’s child representative stops in front of Dorian, then sidesteps the prince to give a blessing to Duke Perrington.
Meanwhile, the child representing the Goddess of the Hunt and Maidens stops in front of Celaena, how unexpected. The little girl removes her blindfold, touches Celaena’s forehead (which, don’t forget, is probably blasting magical Wyrdmark light all over the place), and blesses our heroine. Because if there’s one more thing our assassin heroine needs to flesh her out as a character, it’s to be divinely chosen by the Goddess of the Hunt.
Celaena’s about as stoked by all this as I am; she responds with “dread and dismay,” and only grudgingly accepts the golden arrow the child offers her, thinking she can sell it off and put the money to some (unspecified) good use later.
Chaol looks on with a weird expression that Celaena can’t read—but whatever it is, it puts her in a great mood. Nothing boosts one’s spirits quite as effectively as seeing the person one likes/loves in a state of deep internal conflict, am I right?
This chapter was approximately three pages long, hallelujah.
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 0!
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
I groaned aloud: 3
Celaena does absolutely anything to further the plot: 0
On one hand, I really hope the golden arrow won’t be plot-significant later on; Celaena’s already had one useful trinket dropped in her lap by a heavenly being.
On the other hand, if the arrow isn’t significant, I’ll be so annoyed that I had to sit through this scene—even though it was only three pages long.
I can see it going either way. Celaena’s an incredibly inactive heroine, so of course the relevant information and doodads would have to be handed to her; and the book’s thick with unnecessary scenes that serve not much more function than to exasperate me.
Can’t wait to see how this one turns out.