Throne of Glass: Chapter 50


Previously on Throne of Glass, Deus Ex Machina Elena poofs in to save the day/Celaena’s ass.

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 Index

CHAPTER 50

Celaena’s body’s a wreck, but she staggers upright to the swelling of some hardcore Hans Zimmer.

The wind caressed her face and swept her hair behind her in a billowing sheet of gold. I will not be afraid. A mark burned on her forehead in blinding blue light.

Oh, so her magical forehead marquee is finally visible, is it? Goodie.

Also: was she fighting with her hair down, really?

Also also: she’s a mess of blood and saliva; you’re not going to convince me her hair is a squeaky clean banner shimmering in the breeze.

She doesn’t give us long to marvel at her power and beauty, thank god: the next thing you know, she has “shot forward, as fast as an arrow of Deanna,” which is impressive considering that a mere nine sentences ago we were told her “right leg could barely support her.”

But hey, she stabs Cain “exactly where Chaol had said he would be unguarded,” and oh my god when will I stop being aggravated by the fact that she’s incapable of doing anything without help?

Really, though, would it have been so hard to NOT have Chaol tell her about Cain’s tendency not to guard that side of his body? Why couldn’t the book let Celaena notice that herself, and decide on her own to exploit that weakness? Bah.

She tears Cain up a bit, once more our flawless Killer of All Killers, and within seconds has him on the ground, in a kill position. She briefly considers disobeying the king and killing Cain to protect her secret royal identity and the truth about the Wyrdmarks, but decides against it because . . . uh . . . because. No reason given.

The king grudgingly names her the victor, to her profound relief:

She’d won. She’d won. She was free—or as close to it as she could come. She would become the King’s Champion, and then she would be free . . .

SECRET ESCAPE ROUTE. WAITING FOR YOU. RED CARPET THROUGH THE SECRET TUNNELS LEADING YOU RIGHT TO IT. BEEN THERE THIS WHOLE TIME.

Then Nehemia collapses (presumably from the strain of whatever magic she was working; I really wish we knew what she’d been up to during all this), and Celaena’s too giddy with triumph and the (rather shocky) giggles to give Nehemia’s alarming blackout a second thought. Besties!

POV hop! Dorian sends for a healer to see to the bloody mess with perfect hair that is Celaena. That accomplished, he returns to his typical pastime: ANGST. “Woe, I should have done something to help her,” he thinks. “Alas, who could be so cruel as to drug her?”

And suddenly the point of view gets wonky:

Carefully putting his arms around Celaena, Dorian glanced toward Kaltain and Perrington. In doing so, he missed the look exchanged between Cain and his father. The soldier pulled out his dagger.

But Chaol saw. Cain raised his dagger to strike the girl in the back.

Without thinking, without understanding, Chaol leapt between them and plunged his sword through Cain’s heart.

Until now, all the POV hops (as far as I can recall) have been marked with a section break. Not this one.

But on to Chaol’s heroic act: I can believe Chaol might leap into action instinctively upon seeing Celaena and Dorian in danger (“without thinking”), but what’s this “without understanding” thing? If he didn’t understand that they’re in danger, why does he kill Cain? Or does he not understand what he himself is doing—in which case, what the hell?

When it was over and Cain’s eyes stopped seeing him, Chaol’s sword clattered to the ground. He dropped to his knees beside Cain, but didn’t touch him. What had he done?

Chaol couldn’t stop staring at his blood-soaked hands. He’d killed him.

Oh my god, Chaol, get a grip.

Two guards helped lift him up, but Chaol could only stare at his bloody hands as they helped him away.

You just protected two innocent people (whom you care about, and one of whom is the crown prince you’ve sworn to protect) from the guy who’s about to murder them. Why are you acting like you just killed a cherub-faced toddler? I swear to god you are the worst Captain of the Royal Guard in the history of Captains of the Royal Guard.

Our precious baby Chaol is ushered off by his wetnurses, and the POV shifts weirdly back to Dorian, who’s gazing at a weirdly distraught Celaena:

She trembled so badly that her wounds leaked further. “He shouldn’t have killed him . . . Now he—he . . . “

He what? He did you the favor of saving your life, and silencing the villain who could’ve spilled the secrets of your identity and the active power of the Wyrdmarks? Yes, sounds horrible. Chaol definitely shouldn’t have done that.

Dorian just kisses her gleaming beautiful golden hair and angsts about stuff: her glowing forehead mark, the stuff Cain said about her parents, how awful he himself is for not helping her, etc., yawn.

Then, as he’s carrying her to her rooms:

He was done with politics and intrigue. He loved her, and no empire, no king, and no earthly fear would keep him from her. No, if they tried to take her from him, he’d rip the world apart with his bare hands. And for some reason, that didn’t terrify him.

It’s been a few chapters since you last flip-flopped on your Should I Claim Celaena Or Not quandary, so this renewed determination doesn’t come as a surprise.

But sorry, kid, as done as you might be with politics, politics isn’t done with you. You can’t just ditch your crown because a hot girl got beaten up in front of you, thus making you realize (for the, what, sixth time?) that your life is meaningless without her.

Maybe it’s because I’m past the teenage love-is-everything phase of my life, but Dorian’s willingness to ditch his kingdom and his people—leaving them to suffer under his father’s (and his Clearly Gonna Be Evil little brother’s) rule—makes him less attractive, not more. Especially when he’s willing to “rip the world apart with his bare hands” if someone tries to take her from him, and he hasn’t even confirmed that she wants him in the first place.

So put it back in your pants and step away from the girl, Dorian.

POV hop! Kaltain is super displeased with how the show went down, and that displeasure morphs into rage when she feels a stab of excruciating pain in her head. Who wants to bet Perrington’s causing both her pain and her rage with his nifty black ring?

She stomps up to Perrington and hisses at him that his plan failed, that the poison he gave her to give to Celaena clearly didn’t work—and uh oh, she’s losing control of herself, speaking louder and louder. And uh oh, Perrington feigns surprise at her confession of poisoning Celaena. Guess who’s being thrown under the bus.

Realizing she’s being screwed, she starts screaming in a distinctly un-Kaltain-like fashion, begging the king to believe that the duke had set her up, then informing the duke that she’ll murder him so hard for this.

The king ignores her, and we’re left wondering if (a) he really was involved in the poisoning all along, as Perrington had claimed, or (b) he didn’t know about the poisoning, but isn’t surprised Perrington would try it, and ultimately doesn’t care because they’re bros.

The chapter closes on a somber note, with our beloved Kaltain dragged off to prison and her noble aspirations fairly well ruined.

CHAPTER TALLIES

We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 4

Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0

Someone fails at their job: 3

I hope this isn’t the last we see of Kaltain in this book; she deserves a better exit than this.

Also: am I the only one who thinks the pacing is weird here? The book’s climax (our heroine’s triumph) is achieved within the first page, and the entire rest of the chapter is devoted to the secondary characters’ issues (Chaol’s delicate babyhood, Dorian’s teen love, Kaltain’s thwarted ambitions). Couldn’t we have seen Celaena’s triumph at the end of the last chapter? As it stands, this structure diminishes the excitement and relief of her success; it buries the climax under the comparatively boring struggles of the comparatively unimportant characters. What a weird choice.

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CHAPTER INDEX


29 thoughts on “Throne of Glass: Chapter 50

    1. Aw, thank you! 😀

      I’ll admit that I read and really enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses, and can’t wait to read A Court of Mist and Fury; Maas’s writing style has certainly improved over the years!

      Like

  1. Oh my god. I don’t know whether you meant to or not but you made me go listen to Zimmer’s Time (re Inception). Much feels, such good.

    Caelena is turning into Sailor Moon? Celaena “Moon Tiara Magic” Sardothien confirmed. Or meatball head. But, you know.

    I was going to write a “Terrible Protagonist” post on the plausibility of being too weak to hurt/kill/maim and, perhaps, just maybe, Caelena is my new role model in this regard.

    I think some of those awkward POV shifts (notwithstanding page breaks) would be so confusing to follow. Well, I’m sure you’d get used to it (maybe) but it’s still awkward to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How did I not already own that song? This must be fixed.

      Ha! I would love to read that post. She makes an excellent example, doesn’t she?

      Luckily, almost all of the POV shifts throughout the book were clearly marked and made sense. But this? I’m still feeling the residual urge to throttle something.

      Like

      1. I go to sleep with Time playing in the background so I can pretend I’m traversing the dream world with the DREAM team.

        Also: yes, I think that post is in the works in my head. Somehow, someway. Too bad I can’t really reference Caelena in it as I haven’t read TOG 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s that purple prose we all love to see. Wind swept golden hair or whatever. Blah, blah, blah! Gag me with a spoon. So, her hair is like gold. Ya don’t say. 🙈Everyone says wait until the fourth book. How did they make it that long? I feel your pain just reading the read alongs. I can only imagine how terrible it is reading it. Do your eyes hurt from rolling them when you’re done each chapter? If I was reading this in hardback, I’d have some sizable dents in my walls, given how thick this book is. I saw it in the store the other day and couldn’t believe it. It’s so thick you could use it to fend off intruders. That’s a weird chapter structure. The main character’s victory should be at the end not the beginning. This book sounds like it could’ve used some additional editing before publication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Right?

      Oh my god, I don’t know if I could wade through three fairly hefty books just to get to the good stuff. Just no.

      I won’t lie, I’m prone to migraines already, and the jaw-clenching and eye-rolling definitely has not been helping.

      Oh man, now I wish I’d sprung for the hardback; it’d have a use after I’m done with it. I’ll keep that in mind for the next snark.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the structure was odd. And I love how politic your “could’ve used some additional editing” comment is! Some additional editing, indeed. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t do it. If the first book isn’t working for me, I’m not about to read the rest. I don’t know how true Sarah J. Maas fans do it. Me, too! That book would give me skull crushing migraines. I could never. I still need to read a few chapters just so I can rant about it. And because I did buy the ebook a year ago. Yeah, the book is huge. It’s definitely odd. Why would the so called hero (insert laughter here) win at the beginning of the chapter? Makes zero sense to me. I would feel like there’s no point in reading the rest of the chapter. And it sounds like too much time is wasted on supporting characters when the focus should be on Celaena. Did I spell that right? I have no idea. 😝 All of her characters have names I can’t pronounce.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hopefully you get through the first few chapters quickly and without any ill effect, because I cannot wait to read your rant.

        “And it sounds like too much time is wasted on supporting characters when the focus should be on Celaena.”

        THIS. Very well put.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I noticed the weird pacing/chapter structure when I was reading it too. I mostly attributed it to the fact that I think this book initially appeared on FictionPress before she got it published? So I don’t know if she was doing a whole “end on a cliffhanger so people will come back next week” kind of thing, which then messes up the next chapter because all you have to do is include the climax. But even if that is the case, you’d think it’d be something they’d pick up on before publishing it.
    Also, I can’t believe that this book has more than fifty chapters. I have no idea how I managed to miss that when I was reading it haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s interesting! Yep, I agree–the pacing issue makes sense as an amateur stringing online readers along chapter by chapter, but not for a professionally published novel.

      Hey, I couldn’t tell you how many chapters are in my favorite book, and I’ve read it at least thirty times. I’m not one to pay much attention to chapter numbers, either. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes, I didn’t know someone could get so in-depth on these chapters or have time to do every single one! I love it, I’m impressed, and I will continue to follow you throughout your ToG experience. So, first of all, I think I’m still in that teenage phase so I am swooned by some of the stuff he/they/are said, but looking back I definitely see where you are coming from. I actually loved the romance driven plot but I’ll also agree that it definitely overshadows Celaena’s badassery. I do hope the few remaining chapters are better for you though!

    Jess @ POB!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you so much! I’m glad you’re enjoying my rants. 😀

      I’m also glad you love the book, and that you get swoony from the romance. Have you read more of the series? Do you think the romance(s) get even more swoon-worthy later in the series?

      Like

      1. I’ve only read the first two books and it was actually maybe 6 or so months ago so if I remember correctly–the second book is fueled by romance. At the same time, SJM also puts in friendship, romance, AND self-love.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I really disliked this book, but I continued on because there was something in it that interested me. I think it was the world, and the small glimpses of potential that kept me reading. I didn’t notice the pacing issues while reading, but now after reading your chapter reviews, it is obviously apparent that nothing really happens in this book.
    After reading what books have been published, I think this book should’ve been merged with book two, and the entire contents of book one edited down to 3 chapters. I have zero idea why people rave over this particular book. And when you compare the events in book one to events in the remainder of the series, book one is a definite throwaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, the premise has an incredible amount of potential.

      That’s exactly the conclusion I came to–that this whole book is pointless, and could’ve taken up just a couple chapters at the beginning of book two. I talk about that in (I think) my very last post for the series, which goes up on Friday. I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one that feels this way; great minds? 😀

      Do you think the rest of the series lives up to the potential wasted in the first one, or are the sequels still a little shaky?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really liked books 2 & 3, and there are great new characters and plots added. Book 4 felt like a lot of filler to me, but I know a lot of people really loved that book. I think if book 2 (Crown of Midnight) were like Throne of Glass I would’ve stopped reading the series. The further I got into the series, I ended up disliking Throne of Glass more and more. It is very different from the other books. I haven’t read the novellas yet.
        Looking forward to your last post of the book! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the info! I’ve heard (from one person, anyway) that the novellas are full of excellent background information, and rather vital to understanding Celaena’s character arc. If you do end up reading them, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

        Oh man, I’m looking forward to posting it, I can’t even tell you.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. When you mentioned Hans Zimmer, I think that really set the tone for the beginning of the chapter, but then my eyes started rolling when I read: “The wind caressed her face and swept her hair behind her in a billowing sheet of gold.” How is it that we can pick up on this but the editors/publishers couldn’t?

    The pacing/point of view is definitely weird in this chapter too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I NEED MORE OF THIS SNARKY CRITIQUE. I’m probably never going to read these books the same ever again!!! I refuse to convert, but you bring up so many things that is just making me think back and pause. ALMOST DONE.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right, falling out of love with a favourite series absolutely sucks. I promise I won’t with TOG. 🙂 Yes, you got this!! Only a few more chapters to goo!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. “The wind caressed her face and swept her hair behind her in a billowing sheet of gold.” …must resist headdesk… because if I give in, I’ll most likely won’t stop until I give myself a concussion. Where’s that handy desk-towel when I need one?

    “Also: was she fighting with her hair down, really?” If Cain were smarter, he could have just strangled her with it. Ah, but I am forgetting Elena ex machina.

    “Why couldn’t the book let Celaena notice that herself, and decide on her own to exploit that weakness? Bah.” What, a GIRL notice fighty stuff? Like that would ever happen. 😛 when will people learn that TELLING us a woman is badass and then showing us otherwise is WORSE than not having her be a badass at all?

    “to protect her secret royal identity and the truth about the Wyrdmarks” …but… glowy sigil on her forehead, yes?

    “What had he done?” …Uh… you killed a hostile. In defense of another life. You’re captain of the freaking guard, aren’t you? Are you gonna tell me you rose that far without ever having to kill anyone?

    “No, if they tried to take her from him, he’d rip the world apart with his bare hands.” Oh I laughed so hard! I admit, I would love to see him try. It would be like watching an angry squirrel try to maul a tank.

    “So put it back in your pants and step away from the girl, Dorian.” Lol! Thank you!

    “Realizing she’s being screwed, she starts screaming in a distinctly un-Kaltain-like fashion, begging the king to believe that the duke had set her up, then informing the duke that she’ll murder him so hard for this.” She just keeps getting more interesting, doesn’t she? I hope she comes back…

    Liked by 1 person

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