Previously on Throne of Glass, Celaena and Dorian cuddle. Meanwhile, King Dad and Duke Perrington giggle over their evil scheme.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold, it’s paraphrased snark.
A week after the duel, Celaena’s lounging in her room. How’s she feeling, you ask? Oh, just gleeful over all the new clothes she’s going to buy, and smug about how faithfully Nehemia and Dorian have been attending to her every want. The usual.
And then! What should occur, but someone entering her room without knocking!
Her doorknob clicked and her heart leapt into her throat. Was it time to finally sign her contract with the king? But it wasn’t Dorian or Nehemia, not even a page. The world stopped when Chaol entered instead.
Fleetfoot—the gorgeous dog who hates everyone but Celaena, remember—gives him the greeting she’s given literally everyone else who’s entered Celaena’s rooms without permission: she “rushed to him, tail wagging.” What a fierce and aloof creature, indeed.
The book really wants me to ship Celaena and Chaol; it has Celaena embarrassed about her skimpy nightgown, and Choal gently inquiring about her injuries, and Celaena remembering with aching clarity the, uh, magic of love that’d been in his eyes as he’d watch her duel, or whatever.
Feeling daring/sexily be-nightgowned/heedless of Chaol’s personal space, Celaena approaches him, “stopp[ing] barely a foot away from him,” then, a couple lines later, “took another step closer to him,” which I’m going to assume means they’re now standing with their bodies and faces hilariously smooshed together.
Thus smooshed, they proceed to angst at length, complete with biting of lips, strained voices, and “flickering eyes” (which sounds alarming). Celaena thanks Chaol for saving her, he woes about how easy it was to kill Cain, and they both woe about the murder of her parents. It’s riveting.
Chaol’s about to abandon this angst ship (thank you) when she grabs him in a hug to end all hugs. You know the type: “so close that as she shut her eyes and breathed him in, she couldn’t tell where he ended and she began.”
The purple-prosed romance is just reaching its peak when aw yeah, here comes Dorian, strolling in without a knock. Cue the gasps of shock.
Chaol panics and bolts like the mature adult he is, leaving Dorian and Celaena to clear their throats and not look at each other, because awkward.
“You two looked like you were in the middle of . . . something,” Dorian said cautiously.
“It’s nothing. I just felt bad for him, is all.”
I am so ready to be done with (a) this ridiculous love triangle bullshit, and (b) the way everyone treats each other. The people are fucking awful.
But hey, Dorian came with good news: the king has finally written up her contract, which she’ll sign tomorrow. She’s stoked, because nothing’s more exciting than signing your freedom away to the man who murdered your family and destroyed your kingdom.
Dorian gets handsy and tries to assault her mouth with his mouth, but Celaena holds up the badge of her Championhood between their crotches: she can’t be doing the Crown Prince while she’s the King’s Champion:
Though she wanted him, though she cared for him, she knew a lasting relationship wouldn’t end well. Not when he was the heir to the throne.
I’m not sure why she thinks being Champion would screw up their potential trips to bone-town, but I definitely understand her reluctance to engage in a long-term relationship with the future king of Adarlan. At least, I’m assuming that’s what she means here. Some people aren’t fit to rule, and Celaena’s one of them. (Dorian’s another, but that’s another subject entirely.)
Dorian doesn’t take well to being rejected, as you might expect from His Royal Assness. She hastens to reassure him that she’s just excited about attaining her freedom in four years, and she doesn’t want to be emotionally or physically intimate with anyone during the intervening time, because . . . uh . . . she’ll be free in four years. Sounds . . . logical. That’s why no one ever dates or has sex in high school or college, you know; if you’re graduating in four years, why even bother?
They agree to be friends, and Dorian exits to the sound of a very small, very sad violin.
We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 0!
Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0
Assholes who barge into her room: 2
I won’t lie, this chapter was even more melodramatic than I’d expected. Should’ve guessed that Dorian would walk in on Celaena and Chaol getting woefully romantic; it’s so obvious, in hindsight.