(Start at the Beginning)
Celaena is back to training, despite the horrific murder of one of the Champions. Her lovely chat with the Captain of the Guards about her time in the mines is sufficient motivation to keep at it- but not everyone has a good mentor. One of them makes a run for it, placing all the others at risk. While she certainly understands, he picks an inconvenient time and place to die.
In the meantime, Queen Georgina is after her son Dorian to marry. She refuses to be slowed down by his womanizing habits and she's actually drawn up a list of eligible brides. Court is normally stifling, and this sends Dorian right out the door and down to the training grounds where he finds Princess Nehemia joining in with Celaena. He's horrified, but the girls talk him down from his misogynistic tree.
Despite the fact that he's busy, annoying and a little arrogant, Celaena finds him fairly easy to talk to, and the Chapters end with him teaching Nehemia the basics of swordplay. As occasional companions go, he could be worse, and their banter is fun.
Questions: What kind of security measures would be appropriate for an Assassin's competition, given how many powerful people are present. Do you think that the danger is part of the fun for the nobles, or is there something more? Should women be treated equally when it comes to fighting- they just earned the right to serve on the front lines.
Pet Peeves: The former guard who broke and ran might have had a life to go back to if he had just flunked out of the competition, it was a ridiculous time to panic. If he did break and run, why not at night, or when dealing with Cain, or at any stressful time, instead of training? Also, Celaena is supposed to be a lesser noble, but she deals openly with the prince, how has Nehemia (among others) not noticed the discrepancy between her behavior and her cover's status?