Throne of Glass: Chapter 54


Previously on Throne of Glass, Celaena wraps Chaol in her tenderest, sexiest, most platonic embrace, then rejects Dorian because she plans to move away in four years.

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 54

It’s a few hours after the last chapter ended, and Chaol’s lurking outside Celaena’s suite. He’s on the hunt for Dorian, who needs to know that the sexy warm tight Celaena/Chaol hug that Dorian had interrupted was totally platonic, and he didn’t really enjoy it anyway, and ew she has cooties that’s gross.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Chaol’s still wobbly-kneed and weepy with horror that he killed Cain a week ago:

But he was still dead. Cain’s eyes would open no more because of him . . . He would not draw breath because of him . . . His heart had stopped beating because of him . . .

You’re Captain of the Royal Fucking Guard. Please either get over it like a proper medieval-ish captain of the guard (because, as I’ve already stated multiple times, you really should’ve had battle/killing experience already), or let this be a sign that you need to relinquish your office to someone better suited. You’ve sucked at your job this whole book; allow me to recommend the latter course.

Chaol bursts into Celaena’s rooms without knocking (sigh), and skids to a halt when he sees she’s eating dinner all on her lonesome, no angsty prince in sight.

Chaol: “WHERE’S DORIAN WHERE DID YOU PUT HIM.”

Celaena: “Oh, him? Dumped the sad-sack.”

Chaol: “?!”

Chaol’s penis: “!!!”

Celaena: “Now let’s see how much longer I can string you along, shall we?”

Okay, that’s an exaggeration; our dear Celaena wouldn’t be that forthright. She actually says:

“I’m the King’s Champion. Surely you realize how inappropriate it would be for me to have a relationship with a prince.” Her blue eyes glittered, and he wondered at the slight emphasis she put on prince, and why it made his heart skip a beat.

But instead of waxing romantic, Chaol focuses on the fact that she’s killed people before (WHO? TELL ME WHO) and yet is still mysteriously capable of happiness and laughter. “It gave him hope—hope that he had not lost his soul in the act of killing, hope that humanity could still be found, and honor could be regained . . . “

First: Why would the Captain of the Royal Guard lose honor when killing a criminal who’s about to murder an innocent person in cold blood?

Second: Shouldn’t Chaol’s week of horror and misery be a pretty big fucking clue that he’s lost neither his soul nor his humanity? His concern would make sense if (a) he’d found some degree of pleasure in the act of killing, or (b) he felt less emotional response to the killing than he’d anticipated. Neither of those are the case. He acted merely on protective instinct, and regretted killing Cain before the body had even hit the ground.

This would be a really neat internal conflict if Chaol weren’t Captain of the Royal Guard, and if his horror wasn’t handled with the finesse of a wrecking ball. Alas, nope.

Anyway. Celaena invites him to eat with her and her skimpy nightgown, which he and his lustful body are 100% down for. And just in case we’re still not clear on Chaol’s feelings for her, we’re informed that he fears “four years with her might not be enough.” I find this especially hilarious because I’ve been dragging myself through this book for three months, and had had enough of her after the first week. But hey, to each his own.

Scene change and POV hop! Oh, lovely:

Celaena stood in the tomb, and knew she was dreaming.

Looks like it’s Elena’s turn for a closing moment with Celaena.

“You could be different,” Elena said quietly. “You could be great. Greater than me—than any of us.”

Please stop there. Celaena doesn’t need you to boost her ego any further, I promise.

Elena took a step toward her. “You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared.”

Really, stop.

“You found and defeated the evil Cain was bringing into the world.”

Okay, enough.

Sure, Celaena and her as-yet-undiscovered Fae magic can probably make the universe quake in its boots or whatever, but she did not “defeat the evil Cain was bringing into the world.” She killed one measly demon after Cain had already killed most of the Champions—and then she couldn’t even defeat Cain himself without the direct interference of Chaol, Nehemia, and Elena.

While Celaena was fruitlessly derping around a library for months, Nehemia was spending all her time destroying and banishing the demons, trying to keep Cain’s evil at bay. While Celaena flopped around like a bloody ragdoll during the final duel, Nehemia and Elena battled and banished Cain’s evilness, and Chaol ultimately killed Cain. Celaena should get the least credit of them all.

This book is the worst.

Celaena finally remembers to ask why she has to be the King’s Champion, and Elena answers in the most obnoxiously vague way possible: “Because you’re fucking amazing, and people need you, and you’ll figure out all the details one day.”

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for an in-depth explanation of the stakes, Elena. Just saying.

Elena swears her undying love and support to Celaena, and poofs out of the dream.

CHAPTER TALLIES

We’re told Celaena’s A Total Badass: 7

Celaena proves she’s A Total Badass: 0

Someone pissed me off: 7

Because this chapter was fairly short, let me think out loud about the stakes of this book.

  1. Early-ish in the book, Elena told Celaena that the fate of the world rested in her hands; that Celaena needed to stop the evil in the castle, and become the King’s Champion. No further info given.
  2. Celaena technically didn’t stop the evil in the castle. Cain killed all of the Champions he’d intended to except one (her), and she didn’t even end up killing Cain; Chaol did.
  3. But Cain wasn’t even the true evil that needed to be defeated. The king and Perrington were behind Cain’s evil transformation, and are capable of repeating that experiment with other people. Both the king and Perrington are still alive at the end of this book.
  4. In short: Celaena accomplished fucking nothing—and, worse, nothing bad came of her failure to accomplish anything. Everything’s exactly the same now as it was at the beginning of the story, except that Celaena’s now in the castle as King’s Champion.
  5. Elena even confirmed in this chapter that the fate of the world still rests in Celaena’s hands. The stakes—whatever they are—haven’t been affected by the so-called “plot” of this book.

Why did I spend three months of my life trudging through this disaster? NOTHING HAPPENED.

I obviously haven’t read the sequel yet, but I strongly suspect you could just tack on a few extra chapters at the beginning, in which Celaena’s told she’ll be pardoned of her crimes if she agrees to become the King’s Champion, and she agrees. No ridiculous competition necessary. Sure, a lot of other things—like the “romance” with Chaol and Dorian, and the friendship with Nehemia—would have to be seriously reworked, but that’s better than making readers slog through this pointless first novel where literally NOTHING HAPPENED.

Good lord, I need to have a little lie-down and/or a drink. But hey, only one chapter let to go!

P.S. Hannah over at Book Freak-Out is currently writing sharp, bite-size chapter snarks of The Crown by Kiera Cass, and you should definitely check them out. She finished chapters one through five in her first post, and chapters six through ten in her second. Go, read them.

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CHAPTER INDEX


38 thoughts on “Throne of Glass: Chapter 54

  1. Great! Just what we needed – because we haven’t been told Celaena’s a total badass like 1000 times already. On the plus side: one chapter left! (although, actually, I don’t think that’s enough time for something to actually happen.)

    I’m definitely going to miss this read-along! Do you have plans for another book? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Promise me you’ll buy yourself something nice when this is done? I’ve enjoyed the snark so much that I forgot about the human cost, and now I feel bad. I’ll feel better if I know you’ve gotten yourself some chocolate, or a pony, or a chocolate pony, or something. Thanks for the twilight snark-a-long rec btw. I loved them so much 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Did you say pony?? Yes and please.

      But I think I’ll take your advice and treat myself a little. There’s at least one hardback out there that I technically don’t need but definitely NEED. That sounds reasonable.

      Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Aren’t they great? Perhaps one day I’ll reach that level of hilarity. Determined.

      Like

  3. “Alas, nope.”

    How is it that these posts get better every chapter? I wish I could say the same for ToG, really. And it’s sad that this read-along is coming to an end!
    By the way, do you remember in the final battle chapter, I think Celaena mentioned some people whom she killed that was commissioned by some members of the council or something?

    And I have to say that in the prequel book, The Assassin’s Blade, Celaena actually does kill some people. Haha. I think the reason that Maas didn’t emphasize Celaena’s victims that much in this book is because it was more discussed in the prequel? Just a guess.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I checked the publication date of the novellas and they were actually written before Throne of Glass. The Assassin’s Blade is a mere bind-up of these prequels, and was published much later 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I see you’re right! I’d only looked at the publication of Assassin’s Blade, which was a couple years after ToG. I didn’t realize it was a compilation of the other novellas!

        Maybe I should go read that next? Before picking up Crown of Midnight? What do you think?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yay, I just responded to your last comment explaining the same thing, lol. That should teach me to read through all my notifs first before replying to anything. Haha.

        Yeah, I think it would be better if you read it first – especially seeing that Maas tend to assume that everyone has read the prequel. Maybe it will clear up some confusion or something? Definitely will not improve tour perception of Celaena, though. Haha!

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      4. Oh that’s so kind 🙂 And I didn’t realize they were published before 😮 it’s just sad that she couldn’t have incorporated these facts into the real novels? (Maybe this is just because in general I’m not a fan of these series-related novellas that are just popping up all over the place, but why can’t these things be added to the proper books if they are told from the same perspective and everything? Flashbacks and the like could easily be used for this)

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    1. And here I was fretting the posts were getting worse. Whew! 😀

      You’re right, she did! Here’s the exact quote:

      “It had been two years ago that they [Lords Urizen and Garnel] hired her, separately, to kill the same man. She hadn’t bothered to tell them, of course, and accepted both their payments.”

      That’s all we’re told: two lines, without any information about who was killed, how, and the impact of that person’s death on anyone or anything. It was so pathetic, I’d forgotten it happened–so thank you for reminding me! I really should’ve ranted about it in that chapter. See, I think my posts are getting worse over time. Dies.

      I’ve heard good things about Assassin’s Blade! It was published after Throne of Glass, though (obviously, being a prequel), and the author shouldn’t have relied on an as-yet-unpublished work to convince readers that her badass assassin is indeed a badass assassin.

      Good storytelling requires an author establish and prove their character’s personality/abilities/etc in the first book. It would’ve been very easy for Maas to insert some paragraphs throughout ToG describing at least some of the assassinations Celaena had performed. Celaena could’ve remembered them (instead of remembering what’s-his-face whom she swears she loved; Sam, maybe?), Dorian and Chaol could’ve talked about them, the king could’ve yelled about them, etc.

      Oh, well. I’m just glad Maas’s writing is improving over time. I bet she figured out her mistake here, and won’t repeat it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not quite sure, but I think the prequels were actually published before Throne of Glass? They were originally e-novellas, I think? The Assassin’s Blade came much later, but it’s just a bind-up of already published novellas. But you’re right, given that Throne of Glass is technically the first book in the series, Maas should have discussed those things and not just assumed that everyone read the prequel. I was one of those who read it before ToG and I admit that I was wondering why Sam is not mentioned at all in the first few chapters. I can see how confusing it would be for a reader who hasn’t read the prequel novellas, what with his name just popping out of nowhere like that.

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  4. Thanks for the shout out! It’s so nice to have people you can just blast books with, not too many of my real-life friends get quite as worked up about these things, which just isn’t as much fun! Glad to see you’re doing another book; well, good for us, probably painful for you. Looking at the Goodreads summary, there are so many phrases that promise much hilarity.

    Chaol totally needs to put on his man-pants. I was mulling over characters like him in other books, and thought of Mace from Queen of Tearling. There’s a Captain of the Guard that gets crap done, even when the queen hasn’t sanctioned it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I’m just happy to direct people to more good snarks! Gotta get as many people as possible aboard the snark train, for maximum enjoyment. I’m sorry to hear your real-life friends aren’t big into it; maybe you can lure them in at some point, when they see how much fun we’re having. 😀

      Oh man, I really hope Born at Midnight lives up to its promise. Fingers crossed.

      Ha! He does, doesn’t he?

      I haven’t read Queen of Tearling yet, though I’ve been meaning to. Do you recommend it? Because Mace sounds amazing, after dealing with Chaol for so long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, a lot of my friends like books, but when I get…shall we say, intense?…I get the vibe that the more laid-back ones want to back away slowly from the crazy! Good thing there’s a whole internet of crazy to participate in!
        I would recommend Queen of the Tearling, I think Kelsea is far more believable as a heroine than a lot of YA girls despite filling the role of “teen girl thrust suddenly into queenship.” It helps that it’s categorized in adult fiction, and there’s not an annoying love story. Mace is basically the kingdom’s biggest butt-kicker and doesn’t automatically capitulate to Kelsea because she’s, well, 17 or something like that.
        I warn people that the second book seems like it took an acid trip off a cliff at first, because there are completely separate storylines (Kelsea’s and a woman in America before the founding of the Tearling), but they do come together. It took me by surprise, though. And while I felt like Kelsea made pretty decent choices in #1, #2 definitely presents her as more of a fallible individual, and it tackles a whole slew of tough issues like homosexuality, religious abuse, rape and misogyny. A romance does develop, but it’s not an eye-rolling insta-love triangle, and it deals with Kelsea (as a self-admitted plain, pudgy girl) working through if she’ll ever be desired by a man. I really enjoyed them, they completely shun the shiny glossy “everyone is beautiful” veneer that ToG has. Realistically gritty.

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  5. I honestly can’t believe you’ve almost finished this book! I also can’t believe you managed to stick it out this long as well, congratulations, but I think after this you definitely need to read something you know you’re going to love.
    Reading a book you haven’t enjoyed this much can not be fun, no matter how much I’ve loved reading your chapter recaps (and I really really have are you planning to do more of these with other books?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you!

      I have a stack of bound-to-be-good books waiting for me, and a few TV shows I want to binge (just for a quick break from reading). It’s going to be glorious.

      I’m definitely planning to do another snark! I’d love to make it a major/regular feature on my blog, if it doesn’t drain me of my will to live. So yes to one more, and hopefully to many more. (It helps to know people liked this one enough to want more, so thank you for the encouragement!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well that certainly sounds like a good break from this book for you, I hope the bound-to-be-good books live up to your expectations, and the same with the TV binge-ing as well! 😀
        I’d definitely love to see more of your snark chapter recaps! I will keep my fingers crossed for more than one but either way I can’t wait to see what your next one will be! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I was so pissed at Chaol being all traumatized because he’d killed Cain. As a Captain of the Royal Guard, IT IS KINDA YOUR JOB TO BE ABLE TO KILL WITHOUT WEEPING LIKE A LITTLE GIRL.
    Maybe all that crap about being an assassin is a joke. I personally think Celaena is responsible for the death of all the bees in the world. I am sure that is how she got her badass reputation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. And because he’s so traumatized, it seems like he’s prioritizing Cain’s life over Celaena’s–like he’d undo his actions if he could, because letting Celaena die would be less traumatic for him than having to kill Cain. HOW DEEP AND PURE HIS LOVE FOR HER, YEP.

      Ha! That sounds plausible. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Entertaining as always (though I wish the book had been just as entertaining for you haha). You know, I’ve been thinking, and I can’t remember if there’s ever a reason revealed as to why Celaena had to become the King’s Champion and I’ve read all of the books. I’m very confused.

    Like

    1. I definitely agree that the King’s Champion premise is flimsy at best. Honestly, I’ve wiped most of this book out of my memory in the last two months, but I’m 99% certain that we were never told exactly why the king wanted an assassin Champion in the first place. Other than “so the plot can happen,” which is the worst reason. Let’s be confused together. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep that was probably Sarah’s reason haha. Yes let’s 🙂 Are you going to read the rest of the series? I’ve dropped it after book 4 and boy am I glad I did because book 5 sounds like Fifty Shades

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Uh oh, that’s not good. I actually was planning to read the rest of the series, but any similarities to Fifty Shades might send me running. I recently read A Court of Mist and Fury, and genuinely enjoyed it; I thought if Maas’s writing has improved this much, it might be worth wading through the first several ToG books to see how the series ends.

        I’ve been avoiding reading reviews and even the synopses of the later ToG books, to avoid spoilers. Maybe I’ll give them a peek, just to see if I think the conclusion will be worth the time. Thanks for the warning! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well I haven’t read the entire book, just excerpts and spoilers, so maybe there’s still hope? People might have exaggerated. I’m personally not comfortable with such graphic sex scenes so I’m staying away, but maybe it’s just the erotica part why they’re comparing it to Fifty Shades and not the abuse etc.
        Oh interesting! I didn’t like A Court of Thorns and Roses at all, so I didn’t bother picking up ACOMAF, but I’m glad her writing has improved!
        You’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Aaah, I see. I was surprised by how graphic the sex in ACoMaF was, compared to the much less explicit sex in ACoTaR; I can imagine what the sex scenes in ToG have developed into. (They don’t quite include diagrams, but pretty close to it.)

        Hopefully it is just the explicit sex that’s Fifty Shades-esque, and not the disgusting misogyny and abuse.

        Definitely an improvement! Still not stellar, but she’s really getting a grasp of character arcs and the intricacies of complex character relationships. Now she just needs to work on making the overarching plot more accessible and engaging.

        =)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You could always just skip over the sex scenes! ACOMAF is really very good; if you’re interested in it at all, definitely pick it up and just flip past the explicit stuff. There’s not TONS of sex, and the character arcs alone are worth the effort. =)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Not tons, no. I can think of, uh, three fairly explicit scenes, and a passing description that sex was had? In a book as large as this one, it didn’t feel like the sex overwhelmed the plot or anything. (I would’ve rated it lower if it had!)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. “You’re Captain of the Royal Fucking Guard. Please either get over it like a proper medieval-ish captain of the guard (because, as I’ve already stated multiple times, you really should’ve had battle/killing experience already), or let this be a sign that you need to relinquish your office to someone better suited. You’ve sucked at your job this whole book; allow me to recommend the latter course.” This. So much this.

    “First: Why would the Captain of the Royal Guard lose honor when killing a criminal who’s about to murder an innocent person in cold blood?” Not to mention, for all he knew, the prince who was right next to her? And who is probably supposed to be #2 on Chaol’s list for “do not let people stab”?! It’s like the author researched medieval culture by watching Disney’s Cinderella. …and I just realized that if this entire thing turns out to be a plot by talking mice, then all is forgiven.

    Liked by 1 person

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