Chapter no 71

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, 4)

Rowan swung his sword and the Wyrdhound fell back, howling as his blade pierced through stone and into the tender flesh beneath. But not enough to keep it down, to kill it. Another Wyrdhound leaped. Where they lunged, Rowan struck.

Side by side, he and Aedion had been pushed against a wall, conceding foot after foot of the passage—driven farther and farther from the spool of fuse Aedion had been forced to drop.

A clanging, miserable noise rang out.

In the span between clangs, Rowan slashed for two different Wyrdhounds, blows that would have disemboweled most creatures.

The clock tower. Noon.

The Wyrdhounds were herding them back, dodging sure-kill blows, keeping out of their reach.

To keep them from getting to the fuse.

Rowan swore and launched into an assault that engaged three of them at once, Aedion flanking him. The Wyrdhounds held their line.

Noon, he had promised Aelin. As the sun began to reach its apex on the solstice, they’d bring the tower crashing down.

The final clang of the clock tower sounded. Noon had come and gone.

And his Fireheart, his queen, was in that castle above them—left with only her mortal training and wits to keep her alive. Perhaps not for much longer.

The thought was so abhorrent, so outrageous, that Rowan roared his fury, louder than the shrieks of the beasts.

The bellow cost his brother. One creature shot past Rowan’s guard, leaping, and Aedion barked out a curse and staggered back. Rowan smelled Aedion’s blood before he saw it.

It must have been a dinner bell to the Wyrdhounds, that demi-Fae blood. Four of them leaped for the general as one, their maws revealing flesh-shredding stone teeth.

The three others whirled for Rowan, and there was nothing he could do to get to that fuse.

To save the queen who held his heart in her scarred hands.



A few steps ahead of him, Chaol watched Aelin back toward the glass doors, just as they’d planned after seeing his men dead.

The king’s attention was fixed on the Eye of Elena around her neck. She removed it, holding it in a steady hand. “Been looking for this, have you? Poor Erawan, locked in his little tomb for so long.”

It was an effort to hold his position as Aelin kept retreating. “Where did you find that?” the king seethed.

Aelin reached Chaol, brushing against him, a comfort and a thank-you and a good-bye as she continued past. “Turns out your ancestor didn’t approve of your hobbies. We Galathynius women stick together, you know.”

For the first time in his life, Chaol saw the king’s face go slack. But then the man said, “And did that ancient fool tell you what will happen if you wield the other key you already possess?”

She was so close to the doors. “Let the prince go, or I’ll destroy this right here, and Erawan can stay locked up.” She slid the chain into her pocket.

“Very well,” the king said. He looked at Dorian, who showed no sign of even remembering his own name, despite what the witch had written on the walls of their city. “Go. Retrieve her.”

Darkness surged from Dorian, leaking like blood in water, and Chaol’s head gave a burst of pain as—

Aelin ran, exploding through the glass doors.

Faster than he should be, Dorian raced after her, ice coating the floor, the room. The cold of it knocked the breath from him. But Dorian didn’t glance once in his direction before he was gone.

The king took a step down the dais, his breath clouding in front of him.

Chaol lifted his sword, holding his position between the open doors and the conqueror of their continent.

The king took another step. “More heroic antics? Don’t you ever get bored of them, Captain?”

Chaol did not yield. “You murdered my men. And Sorscha.” “And a good many more.”

Another step. The king stared over Chaol’s shoulder to the hallway where Aelin and Dorian had vanished.

“It ends now,” Chaol said.



The Valg princes had been lethal in Wendlyn. But when inhabiting Dorian’s body, with Dorian’s magic …

Aelin hurtled down the hallway, glass windows flanking her, marble beneath—nothing but open sky around her.

And behind, charging after her like a black storm, was Dorian. Ice spread from him, hoarfrost splintering along the windows.

The moment that ice hit her, Aelin knew she would not run another step.

She’d memorized every hallway and stairwell thanks to Chaol’s maps. She pushed herself harder, praying that Chaol bought her time as she neared a narrow flight of stairs and hurled herself up, taking the steps by twos and threes.

Ice cracked along the glass right behind her, and cold bit at her heels. Faster—faster.

Around and around, up and up she flew. It was past noon. If something had gone wrong with Rowan and Aedion …

She hit the top of the stairs, and ice made the landing so slick that she skidded, going sideways, going down—

She caught herself with a hand against the floor, her skin ripping open on the ice. She slammed into a glass wall and rebounded, then she was running again as the ice closed in around her.

Higher—she had to get higher. And Chaol, facing the king—

She didn’t let herself think about that. Spears of ice shot out from the walls, narrowly missing her sides.

Her breath was a flame in her throat.

“I told you,” a cold male voice said from behind, not at all winded. Ice spiderwebbed across the windows on either side. “I told you that you would regret sparing me. That I would destroy everything you love.”

She reached a glass-covered bridge that stretched between two of the highest spires. The floor was utterly transparent, so clear that she could see every inch of the plunge to the ground far, far below.

Hoarfrost coated the windows, groaning—

Glass exploded, and a cry shattered from her throat as it sliced into her back.

Aelin veered to the side, for the now-broken window, its too-small iron frame, and the drop beyond.

She flung herself through it.

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