The Captain of the Guards is less than happy that the Princess and the Prince are facing off against each other. Although he's fairly liberally minded, he still believes that she shouldn't be fighting and throws Celaena out of the training grounds for it. She's furious, a year in the salt mines damaged her fighting skills and she's not going back. That means she has to be good enough to win whatever the next Competition is, and Chaol refuses to even give her a hint. They have a round of their usual dialogue that ends roughly the same as always, she storms off.
In the meantime Kaltain is hanging around the court, flirting with Duke Perrington and praying that she'll never have to make good on any of it as she trolls for castle gossip. She's fairly transparent but the Duke still lets her in on Queen Georgina's plans to marry off Dorian, and she tells him about Lady Lillian (Celaena)'s infatuation with the Prince. The two form a natural alliance.
Chaol and Dorain have their own back and forth, although it's less friendly, mostly about Celaena. Dorain's sure that Chaol is falling for her, but it might just be jealousy talking. The talk turns dark as they discuss the "Eye Eater"s murder, his innards and brains scooped out. Dorian seems to think it was a drunken brawl, which makes him either poorly informed or short on brains himself, Chaol doesn't have and good leads, but everyone appears confident in him, which eats at him.
Questions: What do you think Chaol's arguments against the Princess sparring are? Are politicians today trained in self defense- and should they be? How about celebrities like Celaena? Why do you think the death was so gruesome, what can you draw from that which lets you know more about the plotline?
Pet Peeves: Dorian says that Chaol's absence was inexcusable, but he was in the middle of a murder investigation- that's a little unreasonable. Celaena's temper is always a problem for me, she's close to slavery, she should be building alliances. Kaltain is way too see through to be a noble of any kind, especially one that wants to dabble in court politics.