Last time on The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa devised a plan to force Treviño to ally with the Malficio, and Belén returned to the hidden village with a dire warning. What other information will Belén divulge? And will Elisa’s plan work? Find out after the cut.
Part 1: Political Marriages
The party decides to hold off on venturing forth because they still need to get information out of Belén. Belén is too wounded and delirious to say much of anything, though.
The next day, Elisa decides to study the
Generic Fantasy Prophecy Afflatus outside the village. Humberto joins her and apologizes for kissing her during the botched reconnaissance mission. Only now does Elisa realize that she’s not in love with Alejandro, and Alejandro may not love her. Their marriage was purely a political one. Also, Elisa doesn’t respect Alejandro’s indecisiveness.
Elisa and Humberto watch the sun set. They want to kiss each other, but Humberto promised to never do it again, so they don’t. Eventually, Cosmé shows up and tells Elisa that Belén’s ready to talk.
Part 2: Belén Explains It All
At last, what we’ve all been waiting for: a recap of Belén’s adventures following Elisa’s escape from the Invierno camp!
Belén told the Inviernos about the cave the party hid out in during the botched reconnaissance mission. He did this because he wanted to help fulfill the Generic Fantasy Prophecy – that is, lead Elisa into the “realm of sorcery”.
After Elisa escaped from the camp, the Inviernos celebrated the Cat’s death. The Inviernos have been searching for the Chosen One, and Elisa’s successful escape proved that she bears a Godstone. If they capture Elisa, they’ll finally possess ten Godstones, which will allow them to release the magic hidden deep inside the earth. Belén can’t elaborate on the Inviernos’ exact plans for this magic, since he’s not fluent in
pseudo-Portuguese Lengua Classica.
The Inviernos eventually allowed Belén to escape from the camp. Belén was tailed by Inviernos, but he managed to lose them before returning to the village. Now that he’s back in the village, Belén is quite certain that he made a huge mistake by trying to work with the Inviernos.
Satisfied that Belén doesn’t seem to be connected to Treviño, the party decides to go to sleep. Elisa thanks Cosmé for taking care of Belén before she hits the sack.
Part 3: You Must Gather Your Party Before Venturing Forth
Early the next morning, the party – Elisa, Humberto, Jacián, Mara, Cosmé, and five unnamed others – gathers outside the village and ventures forth.
Part 4: A Message
The party travels north for a week, during which nothing much happens. Elisa discovers that she’s more fit; Mara cooks delicious food for the party; and Humberto reveals that Cosmé didn’t want to join the party.
At the end of the week, the party spots smoke on the horizon. Elisa doesn’t sense danger or detect allies, so the party decides to check it out. It turns out that the smoke is coming from what used to be the town of Cerrolindo. I say “used to” because it’s been completely burned to the ground. The party finds a family in the ruins, who explain that the Inviernos destroyed their town. They also have a chilling message: the Inviernos will destroy a village each time the Malficio attack. This, of course, makes Elisa quite nauseous.
Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
Mara comes equipped with a satchel of spices. This will be Very Important in the final book.
It’s Translation Time!
Translations of Spanish (and Spanish-influenced) words in this chapter:
- Cerrolindo – Pretty Hill (the town is surrounded by hills)
All the foodstuffs mentioned in this chapter:
- Lightly stewed jerky
- Wild turkey
Next time: Elisa has second thoughts about the plan. The party reaches Basajuan. Jacián buys meat. A secret about Cosmé’s past is revealed. Intel is received. Elisa goes to church.