Previously on Throne of Glass, Celaena Vanna-White-reveals her true identity to Nehemia, who’s appropriately awed. Later, the king of Adarlan returns to the castle.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold, it’s paraphrased snark.
“OH SHIT, THE KING,” Celaena and Chaol shout inwardly, sliding to a halt as said king and his enormous retinue march toward them. Chaol has the sense to bow, and Celaena (apparently forgetting that she’s the best killer in the world, and that she was the scourge of this guy and his kingdom for years) almost pisses herself in terror.
The sight of her arch nemesis inspires Celaena to half a page of unanswered questions, including (but not limited to):
- Is he psychic?
- Does he know he forgot to banish Wyrdmarks from existence?
- “Could one man destroy a world?”
- Why does he smell like evil and death, the way Cain does?
- “What was Elena’s goal in demanding that she get close to him?”
The king passes them without a word or incident. Whew, so glad nothing remotely interesting happened!
Scene change and POV hop! Alone in his room, Chaol’s just finished reading a detailed report of the king’s recent journey, and is now asking his own unanswered questions about the king. These include (but are not limited to):
- Where had the king gone?
- How did literally everyone in the king’s traveling party die except the king?
Hilariously, the report (which we don’t get to read) states that the king was in “the White Fang Mountains,” and that there was an “issue with rebels poisoning their food stores,” but Chaol decides that “the details were murky enough to suggest that the truth was buried somewhere else.” Is this another instance of Chaol flipping ahead to the end of the book for spoilers?
I think a better question for him to ask is: did the king really write his own report to Chaol of his journey? If so, why? The king doesn’t report to Chaol; hell, Chaol’s own guards barely report to Chaol.
Taking a page from Celaena’s book, Chaol pushes this puzzling matter out of his head, and opts instead to think about Celaena. How adorably terrified she looked when she saw the king! How inhumanly awesome her physical and assassinly abilities are!
She never hesitated when they sparred, but she seemed to sink far within herself, into a place that was calm and cool, but also angry and burning.
So I guess that whole “her dangerous temper will get herself and the rest of us killed” thing was just a phase?
Chaol notes that she’s now able to “kill anyone, Cain included, in a matter of seconds,” and that perhaps it wasn’t a brilliant idea for him to have “retrained and released the world’s greatest assassin” back into Adarlan.
Having thus fulfilled the chapter’s quota of Celaena-praising, Chaol returns to the king issue. It really is suspicious that the king went off on his own without his usual entourage, without telling Chaol where exactly he was going—and then returned the sole survivor.
Oops, wait, back to thinking about Celaena. The king’s business is the king’s business; Chaol’s gotta keep his focus on the murders (YEAH, ABOUT THAT) and ensuring that Celaena wins the competition.
Chaol smiled slightly. She’d stirred up enough trouble in the months she’d been in the castle. He could only imagine what would happen over the next four years.
- As far as you know, she hasn’t actually stirred up any trouble since she entered the castle. The only troublesome thing she’s done (that you know of) is attend the Yulemas ball without your permission.
- Yeah, I can imagine what kind of trouble the best assassin in the world could get up to once she’s given free rein of her enemy’s castle: murders. Lots of murders. I’d quit smiling about it, if I were you.
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 3
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
Chaol muses over Celaena’s adorableness: 3
Celaena does absolutely anything to advance the plot: 0
Chaol does absolutely anything about the murders: 0
But that’s it for this chapter: a whole lot of silence and people asking themselves questions they can’t answer. What an excellent and engaging follow-through on chapter 43’s cliffhanger. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Will Dorian be thinking about the king and Celaena? I can’t handle the suspense.