Throne of Glass Commentary PART TWO
(You have no idea the trouble I went through posting this. Burn in hell, Internet Explorer. Burn in hell.)
Celaena has a nightmare and Chaol wakes her up to tell her that it’s fantasy-land Halloween, and there’s a party she’s not invited to. Lol.
Then we switch back to Dorian so he can whine about how boring religion is and then gush some more over Celaena’s beauty. Also the council is plotting to take Princess Sue—uh, Nehemia, hostage and invade her country because apparently they have nothing better to do.
Nehemia proceeds to continue to insult the people of the country she’s staying in as a guest (and yeah, they’re the evil empire and all, but that just makes it even more of a bad idea to get on their bad side!) and refuses to acknowledge the difference between a soldier and a guard. Then Nehemia insists that Celaena be made her language teacher but that scene kind of fizzles out when Gregor Clegane drops by and cleans a tile…?
Apparently it’s integral to the plot. Nehemia gets pissy about it but won’t say why.
Our hero sits around doing nothing and then randomly discovers a seekret passijway! She finds an escape route but decides not to escape because Chaol would be dismissed and Nehemia wouldn’t have an excuse to be in the story anymore.
She goes down another passageway and finds the room where the party is so she can watch Chaol like a creepy stalker. But then she finds out all the other assassins were invited except her! Sing it with me now,
All of the other Reindeer…
Though that insult is soon ignored in favour of watching Dorian like a creepy stalker. Oh my. Which will she choose? I’m so invested. (Actually I am—I like Chaol and wouldn’t want him to have to suffer through her. Maybe he can become Kaltain’s champion and together they’ll take over the kingdom! Woo!)
Dorian goes to her room later to watch her sleep like a creepy stalker (she can have him for all I care), and then Chaol drags him away, so he can give her a present.
…And then watch her sleep like a creepy stalker.
Well. He’s less creepy than the other two.
Now things get really head-desky, as Celaena has a dream-vision where she meets Dorian’s ancestor, the first queen of glass castle-land and she says that she came from another world (guarded by the gargoyles Celaena saw earlier, so now we know why they were mentioned, thanks.) to tell Celaena about a terrible evil lurking in the castle, that only she can destroy and bring balance to the Force.
(insert Star Wars theme)
Sure. Why not?
(because it’s stupid, that’s why.)
Vagueness ensues, but Celaena does get a sweet amulet from the dream—nice!
Yet another champion is dead, (this is what—the fifth? They’re all so forgettable I’m not sure I was supposed to be keeping count), and this has made Chaol finally start taking shit seriously, especially as the murderer is apparently Hannibal Lecter.
Celaena goes to vision-queen’s tomb to waffle on for a bit, then puts on a really pretty dress that makes all the guards love her and goes to look at the half-eaten corpse and all the ritual symbols written in blood nearby. Her analysis?
This was no accidental killing.
Nooooooo, really? Ya think?
Then we switch to Dorian and Chaol, who are sparring manfully. While they snipe over Celaena, Dorian lets us know that apparently King Dumbass kind of wanders off for no reason every now and again and no one knows where he is. Great security!
Celaena tells Nehemia all about the dead guy—I suppose in case any of us missed it the first time around, because Nehemia has nothing useful to say about it. Then Gregor Clegane (okay, his real name’s Cain) shows up to taunt Celaena and tell her he knows she’s secretly the best assassin who was ever captured and thrown in a mine. Great strategy, Cain.
Chaol brings Dorian to watch Celaena train, so he can see what a super-awesome assassin she is and stay away from her. Instead, Dorian sees her talking to Nox and gets jealous. Thrilling.
We switch back to Celaena, who’s researching those ritual symbols. She discusses religious stuff with Chaol and he tells her she sounds like a ‘raving lunatic’.
That’s my Chaol!
But then he proves that he’s dumb too by not really giving a shit about the symbols even though they were graffiti-ed in blood all over his crime scene. She exposits to the audience about the symbols, given the extremely imaginative name of ‘Wyrdmarks’ (as in, ‘weird marks’), then reads a Walking Dead novelisation.
No, I’m serious. She picks up a book about zombies called The Walking Dead.
Oh thank god—the half-way mark! Curse this book for making me yearn for the sweet, sweet Purity Sues of regular YA schlock! Curse yooooooooou!
Anyway, Celaena is bored with actually doing shit, and plays pool. On finding she’s not super-duper at it, she throws a tantrum and Dorian has to come along and show her how to play. Sexily. After that useless scene is over they discuss whether or not the murders are intentional.
Oh, I don’t know—maybe they cut a hole in that one guy’s head and took his brain out by accident! Seriously, you just said you knew it wasn’t accidental!
The champions are fighting and sniping at each other again and Celaena defeats her opponent so easily all sense of threat has evaporated.
Now we’re with Kaltain again, gossiping with the Queen over Dorian. Yawn.
Oh good, another murder. Chaol brings Celaena along to look at it and Celaena makes some observations, ending in the most astute, ‘maybe this killer thing is that ‘evil’ vision-queen was talking about’?
Later, Celaena reads some maps and has a boring conversation with Dorian.
Then Chaol watches people. Thrilling.
Vision-queen shows up to be vague and remind Celaena about what she already knows, and after that there’s a poison-identifying test, and Celaena wins by copying the poisoner-guy’s answers. For some reason Brullo makes them all drink the possibly-poisoned wine and gives antidotes to the ones that got it wrong, rather than just telling them whether or not they got it wrong.
Because he’s hardcore?
Our two Sues go to the kennels so we can have the most saccharine scene ever—and given what I’ve seen in shit like Delirium, that’s saying something. Celaena convinces Dorian not to kill a puppy that wouldn’t be pacified, getting as sanctimonious as she ever does.
Then she runs into Cain being a spaz and tells Nox and poison-guy who’s now apparently her friend to stay in their rooms. I’m amazed they’re not all already doing this.
Kaltain is hanging about, smoking opium, (remember kids, drugs are bad!) when Duke thwow him to the fwoor (okay, his real name is Perrington), comes along to manipulate her to be jealous of Celaena. Uh, if they both hate Celaena, why are they bothering to try and manipulate each other into hating her more?
Then Nehemia goes to Celaena’s room to cry about some of her people being massacred. I’m sure it’s integral to the plot.
Chaol shows up to wangst about the massacre (why would he care? Except that he’s ‘a good guy’, of course), and Celaena wangsts over her period pains. Suck it up, girl, you’re supposed to be some sort of super-assassin!
Then Dorian pops by to make fun of her, earning him a few more points in my book. Then he wangsts over the dead rebels too and those points evaporate. Seriously, have some balls, Dorian.
Anyway, also there’s going to be a fantasy-land Christmas party and Celaena’s not invited again. Lol.
Chaol is wangsting some more, this time over how he’s falling in love with Celaena (okay, now I only like Kaltain), and how brilliantly amazing she is for surviving the mines.
More of the assassin tests are mentioned in passing, along with some more of those murder things, because we wouldn’t want to focus on the only vaguely interesting thing about the book when there are love triangles to get through!
There are only six champions left now, (which the book says before listing… five champions. Sure, Celaena doesn’t bother to include herself in the list, but it’s still jarring) and Dorian is too busy wondering if the amulet that vision-queen gave Celaena might possibly have belonged to vision-queen.
Then Celaena sees someone’s drawn Wyrdmarks under her bed, just like that scene in Sleepy Hollow… She goes to the library and runs into Nehemia, who reveals she actually can speak the language perfectly and then vanishes.
Celaena thus suspects her of being the murderer. Right. As if.
Celaena… you’re pitiful.
I don’t even… sweets. Celaena eats some sweets. Whatever. Dorian pops by to give her a puppy for Christmas, and while she doesn’t care that it rabidly attacks people, she is prepared to kill it for not being toilet trained. Lovely.
Celaena goes to church, falls asleep and annoys Chaol. Then she gets a present.
Apparently Celaena has decided to crash the ball, and of course has to spend pages getting dressed and then suddenly this book turns into… Cinderella? What?
Dorian tries to get Chaol to dance with Celaena, but Chaol isn’t drunk enough for that yet, so Dorian hangs around for Celaena to gush over, and the two of them dance instead.
Some guy points out to Chaol that Dorian is obviously in love with Celaena, and Chaol flounces. Kaltain makes up her mind to kill Celaena, while Celaena remembers that Dorian is actually the prince and she hates him, but then apparently doesn’t care, Dorian goes love crazy and thinks about jumping off cliffs (that you, Bella?), while Chaol wangsts and looks at Celaena through her window like a creepy stalker.
Has the plot just ended or something?
Well, something important happens… the puppy gets a name. Dorian and Celaena snipe. Kaltain is jealous so Perrington reveals Celaena’s true identity to her and they plot to poison her so Cain can kill her, even though we already know Celaena knows all about poisons and shit.
All those book-reading scenes finally seem to have a point, as Celaena learns that the Wyrdmarks are used to grant the power of the sacrificial victim to the killer, who she still thinks is Nehemia because she’s an idiot.
But when she goes down into the tunnels to see some guy chanting and doing magic stuff, it’s not Nehemia at all, but…
No, not really, it’s Cain. Big surprise.
Cain summons a big monster-type thing and traps Celaena inside with it, but she escapes to vision-queen’s tomb, finds a big sword and kills it. Yay.
Well, it feels like it should be the end of the book, but of course we’re only three quarters of the way through!
That’s right, there’s more! Celaena wakes up in Nehemia’s room, so she can abruptly reveal her backstory to her. Nehemia gushes over how super-special-awesome Celaena is. Also, Celaena decides not to tell Chaol about Cain being the murderer because that would give away her escape route.
Boring conversations ensue, and then King Dumbass randomly shows up.
During another training session with Nox, Celaena lets slip who she really is as she tries to warn him away. He disappears that night, so I guess he wasn’t a villain after all (I don’t know, he reminded me of Freddie from Inescapable). No, he was just irrelevant to the plot entirely.
Kaltain is still an opium addict and Dorian and Celaena play chess and make out. Then she has a nightmare.
Oh, God, 80% done. I know the finishing line is in sight, but I don’t know if I can take it…
Oh well, nothing happens in this chapter anyway.
Kaltain prepares to poison Celaena and the champion’s duels begin. Cain wins his, then Nehemia gives Celaena a weapon of her people so she can defeat her fellow convicts with SYMBOLISM! Yeah, an assassin took out a mercenary with a foreign weapon—that’ll show King Dumbass!
With the help of one-liners and annoying bravado, Celaena wins, which means she has to go up against Cain. Yay. But then she drinks Kaltain’s poison! (I remember now that she cheated during the poisoner’s exam) Oh no. She begins losing the duel with Cain so he taunts her and then punches her across the room like this was a cartoon.
Well, I guess he does have the strength of all those guys he killed. Maybe telling Chaol about that would have been a good idea after all, Celaena?
But no, instead she gets poison-induced hallucinations of zombies.
Vision-queen shows up to defeat the zombies and banish the poison. Oh God, let it end soon.
With the aid of vision-queen Celaena defeats Cain and becomes the king’s champion. Cain doesn’t like this, so he tries to kill her, but Chaol steps in and kills him. Yay. Or not yay?
Kaltain gets pissy at the Duke for the poison not working, and he immediately throws her under a bus for no reason.
Dorian and his dear old dumbass dad snipe at each other for a bit, but daddy agrees not to punish Chaol, to let Celaena be named his champion, and to not take Nehemia hostage. Why? Because he’s an idiot. Just like everyone else in this book.
Nehemia explains some crap about those stupid Wyrdmarks and how she used her powers to help defeat Cain to and reveals she had secretly come to stupid-land to spy on the King. Wait, that was supposed to be a secret?
Fuck, just END already!
Ugh. Dorian and Celaena have a boring conversation, and King Dumbass plots many plots with the Duke.
Chaol shows up for hugs and to wangst over killing Cain… what, has he never killed anyone before? Apparently not. Then Dorian pops by to tell Celaena the exciting news of her being able to sign a contract. THRILLING.
Then they break up for no reason.
Chaol continues to wangst, making about as much sense as Perdita did when she wangsted over killing random wolf-guy in Verity. I remember Verity, that was a good book…
Then Celaena meets up with vision-queen who tells her she has a great destiny, blah, blah, blah…
My god, I think we’ve reached INFINITE BOREDOM.
But King Dumbass proves he’s not such a dumbass when he tells Celaena he’ll have all her friends executed if she ever goes against him. Hmm, maybe he’s not so bad after all…
Wait, that’s the end!?
DIE! DIE IN A FIRE! DIE!
God, I’m going to have to get my own characters to take care of this for me! Elliet! Eivun! Shelira! Lizelba! Show Celaena what a real assassin is like by killing her!
Eivun: My fee is £1,000,000.
Shelira: Mine is being £800,000.
Elliet: I’ll do it for £100,000.
Lizelba: And I’m a bargain. £75,000.
What? My own characters, that I lovingly crafted with my own hands, won’t kill one measly assassin for me?
Elliet: Of course we will. As long as you pay us tons of money.
Eivun: Yeah, that’s kind of what it means to be an assassin, twathead.
Lizelba: Why not set that despair monster you also created on her instead, then you can kill all the other characters at the same time?
Huh, good idea. Dawn—release Dolorelamia!
Dawn: Sure thing, freak!
Sorry, Kaltain. I’m sure you’ll go to a better place. You could hardly end up anywhere worse.