The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Chapter 20: Uncomfortable Truths

Last time on The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa learned a new spell, and the party finally reached their hidden lookout, only to be spotted by Inviernos. Will the party get out of this alive? Find out after the cut.

Part 1: How Not to Be Seen
Oh crap. The party has been spotted by Inviernos. What will they do?

Well, since Elisa sucks at adventuring in general, she decides to hide in the cave while Cosmé and Humberto run away. Cosmé finds Elisa a hard-to-spot crevasse to hide in, and Humberto gives her some supplies and promises to come back for her. And then they run away.

Moments later, the Inviernos show up in the cave, but fail to find Elisa. Elisa learns during this ordeal that the Inviernos speak Lengua Classica, the same language used in every holy text mentioned in this book. And thanks to her religious upbringing, she’s able to understand what they say.

After the Inviernos leave, Elisa falls asleep.

Part 2: Shit Hits the Fan
Elisa wakes up later, and she really needs to pee. So of course she leaves her hiding place to relieve herself … and she gets captured by the Inviernos and pisses all over herself. Elisa pretends to not understand a word her captors say as they herd her down to the Invierno camp.

Once in the camp, her captors lead her to an opulent tent that belongs to The Cat, who turns out to be an animagus. The Cat is a preternaturally handsome man with white robes and platinum blond hair and strange cat-like eyes. He also wears one of those weird glowing amulet things that everyone’s been talking about for the past few chapters. The Cat interrogates Elisa’s captors, and somehow freezes them in place with magic! However, this doesn’t seem to affect Elisa, so she has to pretend to be frozen.

The Cat asks Elisa’s captors if they found the other three members of the party. Obviously, they haven’t yet, so the Cat orders them to find the rest of the party, and releases them form his freezing spell. Elisa realizes that one of her party members must be dead or already captured, since the Inviernos are only talking about finding three people, not four.

And then the Cat stands over Elisa and talks about how he notices something strange about her. And Elisa finds something strange about the Cat, as well: his amulet is actually a Godstone.


Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
So why do the Inviernos speak Lengua Classica? This won’t be addressed in the final book in the series. I will spoil, however, that it ties into one of my crazy theories – one of which is actually correct, and thus not as crazy as I thought.

How did the Inviernos find Elisa’s cave? We’ll find out in the next chapter.

And why do animagi possess Godstones? You’re going to have to wait for the next book to learn that.

Minor spoiler: The Cat’s freezing spell is actually a variant of Shield. This isn’t revealed until the final book, when – spoiler! – Elisa finally learns the spell.

Advanced Translation Time!
We actually get some examples of Lengua Classica in this chapter! And some quick Google Translate-fu proves that it’s basically a very altered form of Portuguese. Here are our sample sentences in Lengua Classica, with English translation:

Né hay ninguno iqui. (There is no one here.)

Lo Chato né sería feliz si alquino nos ecapría. (The Cat will be displeased if someone eludes us.)

Né vieo nado. (I see nothing.)

And here are the same sentences in Portuguese:

Não há ninguém aqui.

O Gato não será feliz se alguém nos escapa. (Lit.: The Cat will not be happy…)

Não vejo nada.

From this sample, we can determine the following rules:

  • [ão] => [é] (we learned this earlier in the book)
  • [á] => [ay]
  • [ém] => [no]
  • Word-initial [a] => [i] (I’m unsure if this applies to proper names, though)
  • The definite articles o and a are preceded with [l], as in Spanish
  • [g] => [ch]
  • [gu] => [qui] (this takes precedence over the above rule)
  • Third-person non-past verb endings are replaced with [(r)ía] (add [r] if not present in verb stem)
  • se => si (IE, use the Spanish word for if instead of Portuguese)
  • [ejo] => [ieo] (so, a [VjV] cluster becomes [iVV])
  • Nada must agree with the preceding verb (this seems to be the only pronoun affected by this rule)

So, we almost have enough rules to reconstruct Lengua Classica. We’ll learn a couple more words as the series goes on – mostly Spanish and Italian words that are used instead of their Portuguese counterparts. And we’ve already learned some Spanish words that are used in place of the Portuguese equivalents a couple of chapters ago. From now on, though, expect me to attempt to translate some of the more important text that’s supposed to be in Lengua Classica, like quotes from sacred books and Invierno names and speech.

Status Update!
Elisa learns: Spell Resistance! (Slight spoiler: magic doesn’t affect her, but its physical effects do.)


Next time: Elisa does something badass.



    1. Argh, this is something that’s expanded on in future books. I can tell you that it takes a lot of effort to cast Shield on her — she immune to it in this book, and I don’t think it actually affects her until the end of the final book, after a massively spoilery thing happens. Also, she can be knocked back and singed by fireballs, but I don’t think she can be hurt as badly by them as the other characters. And she’s immune to the effects of any offensive spell she casts.

      I probably should’ve written that out more clearly in the original post, but a lot of the details are kinda spoilery.

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