Last time on The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa had a very awkward dinner with Alejandro and officially became queen of Joya d’Arena. How will she use her new political power to prepare for the upcoming boss battle? Find out after the cut.
Part 1: A Very Important Mission
Being queen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Elisa spends her time meeting with citizens instead of working on the war effort. After two days of dealing with people asking her for favors or giving her advice, Elisa decides she’s had enough, heads back for her suite, and orders Ximena to move Rosario in with them.
It turns out that Elisa has a special plan for Rosario. Alejandro won’t let Rosario contribute to the war effort because he’s too young, but Rosario really wants to help out. So Elisa enlists him to spy on people and help her search every single potted plant in the palace for the missing Godstones.
Part 2: My Dinner with Alejandro, Redux
After spending her day helping the first wave of refugees find temporary housing at the palace and surrounding estates, Elisa has dinner with Alejandro and General Luz-Manuel. They are soon interrupted by Hector and a scout, who inform them that the Invierno cavalry is advancing on Brisadulce. Alejandro orders the city gates closed, but Elisa convinces him to delay that order until morning so that more refugees can enter Brisadulce.
Alejandro leaves with Hector and the scout, leaving Elisa alone with Luz-Manuel. The general wants Elisa to be in charge of the war effort, since Alejandro sucks at military matters. He also promises to protect Elisa, since he knows that the Inviernos want her Godstone, and Hector told him what the Iniverno animagi can do with their Godstone amulets. Thanks to Hector’s intel, Luz-Manuel already ordered the soldiers to hoard water in case the animagi try to burn the city gates down. Elisa thinks that the animagi can totally burn down the gates, and suggests that they ask the refugees about the animagi’s Fireballs. Luz-Manuel thinks this is a good idea, and he also decides to station more archers at the city gates. Elisa reminds him that the animagi can freeze people, and advises him to keep the archers out of sight.
Part 3: Hey, Remember Those Very Important Tiles?
Well, Rosario knows all about those Very Important tiles! Or, at least, he knows someone who knows about them: Father Nicandro.
In other Rosario-related news, Rosario totally dug through a bunch of potted plants in the palace. He hasn’t found the Godstones yet.
Part 4: Acts of Service
Nicandro knows a lot about those Very Important tiles in Elisa’s bath. They were made by Lady Jacoma, a Chosen One who was the daughter of the owner of a tile factory. She painted two thousand Very Important tiles before her death, but never completed her act of service. However, she did influence many artists, who all copied the design on the tiles and used them to decorate palaces and monasteries.
Nicandro also has a theory about the Generic Fantasy Prophecy. He noticed that the prophecy simultaneously refers to Chosen Ones individually and collectively. So perhaps there’s only one act of service, performed by all Chosen Ones over time.
Part 5: The Siege Begins
The next day, after Alejandro has the city gates closed, an alarm sounds! Elisa and Hector run to the city walls (because Elisa utterly refuses to ride a horse), where they discover that the enemy cavalry has arrived. Surprisingly, it’s not the Invierno cavalry. It’s actually the Perdito cavalry, and they’re just there to besiege Brisadulce until the main Invierno force arrives. Still, this is not a Good Thing.
Part 6: Let’s Play the Waiting Game!
Lots of things happen while everyone waits for the main Invierno force to come:
- Rosario grows bored with searching for the Godstones, while rumors spread about him digging through potted plants.
- Orovalleno reinforcements arrive by sea.
- The Inivernos finally arrive. Hector promises to protect Elisa from them, even though they’re not sure why the Inivernos want her Godstone.
Part 7: A Final Message
A final message arrives from Cosmé: part of the southern Invierno force is marching on Brisadulce, and they brought five animagi with them.
Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
Lady Jada, the guest Elisa ditches when she decides she has had enough of palace BS, appears in the next book in a slightly more expanded role.
The only Quorum member Elisa has had any contact with since her return, other than Hector, is Luz-Manuel. Ariña has locked herself in her quarters, and Eduardo is off defending the southern holdings.
What Rosario knows about the Very Important tiles: they were made by some important person that everyone forgot about.
Nicandro’s theory regarding the Generic Fantasy Prophecy is actually correct. It helps Elisa defeat the boss in this book.
Cosmé isn’t sending any more messages because the Perditos are shooting down the Malficio’s messenger pigeons.
All the foodstuffs mentioned in this chapter:
- Honey-glazed wild turkey with shredded orange peel (dindon l’orange?)
Next time: The Inviernos arrive. Elisa learns the bloody secret behind casting Fireball, and attempts to replicate the results. Rosario learns about menstruation. Ariña gets drunk off her ass.