Last time on The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa got a quest, compared translations, discovered that Alejandro has a mistress, and decided to learn all she can about being a Chosen One. Will Elisa learn anything useful or interesting? Find out after the cut.
Part 1: The Sacrament of Pain
Elisa and Ximena go to
mass services at the local monastery, which have suddenly become popular now that Elisa attends them regularly. It’s basically like a Catholic mass, except the prayers before Communion are different, the priest cups his right hand instead of crossing himself, and instead of getting bread and wine from the priest, parishioners get their fingers pricked by a rose thorn.
Eh, I don’t think I would like having priests purposefully wound me. It doesn’t seem very sanitary. Do the priests use the same rose thorn on all the parishioners? Or do they use different thorns on each person? Honestly, I’m afraid of getting some sort of blood-transmitted disease here.
Elisa has an awesome plan to contact Father Nicandro during the service: when she goes up to get her finger pricked, she’ll pass a note to him. The plan works perfectly, though Nicandro pricks Elisa’s finger a little too deeply as a sort of admonishment.
Part 2: An Invitation
After services, General Luz-Manuel visits Elisa and invites her to a meeting of the Quorum of Five. The Quorum is Alejandro’s cabinet of advisers, and next week they’ll be discussing an upcoming war with Invierne. Elisa is invited because the Quorum wants a foreigner’s input on the war. Of course, Elisa accepts the invitation.
Afterwards, Ximena warns Elisa to be smart during the meeting because the Quorum members are very good at palace intrigue.
Part 3: The Secrets That You Keep
Eventually, Ximena grows tired of sewing a new outfit for Elisa and goes to bed. Elisa now has her chance to sneak over to the monastery and have her secret rendezvous with Father Nicandro!
Once at the monastery, Nicandro agrees to help Elisa learn more about being a Chosen One, since it would’ve been his job if Elisa was born in Joya d’Arena. So, first things first: Nicandro asks Elisa what she knows about her Godstone and her predecessors. Sadly, it’s not much:
- One person is chosen to bear a Godstone every hundred years.
- Godstones respond to prayers and danger.
- The last Orovalleno Chosen One was born 400 years ago. All other Chosen Ones were from Joya d’Arena.
- Hitzedar the Bowman, the last Orovalleno Chosen One, served God by killing 34 Inviernos during Orovalle’s first war. Of course, he was ARROW’D to death.
Nicandro then asks Elisa if she’s read something called Homer’s Afflatus. Elisa knows nothing about Homer or any of his works. So it’s time for a tiny infodump: Homer was the first Chosen One, and his Afflatus is a divinely-inspired text he wrote. Elisa, thinking that the Afflatus is a long-lost religious text, makes a big fuss about getting Ximena to scribe a copy. Which leads to the big reveal:
Everybody already knows about the Afflatus. Elisa was purposely kept ignorant of it.
Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
Fun translation fact: the prayer said during the service scene is called the Glorifica, because the first line in Spanish is Mi alma glorifica a Dios.
One of the enemies Hitzedar killed was an “animagus”. We’ll learn what those are later. But you can guess what they are in the comments.
It’s Translation Time!
Translations of Spanish (and Spanish-influenced) words in this chapter:
- Lengua Plebeya = Common Tongue
- Glorifica = to glorify
Crazy Theory Time!
Here’s another quote pertaining to my crack theories:
“Homer was the first bearer. Tradition places him among the first generation born to the new world.”
So, it looks like Chosen Ones didn’t exist until after humanity colonized / repopulated this world. Why is that?
Also, the prayer said during the service makes another reference to God taking his people in his “righteous right hand” and delivering them from the “dying world”.
Next time: Elisa gets an infodump and a lesson in comparative linguistics.